Welcome to The Ultimate Bali Guide. Your one-stop shop for all things Bali & The Nusa Islands. The best places to go, places to eat, how to get around and everything in between. It’s going to be a beefy one, so grab yourself a coffee (my suggestion: An iced caramel macchiato) but hey, I’ll leave that one down to you, make yourself comfortable and enjoy The Ultimate Bali Guide.
Disclaimer: This is all based on my experience in Bali. Everyone is going to have different opinions and experienced different things and that’s okay. This is purely my opinion of how you can make the most from your time in Bali. For context, I spent 2 weeks there and we crammed A LOT into that time. We were up before sunrise and still awake beyond sunset. We did all the things! So without further ado, let’s get into it.
// The Ultimate Bali Guide – Places To Visit \\
First up on The Bali Guide it’s where to go, what to do and what to see. This section of the blog post is going to include mainland Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan & Nusa Penida. In my opinion, the Nusa Islands are not somewhere to be missed. It’s a good 45 minute boat ride but once you’re there, you are quite literally in paradise.
First up we have one of my favourite places on mainland Bali, Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Situated in Ubud, Tegallalang is one of the many rice terraces throughout Bali. If you’re wanting to make a day of it, you can quite easily spend the day in Ubud, exploring the nearby waterfalls, getting lost in the Rice Terraces and hopefully not losing any shoes, like some of the guys did on our trip. I have written an entire blog post about Tegallalang, so definitely head over and check that out for more information.
~ Karang Boma Cliff ~
Karang Boma is probably one of the most famous cliff edges in Bali. Situated in Uluwatu, Karang Boma is the best location to watch the sunset. Head down the winding road, then off the beaten track before the bushes open up to this sudden drop down to the ocean. Beware, you might encounter some locals who have made their own gate and wanting to charge you to enter. You can try to argue, but they’re pretty persistent. Karang Boma really isn’t worth missing out on, so pay the 10000IDR and go and enjoy the sunset.
Look at that, you’re getting a two-in-one here. Next up on The Bali Guide, we’re moving over to Nusa Lembongan. A location in itself that’s not to be missed. But more specifically, we’re talking Dream Beach & Devils Tear. Located right next to each other, Dream Beach & Devils Tear are definitely a tourists favourite! Head down to Dream Beach to take a dip in the ocean, grab a drink at the bar and enjoy a bit of relaxation. Move around the corner to Devils Tear and be engulfed in the power of the ocean. With the huge ocean waves, crashing against the rocks, be prepared that if you’re stood too close to the edge, you’re going to get wet. Devils Tear is the perfect location to capture some pretty incredible images. Again, check out the blog post on Dream Beach & Devils Tear for more information.
~ Blue Lagoon ~
Jump on your scooter and head over the infamous yellow bridge, crossing from Nusa Lembongan onto the tiny island of Nusa Ceningan. It’s here you’ll find the wonder that is Blue Lagoon. Without a doubt, the most vivid, bright blue water I have ever seen. A small hidden gem on Nusa Ceningan, Blue Lagoon is the place to fly your drone. We were so lucky on the day we went, the weather was perfect, it was pretty quiet and the water was incredible. For sure a moment to remember. Want more information?? You guessed it, a whole blog post is available to you on Blue Lagoon, check it out!
~ Broken Beach ~
We’re island hopping now and moving over to Nusa Penida. The biggest island of them all, Nusa Penida is full of must-see locations and the place where some of the most successful instagram pictures have been taken. First up, the stunning location of Broken Beach. A sink hole that has now formed this incredible beach, surrounded by land. Again, with some of the most bright blue water I have ever seen, Broken Beach makes for the perfect stop off point. Top tip: there isn’t much shade at Broken Beach, so make sure you take sun screen! Also, if you’re riding a scooter, the road conditions on the way down are some of the worst on Nusa Penida… beware! But again, all of that is explained in the Broken Beach blog post.
~ Kelingking Beach ~
Kelingking Beach…Well it really doesn’t need much explaining. Probably the most famous shot from Bali, Kelingking Beach also known as T-Rex Beach, should be number 1 on the bucket list when heading to Nusa Penida. It wouldn’t be a Bali Guide without Kelingking mentioned somewhere. If you’re fancying a leisurely visit to Kelingking, stay up at the top, take all the photos and enjoy the views. Fancying something a little more challenging? Climb down to the bottom, take a break and then prepare yourself for the rock climb back to the top. The Kelingking blog post explains everything, but please make sure, if you’re heading to Nusa Penida, visit Kelingking Beach!
~ Diamond Beach ~
Last but by no means least, Diamond Beach. The most breathtaking beach I have ever walked on. The hike down isn’t easy, but the moment you jump in that ocean, it’ll all become worth it. With crystal clear waters, Jurassic Park-style landscapes and the whitest sand on Nusa Penida, Diamond Beach takes poll position when it comes to my favourite spots. I completely fell in love with Diamond Beach so obviously there is a whole blog post about it. I kid you not, this place was epic! Also, right around the corner you have Thousand Island Viewpoint and Atuh Beach which are also great places to visit!
