Bali beach vacation tips
Discovering lush rice terraces, impressive waterfalls, majestic volcanos and an eye-catching coastline, Indonesia’s most famous island has something to offer for all types of visitors. A Bali beach vacation can be a perfect mixture of exploring cultural attractions, natural wonders and spending time at pristine Bali beaches.
Bali Quick Info Guide
Language: Indonesian and Balinese
Capital city: Denpasar
Currency: Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
Visa: depending on your nationality, the purpose of visit and length of stay you can get various types of visas. 169 country’s nationals enjoy visa exemption for up to 30 days, but this is not expendable. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you should get a VOA (Visa on arrival) which can be extended once after the first 30 days for another 30 days. Nationals who are not eligible for the visa-free entry should apply for a tourist visa before entering the country.
Safety: Bali is a fairly safe destination with a low rate of crime, but there are some aspects that you need to take into consideration. Most threats such as pickpocketing, scams or being ripped off by money chargers are easy-to-avoid using common sense. Visit official money chargers, do your shopping in big supermarkets, keep your valuables in your hotel room’s safe, or the must-haves in a front-pouch bag when outside.
Another factor you need to think about is natural disasters. Being a volcano country with 3 active volcanoes, it is important to check the volcano activity prior to your trip and prepare for the possibility of changing your travel plans if needed. Moreover, watch out the dangerous currents in the sea when swimming and stay within the buoy line.
Why is Bali perfect for a beach vacation?
Do you want to celebrate a honeymoon, enjoy a relaxing family holiday or an adventure trip full of activities? Book a Bali beach vacation and you will not be disappointed. Each day awake and choose which setting you want for your adventures — perfect white sand beaches or unique black-sandy ones, brilliantly colored coral reefs, waves to ride a surfboard or just calm waters to go for a refreshing swim, you will find it in Bali.
Thanks to the various landscape and the island’s relatively small size, it is possible starting the day by exploring waterfalls or ancient temples and end it snipping cocktails at one of the many beautiful Bali beaches. A vacation in Bali is full of endless possibilities to explore.
Bali’s best 5 beaches
A Bali beach vacation wouldn’t be anything without a trip (or several) to the beach! Bali beaches are by far the best part of a Bali holiday for the white sand and teal waters, so let see the 5 most beautiful ones:
Blue Point Beach
Otherwise known as Suluban Beach, this cave-beach in Ungasan is popular for surfers, campers, and evening bonfires. Not great for swimming or sunbathing due to the size of the waves and position of the rocks, but Blue Point is still worth the visit for incredible views and adventure of cave exploring.
Calling all Bali beachgoers looking to hang at a slow speed, Geger is a secluded beach with clear waters and a chill vibe for all ages. Although popular among families for the shallow depth of the water, honeymooners, and solo travelers will also enjoy a day spent in the sun here.
Those who wish to enjoy a peaceful Bali beach vacation far away from the crowd, should choose Amed as their destination. The black sandy Amed beach with the majestic Agung Volcano in the background is not only a great place to relax, but also excellent for snorkeling, freediving and diving.
A little over three miles of gorgeous golden sand, this is the beach for families. Boasting beachfront bars, restaurants, and water sport rentals, this beach is made to please every person in your party.
Bias Tugel Beach
Set back from the crowds at the end of a short walk, Bias Tugel a small beach with azure pools, sea-life filled reefs, and soft white sand. If you are coming for the day there is no need to pack lunch, vendors on the beach sell snacks and drinks.
Beach activities in Bali
Besides impressive natural and cultural attractions, Bali is the perfect place for many types of water activities. No matter you look for a relaxing snorkel session or an adventurous surf lesson, here you will certainly find something that fits your mood.
Being one of the world’s best surf destinations, this sport is a must-do when on the island. With a plethora of both advanced and beginner waves, Bali is a great place for pro and beginner surfers.
Indonesia is a world-famous destination if it comes to underwater activities. Good news is that many places feature shallow reefs that are accessible for snorkelers. North Bali and the Nusa Islands are great places to stay for those who love snorkeling, swimming with turtles, manta rays and exploring healthy coral gardens.
Bali is a mecca for divers with excellent conditions and rich marine life. The main island and also the small Nusa Islands feature top diving spots from wreck diving to adrenalin boosting drift-dives.
If you don’t want to snorkel or dive but are interested in observing the undersea life, seawalking is something that you will certainly enjoy. Using special helmets and putting some weights on you will be able to walk on the sea floor and get close to marine animals. Head to Sanur for this Seawalking experience!
However, it is not a water activity, a beachside Segway tour offers a lot of fun and a comfortable way of getting around while enjoying the stunning views of the ocean. The best Segway tour you find at Sanur Beach.
An adventure that adventurous vacationers will enjoy for sure. Although this activity needs physical strength, riding the waves using a surfboard and a kite is a beach activity that extreme sport lovers can’t miss out on a Bali beach vacation.
Best time for Bali beach vacation
If you are wondering when the best time of year is to go on a Bali beach vacation, let us tell you good news, the island is a year-round destination.
Bali beaches have two seasons, rainy and dry. Dry season is from April to October and this is certainly the best time to visit with abundant sunshine, but the rainy season has its charm too. First of all, it does not rain all day, usually only in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Secondly, you can enjoy lower accommodation prices and fewer tourists expect the Christmas and Easter period.
Officially, the rainy season falls between October and April with December and January the wettest months, but this became pretty unpredictable lately.
