Bali itinerary – the ultimate guide for a 2-week trip
Bali is a tiny Indonesian island with many different pockets of paradise, from dreamy jungles to white sandy beaches, visiting this island is certainly one to add to the bucket list; I spent just over two weeks in Bali and had the best time.
To start with, I’ll cover some key need-to-know information before jumping into the itinerary which covers all of the best things to do, places to visit and where to stay in Bali.
At the end of the guide, you’ll also find some estimated costs to prepare you.
Key information about Bali
Best time to visit: May – October
Estimated flight time from the US: 20 hours
Plug type: C and F – you’ll need this!
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Language: Indonesian & Balinese, however, most also speak English
Daily budget: £37/$50 USD
Explore tours: Bali tour packages
Safety: Bali is safe, with the exception of petty theft which you see in most countries. Be sure to get one of these before you go!
Top experiences to book
Before we jump into the itinerary, if you’re tight on time, then these are the absolute must-do experiences to book ahead of your trip.
- Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
- Sunset Dolphin Watching
- The Ultimate Ubud Experience
- Gili Diving Experience
Bali itinerary days 1 & 2 – Seminyak
First up on our Bali itinerary is Seminyak, which is roughly 20 minutes from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.
When you arrive, you can grab a taxi from outside the airport, however, you will be charged much higher rates than if you were to pre-book.
They are super reliable and will make sure you have a smooth journey at a cheap price!
Seminyak has a ‘fancy’ but chilled vibe; it’s filled with eloquent boutique shops, great places to eat, and a tonne of beach clubs.
Things to do
Catch some waves
If you’re an early riser, it’s also a great place to have a surfing lesson, particularly for beginners as the waves are much lower here than your next stop, Canggu.
You can rent a surfboard and give it a go yourself, or you can book some lessons for super cheap here:
Head to a beach club
There are tonnes of awesome beach clubs all over Bali and you’ll no doubt want to check out a few whilst you’re on the island.
Here are some of the best beach clubs to check out while you’re in Seminyak::
- Potato Head
- Mrs Sippy
- Ku De Ta
For all of the beach clubs, make sure you arrive early to get the perfect sunset spot!
Go white water rafting and ride an ATV
If you love adventurous activities then this combo trip is one for you.
You’ll get to enjoy rafting down the Ayung River where you’ll discover hidden waterfalls and be invited to take a moment for a well-needed and refreshing dip.
Following your river escapade, you’ll dock along the riverbanks and tuck into a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, before beginning your adventure through the jungle on your ATV.
You’ll head through the picturesque rice fields, and bamboo forest and travel beside serene riversides, all set against the backdrop of traditional Balinese villages.
This activity is a MUST when you’re in Bali.
Best places to eat
Below are some of the best places to eat in Seminyak:
- The Junction House
- Sisterfields Cafe
- The Fat Turtle
- Seasalt Seminyak
- Bli Crackling
- Bo & Bun
Best places to stay
Bali itinerary day 3, 4 and 5 – Canggu
Canggu is a former fishing village and is hands down one of THE coolest places to visit in Bali right now.
It has a super chilled vibe and is packed with funky gyms, cute yoga studios where you can book onto some of the best Bali yoga retreats, instagramable cafes, and quirky bars.
If you’re settling down in Bali for more than a few weeks, this is a popular place to reside!
Things to do
Book into a surf camp
Canggu is also a hub for surfers as it sports some of the best waves on the island which you can find at Berawa & Batu Beach.
For those looking for surf camps or one-off lessons, I highly recommend checking out Mojo Surf. If you’re into yoga they also offer a combined surf and yoga camp!
Explore the markets in Canguu
Much like Seminyak, Canggu’s sandy streets are home to boutique shops with bargain prices, as well as markets offering fresh artisan foods and handmade souvenirs.
- Love Anchor Market | local arts, craft, and food market open 12 hours a day from 10 am during the week and 10 am to 5 pm on a weekend
- Samadi Market | this is the best place to get your healthy, organic treats while supporting the local farmers
Best places to eat
- The Shady Shack
- Copenhagen Canggu
- Lola’s Shakin all-day
- Fat Mermaid
Best places to drink
- Old Man’s – you’re unlikely to see that many old men, but there will be plenty of live bands and DJs. Be sure to get there early enough to get a good seat for the sunset!