// The Ultimate Bali Guide – Places To Stay \\
I’m going to hook up up with the four places we stayed at, in Bali. What’s great about this, is it really gives you a good representation of the different accomodation types in Bali. From mega luxury, all the way down to budget. We never stayed in a Hostel, all of these are hotels/villas/apartments. So if you want to visit Bali on a budget, there are plenty of Hostels dotted around.
~ Canang Sari Villa ~
Let’s kick things off with the most luxury of them all. A place in Uluwatu, on mainland Bali called Canang Sari Villas. This one is great if there is a group of you, if you’ve just won the freakin’ lottery, if you’re celebrating something special or if you’re just a baller. Canang Sari isn’t cheap, isn’t humble and isn’t small. But it is an incredible villa and by far the best place I’ve ever stayed at! Check out this link >> HERE << for more information.
~ Prasana By Arjani ~
Another stunning place to stay, still in Uluwatu on mainland Bali, is Prasana Villas. This resort is located perfectly in central Uluwatu. Off the beaten track and hidden slightly, Prasana makes for a great stay whilst in Bali. Whether you’re wanting to chill out at the villa or whether you’re just using it for a base, Prasana Villas is the perfect accommodation if you’re wanting a little luxury away from home. If you’re wanting to book it yourself, head >> HERE <<
~ Pandana Boutique Hotel ~
If you plan on visiting Nusa Lembongan for more than one day, you’re going to need somewhere to stay. That’s why you should head to Pandana Boutique Hotel. A gorgeous location, set on the top of a hill, overlooking the sea. Pandana is a mid-range hotel, with some gorgeous rooms, great pools and epic views. If you’re looking for something reasonably priced, I would highly recommend you head here. Click >> HERE << for more information.
~ Cemara’s Beach Homestay ~
Wanting to do Nusa Penida on a budget? Head to Cemara’s Beach Homestay. Perfect for those who are just using it as base, to set everything down whilst you’re out exploring. With clean rooms, friendly staff, a great pool and located right on the beach, you couldn’t ask for much more out of a hotel. Start planning you trip now and head >> HERE << to book your stay.
// The Ultimate Bali Guide – Getting Around \\
In short, the quickest and easiest way of getting around in Bali is on scooters. Not to mention, they’re also pretty fun. However I appreciate not everyone is going to be comfortable driving a scooter, especially if like me, you had never ridden one before. In that case, you have a couple of options available to you.
You can ride on the back of someone else’s. If you’re travelling in a group and someone else is comfortable driving, you can ride on theirs. Technically, three people can fit on one scooter but probably not advised. Or if you’re not feeling that idea, download the apps GoJek & Grab. They’re basically the uber of Bali and will take you near enough wherever you need to go. Note: Taking a car anywhere in Bali is going to add a lot of time to your journey so you might find some drivers are reluctant to take you to certain places as they know how long it can take.
// The Ultimate Bali Guide – Packing Tips \\
This is a short & sweet point but probably one of the more important ones. When it comes to packing for Bali, PACK LIGHT! Lay out everything you think you’re going to need. Half it, then half it again. Take just a backpack rather than a suitcase, I learnt that lesson the hard way. Take really lightweight clothing as it’s super muggy over there, shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, that kind of thing. Plenty of sunscreen and avoid taking white stuff. Especially if you’re riding a scooter, your white t-shirts will soon turn beige. Be sensible when it comes to packing!
// The Ultimate Bali Guide – The Other Stuff \\
To finish off The Ultimate Bali Guide I thought I’d just bullet point a few other things that might come in handy on your trip.
Insect Repellant – It’ll literally become your best friend. My new favourite one is by ManukaRX. This ointment has saved me when it comes to that awful itching feeling! So take a good repellent and a good itch ointment!
Phone – If you’re wanting to pick up a sim card in Bali, DO NOT get one at the airport. The prices are over double that of anywhere else. Wherever you’re staying, there will be a phone store in the town. You can get sim cards which are Data-only, which I did. I think I got 30GB of Data for 150000IDR.
Money – Take enough cash with you. It’s pretty cheap to live over there and most places don’t have a card machine. You’ll also struggle to find ATM’s at a lot of places. So my advice is take enough cash and if you run out, when you do find an ATM, take out more than you think you’ll need. This way it avoids being caught short but also avoids any charges from your bank back home.
Safety – And finally safety. Sorry to end on a slightly boring note but it’s definitely one to take into consideration. I felt completely safe and at ease in Bali, but as with wherever you go in the world, there will always be some areas that aren’t as nice. Just look after your stuff, take a bag with good safety features and don’t flaunt your wealth. In countries like Bali, even having an iPhone can be seen as extreme wealth. So be careful when getting out your electronics and cameras. But do note, I never felt I had to as 99% of the people in Bali are the nicest people you’ll ever meet!
And there we have it, the longest blog post I’ve ever written. If you’ve made it this far then well done to you! For those that switched off half way through, well I guess they won’t have the full Bali experience. lol.
I hope this has helped a little, to give you guys the Ultimate Bali Guide, the low down of everything you need to know about Bali and to hopefully make your trip that bit easier. If I’ve missed anything out, then let me know down in the comments and I’ll definitely get it answered for you.
I’m going to take the rest of the week off from uploads, to have a break from the Bali content before returning with some fresh, New Zealand posts. I’ll see you next week.
| By Harrison |