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One of my favorite trips of all time was spending two weeks in Bali. In fact, Bali was my favorite destination during my three-month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia — and I visited some truly incredible places, so this says a lot!
The thought of traveling to Bali evokes images of endless blue ocean, romantic sunsets on the beach, layers of green rice terraces, jungle waterfall hikes and mystical temples. The incredible thing is that the island truly offers all of that and more.
When I first visited Bali I wasn’t sure if the destination would live up to the hype. I knew that honeymooners and Instagram influencers raved over the place, but I had also heard rumors of its awful traffic and tourist-packed beaches.
Yet it took me less than one day to side with the first group: I fell in love with Bali quicker than anywhere else I’ve traveled.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Bali, I recommend two weeks as the ideal amount of time to explore everything this gem has to offer. Here are my best recommendations for a magical two-week Bali itinerary.
2 Weeks In Bali Itinerary Overview
Here’s an overview of the itinerary I followed during my two weeks in Bali.
I feel that this two-week itinerary gave me the chance to experience everything that the island has to offer, from the beautiful temples in Ubud and the laidback surf vibes of Canggu to the rugged beauty of Nusa Penida and the adventurous hiking that awaits in North Bali.
- Days 1-5 Ubud: temples, waterfalls, green cafes, volcano hikes
- Days 5-7 Nusa Penida: Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong, Diamond Beach
- Days 7-9 Nusa Lembongan: Blue Lagoon at Nusa Ceningan, scuba diving
- Days 9-11 Kuta/Seminyak: beach clubs, surfing, shopping
- Days 11-14 Canggu: yoga, cafe-hopping, surfing
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Best Time To Visit Bali
There are only two seasons in Bali: the rainy season and the dry season. The island is home to a tropical climate, meaning lots of sunshine, rain and humidity are common. Regardless of the month you visit, the temperatures will likely range between 80 to 85 degrees.
The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. I personally visited in June and experienced great weather. The island wasn’t terribly crowded at that time, but note that June, July and August are the most popular months to visit.
Visiting during the rainy season isn’t a total dealbreaker, though. The rain in Bali tends to come and go in quick bursts. Plus, you’ll find plenty of deals on accommodation in popular destinations like Ubud and Canggu.
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Tips For Spending 2 Weeks in Bali
Currency — The currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). At the time of publication 1 USD was equal to 14,700 IDR. Most places in Bali accept only cash, although some larger hotels and restaurants accept credit cards as well. It’s ideal to arrive with cash on hand, though you can safely use an ATM at the airport. Here are some tips on safely using other ATMs in Bali.
Tipping — Tipping isn’t traditional practice in Bali, but tipping an extra 10 to 15 percent for exceptional customer service is a welcoming gesture.
Visas — American citizens are able to secure a free 30-day visa stamp upon arrival. Here’s a list of countries that are eligible for the 30-day visa.
How To Get Around Bali — There’s no public transportation in Bali, at least not on land. The easiest way to get around is by renting a motorbike/scooter, but I only recommend doing so if you’re an experienced driver. Driving a scooter in Bali can be dangerous and tourist accidents are common. You wouldn’t want to ruin your vacation with a trip to the hospital! Two other popular options are to use Grab (an app like Uber) or hire a personal driver.
Language — The spoken language in Bali is Balinese. English is widely spoken in touristy parts of the island. You’ll find plenty of signs and menus in English in these areas.
Let’s Talk Money: Bali Daily Budget
On average, I spent about $50 a day in Bali. That’s not bad at all for a daily budget in Bali, one of the most coveted tropical paradises on the planet!
And I wasn’t staying in hostels, either. I mostly stayed in mid-range hotels, although my stay at the high-end White Rose Resort in Kuta was sponsored. Still, all the hotels and villas I stayed in were absolutely beautiful, and each came with its own pool and amenities.
I also freely dined out for every meal, both at local warungs and pricier trendy cafes in Canggu. In terms of transportation, I mostly used a scooter, which I found to be the cheapest way to get around the island.
