Of all the tropical islands of Indonesia, Bali is the best known tourism destination, and surely for a reason. Inexpensive Bali has great beaches as well as excellent surfing and diving conditions. The lovely island offers also lovely landscape with palm trees, tropical forests and volcanic mountains. The many hot springs and spas, and the intriguing exotic culture and ancient Hindu traditions of the island make Bali a truly magical place!
The Island of Gods located between the larger island of Java in the West and Lombok in the East, Bali is the only island inIndonesia that still retains the ancient form of Hindu religion, having plenty of temples and festivals to visit. Bali receives 80 % of all the foreign visitors coming to Indonesia. Most tourism destinations on Bali are located in the southern side of the island.
Sights and activities in Bali: beaches, spas, diving, trekking, golf and shopping
Bali is a diverse destination with something for everyone, from stunning beaches and nightlife in Bali to cultural attractions and from golf courses to jungles and shopping in Bali. Surrounded by the warm Indian Ocean, Bali has plenty of beaches, of which the most famous and popular ones are in Kuta, Legian and Sanur. There are also plenty of beach resorts in Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Seminyak and Kerobogan. Beaches in southern Bali have usually white sand, whereas the ones in the North and West have black sand. Kuta and Legian are the most popular locations for surfing in Bali, as well as centers of nightlife in Bali. The island is surrounded by coral reefs that offer great opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving in Bali.
The capital city of Denpasar is not a major tourism destination, but it is interesting for those wanting to experience more local lifestyle. There are several good golf courses in Bali to enjoy. Bali has an estimated 20.000 beautiful Hindu temples, many of which are easily accessed. The most famous temples are Uluwatu, Besakih and Tanah Lot. There are also plenty of colorful religious festivals around the island. The biggest festival in Bali is the 10-day Galungan Festival in the end of March or the beginning of April. There are also many theme parks in Bali, located around the island that are great entertainment especially for children, and spas in Bali are perfect for relaxation.
The rugged interior of Bali offers not only great hillside scenery, volcanoes, hot springs and lush rainforests, but also plenty of activities from trekking in Bali to white water rafting and horseback riding. The large Bali Barat National Park offers also opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.
Bali travel information and practical tips
Bali has a tropical climate where the temperature is warm around the year. There is a distinct rainy season from October to March and a dry season from April to September, although rains can occur at any time of the year.
The coastal areas in Bali are hotter than the high mountain areas in the interior, but there is a sea breeze that tempers the heat. The mountainsides also receive more rain than coastal areas. The main tourist season in Bali is in July and August, as well as during Christmas and New Year.
Traveling to Bali is usually done by air via the capital city Denpasar. It has an international airport that receives flights to Bali from all over the world. You can also travel to Bali by a ferry from the many other islands in Indonesia.
Public transport on Bali is handled by buses and local minivans called bemos. There are also special tourist shuttles running between the major tourist destinations, and you can easily rent a car in Bali, as well as a motorcycle or bicycle, or charter a minivan with a driver. However, remember that the traffic in Bali is often chaotic.
Accommodation & services. There are plenty of hotels in Bali to choose from, including cheap hostels. Restaurants in Bali and other tourist services are also widely available in the main tourist centers. Due to the importance of tourism on the island, English is a common third language in Bali, and all people in service professions speak at least a bit of it.
Safety. Bali’s popularity as a tourism destination has unfortunately lured also terrorists into the island. There have been terrorist attacks against tourists on Bali in 2002 and 2005. Therefore, security is now tight in nightclubs and restaurants frequented by foreigners. You should also be careful for petty crime such as scams and pickpocketing, but in general, Bali is still a quite safe travel destination.