The mysterious island of Bali is located out in the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean, where people from all walks of life come and live out their fantasies similar to the 1978 television hit series Fantasy Island. Think of me as the star Ricardo Montalbán aka Mr. Roarke, your enigmatic overseer and guide for all things to do in Bali.
You should know this fantasy island is small. In fact, Bali is only 230 miles (370km) in circumference. You could drive around the whole island in 12 hours if you didn’t stop or get stuck in a traffic jam. But, I wouldn’t recommend driving around the island looking for accommodations. Instead, you should plan on staying in several areas like Ubud, Jimbaran, Canggu, Uluwatu, Seminyak, or even Kuta.
These places I just mentioned all have a completely different vibe. And, although day trips are doable from just about anywhere on the island, it would be in your best interest to have several bases and avoid any unnecessary travel. Choose your base wisely (see below) and only relocate between bases once every 4 or 5 days.
Most visitors here will rent a motorbike (scooter) for $5 to $7 a day since public transport is not an option yet. Alternatively, you can hire a privately-owned car or a shuttle bus which is a lot more comfortable and safer especially if you are not accustomed to intense traffic, absent road signs, and narrow potholed roads on a motorbike. As a bonus, most drivers usually speak enough English to be your very own tour guide.
Best Place in Bali for Couples or a Honeymoon:
Whether you are just starting your adventures together or continuing your journey as one, Bali is the perfect place to light the fire. Here are a couple of recommendations although where you stay highly depends on your style.
While some couples like to skydive at 10,000 feet, others would rather keep both feet on a quiet and secluded beach.
One of the favorites amongst couples, honeymooners, and the curious is Six Senses in Uluwatu. This resort rests on top of Bali’s southernmost cliffs. It’s also close to Pura Uluwatu, a sacred temple which is considered one of the island’s core spiritual pillars. Six Senses’ is deep-rooted to Bali’s traditions, blending perfectly with all its surroundings. The beach, surf break, and vibe will set the mood for a healthy and romantic dining scene.
Next is a private villa at the Sankara Resort in Ubud. This villa features a private garden, a dining pavilion with a kitchenette, a spacious bathroom with a marbled semi-open bathtub, a natural stone shower, and all the amenities you can think of including breakfast in your comfy king-size bed or private infinity pool.
Ubud is full of culture, vibrant colors, art, shops, monkeys, and natural beauty – Here you will find yourself cut away from the beaches, but amid Bali’s lush green paddy fields, rolling hills, scenic waterfalls, and sacred temples.
- Complimentary of 1x “Shake up your Wake up breakfast” at Sankara’s outdoor
- Daily fresh fruit basket in the room
- Daily complimentary 2 bottles of mineral water
- Daily complimentary Turn-Down Service
- Discover of Morning trekking into the village
- A Complimentary Balinese activities compound
- Experience of the daily refreshment yoga session
- Complimentary of Wi-Fi Cover in all resort area
- Daily afternoon tea or coffee assorted with Balinese refreshment served at the Kumbuh restaurant or poolside
- Complimentary free scheduled Shuttle to Ubud area drop and pick up
Best Place in Bali for Sightseeing & Outdoor Activities:
So once you have chosen Ubud as your base it’s now time to create your to-do list. There is a lot to choose from such as:
Organized rafting, hiking, mountain-biking tours, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, cliff sculptures at Gunung Kawi, exploring Sacred Monkey, Sunset walk on Campuhan Ridge, Arma Museum, Ubud Market, Museum Puri Lukisan, and Ubud Palace.
Or more distant and less-visited areas, like UNESCO-listed rice-terraces at Jatiluwih, Bali Zoo, Gianyar Night Market, or hot springs in Kintamani.
Before you say Au revoir to Ubud, stop at Locavore and order yourself a duck at Bebek Bengil (Northern subdistrict of Ubud), and a 7 am roasted pork breakfast at Babi Guling Bu Ngurah Mambal (make sure you are there before 10 am).
Best Place in Bali for Nightlife
Kuta–Legian: There are a lot of crowded clubs during the evenings as the musical events gear up. Reasonable prices with excellent services and a variety of entertainment venues such as DJ’s from around the globe. A must-do in Bali.