- La Brisa Bali – this has a relaxed vibe and shisha bar
- The Lawn – they have an infinity pool with a sunset view, what more could you want?
- Pretty Poison – they have an awesome skate bowl, which is typically where the surfers hang out; Thursdays are arguably the best night to visit!
- Deus Ex Machina – A barber, bike shop, tattoo parlour, and live music venue all in one!
Best places to stay
Below are some recommended places to stay in Canggu:
Bali itinerary day 6 and 7 – Lovina
Next, I recommend heading to the north of the island; this is the real Bali, nestled among mountains and away from tourist hot spots.
It’s roughly a 2-hour drive from Canggu to Lovina if you go direct, however, there are a couple of stops along the way which are worth visiting, although this will extend your journey to 3 hours.
Things to do
Learn about the Tanah Lot Temple
20 minutes from Canggu is Tanah Lot Temple which translates to ‘Land in the Sea’.
It’s full of culture and you’ll be walking along the cliff edges as the waves crash up beside you.
You’ll also run into some furry friends who you will get to know quite well from this point onwards in the trip; monkeys! Hang on to your valuables and don’t look them in the eyes…trust me!
Both men and women will need to wear a sarong – these are available to rent should you need to.
You can book one of the guided Bali tours below:
Explore the impressive Jatiluwuh Rice Terraces
1 hour from Tanah Lot Temple is the Jatiluwuh Rice Terraces’.
This is an incredible 600 hectares and in 2012 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The entrance fee is 40,000 IDR, which is just over £2, or just under $3 USD.
You’ll be able to spend as long as you like wandering the paths amongst the layered rice paddies, with places to stop along the way for a coconut or two!
Go on a Dolphin spotting boat trip
An absolute must, while you’re in Lovina, is a Dolphin Tour.
It was hands down a highlight for me and I highly recommend booking ahead for the most incredible experience!
It’s slightly pricey compared to other activities in Bali, but still much less than what you would pay for the same experience elsewhere.
You’ll dangle off of the boat alongside the dolphins with mountains in the background and have the most surreal experience yet! Do it! You won’t regret it!
From Jatiluwih to Lovina, it is approximately 1 hour 30.
Best places to stay
Once you leave Lovina, you’ll head back south towards Ubud, aka the dreamiest of jungle towns and my favourite place in Bali!
On your way down, you’ll have the opportunity to visit GitGit Waterfall, and/or Sekumpul Waterfall, as well as the Instagram-famous Handara Gate.
I personally only visited GitGit Waterfall, however, I understand the other two landmarks are also high points of interest that I recommend checking out!
From the car park there leads a short path embedded within the forest towards the waterfall.
There will be gift stalls scattered along the way; if you or a loved one drinks coffee, be sure to pick up the Luwak coffee from here as it’s much cheaper than anywhere else on the island.
Once you reach the waterfall, you’ll be able to spend time marvelling at the 115-meter drop and if you’re feeling brave you can go for a dip – it will be cold so ensure that you take a towel! These quick-drying ones are super handy!
Gitgit = 20,000 IDR (roughly £1 or $1.50 USD)
Sekumpul = 20,000 IDR (roughly £1 or $1.50 USD)
Handara Gate = 30,000 IDR (£1.60 or just over $2 USD)
Bali itinerary day 8, 9 and 10 – Ubud
Ubud should 1000000% be included in anyone’s Bali itinerary. It certainly takes first place on my list of destinations and for good reasons too.
It boasts countless great places to eat, many traditional craft shops, yoga retreats, a wealth of history, and much more.
Things to do
There are heaps of things to do in Ubud and its surrounding areas that I definitely recommend visiting:
Ubud Monkey Forest
Walking alongside these little fluffballs in the jungle feels like you’re in a scene from Tarzan; it’s pretty crazy.
That being said, the monkeys are also pretty crazy, so if they come towards you then you’ve probably got something shiny they’d quite like to pinch!
If they do try and steal any of your belongings then just let it go; the damage they can do to you will leave you worse off!
Tegallalang Rice Terrace
Roughly 20 minutes from Ubud is Tegallalang Rice Terrace; even if you thought you’d seen enough rice paddies in Jatiluwih, it’s still worth visiting Tegallalang to have a go on the famous ‘Bali Swing’! They also have the ‘Birds Nest’ and other sky-high activities to enjoy!
