The official currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Most hotels and tourist areas accept major credit cards. It’s also common to see rates listed in USD, especially in hotels.
Indonesian is the most common language spoken in Bali. However, since it’s become such a popular tourist destination, many locals, especially in tourist areas, will also speak English.
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Bali is during the island's dry season, which is between April and October. Peak season in Bali tends to closely follow holidays like Christmas and summer vacation in North America. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, April, May, June, and September would be your ideal time to visit.
Because Bali has a tropical climate and is close to the equator, it is hot year round with an average temperature of 31°C and the humidity level hovering around 80–90%. There are two distinct seasons in Bali: the rainy season from November to March and the dry season from April to October.
Bali is a great destination for travellers who enjoy local and cultural experiences, historic sites, and beaches. However, it's most common for sun worshippers or those travellers looking for a wellness escape in the jungle. While there is certainly something for everyone, Bali’s iconic beaches, volcanic mountains, and lush jungles make it especially attractive for those travellers looking to unwind in nature.
Getting There From North America
Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Denpasar is the major airport for arrivals and departures, both international and domestic. Tanjung Benoa is the main cruise port in Bali.
Major Air Routes from the United States and Canada
There are no direct flights from any North American gateway to Bali. The most popular routes for travel time will connect somewhere in Asia before continuing to Denpasar. Some common airlines and connection cities are Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong, EVA Air through Taipei, China Eastern through Shanghai, China Southern through Guangzhou, Qatar Airways through Doha, and Emirates through Dubai.
Essential Sights in Bali
Located on a cliff 70m above sea level and surrounded by forests, Uluwatu Temple is located on a location where it is believed that the powers of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva merge. With stunning views from the temple grounds and amazing entranceways and statues, this temple is among the island’s most popular landmarks.
Tanah Lot Temple
The most photographed of Balinese temples, Tanah Lot is a set of three temples located offshore on the southern tip of the Bukit Peninsula. Foreigners are not allowed to enter any of the temples. However, during low tides, you can walk right up to the base and admire it from outside.
An active volcano that has become extremely popular for sunrise hikes and which overlooks one of Bali’s best surfing locations. The trek up the mountain typically takes about two hours and begins in the early hours of the morning if you want to see the sunrise.
Ulun Danu Bratan
Ulun Danu Bratan is also known as the Floating Temple and located on Lake Beratan. If you visit when the tide is high, the temple will appear as if it is floating on the lake.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Located in Ubud, this series of rice paddies is a great addition to any Balinese itinerary. Not only are the rice fields beautiful, but they are a great location to experience some local culture and bask in nature.
Ubud Monkey Forest
Just a short walk from the centre of Ubud, this natural sanctuary is home to over 700 grey long-tailed macaques. You will be able to observe these monkeys in their natural habit while exploring the grounds, which are also home to many relics and statues.
Other Highlights of Bali Off the Beaten Path
An island southeast of Bali with a variety of activities for water lovers. Bays, lagoons and beaches surround the island making it a perfect getaway for divers and snorkellers.
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
This waterfall is located deep in the jungle in the Ubud region, but is relatively easy to get to. You can climb up the rocks to get to the top of the waterfall or swim in the freshwater pools below.
This stretch of coastal villages along the east coast of Bali is perfect for snorkelling and diving, checking out local fishing villages, and sunbathing on black-sand beaches.
A set of three islands off the coast of Bali. Although they’re not quite as popular a tourist destination as Bali, these islands have great snorkelling, diving, surfing, and hiking.
Top Activities and Experiences in Bali
Take a Cooking Class
Learn how to make a traditional Balinese dish with a hands-on cooking class that’s sure to impress your next dinner guests. Start the morning off with a colourful stroll through a local Ubud market taking in the sights and smells as you learn about the different fragrant ingredients that make up Baliense cuisine. End the lesson off with a homemade Balinese feast of traditional dishes like babi guling and sate.
Ride a Bike Through Local Villages
There are so many stunning views throughout the Baliense countryside, so why not rent a bike and take a ride through Luwus, one of the many villages in the Ubud region? There’s no better way to explore the stunning scenery and capture the essence of Bali than by cycling past rural villages and rice paddies. You can also stop for a picnic lunch overlooking the impressive rice paddies.
Experience a Cliff Temple Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple
For a truly unique experience, escape the beach and lush jungles for an evening at Bukit, home to Uluwatu temple. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a breathtaking performance by The Ramayana’s Kecak Dance. This is an evening to remember, including a seafood dinner served on the beach in Jimbaran.
Essential Balinese Foods to Try
One of the most popular dishes in Bali, nasi goreng literally means “fried rice” and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With rice growing all over Bali, there certainly is no shortage for supply when making this traditional fried rice dish that includes pieces of meat and different vegetables.
Not to be mistaken for Malaysian stay, Balinese sate incorporates a variety of spices, mashed chicken, goat, beef, or pork marinated in coconut milk, then spread onto a stick and barbequed. You won’t have trouble finding this common Balinese street food. For an authentic sate dish, try the fish sate (lilit ikan).
A traditional favourite, babi guling is spit-roasted pig stuffed with spices and vegetables rolled over a coal fire. When ordering this delicacy in restaurants beware its usually nose-to-tail dining, meaning you may be served an oddly shaped piece of pork on your plate.
Tips for Sustainable Travel
Bring a refillable water bottle, if possible. Tap water is not safe to drink, but many places will have filtered water that you can fill your own bottle with rather than purchasing bottled water. Bring reusable or bamboo straws to avoid the use of plastic straws when ordering drinks. Say no to plastic bags. Instead, bring your own reusable one for things you buy. Keep the reefs clean and use a natural sunscreen. Most sunscreens are made with oxybenzone, a harmful ingredient that kills and bleaches coral reefs.
Where to Go Next
With many airlines flying directly to and from Bali, adding another destination during your travel is easy. If you’d like to experience more of Southeast Asia’s religious monuments and culture, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok are great options. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai are also options to add on a city break. Consider visiting Dubai or Doha to spend a few days in the glamorous Middle East as a stopover before or after your stay in Bali.
Most Popular Itineraries for Bali
Bali and Ubud Escape offers travellers a mix of the best Indonesia has to offer. Whether you’re looking to take in beach life or want to get lost in the jungle, splitting your time between both locations allows you to fully appreciate the culture, history, and beaches of this unique destination. Bali Beach Escapes offers you the option to select which one of Bali’s memorable beach areas you want to escape to. Whether you’re wanting to enjoy some of the best sunsets from Sanur, take in the trendy nightlife in Seminyak, or be whisked away to the gated beach community of Nusa Dua, you’re sure to return home feeling sunkissed and blissful.