Bali is the most famous island in Indonesia, situated in the South Pacific Ocean. Indonesia is a fascinating country, made up of thousands of islands making it the world's largest island nation.
Thanks to Instagram, traveling to Bali is becoming more and more popular. On the downside, this means everything is busy and catered towards trying to get money off tourists. On the upside, this island is well-prepared for tourists making traveling here generally quite simple and easy.
How to Get to Bali
The only airport on Bali is in Denpasar called Ngurah Rai International Airport. Once you land, a shuttle bus will drive you to arrivals where you will need to join one of the passport control queues in the huge arrivals hall. At passport control, you will hand over your passport, boarding pass and visa immigration form.
You need a return ticket to enter Indonesia and must declare how many days your trip will be. If the border guard is satisfied with your answer, your fingerprints will be taken and a visa immigration sticker will be put in your passport identifying the length of your visa. Check your visa requirements before you arrive to ensure you know how many days you are permitted to travel. For many nationalities, a 30-day visa is issued for free on arrival.
As you head towards the exit, I would suggest avoiding all the taxi grabbers who are trying to get you to take a taxi with them. The most convenient way we found was to use the Grab app (similar to Uber) to hire a car and driver. He drove us to Kuta for 74,000 IDR plus the 9,000 IDR airport parking fee (total $7.75 CAD).
TIP: If you do decide to haggle for a taxi, do not pay more than 70-90,000 IDR to get to Kuta. I have heard of people being charged upwards of 400,000 IDR - that is ridiculous!
How to Spend 10 Days in Bali
We spent a week exploring Bali before heading off to explore other islands in Indonesia. This is the itinerary we followed:
How to get here from Denpasar: Use the Grab app to hire a car and driver.
Where to stay: If you do stay here, Pudak Sari Unizou Hostel is simply wonderful. A gorgeous pool, beautiful rooms with bathrooms and some of the comfiest beds I've slept in! Prices start at 175,000 IDR ($16.30 CAD) per person. Book your stay here.
Things to do: We only stayed in Kuta since our flight landed at 9pm and we didn't want to be traveling long distances at night after a long day of traveling. There is no tourist appeal in Kuta, so if you arrive early in the day, I suggest skipping Kuta altogether.
How to get here from Kuta: Use the Grab app to hire a car and driver. We paid 77,000 IDR ($7.20 CAD).
Where to stay: The Karma Backpacker Hostel is the best place to stay in Uluwatu. It's right in the heart of the peninsula meaning you are just 15-20 minutes away from all the attractions in the area. Comfy beds, spacious common areas, free wifi and free breakfast and dinner! Prices start at 95,000 IDR ($8.85 CAD) per person. Book your stay here.
Things to do:
- Explore Dreamland Beach with white sand and crystal clear water
- Swim at Thomas Beach with a gentle current
- Spend the afternoon at Uluwatu Temple enjoying the cliff-top views (bring a sarong/scarf to cover your knees)
How to get here from Uluwatu: Use the Grab or Go Jek app to hire a car and driver. We paid 125,000 IDR ($11.70 CAD).
Where to stay: The Swanky Bunk Hostel is awesome. It's close to the beach, has a huge common space, free wifi, a pool and is attached to a brilliant restaurant Bokacika. It's just a ten minute walk from the beach and has comfy beds, a large outdoor common space, free wifi and a pool! Prices start at 80,000 IDR ($7.50 CAD) per person. Book your stay here.
Things to do:
- Try surfing at Canggu Beach if you're advanced, or head further to Batu Balong Beach for beginners
- Enjoy sunset over the beach
- Cafe-hop around Canggu, known for its amazing food (we ate at Bokacika attached to our hostel and it was all absolutely delicious)
How to get here from Canggu: Use the Grab or Go Jek app to hire a car and driver. We paid 123,000 IDR ($11.50 CAD).
Where to stay: Apparently Puri Hostel is one of the best hostels in all of Bali but we didn't book far enough in advance and it was fully booked out weeks in advance! We stayed a night at Kayuni Hostel which has a perfect location, is small, offers free wifi, breakfast, tea and coffee and has wonderful beds. Prices start at just 50,000 IDR ($4.70 CAD) per person. Book your stay here.
Things to do:
- wander the streets and markets
- eat delicious foods (we LOVED Warung Biah Biah, Sun Sun Warung, Warung Makan Bu Rus & Sweet Orange Warung)
- explore the Ubud Palace
- visit Saraswati Temple
- complete the Campuhan Ridge Walk
How to get here from Ubud: Hire a scooter! It's the easiest and cheapest way to get around. A private driver or taxi is good if you don't feel confident on a scooter.
Where to stay: We based ourselves for 3 nights at WW Backpackers, just outside Ubud centre. It's gorgeous, outdoorsy, spacious, comfy, has great wifi, free breakfast and you can use the pool at Ani's Villas across the road! Prices start at 100,000 IDR ($9.30 CAD) per person. Book your stay here.
Places to go around Ubud:
How to get here from Ubud:We took a shuttle booked for us by our accommodations. The shuttle took about four hours as we dropped off passengers in Munduk, too, and it cost 150,000 IDR ($14 CAD) per person.
Where to stay: We spent three lovely nights in Lovina, mostly enjoying the time to rest and relax after our hectic month of island-hopping! We stayed at Santhika Bed & Breakfastwhich is a bit pricier than some of the other places we stayed but proved completely worth it. The grounds are gorgeous, breakfast is included as is free tea/coffee, super-strong wifi and a complimentary foot massage! It's also got a central location to explore from.
Things to Do: