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.
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.
Years as agent: 36. Specialties: Indonesia. Consulting fee: Varies.
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.
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.
Years as agent: 27. Specialties: Middle East, India, Bali, Asia. Consulting fee: None.
Nightclubs in Bali tend to open and close like wind-beaten shutters, but this all-in-one restaurant/bar/party venue has stayed popular for years, mostly due to its “something for everyone” approach.
A tented safari-style picnic may sound more Out of Africa than Balinese, but an excursion with Esprite Nomade in the hills outside Ubud is one of the most decadent ways to spend an afternoon on the island.
Organic café selling indigenous foodstuffs, including local Big Tree Farms' sea salt and spices.
This stylish antique-and-housewares shop, across from The Four Seasons in Sayan, sells elegant furnishings, carpets, textiles, and objects that reflect the Southeast-Asian expertise of English treasure-hunter Deborah Gardner.
More than 250 bird species—including hornbills, scarlet macaws, cassowaries, peacocks, and various birds of prey—are housed in more than 60 walk-in aviaries at this park.
One of the best spots on the island to find Balinese art and sculpture. Shelves are filled with vibrant textiles from across Java.
George Clooney, Liz Hurley, and Richard Branson have all shipped furniture home from this two-tiered showroom in Seminyak.
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.
Known for its modern, affordable ceramics. Pick up stylish tableware at this Bali standout.
This glittering salon, which partially occupies the Kerobokan property of owner Sandra McArthur, is filled with fabulous custom-beaded handiwork.