From scuba diving to island hopping to volcano hikes, I really didn’t hold back on any activities.
What makes Bali one of the best destinations to visit is that you can experience all of these things and more, without it costing you an arm and a leg.
What To Pack For 2 Weeks In Bali
Knowing what to pack for Bali depends on the kind of vacation you’re looking for. If you’re planning to spend most of your time on the beach, then bathing suits and sunscreen will be top of mind.
If you’re planning to explore the island’s waterfalls and volcanos, you’ll want to pack some hiking gear, too.
Here is a well-rounded packing guide if you’re following this two-week Bali itinerary.
Lightweight Dresses: A breezy dress is the perfect clothing item to pack for beach days, sunset walks and seaside dinners in Bali. I recommend packing longer dresses to respect the culture’s conservative dress code.
Flowy/Linen Pants: I’m an overall fan of loose-fitting flowy pants as well as linen pieces, and I’ve found them to be great for travel.
Hiking Gear: A couple of leggings, lightweight T-shirts, sturdy hiking boots or sneakers and a water bottle are everything you need to hike in Bali. It’s also a good idea to throw in a lightweight down jacket or windbreaker for early morning sunrise hikes (such as hiking Mount Batur).
Shoulder Covering: You’ll want to bring a light scarf to cover your shoulders, or a few shirts/dresses with sleeves to enter Bali’s temples. Remember to always respect a cultural site’s dress code.
Bathing Suits: Balinese people follow a conservative dress code, but it’s mostly acceptable to wear bikinis and other swimsuits on popular tourist beaches.
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Two-Week Bali Itinerary
Let’s jump into my two-week Bali itinerary: Feel free to adjust it to your liking!
Days 1-5: Ubud
Ubud is the ideal place to start off your Bali adventure if you’re interested in learning about Balinese culture, eating delicious (and healthy) food, exploring jungle waterfalls and shopping at local markets.
Ubud is located about an hour and a half north of the airport. Compared to the rowdier beachside towns, Ubud is Bali’s more tranquil cultural center.
Here you’ll find many temples, artsy shops and rice terraces, making it the perfect place to introduce you to the true magic of Bali — away from the busy beach bars and pool clubs.
Top Things To Do in Ubud
The reason I recommend spending five days in Ubud is because there is so much to do in the surrounding area! From a day trip to nearby waterfalls to a hiking trip to Mount Batur, Ubud is the ideal base to explore much of Bali’s most exciting natural wonders.
Ubud Monkey Forest: A popular wildlife sanctuary home to hundreds of long-tailed macaques. You can wander through the forest for hours as wild monkeys swing from tree branches above you — and even try to steal your glasses! Make sure to keep a safe distance from the monkeys and to not carry any water bottles or valuable items outside your purse or pockets. They’ll steal it!
Kecak Dance Performance: A traditional Balinese cultural performance that typically takes place in the evening.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces: These are the most famous rice terraces in Bali, located about 20 minutes driving distance from the center of Ubud. I recommend arriving early in the morning to see the terraces showered in soft golden light. It’s beautiful.
Tirta Empul Water Temple: Visiting this Hindu Balinese water temple was one of my most memorable experiences in Bali. Tourists can participate in a sacred water ritual alongside locals at the temple, a unique spiritual experience only found in Bali.
Nungnung Waterfall: I was in awe of the sheer force and magnitude of these falls cascading off a cliff in the middle of the jungle. It’s one of the most astonishing waterfalls I’ve ever seen! Nungnung is located about an hour away from Ubud by car or scooter.
Tibumana Waterfall: A picture-perfect waterfall located only about 30 minutes from the center of Ubud.
Campuhan Ridge Sunset Walk: A scenic path through lush greenery in the center of Ubud. It’s a popular spot for sunset walks.
Mount Batur: Hiking to the top of Mount Batur for sunrise is one of the most popular hikes in Bali. Mount Batur is an active volcano about an hour away from Ubud. You can book your sunrise hike through a tour company that’ll pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.
