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Things to do in Bali

Things to do in Bali

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Experience the spiritual temples and underwater beauty from the relaxed atmosphere of Indonesia’s best island, Bali.

Indonesia’s most popular destination lives up to its name with a relaxed atmosphere and picture-perfect nature.

We created this list of things to do so you can spend more time unwinding in a spa with a traditional massage or visiting the local wildlife and less time organizing your itinerary.

Top things to do in Bali

Visit temples

Visit temples from Orbitz

Bali is not short on temples and many of them are its most famous attractions.

While you can explore them at your own whim and fancy, some of the most renowned worth visiting are Tanah Lot which is a pilgrimage temple on the coast, sea temple Uluwatu and the temple complex of Besakih. This is the largest and holiest Hindu temple in Bali.

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Rice terraces

Rice terraces from Orbitz

There are a number of rice terraces around Bali that make for a perfect afternoon of exploring.

After witnessing their breathtaking views, you can take a dip in the hot springs nearby or grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. Book yourself a day tour to see the most of this mountainous region.

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Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest from Orbitz

Ubud Monkey Forest isn’t just home to the grey long-tailed macaques but also to a number of temples.

You can walk through the lush forest on paved trails watching the monkeys eat bananas and go about their day.

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Mount Batur

Mount Batur from Orbitz

Hike up this 1,700-metre volcano that is famous for its stunning sunrise.

It will only take a couple of hours and you can enjoy a private route to climb Mount Batur.

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Visit a spa

Visit a spa from Orbitz

Bali is the ultimate place to re-energise and relax. Visit one of the many spas to experience a traditional Balinese massage.

The spa treatments include herbs and spices to help release stress.

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Scuba diving and snorkeling

Scuba diving and snorkeling from Orbitz

Snorkeling is beautiful, but for the best sights you need to dive.

Bali has phenomenal dive spots with plenty of exotic fish and colorful reefs to see.

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Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan from Orbitz

Escape from Bali for the day by doing some island hopping to the neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan. It offers a chilled atmosphere and fresh fruit at your fingertips.

It’s also a hotspot for surfing and dive spots that are cheaper than Bali.

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Must-see spots in Bali

There are many awe-inspiring places in Bali that you’ll run into by chance. However, there are a few must-see spots that you’ll have to go out of your way to make sure you hit while on the island.

Besides checking out the Ubud Monkey Forest and Mount Batur, some other notable spots include:

  • Tanah Lot Temple. Located northwest of Kuta, you’ll find many visitors at this iconic temple that sits atop crashing waves on the beach. The picturesque combination of the sunset and temple will be a site that you won’t want to miss.
  • Uluwatu Temple. This temple rests cliffside — 230 feet high — overlooking the sea in the southwestern Bukit peninsula. It’s considered to be one of the six spiritual pillars in Bali and atop the cliff you’ll find a sunset that paints the sky with colors of vibrant melon and orange. The temple is also in close proximity to a small forest that is inhabited by hundreds of monkeys who are believed to be guardians of the temple.
  • Tegallalang rice terraces. These spectacular rice terraces etch into the countryside and are a tourist hotspot for panoramic landscape photos that are drenched in rich green color. When visiting, you’ll also find vendors on the outskirts where you can buy souvenirs or get a bite to eat.
  • Ubud art market. This will be one of the best spots to shop for authentic Balinese souvenirs. You’ll find unique handwoven clothing and accessories, as well as art and home decor — don’t be afraid to haggle.
  • Bali Safari and Marine Park. Here you’ll find 80 different species of animals from Indonesia, India and Africa that are displayed in large enclosures where they are free to roam — don’t miss the illustrious Indian white tigers. The Bali Safari and Marine Park is also neighbored by a waterpark and amusement park.
  • Goa Gajah. Aged all the way back to the 11th century — “also known as Elephant Cave” — you can gaze upon timeless carvings and roam the complex where you’ll find magnificent statues. The entrance to the cave is through the mouth of a large formidable face with it’s jaw dropped open as the door — perfect for a photo-op.

What else should I do on my Bali trip?

Whether you’re by the beach or inland, there are a number of sites to see and and adventures to be had on your Bali trip. You could hike deep in the rainforest to find plummeting waterfalls and refreshing hot springs. Or, head out to the countryside where you can stroll through meticulously groomed gardens.

There are also many art galleries throughout the island where you can pop in to get a closer look at Balinese culture. Here are some other recommendations:

  • Beach day. Bali is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with your family or your significant other, a day on the beach in Bali will prove to be most relaxing — stick around for the sunset.
  • Private day trip. This could entail anything from a walking nature tour, a tour of staggering rice terraces, cycling through Bali with a guide or even checking out some of the must-see temples.
  • Cooking classes. If you love the cuisine while you’re out in Bali, why not bring some cooking skills home to show off to your friends and family. This is a great way to connect with the locals as well as learn a valuable lifelong skill.
  • Shopping. Shopping in Bali is epic. You could be browsing handmade items from a street vendor one minute, and be in the Gucci store the next. Other items you’ll find for sale are trinkets, surf wear, furniture and home decor — and if it’s made on the island, it is likely to be eco-friendly. A tip of advice when shopping with street vendors is that it’s alright to haggle if you do so with respect.

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Kyle Morgan

Kyle Morgan is a writer and editor for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

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