The Luxe Nomad’s Travel Guide to Bali 2021

Can’t get Bali off your mind? Here’s an updated 2021 Bali travel guide to help you out!

One of Indonesia’s most popular islands, and an obvious choice when it comes to holiday getaways, Bali is a thrilling destination for any nomad. It’s an island of many names, often referred to as The Island of the Gods, The Last Paradise, Land of a Thousand Temples and even Morning of the World. These descriptions are enough to imagine a province defined by its rich culture, a deep sense of spirituality, and a certain calm unique to its volcanic hillsides, lush rice terraces, and breathtaking coastlines.

Ready for a slice of Balinese paradise? Here’s all you need to know:

When to Go to Bali

Getting to Bali

Where to Stay in Bali

Bali’s Must-See Beaches

Things to Do in Bali

Other Tips for Traveling to Bali

When to Go to Bali

Photo by Unsplash (Tom Bixler)

Like its tropical neighbors, Bali experiences only two distinct seasons: Dry Season and Wet Season. Though the humidity changes depending on the time of year, daytime temperatures are usually consistent, ranging from around 26 to 32℃.

Wet Season runs from October through March, with January as the wettest month. Tropical downpours and humidity may cause occasional decreased visibility at dive sites and more mosquitos than usual, but on the bright side, airfare and accommodation rates are much lower compared to any other time of year—plus, you get the chance to take in the popular sites with less tourists than usual.

The island also celebrates Nyepi or Day of Silence every year around March, which is a day of absolute silence from 6am to 6am the next morning. During this time, no outdoor activities are allowed and all establishments close up shop in observance of the holiday. As the entire island comes to a standstill for 24 hours, it can be a great chance for some introspection and reflection. Read also: 4 Unique Takeaways from Nyepi

Many say the best time to visit is between April to September, which is Bali’s Dry Season. The abundance of sunshine makes the island a blank canvas for all your outdoor itineraries, whether you’re gearing up for a hike or taking to the seas.

June to August are especially filled with fanfare, with events such as the Bali Arts Festival (June-July), the Nusa Dua Festival (June-July), and the Bali Kites Festival (July-August) lined up. These festivities, along with good weather, are open invites that tourists can’t refuse, so expect a spike in room rates and lots of companions around these months.

Here’s a tip: the best deals are up for grabs either just before, or right after the peak season. Consider booking your accommodations around May or September—by then, the atmosphere will still be warm and sunny, but you can experience Bali with fewer crowds.

Getting to Bali


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Penidago Travel (@penidago)

Bali is fairly easy to get to, with numerous flights from major international cities regularly flying in and out of Denpasar Airport.

It’s also well-connected to the rest of Indonesia, so if you’re already in the country, booking a regular domestic flight is easy. Plus, if you’re in Jakarta, you can even hop on a bus that takes you to Bali in a day, or get tickets to a train service covering Jakarta to Banyuwangi that crosses the Bali Strait into Bali.

And if you want to experience traveling through South East Asia by sea, Bali is a popular port for most cruise liners. You can catch a flight to Singapore, Sumatra, or Java, and take a ship to Bali with information desks at the respective airports to guide you.

Need help with your visa to Indonesia? Read this!

Where to Stay in Bali

Do you prefer beachfront, mountain view, overlooking rooftop terraces, or calming paddy fields? Whether you go up high or down low, #ThatVillaLife is calling! Here’s what you can expect in Bali’s charming villages.

Villa Gu in Canggu, Bali

First up is Canggu, a resort village made up of different towns: Batu Bolong, Echo Beach, Pererenan, Berawa, and Batu Belig (the first four are famous for their beaches!). Batu Bolong is the buzzing center, with a prime location that has easy access to the sea as well as popular restaurants, cafés, and bars. Right next door is Echo Beach, a go-to for surfing, beach-side lounging, and chilling. Another famous surf spot is in Pererenan—surfers call it their mecca!—with the captivating Tanah Lot Temple nearby. For nightlife, Berawa has the best selection, with more than enough seaside lounges, bars, restaurants, and shops to keep you entertained. And last but not the least is Batu Belig, with a quiet charm that fits a peaceful villa getaway, and even family-friendly activities (did somebody say waterpark?). Find your dream villa in Canggu here!