Climate: tropical, hot all year round with high humidity
To check the current water temperatures, visit seatemperature.org.
Average sea temperature:
Summer: 27-28C / 81-82F
Winter: 29C / 84F
May – September
October – April
Bali beach vacation costs
Bali holidays are rising in popularity which means, unfortunately that prices are going up. However, it is still possible to get a Bali beach vacation at several different price points, from backpackers to billionaires.
Budgeting for a Bali beach vacation will largely depend on the kind of accommodation you like, whether you prefer eating in fine dining restaurants or street food, and what kind of excursions you want to take.
For example, a backpacker traveling solo should budget up to 30 USD a day for a Bali holiday, including accommodations. From the other side, Bali resorts with all-inclusive packages are obviously the most luxurious way to stay and there is no upper limit on what can be spent in this category. The averages suggest that the cost of a weeklong vacation in Bali for two people is roughly 1,000 USD including food and meals but except for flights.
For an outline of different daily budgets per person (including accommodation, meals and transportation), see below:
Places to stay in Bali
In today’s world there is a myriad of options for booking a place to stay on your vacation. If you are on a budget, it is easy to find homestays and cheap hotels. Those are looking for luxurious Bali resorts can choose a variety of boutique hotels and villas with private pool. Airbnb provides a range of prices and styles for rent.
Accommodation prices vary depending on the season, but generally the accommodation prices in Bali are fair comparing to other popular tropical holiday destinations.
Average accommodation prices per night in Bali:
Hostel or simple hotel: 15-20 USD
3-star hotel or apartment: 35-50 USD
4 and 5-star hotels and resorts: 120-250 USD
Choose trusted platforms that offer 24/7 of customer support to book your hotel/apartment. We recommend Booking.com.
Beach etiquette in Bali
The Hindu culture is conservative, so please respect it. Behave and dress accordingly when vacationing in the country.
Wearing bikini or swimwear outside the beaches in rude, therefore always put appropriate clothing on, at least a sarong when you are in public. Avoid being loud and don’t disrupt ceremonies happening at the beach (watching and taking photos is okay).
Knowing the Balinese habits, it is not a surprise that there are no public nude beaches in Bali (topless sunbathing is also not accepted) however there is a naturalist resort, the Bali au Natural on the northern side of the island.
Balinese specialties to eat and drink
Food in Bali is fresh and delicious and the Balinese are great chefs for all diets. One can find various meat-focused specialties with chicken, beef, or pork on the plate, however, fruits, vegetables, and rice are in abundance. Bali is a haven both for meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans.
Sate lilit: this is a truly Indonesian dish made of skewered meat that is stewed in coconut and served in a banana leaf.
Lawar: Lawar starts with a base of coconut and vegetables joined by a kind of meat and blood. Or, have the white Lawar as the vegetarian option that combines coconut and vegetables with jackfruit.
Babi Guling: this suckling pig rubbed with turmeric and stuffed with seeds and spices is sure to be a highlight from your trip to Bali. Slow-roasted over a pit of coconut husks until crisped to perfection, you will never want your plate to be empty.
Bebek betutu: A ceremonial dish you won’t soon forget, smoked duck is a Balinese specialty that you will have to order a day in advanced. Smothered in tamarind, then stuffed with eggs, cassava leaves, and a spice mix, this dish is slow cooked until the meat falls off the bone.
Loloh: a Balinese herbal drink made of leaves and fruits, most commonly ginger, turmeric, hibiscus or gooseberry tree laves that are beneficial for the body.
Arak: Bali’s traditional spirit is the white rice wine. It is used mostly in religious ceremonies by locals, however drinking arak became popular as tourism developed. It can be very high in alcohol content, so the best is to drink as a cocktail (sold usually as Arak Attack). Buy it at reputable bars or resorts but avoid street vendors.
Pisang Goreng: for dessert, look no further. Fried bananas served with palm syrup, shredded coconut, and even ice cream, Pisang Goreng is a great snack for any time.
Useful Balinese phrases
Balinese people are known for their friendliness and most who work in tourism-related businesses speak good English, so there is no need to worry about communication barriers.
However, you can show your respect towards their culture if you speak a few words in the local language, Bahasa Indonesian.
Here are some simple yet useful Balinese words phrases that are nice to learn and you will be certainly granted a sweet smile from the locals.
Good morning – Selamat pagi (s’lah-mawt pag-ee)
Good afternoon – Selamat siang (s’lah-mawt see-ung)
Good evening – Selamat sore (s’lah-mawt sore-ray)
Good night – Selamat malam (s’lah-mawt maw-lahm)
How are you – Apa kabar (up-ah kah-barr)
I’m fine – Baik baik (bike-bike)
I’m sorry – Maaf (mah-uff)
Thank you – Terima Kasih (teh-ree-mah kah-see)
You’re welcome – Sama Sama (saw-ma saw-ma)
Saya tidak mengerti – I don’t understand (saa-yha tee-dah me-nger-tee)
Di mana toilet – where is the bathroom (dee maa-naa toilet)
Berapa harganya – how much is this (be-raa-paa harr-gah-nyaa)
Nama kamu siapa – what is your name (naa-maa kaa-moo see-a-pa)
Nama saya … – my name is … (naa-maa saa-yaa …)
Salam kenal – nice to meet you (saa-laam ke-nal)
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When it comes to a beach vacation, Vic is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious where she wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!