These days, it seems like anyone and everyone has either been to Bali, or is planning to go. I recently went and was certainly not disappointed. I went from the end of February to the beginning of March, for 12 days including the insane amount of travel time to get there. It was pretty hot (about 30 degrees celsius) and extremely humid the entire time. Technically it was the end of rainy season, but it barely rained while we were there! And when it did, it was usually just overnight.
It was the perfect length of time for a getaway. However, if you really want to explore it in all it’s glory, I’d recommend at least 3 weeks if not 4. There is really so much to see and there was so much that I didn’t get to see that I wish I had. I’ll let you know what those spots were at the end of this post.
First, here are my favourite spots I did go to, and ones I recommend you check out as well!
Uluwatu is an area of Bali that is situated on the Bukit Peninsula. To get to this area from the airport, it’s only a 45-minute taxi ride south. We began our trip here, and it was glorious. It was a relatively quiet area compared to tourist hubs such as Kuta and Ubud, and boasted the most gorgeous of views. Some of my best photos from my trip were taken here due to the epic cliffs and sunsets. I would highly recommend spending a few days here if you really want to chill out and explore some great views.
There are many accommodation options, from $25/night spots, all the way up to luxurious $700/night+ resorts. We stayed at Sal Secret Spot, which was about $100/night (we were there during low season) including a delicious breakfast each morning. It was a bit tough for our driver to find it initially (I guess it really is a secret!), but it was well worth the hunt. The staff were so lovely, the outdoor bathroom was gorgeous, and the pool area was so nice. And it was also SUPER Instagram-worthy.
Food options in Uluwatu are pretty spread out, so I’d recommend renting a scooter while staying in this area. It’s just going to make getting around and exploring so much easier (and cheaper) than if you hadn’t! My favourite place to eat while staying in this area was Cashew Tree – a great spot for vegan eats!
We didn’t really go out much at night – but if we had, we were told that the spot to be was Finn’s Beach Club. Especially on Sunday nights.
This beach is on the southern most tip of the Bukit Peninsula and is where the prestigious Karma Beach Club is located. Until our arrival, we had assumed that we needed to buy day passes to have access to the beach as we were told that the only way to get to it was by way of the club’s trolley. However, upon arriving, we noticed a group heading towards the water to the left of where the club entrance was and decided to take a chance and follow them.
And we got lucky! There was a path to the left of where you would enter the club (straight ahead of the parking lot and slightly left of it) that leads all the way down to the beach! Which you can enjoy for free!
This beach was my favourite in all of Bali. The water was relatively calm and excellent for swimming, and not crowded at all. We stayed for sunset which was pretty epic, but then made sure we started our trek back up the cliffside before it was completely dark.
Okay, so I have to admit. I mostly stayed on the hotel ground the entire time we were in Ubud. By choice. Our hotel, Bisma Eight, was a total dream. It’s not the cheapest option around, but for about $250/night, it was well worth the splurge and was definitely a great deal for the value. Our stay included some of the best guest service I’ve ever experienced, gorgeous welcome drinks, complimentary sunrise yoga classes every morning, a delicious daily breakfast in a gorgeous setting, and a room that was bigger than my apartment at home. No joke. For more photos and information on this beautiful spot, see my blog post here.
Other than our hotel, my favourite part about this area was visiting the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, which were about a 20-minute drive from town. We arrived early, at about 7am, in order to avoid the other tourists and so we could grab photos in the morning light that poured onto the terraces. Our timing ended up being perfect because as we were leaving at about 830am, the crowds started pouring in. And we were there in low season.
We hadn’t been planning to go to Gili Air, but after arriving in Canggu and feeling a bit underwhelmed by it (minus the plethora of amazing vegetarian eats), we decided to hop over to Gili Air for our last full night in Indonesia. Of the Gili Islands, we chose Gili Air because it is more laid-back than it’s party partner of Gili T, but more established than Gili Meno.
We stayed at Gili Air Lagoon Resort – which for $80/night was a fantastic choice. We had our own little bungalow and the location was only a 5-minute walk from the ferry. The only part I didn’t love about our stay was the breakfast offered by the hotel – was very underwhelming. I remember ordering eggs benny and receiving scrambled eggs on untoasted bread, slathered in hollandaise. Other than the food though, this spot was good value.
We went to Mowie’s for dinner and ended up staying for the sunset. Mowie’s has good food and an amazing view. If you’re planning to head there for sunset, make sure to arrive early. We got there just in time to grab a spot overlooking the ocean.
My favourite part about Gili Air was biking around the whole island. There are no cars or motorized vehicles on the island, so everyone gets around either by bicycle or horseback. It was a really refreshing experience. We woke up really early to enjoy exploring the island during the peace and quiet of the early morning.
Now that we’ve gone over my favourite places that I did get see, here are a few that I wish I had gone to (and hope to go to if I go back).
- Nusa Penida
- Nusa Lembongan
- Mount Sanur (for sunrise trekking)
- Komodo National Park
Have you been to Bali? What were your favourite spots? Let me know in the comments below!