Bali Travel Guide
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.
One of the best spots on the island to find Balinese art and sculpture. Shelves are filled with vibrant textiles from across Java.
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.
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.
George Clooney, Liz Hurley, and Richard Branson have all shipped furniture home from this two-tiered showroom in Seminyak.
Tanah Lot, Bali's most dramatically situated temple, poised on a rocky headland that becomes an island at high tide.
Years as agent: 36. Specialties: Indonesia. Consulting fee: Varies.
A two-hour white-water rafting tour on the rushing Ayung is easily the most exciting way to see Bali’s inland jungles and waterscapes.
This beautifully maintained stable just outside Seminyak offers guided horseback rides twice a day—in the morning and at sunsest—on Seminyak Beach.
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.
Known for its modern, affordable ceramics. Pick up stylish tableware at this Bali standout.
Set deep in the Petanu River valley, Goa Gajah—better known as “The Elephant Cave”— houses an ancient (circa 11th-century) Buddhist and Hindu temple that’s one of Bali’s most bewitching tourist attractions.
This glittering salon, which partially occupies the Kerobokan property of owner Sandra McArthur, is filled with fabulous custom-beaded handiwork.
American husband-and-wife team Katherine and Rally Dupps create bold geometric patterns for their cheery line of pillows, table linens, and wall hangings.
Years as agent: 27. Specialties: Middle East, India, Bali, Asia. Consulting fee: None.