Generally lasting from October until March, don’t wait for dry season to enjoy the wonders of the Island of the Gods. In our books, rainy season in Bali should actually be one for the bucket list as island downpours offer up a more spiritual and natural side of the island – plus, it doesn’t really rain all day.
#1 Overflowing Waterfalls
Rainy season in Bali sees the rivers at their fullest, and the waterfalls at their most refreshing. If you find yourself sticking around the South of the island, head to Tegenungan Falls (only a half-hour from Denpasar), or make a day (or night) of it up around Lovina in Buleleng regency where you can enjoy both the incredible Sekumpul Falls and the Air Banjar Hot Springs – an even nicer treat when it’s wet out.
The Galungan 10 day festival celebrates the victory of dharma – loosely translated as the concept of the right way to live – over adharma – that which is against dharma – and is honored as the time when the spirits of deceased relatives return to visit their former homes. Typified by penjor – bamboo poles with offerings suspended at their ends – the festival culminates with Kuningan when the spirits return to heaven. This year, Galungan falls on February 10th, with Kuningan on the 20th; so if you were looking for something special to do over V-Day, we just sorted you out.
#3 Bhuta Yajna, Nyepi, and Omed Omedan
The Balinese New Year (Nyepi) is celebrated with silence, fasting and meditation, and no one (save for the Pecalang security) is allowed outside their homes – including tourists – for 24 hours. While that may not sound like a great idea for a holiday, forced hibernation can be a good thing as most luxe hotels have special packages to keep you entertained during lock down; but it’s the 2-3 days before Nyepi (Bhuta Yajna) that shouldn’t be missed. During the Bhuta Yajna ritual, demonic effigies of malevolent spirits called ogoh-ogoh are paraded through the villages and then burned in order to vanquish negative elements and create a balance with God, mankind, and nature. Oh and the day after Nyepi? The kissing festival Omed-Omedan which fills the streets of Denpasar with amorous youth who kiss to bring good luck to their villages and families for the upcoming year. Just make sure you time your trip properly, as Nyepi (this year on March 9th) sees the airport also closed for a full 24 hours.
#4 An Architecturally Stunning Spa
Dark skies make for the perfect excuse to head indoors and spend the day getting pampered (and yes ladies, some guys do like a day at the spa). If you’re not already staying there, make a day trip to the dark and moody Alila Villas Soori Spa on the Northwest Coast. The award-winning facilities update the regal Bali of yesteryear with a sleek and modern aesthetic in what is probably the best designed spa on the island. The sound of water pouring down outside only makes the experience that much better.
#5 Get all Yogi
Take a pass on the South altogether and grab a villa up in Ubud where no stay is complete without a little Yoga. The artistic, ex-hippy, neo-spiritual-cum-fitness centre of the island is chock full of mat-toting flexible physiques, so you might as well get on board. While The Yoga Barn reigns supreme as the place to get your Om on, Radiantly Alive is a slightly more chill (yet still super popular) centre of good vibes.