EDEN Residence at the Sea in Seminyak, Bali

For a livelier atmosphere, Seminyak is the place to be. It has the best picks on the island for nightlife, with lots of bars, high-end restaurants, and swanky clubs to choose from. Party the night away at a sunset bar, and clear your head by the beach the next morning. Stay close to the party with these Seminyak villas!

Villa Florimar in Seseh, Bali

In the village of Seseh, local life remains largely unaffected by the tourism that’s influenced various parts of the island. Its rural charm, paired with unending views of beautiful rice fields or the great Indian Ocean, offers a Balinese holiday minus the bustling crowds. Don’t be too surprised when you find an empty beach that’s all yours to enjoy—that’s just one of many perks. Click here to browse villas in this seaside village.

Villa Vedas in Tabanan, Bali

And if you’re looking to get lost in nature, Tabanan is a Regency in Central Bali known for its natural landscape. Choose your vantage point from one of its many nature parks, majestic temples, and even a UNESCO-recognized rice plantation. As expected, activities here often involve getting acquainted with the terrain, such as hiking, chasing waterfalls, or surfing. Be one with nature at these Tabanan villas!

Villa Hartland Estate in Ubud, Bali

Meanwhile, a drive inland will take you to Ubud, a place known for its many cultural attractions. Located in the central hills of Bali, what this town lacks in beaches, it more than makes up for in ancient temples, exotic museums, and stunning views of rice terraces. Visitors will love getting lost in Ubud Market, where trinkets and handcrafted goods are abound, and discovering the many yoga studios, wellness centers, and vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Find a spot to call your own in Ubud!

Villa Sena in Pecatu, Bali

Lastly, for breathtaking hills and cliffs, head to Pecatu. Its most iconic landmark is the Hindu sea temple Pura Uluwatu, where you’ll find not only this historic place of worship, but also the notorious monkeys that have made a home out of it. Around the area, you can also catch a Kecak fire dance performance, chill out by the beach, or have a taste of luwak coffee. Find a Pecatu villa here!

Still can’t decide? Click here for some Bali travel inspo!

Bali’s Must-See Beaches

Can’t decide which beach to head to first? Add these to your list:

1. For surfing, your best picks are Echo Beach or Pererenan Beach. It draws in surfers from all around the world for a reason: these spots are known for their consistent mid-to-high tides and blissful atmosphere.

2. For people-watching, go to Seminyak Beach. Here, you can find some of Bali’s most upscale restaurants, beach clubs, and designer boutiques. Mingle with the crowds, catch the sunset with your cocktail in hand, and dance the night away!

3. For long sunset walks, stop by Batu Bolong. The shore seems to go on forever at this sandy stretch. Make yourself comfortable at any of the seaside restaurants and cafés while you enjoy the breeze and the calming sound of waves.

4. For relaxation, visit Batu Belig Beach. Head north and you’ll find this serene gem, with black sand perfect for sunbathing. (Did you know that darker sand absorbs the sun’s warmth and returns it to your skin?) Find a comfy spot, kick back, and laze the day away.

5. For less crowds, head up to Seseh Beach. The calmer atmosphere is perfect for an ice cold Bintang and a picture-perfect hideaway all to yourself.

Things to Do in Bali

“Eat, pray, love” is just the beginning—though they’re definitely there for a reason. There’s something in Bali for any kind of traveler. Here are a few ideas:

Photo by Unsplash (Alex Block)

1. For the food-lover. One thing’s for sure: you won’t run out of dining options here! Eat your way through a wide range of cuisines, from Bottega Italiana’s gourmet Italian, to Mason and Sisterfield’s modern Australian, to Passo by Nook’s Asian and Western fusion.

