Southeast Asia holds some of the best destinations in the world and Bali is no exception. Choosing to go to Bali is incredible, and the time there is beautiful.
The friendliness of the Balinese is overwhelming in a good way, something we could all learn from. Their passion to know your story and for you to experience what Bali has on offer is felt everywhere you go. The cuisine is vibrant, with spices that enhance flavor and bring to life the local ingredients. Well-designed spaces are staples of most places in Bali and the hotels are some of the best I have ever seen.
My husband and I retreated to Bali to be immersed in the culture and have some downtime. We spent most mornings out exploring before the heat. Then in the afternoon, we went back to the hotel, read our books, took yoga classes, and relaxed by the pool. At night, we emerged back into town to grab a bite or watch the sunset. You can make Bali as active or relaxing as you want, depending on your interests.
Read on for the first-timer’s two week itinerary to Bali.
Good to Know Before Traveling to Bali
- Travel insurance is highly recommended. Though it is well-developed, it is still Southeast Asia.
- Taxis are plenty, can be negotiated, and take cash only.
- Don’t step on offerings. Throughout the streets you’ll find offerings in banana leaves, please do not step on them.
- Everyone is so friendly and incredibly personal. Be prepared to be asked many questions — like where you’ve been and where you’re going — it’s part of their community-oriented culture, and it is great to return the questions too.
- In the area of Uluwatu, it is controlled by an association for transport. This means no taxis or Uber can pick up and you must pay their prices. Be prepared for very steep prices.
- Bring sunscreen! The UV rays are incredibly dangerous. Mosquito spray is also a must.
- Many warungs specialize in one dish, like babi guling (suckling pig), so when heading somewhere that is named a dish this is why.
- English is widely spoken.
- Drink only bottled water or else get the infamous Bali belly.
- Tips are not expected but you should tip a little.
- WiFi is not always the fastest.
- Best time of year to visit Bali: Ideally you would want the best of weather and the least amount of crowds. The dry season runs May to September.
14 NIGHTS: SEMINYAK – UBUD – ULUWATU
Day 1: Land in Denpasar, head to Seminyak
The first day always seems to be a blur when you land somewhere new. Land, get refreshed at the hotel and get a meal in before a good night’s sleep.
Read: The Hip Guide to Seminyak
Stay: The Katamama
Day 2: Seminyak
Explore the town, you can walk just about anywhere by foot. A favorite lunch spot is at Nook in the rice fields. If you need caffeine, head to Revolver Coffee.
Day 3 : Seminyak + Tanah Lot
At the main heat of the day, I personally would retreat to the pool to cool off. Grab a massage at a local spa, it does wonders after the long travel. This night, hire a car for sunset at Tanah Lot. Be sure to get here early to grab a spot.
Day 4: Seminyak
There’s so much to see in town, it took us a few days to go through the shops. There are plenty of neighborhoods. We honestly spent most of our time at the pool or down by the beach. The beach is happening for sunset and it truly is beautiful.
Day 5: Head to Ubud
You’ll find the pace is slower in Ubud, and you could easily spend a week here. The mornings are perfect for exploring and the afternoons destined for a good book, spa, or yoga.
Read: The Immersive Guide to Ubud
Stay: COMO by Uma
Day 6: Ubud
One of the best first experiences has to be a sunrise walk at Campuhan Ridge Walk. Wake up early for a beautiful walk along the ride. In the afternoon explore the town or take a yoga class.
Day 7: Ubud– Switch Hotels
Early in the morning depart for Tegalalang Rice Fields to see the magic of these terraces. We arrived at sunrise and had the entire place to ourselves. We spent a couple of hours exploring the labyrinth of rice terraces. We went into town for lunch and enjoyed popping in and out of the shops. After two nights on the outside of town, we switched hotels to closer to town for a change of scenery.
Stay: Bisma Eight
Day 8: Ubud
Easily reachable from Bisma Eight, the monkey forest is always fun to experience. We loved it so much we went twice because getting to see monkeys bouncing around and people feeding them is truly incredible. We spent the afternoon by the pool cooling off and enjoying the hotel.
Day 9: Ubud
By this point, you’ll have done most of what is available in Ubud proper. We took the time to really just do nothing and relax. However, if you are looking for something to do, a visit to Mt Batur for a sunrise hike is meant to be amazing.
Day 10: Head to Uluwatu
The voyage takes a bit to get to the coastline, you should budget around 2.5 hours. Get settled in and enjoy the scenery.
Read: 10 Images to Inspire You To Visit Uluwatu
Stay: Sal’s Secret Spot
Day 11: Uluwatu
Wake up and enjoy the close walk to Bingin Beach. Beach days are definitely the way to go in Uluwatu. The water is incredibly warm as well. Have lunch at Bukit Cafe as well!
Day 12: Uluwatu
Beach day at Padang Padang if you want a change of scenery, just be prepared for a bit more crowds. You can also hop over to Uluwatu Beach to grab lunch at Nalu Bowls or a bite at Single Fin. It’s an amazing spot to watch the sunset.
Day 13: Uluwatu
The Uluwatu Temple is definitely great to see and it’s beautifully set along the coastline. Be careful of the monkeys! They’re more aggressive than their neighbors in Ubud. If you want a change of scenery, the Sundays Beach Club is happening where you can pay one price and get access, a chair, and kayak.
Day 14: Head Home
Pre-book a taxi and expect massive amounts of traffic to get to the airport. Budget time for this! Happy travels home.
Read: 10 Reasons to Visit Bali