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The Ultimate Bali Guide

Bali has been a popular Indonesian destination for many people around the world and it’s easy to see why! Ever since the renowned novel and film, Eat, Pray, Love, every traveler has been determined to come here with the hopes of doing some soul searching. From its list of idyllic beaches, terraced rice fields and exotic sunsets, there is so much to see and experience on this beautiful island.

There are plenty of things to do in Bali and whether you start your mornings surfing or stretching in a yoga class, your entire day will be spent exploring the untouched beauty of Bali’s natural surroundings.

A big mistake that some people make when coming to Bali is sticking to one main area. There are so many different regions of Bali that are worth exploring. The spiritual yogis will head to Ubud while the surfer’s will be taking advantage of the idyllic beaches of Uluwatu. Those who venture to Canggu are ready to fully embrace the laid back Bali lifestyle and those who want to experience Indonesian culture will head to the busy foodie hub, Seminyak. And then when you’re done exploring the main island, travelers searching for paradise away from paradise will venture to the Gili T islands, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida. No matter what you do or where you devide , there is a place for everyone.

We have listed some of the best destinations in Bali experience surfing, yoga, meditation, trekking, delicious food and amazing nightlife.

Influenced heavily by tourism, Canggu is famous for its hubs of cute cafes, hip bars and vegan restaurants. Yoga and surfing are the best things to do here and you should take advantage of it! One of the most up and coming spots in Bali, Canggu has come a long way from hotel shacks on rice paddies and a few local warungs where food poisoning was almost always a risk. But Canggu has thrived the last few years and is now THE place to be in Bali.

Where to Stay

We were invited by family friends to their beautiful newly-furnished Bali home in the remote rice fields of Canggu. Of course, the head of the household is a world-renowned celebrity chef in Singapore…so you could imagine how difficult it was to leave the house.

We did, however, manage to wine and dine and spend the day in some of Canggu’s infamous hotels. When it comes to finding the best hotels in Canggu, there are more than plenty to choose from. As always, we have included options ranging from the best hotels in the area to the top quality hostels.

Check out these awesome places to book your stay in Canggu

What to Do

Surfing in Canggu

You have got to do it. Whether you are an experienced surfer or have never taken a board out into the water, this is the place to do it. Canggu first came onto the radar when surfers started exploring the coast of Bali.

Batu Balong is the main surf spot in the area with some of the most consistent waves on the shoreline. If you want to escape the crowds, there are some surf shops by Berawa and once you finish your morning building up an appetite from surfing you can head down to Finns Beach Club and spend the rest of your day at this swanky beach club. Old Man’s is between Batu Balong and Echo Beach -but be careful not to hit the reef when riding your board close to shore! One of the last famous beaches is Echo Beach which offers both a reef and a beach break.

Tip: Right by Old Man’s Cafe you’ll find a few surf shops down the shoreline. Our favorite spot to rent boards and take a lesson was with this small surf shop just before the road takes you left towards Old Man’s Café.

We had surfed before in California, Australia and Hawaii but the lessons we took with these guys were definitely the best. They let you know the best areas and times to go and make your lesson worth the while!

Take a Yoga Class

There are a ton of yoga places all around Canggu, each one offering a different experience in Bali. There are a few famous places like Desa Seni and the Practice but my absolute favorite place was Udara Yoga.

Udara was right down the beach from where we were staying and it offers the most beautiful views of the ocean. It is an integrated healing yoga resort offering retreat, wellness and detox lifestyle. Nestled between the Indian ocean, rice fields and surrounded with ancient temples, Udara has everything from three beautiful yoga rooms, a spa with water healing pool, a sauna, herbal steam room, jacuzzi, ice water plunge and a meditation cave.

Other central and popular yoga hubs:

Serenity Yoga


The Chillhouse


Tanah Lot Temple

This beautiful temple was actually just a short bikeride away from the house we were staying in. Tanah Lot is among the island’s most iconic temples and is positioned on top of a rock and surrounded by the waves of the open sea that constantly crash against its base. The temple is scenic by day against the blue ocean and sky but the best time to go is definitely during their dramatic sunsets.

Tibumana Waterfall

Though easily accessible from Ubud, the Tibumana waterfall is about an hour and a half from Canggu but is well worth the trek. It is one of the most beautiful hidden waterfalls and only a few people really know about it. Surrounding the waterfall you’ll find rice fields and palm trees!

Hike Mount Batur at Sunrise

Kintamani is a mountain village in central Bali home to Mount Batur which is Bali’s second tallest peak. The still-active Mount Batur volcano erupted about 24 times since 1800, each time reshaping the surrounding landscape. It’s popular among mountain hikers, with early sunrises from the ridges being its highlight. You would have to depart from Canggu at 2am but once you hike this famous volcano for sunrise-it is absolutely stunning.

Spa Day

Indulge yourself with some pampering at one of Canggu’s many famous spas. You get the best quality hair masks, facials and back massages for some of the most affordable prices. Many of the spas are designed by famous Indonesian architects to inspire nature in the overall atmosphere of these luxurious oases.

Here are some of the best spas in Canggu


Spring Canggu

COMO Shambhala Retreat

Desa Seni

K by Karima

Eco Spa

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Not technically located in Canggu, the Jatiluwih rice terraces offers one of the island’s most famous rice field landscapes. The Hatiluwih rice terraces comprise over 600 hectares of rice fields underneath the Batukaru mountain range.

Canggu Beach Clubs

No trip to Canggu would be fulfilled without a day trip to one of Canggu’s many famous beach clubs. Expect high quality restaurants, famous world DJs and infinity pools. Whether you are there for a party or would like to kick back and take in the beautiful views of Bali, these beach clubs are all the hype.

Here are some of the best beach clubs in Canggu

The Lawn


Alternative Beach Club


Located in the uplands of Bali, Ubud has a completely different atmosphere from Canggu and Seminyak. Known as the cultural capital of the island, Ubud is filled with colorful art galleries, decorated temples, and urban jungles set against valleys and rice field terraces all over the area. Ubud is also home to some of the finest dining in Bali and there are a wealth of amazing restaurants that cater to every craving and diet.

Where to Stay

We stayed in this gorgeous villa overlooking the rice paddies of Ubud that we booked through AirBnB. The villa was located in the hills and forest of East Ubud and is hidden deep in the beautiful lush gardens. The owners of the villa hotel are actually art collectors which you can see from the way each room and space is tastefully decorated in magnificent works of art.

Other places worth booking…

What to do

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Perfect for enjoying a proper sunset, the Campuhan Ridge Walk is about an hour long with the most gorgeous views and offers the best scenery out of town. The walk takes you through a lush area of gorgeous hills which overlook valleys and some less developed areas of Ubud.

Monkey Forest

This beautiful jungle is a sanctuary for monkeys to come and go as they please. Be sure to leave all food behind and hold on to your valuables because the monkeys will definitely climb all over you and take whatever they can. There are probably 300 monkeys in Ubud alone that own iphones now.

Besides watching these playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies and lazing along pathways you can take cool walks along paves pathways through the leafy nutmeg forest. Beautiful ancient temples with eerie guardian statues covered in moss are all over the sanctuary.

Pura Taman Saraswati

This beautiful temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess of wisdom and art is home to some of the most intricate carvings and fountains covered in lush lotus blossoms. In the evening, the temple holds dance performances against the illuminated temple.

Puri Saren Palace

Known as the Ubud Royal Palace, Puri Saren Palace is located in the city center and dates back to the 1800s. The Roayl Family still lives in sections of the palace which is also used for ceremonial reasons.

Visit Goa Gajah

This famous Elephant Cave is famous in Indonesia and it sits just outside Ubud in Bedulu Village

Tegalalang Rice Fields

The Tegalalang rice field terraces and their sweeping panoramic views of lush Ubud make for the perfect spot to spend your day. The Tegallalang rice terraces spread down below and to the far opposite side of the valley. Besides enjoying the view from up high, you can also go down and follow the trail through the rice fields to greet farmers and enjoy the paddies from up close.

Cantika Zest Spa

Cantika is an oasis of milk hair treatments ,flower baths and proper Balinese massages in the most tranquil setting imaginable. Plus it is incredibly affordable! We’re talking total price amounting to $30 kind of affordable..

Another great spa to try out is the infamous Lembah Spa located on the majestic Patanu River.

Ubud Art Market

Ubud Art Market is one of the landmarks in central Ubud and is just across the road from the Ubud Royal Palace. The market has countless small shops that are run by local vendors who sell a wide range of items such as beautiful silk scarves, woven bags, baskets, hats and antiques.

The Ubud market starred briefly in the film, Eat Pray Love,

Uluwatu is one of the hardest places to leave. Often considered the surfer’s capital in Bali, Uluwatu’s beaches have some of the best waves on the island and is surrounded by luxury cliff top resorts and villas.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of places to stay in the beautiful region of Uluwatu. We suggest finding accommodation in the Pecatu. From there, all areas are easilt accessible via motorbike! Like everywhere else in Bali, the best way to get around Uluwatu is by motorbike. They are incredibly affordable and are the best way to see the area.