If you’re in the mood for coffee and comfort food (and honestly, who isn’t?), check out Crate Café, Café Vida, or Milk and Madu. More interested in vegan or plant-based options? You’ll love Café Organic and Peloton Supershop, who serve deliciously healthy dishes while advocating a conscious, eco-healthy lifestyle.

And for a fancy night out, dress up and make reservations at Sarong or Merah Putih for a classy and scrumptious fine-dining experience.

2. For the nature enthusiast. From volcanoes to lush jungles, adventure stretches out for lengths in Bali. Catch the sunrise on a morning trek, chase waterfalls, rev up your engine, or even ride a horse by the beach!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bali Travel Guide Kekinian (@liburanbali)

3. For the soul-searcher. Cleanse your spirits and visit a Balinese temple (with about 20,000 on the island, there’s always one close by!). Among the popular ones are Pura Taman Ayun, which translates to beautiful garden; Pura Ulun Danu, dedicated to the lake goddess Dewi Danu; Pura Tirta Empul, a water temple known for its holy spring water; and Pura Besakih, Bali’s largest temple, also known as the Mother Temple.

If you’re curious about healing rituals, check out these ones you can try (note: burping may be required!)

Photo by Unsplash (Joseph Greve)

4. For the soul-surfer. In an island like Bali, there’s definitely a beach that’s suited for your level of expertise (and your water sport of choice). Hang loose at any of these surf spots for beginners.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Amo Spa Bali (@amospabali)

5. For the chill-seeker. Spas and beauty lounges in Bali constantly outdo each other when it comes to curating the ultimate pamper experience. Elevate your usual mani-pedi with resort-level ambiance, try out a social spa, or even a 24K Gold Facial!

Photo by Unsplash (Artem Beliaikin)

6. For the die-hard shopper. Who can resist Balinese handicraft? Their craftsmanship shows in one-of-a-kind woven bags, traditional fabrics, ornate carvings, trinkets and more!

For shopping at any hour, Krisna Oleh Oleh Bali is open 24/7; it’s a one-stop shop that has all the local products you need, from handicrafts to snacks to bring home.

Interested in paintings, key chains, souvenirs and a good bargain? You’ll enjoy the outdoor Kuta Art Market, which also offers a great view of Kuta Beach.

There’s also Badung Market, which is considered Bali’s biggest traditional market. It’s also open 24 hours, with multiple floors that cover fresh produce, herbs and spices, and even textiles, handicrafts and clothes.

Looking for hand-woven bags, wicker baskets, hats, and hand-crafted goods? Ubud Art Market has all that and more, with displays boasting of Bali’s best-quality local crafts. (If this lively market looks familiar, you might recognize it from the 2010 film Eat Pray Love.)

Other Tips for Traveling to Bali

Photo by Unsplash (Kharl Anthony Paica)

1. Dress for the occasion. Bikinis and shorts are good for the beach, but fancier establishments might have a different dress code (bye for now, flip-flops!). And when visiting a temple, pay your respects by remembering the following:

    • Wear shirts that cover your shoulders and upper arm (both men and women)
    • Remove your shoes before entering a temple
    • Don’t enter a temple if you’re bleeding (whether from a cut, or if it’s that time of the month)
    • Rent a scarf or a sarong at the temple, if necessary

2. Be cautious of wild or stray animals. Instead of attempting to befriend a monkey at a temple, or petting a dog you see in the street, consider donating to organizations like the Sangeh Monkey Forest or Bali Dog Refuge, which are dedicated to protecting the animals.

3. Leave behind nothing but footprints. Plastic pollution is one of the downsides to the tourism boom on the island. Tonnes of plastic wind up at Bali’s shores, and though the locals are doing their best to clean up, a little help won’t hurt. When on the island, be mindful of your trash and dispose responsibly!

Your Bali getaway starts here!

Feature image by Unsplash (Sebastian Pena Lambarri)

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.