Are you planning to go to Bali for a short trip? Then you are in luck, because you don’t need a long time there, you don’t need alot of money and you don’t have to pre-book your activities.
When you arrive at Bali Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar), you need to get a taxi to your accomodation. The Balinese taxi drivers are so friendly and speak basic-good english. They would usually hand you their business card so that you can contact them for further private transfers. Be sure to get their card, ask them for their rate and negotiate. On average, the price to hire a driver to take you anywhere is 400 to 500 000 rp a day 8 hours or 250 000rp half day for 4 hours. They also have a folder in the back seat with pictures of Bali tours and activities, which you can literally point and choose what you want to do when you hire them.
Here is a complete itinerary of how to explore Bali in 5 days:
With international travel, it is best to fly in and settle in your accomodation. I suggest to stay at your resort and take advantage of their facilities such as their pools, spa, bar, gym and restaurant. Go to the beach and tan on the villa chairs. It should be a day to relax and switch on vacay mode. I also like familiarising myself with my surroundings by going for a walk outside, seeing what shops and restaurants are nearby and what beaches and activities are displayed on the street.
The Mulia Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali was where I stayed and this 5 star resort was absolutely stunning. I had a great experience at this resort because the staff were so friendly, the rooms were clean and spacious and we had a balcony overseeing the whole resort. The south part of Bali is known for fancy resorts and villas and The Mulia is a perfect gateway resort. The property has 4 dining options, 3 bars, fitness centre, tennis court and 3 large swimming pools.
Ask your driver to take you to Ubud and where you can spend a full day there to do touristy activities:
Tegenungan Waterfall – You only need as little as 1 hour where you can take a quick dip in fresh cold water and challenge yourself to swim under the strong current of the waterfall. See more photos of this hidden waterfall in Bali.
Luwak Coffee – I literally told the driver “Please take us to the place where we can try coffee where the beans are the poop of a little animal”. So our lovely driver took us to Kampung Kopi Kemenah which is a stunning coffee centre in Bali. The host guides you through the whole process of how the coffee is made and then you end with tasting samples of the delicous coffees with a beautiful view of the rice fields.
Ubud Monkey Forest – Manndala Such Wenara Wana is the Balinese name of this sacred monkey forest sanctuary. Monkeys are cheeky and only want food so be sure to empty your pockets and be friendly with these little creatures.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces – This is beautiful site to see and it can be a quick stop. Otherwise, you are free to walk down to the terraces and explore as it is not a working field anymore. See more photos of this Bali Rice Field or go on Instagram and find @tagallalang_trekking_bali to get the best view.
Authentic Balinese Restaurant in Ubud – And again, my friends and I had nothing planned for dinner and asked the driver to take us to the most authentic & well-known restaurant in the area, so he took us to Bebek Tapi Sawah.
Make this day the water sports day. The majority of the best water sport activities in Bali are focused around the Tanjung Benoa peninsula, which is the island’s de facto playground for these exciting sports, offered by numerous operators.
You can do any of the following and negotiate a good price if you choose do to more than three activities. You can do surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, rafting, stand up paddling, sea walking, water jetpacks and fly boarding, kite surfing, wake boarding, banana boat and flying fish.
For more information on each water sports, read this blog post on the 10 Best Water Sport Activities in Bali.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek – I recommend this activity because it will be the highlight of your holiday and a memory of a lifetime.
Mount Batur Bali is an active volcano where you are able to hike to the very top to enjoy an unforgettable sunrise. You get picked up at 1am, to arrive at the starting point of Toyabungkah village at 3am. You start trekking after 3am in pitch black. You are given a hand torch by your personal guide and it is quite a difficult hike. You reach the summit at 5am to see the breath taking sunrise. Your tour guide also cooks you breakfast with boiled eggs, sandwich and a hot beverage. At 6.30am you are able to continue the trek and see the entire crater. There is hot smoke blowing out some of the craters. After 7am you can decent back to the finishing point. Going back down the volcano was very difficult but at least you have sunlight. You arrive back to the car park at around 8-9am.
You cannot climb Mount Batur on your own, you must have at least 2 people in your group and you are guided by a Balinese qualified tour guide. Again, you can book online before hand but I asked our driver to organise it and you can pay at the entrance of Toyabungkah village. Here is a youtube video of a traveler Sam Billingham where he documented his journey of the Mount Batur Bali Sunrise volcano trek.
Natural hot spring – after the trek, you should visit the natural hot springs to relax your muscles. I went to Toya Devasya which was a beautiful hot spring villa with a panoramic view of the mountains. You can swim in their many pools including an infinity pool which oversees Lake Batur. I highly recommend having lunch there and then head back to your hotel with your driver. This might be 8-10 hours in total, so the driver hire fee will increase.
On your last day, I can suggest you visit temples, try a Balinese cooking class, watch traditional Indonesian dance ceremony or see and do authentic Balinese activities. You can also do some shopping or be lazy and tan on the beach.
However, my recommendation to you, is to not have anything plan on your last day because during your time there, you will see new activities, places and hear about new events that will pop up.
I say, wake up, see how you feel and then decide where to go and what to do.
Be spontaneous, or relax or go for an adventure.
Accomodation in Bali
Have you booked your accomodation in Bali? We recommend staying in Nusa Dua because it is the luxurious end of town and it is so peaceful. Read our blog here on Where to Stay in Nusa Dua Bali
I am an addicted traveler based in Sydney, Australia and I explored Europe, North & South America, East Asia & South-East Asia. I love sharing my travel knowledge, I want to benefit my readers and give valuable travel advice.