Things to do in Bali
Intrepid travelers have long been attracted to Bali—for its natural beauty, colorful culture, and deep spiritual traditions. Just one of literally thousands of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali stands out for its luxury beach resorts, countless Hindu temples, fine handicrafts, great spas, impressive nature parks, and exceptional adventure tours. There’s no lacking for things to do in Bali.
Peruse Travel + Leisure’s guide for the best attractions and activities on the island—we’ll show you what to do in Bali, where to go, and how to make the most of your island vacation. We highlight don’t-miss experiences, like a sunset visit to the 11th-century Uluwatu Temple, a silk tented safari along the banks of the Wos River, and air tours of the lush landscape by helicopter. Less ambitious things to do in Bali include shopping for Balinese sculpture and brightly colored textiles, attending a traditional dance performance, and taking a guided day trip by car to Mount Batur, a still-active volcano. Whether you just want to float in the warm Indian Ocean waters or take in the island’s rich history and culture, T+L’s Bali travel guide has the listings you need.
Waka’s Land Rover tours (led by charismatic, knowledgeable, Indiana Jones-esque guides), allow guests to explore some of Bali’s most far-flung and magical places.
Balinese Barong on Rangda dance performances take place at Pura Taman Saraswati (Ubud Water Palace). It's the hub of Ubud, and surrounded by crafts stalls.
Tanah Lot, Bali's most dramatically situated temple, poised on a rocky headland that becomes an island at high tide.
This beautifully maintained stable just outside Seminyak offers guided horseback rides twice a day—in the morning and at sunsest—on Seminyak Beach.
American husband-and-wife team Katherine and Rally Dupps create bold geometric patterns for their cheery line of pillows, table linens, and wall hangings.
Many tourists make a quick, guided daytrip to see this 5,000-foot, still-active volcano near the northwestern village of Kintamani—but it’s a much better idea to rent a car and driver, and take your time getting there.
Set right on the grounds of an elephant sanctuary 30 minutes north of Ubud, the Elephant Safari Park Lodge—opened in March 2008—allows guests to get up close and personal with the park's 27 resident Sumatran pachyderms.
The Canadian-born designer moved to Bali more than 30 years ago to study local silversmithing and eventually created a multimillion-dollar business.
Dance on this Hindu island is, in itself, a religion and supplication to the gods. Accordingly, Balinese dances are as varied and intricate as the deities they honor and religious tales they tell.
Head to the southernmost point of the to the island’s Bukit Peninsula for the views from one of Bali’s most sacred temples, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, which commands a cliff above the surf.
A visit here is more than a shopping trip, it is a visual experience. Goldsmiths, both Balinese and international, sell their one-of-a-kind modern designs, which incorporate traditional jewelry-making techniques.
Steeped in mystery, this extraordinary 11th-century monument—just northeast of Ubud—is a true don’t-miss. The parking lot is crammed with hawkers, but don’t despair; a set of stone steps leads you down into an Edenic valley of sunlit waterfalls and palm-studded rice terraces.
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Designed to resemble a traditional Javanese house, this renowned home furnishings store is located in Kerobokan, about seven miles north of Kuta. Meaning “heritage” in Indonesian, Warisan showcases the handiwork of hundreds of regional craftsmen.