Ubud is one of the most special places in Bali and there having a local guide to show you around (and also support the economy) is definitely worth doing.
There are plenty of tours that you can book that range in price.
This one is by far the most comprehensive and will cover all there is to see and do in the area. It’s also super highly rated as you’ll see:
If this one is out of your budget then these two are also worth checking out:
Mount Batur is an active volcano that many tourists flock to climb before the sun rises.
It’s easily one of the best and most popular things to do in Bali that should not be missed on any itinerary!
Although it’s easy enough to follow the crowds, it makes logistics much easier if you book a tour and have a guide who picks you up and lends you the right equipment.
They usually chuck you a free banana sandwich and hot chocolate once you reach the top too, which was more than enough to convince me!
I’d recommend booking this one ahead of your trip so that you have in planned and secured because it would be gutting to miss it!
Where to eat
Milk and Madu
Copper Kitchen and Bar
Where to stay
Below you’ll find the best places to stay in Ubud for all budgets:
Bali itinerary day 11, 12 and 13 – Gili Islands
And last but not least our Bali itinerary is The Gili Islands. These are made up of 3 islands covered in white sandy beaches and surrounded by vibrant blue waters.
Gili Trawangan is by far the most developed of the three islands. It has a relaxed vibe in the day with plenty of activities and comes alive at night, with live music and party-goers!
Gili Air is a more relaxed island, with just as many activities and restaurants, however, is more peaceful in the evenings.
Gili Meno is popular among honeymooners and much less touristy. It’s also the least developed of the three.
I personally chose Gili T, so the below information is based on that, however, whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed!
Getting to the Gili Islands
From Ubud, the closest port is Serangan which is around 45 minutes drive and you will need to book here.
It’s around roughly 2 hours 30 minutes to get to Gili T and it’s a BUMPY ride…even if you think you don’t get seasick, take a sickness tablet as it honestly isn’t worth the potential vomathon!
I have never been on a boat that bumpy and most people I speak to recall the same experience.
Depending on the weather, you may also end up going to Lombok from Bali by ferry, before taking a smaller boat over to the Gili islands.
This is what we did and you will 100% want a seasickness tablet for that smaller boat.
Things to do
The Gili Islands is largely focused on watersports, so a diving experience is an absolute must!
I also recommend getting a photographer to go down with you so that you can capture awesome photos like mine below!
You can also hire bikes and cycle around the island, go to yoga classes, horse ride along the beach, and catch the sunset at The Exile (an Instagram-famous swing in the sea!).
Best places to stay
Where to eat
The Banyan Tree
Where to drink
Sama-Sama Reggae Bar
Bali itinerary day 13 and 14 – get ready to leave Bali
If your flight is in the morning then you’ll want to get back to the mainland the night before, just in case the sea is too rough and the boat is cancelled (the perfect reason why you should have travel insurance).
Where to stay near the airport
If you’re wondering where to stay in Bali near the airport, then below are some recommendations to consider depending on your budget:
Bali is one of the best tropical locations for families, young people and old – it really does have something for everyone to enjoy.
Below you’ll find a guide to some of the costs to consider when visiting Bali.
Eating out = £7.50/$10 USD (be careful not to eat anything which has ice in it, such as smoothie bowls as this is known to cause Bali belly)
Coffee = £1.20/$1.50 USD
Beer = £1.80/$2.50 USD
Massage = £5/$7 USD
Scooter rental per day = £3.70/$5 USD
Car hire per day =£27/$36 USD
Private driver for the day = £30/$40 USD
Visa = Free (less than 30 days) £25/$35 USD (longer than 30 days)
Sim card with 10GB data per month = £4.50/$6 USD
Recommended budget per day = £37/$50 USD
You’ll also want to ensure you have travel insurance ahead of your trip.
- Tip: SafetyWing is one of the most affordable travel insurance companies on the market. Although they’re geared towards digital nomads, they’re also great for budget travellers, too. When I started using them, I saved 2/3’s on my insurance costs. They cover all of the important things such as accidental illness or injury, flight delays, lost luggage and much more. You can see the full list of inclusions on their site. Check the price using the widget below, or head to their website!
Stay Wild Travels.
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