A few spots worth mentioning are: Engine Room Discotheque, LXXY Bali, Bounty Discotheque, Club Jenja Bali, and Sky Garden Bali,(Until the new owner or the previous owner of Sky Garden pays the taxes owed, the armored police vehicle will remain parked out the front 24/7 and remain shut down)
Seminyak: Here you’ll find more sophisticated and upscale lineups such as live jazz, rhythm and blues, and other venues. A few spots worth mentioning are:
Club Jenja Bali, La Favela, Red Carpet Champagne Bar, Potato Head Beach Club Bali, KU DE TA, Ryoshi House Of Jazz, Heaven Sports Bar & Rooftop, and Zibiru Restaurant
Best Place in Bali for Good Food and Restaurants:
UBUD: Experience an experimental eatery at Locavore, Try the chef’s six- to eight-course degustation menu at Kubu at Mandapa, Award-winning sweets and drinks at Room4Dessert, Asian fine dining at Hujan Locale, Try an Australian Wagyu steak and Canadian lobster at CasCades, Enjoy seasonal ingredients with modern French techniques at the Mozaic Restaurant, Experience fine dining Indonesian cuisine at BLANCO Par Mandif, or an exquisite 8-course degustation-only menu at Apéritif.
CANGGU: Try the 5-course tasting menu at Uni Restaurant & Bar, Mediterranean fine dining at Café Del Mar, Must-try grain-fed beef short ribs at Mason, Japanese fusion food at Ji Terrace by the Sea, Japanese food and sake at One Eyed Jack
SEMINYAK: Asian & Indian streetfood fine dining at Sarong, fine dining degustation menu at Mejekawi, Wood-grilled T-Bone steaks & Lobster at The Plantation Grill, contemporary Italian dining at Mauri, Sunday Dim Sum and limited edition Sunday Bloody Sunday (Bloody Mary’s) at Mama San, French sensory dining experience at Metis Restaurant & Gallery, Asian/Euro fine dining at The Restaurant, Sunday brunch at Starfish Bloo, Incredible vegan dishes at Tanaman, sophisticated Asian twist on the French cuisine at Teatro Gastroteque, an exquisite fine dining experience at Bikini, Indonesian datenight with a twist at Merah Putih, exotic Indonesian dishes at KAUM
JIMBARAN & NUSA DUA: Pan-Asian haute cuisine at Kayuputi, Sunday brunch at Soleil, Chef’s five- or seven-course “Okukase” degustation menu at Izakaya by OKU, Wagyu beef satay, and an impressive selection of wines at Manarai Beach House, Cocktails and Desserts at Cuca, eclectic sunset seafood dinner at Sundara Beach Club,
ULUWATU: gourmet sushi and sunset at Sake no Hana, an exquisite gastronomic journey for all senses in a daily-changing dinner at Quila, Chef’s Signature 6-course dinner at Dugong Restaurant, Romantic Moonlight Dinner at Ju Ma Na, Spanish influenced Roasted Lamb Rolls at El Kabron
Best Place in Bali for Families:
- The Laguna Resort & Spa – Nusa Dua. …
- Hilton Bali Resort – Nusa Dua
- Hard Rock Hotel Bali – Kuta
- Bali Dynasty Resort – Kuta
- Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali – Kuta
- Four Seasons Resort Bali – Jimbaran
- Padma Resort Bali – Legian
- Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa – Tanjung Benoa
Best Beaches in Bali:
1. Seminyak Beach – best for the beach bum
2. Nusa Dua Beach – best for families
3. Echo Beach (Canggu) – best for people watching
4. Jimbaran Bay – best for seafood sunsets
5. Sanur Beach – best for sunrise
6. Amed Beach – best for diving & snorkelling
7. Bingin Beach – best for laid back surfers and epic surf dude
8. Balangan Beach –
9. Padang Padang Beach –
10. Pandawa Beach –
11. Melasti Beach – best windy road with a view
Best 3 star Hotels in Bali
Batukaru Mountain Farm-stay –ABNB $20
Jatiluwih 259 homestay– Jatiluwu $22
Suweden Homestay –ABNB Jatiluwi $18
Teras Subak homestay – Jutilwu $22
Jatiluwih Bagia Homestay– jutilwu
Umah Kayu– (AirBnB) Jatiluwih $22