Check out these awesome hotels in Uluwatu

What to Do

Balangan Viewpoint

The viewpoint located on the northern tip of Balangan Beach provides a panoramic view over the 200 meter wide beach.

Uluwatu Beach

A beach perfect for more advanced surfers, the waves are only accessible through a narrow cliff opening-but once you make it down and get into the water, the trek is well worth it. It has a handful of small beach bars who sell coconuts, rent surf boards and lessons!

Other beaches that are a must visit..

Balangan Beach

Bingin Beach

Thomas Beach

Nyang Nyang Beach

Suluban Beach

Dreamland Beach

Padang-Padang Beach (Eat Pray Love Scene!)

Visit the cave at Pantai Tegal Wangi

The cliffs at Pantai Tegal Wangi overlook a white sand and secluded beach. On this ebach is a cave definitely worth visiting…but be careful to avoid this area during high tide!

Omia Bali Dayclub

This extravagant luxurious day club is perched on the limestone cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula in Uluwatu. It features a swim-up bar, delicious restaurants and VIP cabanas with their own plunge pools. Every now and then they will invite world renowned DJs for day and night parties which is definitely worth experiencing!

Other beach clubs that are worth checking out..

Sundays Beach Club

Sunset Point Uluwatu Bar

Single Fin’s

Ulu Cliffhouse

Omnia Dayclub

The Edge

Uluwatu Temple

One of the top attractions while in Uluwatu, this scenic temple is located right atop a magnificent cliff approximately 70 meters above the waves. It is one of the six key temples considered to be Bali’s spiritual pillars and has one of the most gorgeous backdrops against the island’s western coast.

This is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy the amazing sunset with direct views overlooking the waves of the Indian Ocean. At the Uluwatu Temple you can get a full grasp of Balinese architecture, traditionally designed gateways and ancient sculptures.

A taste for the crazier side of Indonesia, Seminyak is the foodie and shopping capital of this island. Seminyak is north of Kuta and Legian by the beach and offers a bit more sophistication then it’s neighbouring counterparts. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Bali, people tend to gravitate here for that little bit of luxury and relaxation. Think boutique shopping, luxury spas and a range of beach bars and sophisticated dining options.

Where to Stay

Seminyak is basically a vibrant city that offers a variety of trendy bars, cafes, restaurants, beaches and boutiques. When it comes to accommodation, Seminyak offers everything from luxurious hotels to villas.

Places to stay in Seminyak

What to Do

Spas and Wellness

There are an abundance of spas and wellness areas around Seminyak that are worth visiting. From professional blow dry bars to oxygen facials, these spas have you covered.

Spas worth visiting:

Jari Menari

Spring Spa

Bali’s Gift Spa

Seminyak Beach

Extending from Kuta all thw way up to the coastal corners of Canggu, Seminyak Beach offers plenty of choice when it comes to sunset spots and lounging areas. Expect golden sand, magical sunsets, beachfront bars and plenty of watersports to keep you preoccupied.

Beach Clubs

Beach clubs are done right in Seminyak. There are a few to pick from and if you are craving a beach club day then absolutely head to Potato Head or Ku De Ta for an amazing pool, cocktails, great food and some sightings of famous celebrities and DJs.

Antique Shopping

Okay I know this is lame…but you will find the best pottery, statues, ceramics and furniture in Bali for the cheapest price. We spent a whole day going through hole in the wall family owned stores that made the most beautiful cermanics we had ever seen! The main street for shopping in Seminyak is Jl. Laksmana. Seminyak is Bali’s shopping headquarters, boasting streets packed with everything from designer boutqieus to homewares.

Tip: hire a driver for the day! Shopping in Bali is incredibly cheap and if you are furniture shopping or antique spotting, then you will most likely be bopping from store to store and need somewhere to put all of your new purchased goods!

Pura Petitenget Temple

More humble than its Balinese temple counterparts, Pura petitenget Temple is still worth a visit and is open to tourists who want to overlook some ceremonies that take place there. Pura Petitenget should definitely be on the itinerary for every visitor looking for a dose of Balinese culture. This old temple sets a scene for a great number of spiritual ceremonies and is the best visited during sunset!

Seminyak Night Market

This lively market is your one-way ticket to Indonesia’s finest culinary creations. Try their Nasi Goreng and satay sticks. If you want to tick off a visit’s worth of local dishes in one sitting, this is your place.


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