Balinese Spa Day: Ubud is home to countless spas that offer everything from traditional Balinese massages to colorful floral baths.
Ubud Art Market: Here you’ll find all the Balinese artisanal goods you can imagine, from the quintessential Bali bags to sweet souvenirs to bring home.
Where to stay in Ubud?
Days 5-7: Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is an island off the coast of Bali known for the Instagram-famous Kelingking Beach, a dinosaur-shaped rock that juts out into unbelievably blue waters.
It’s one of three islands that make up the Nusa Islands, and it’s the most untouched destination I visited in Bali. There was a single paved road throughout the entire island, and the rest were rocky dirt paths in pretty bad shape. Driving a scooter on these roads is quite the adventure — but so, so worth it if you can handle it!
Top Things To Do in Nusa Penida
Kelingking Beach: Most tourists take a day trip from Bali to Kelingking Beach, but if you stay overnight in Nusa Penida (you should!), you have the opportunity to visit when the tour groups are gone. Kelingking is the kind of place that makes you feel small. You can also hike down to the beach below, as long as you’re extremely cautious. It’s a pretty rough trek.
Atuh Beach: A gorgeous white sand beach surrounded by unique rock formations, including a perfect arch directly across the shoreline. It’s a long way down to the beach … but totally worth it.
Peguyangan Waterfall: This is a waterfall located at the bottom of a giant cliff, which you can reach after descending a blue staircase that spirals down to the sea. It’s one of the coolest locations I’ve ever hiked to. At the bottom of the staircase, you’ll find a sacred pilgrimage site along the wild Indian Ocean. It’s common to see locals practicing a water ritual at the site.
Manta Rays: Swimming with Bali’s giant manta rays is one of the most popular wildlife experiences in Nusa Penida. You can book a tour locally or online before you arrive.
Angel’s Billabong: This natural infinity pool formed between big cliffs is another Nusa Penida gem. Take extreme caution if swimming in the water below as strong tides can be unpredictable. Unfortunately, many people have died here.
Broken Beach: You’ll find Broken Beach around the corner from Angel’s Billabong. The location gets its name from an arch that’s been carved out at the edge of the cove.
Where To Stay in Nusa Penida
How To Get To Nusa Penida
There are two ways to get to Nusa Penida.
You can book a day trip with a tour company in Bali, during which you’ll be transported to the island via boat, and then driven to the most popular sites, including Kelingking Beach and Angel’s Billabong.
The other option is to visit Nusa Penida without a tour group and spend a couple of nights on the island. I highly recommend this!
You can usually book a car transfer and boat ticket via your hotel. Another option is to take a taxi or Grab to the port in Sanur, where you can then purchase a boat ticket to Nusa Penida.
Days 7-9: Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan is the largest of the three Nusa Islands. It’s also the most developed. Most of the roads there are paved, and there are plenty of hotel options to choose from.
Top Things To Do In Nusa Lembongan
Dream Beach: A small cove that’s home to a hotel with an infinity pool. It’s a great place to kick back and relax, order a drink at the hotel restaurant and enjoy the views.
Devil’s Tears: This is a rocky area where giant waves are common. The waves hit the rocks and explode upward, creating massive splashes that are pretty awesome to witness in person. It’s just another place to appreciate the magnificence of the Indian Ocean.
Scuba Diving: The Nusa Islands are a great place to go scuba diving. You can see manta rays, reef sharks, turtles and the rare Mola Mola.
Blue Lagoon at Nusa Ceningan: A cute yellow bridge connects Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan, where you’ll find the stunning Blue Lagoon. The water at the cove is strikingly blue, and it’s a popular spot for Instagram photos.
Where To Stay In Nusa Lembongan?
How To Get To Nusa Lembongan?
It’s a quick ferry ride from Nusa Penida to Nusa Lembongan. You can book it locally.
Days 9-11: Kuta/Seminyak
Kuta and Seminyak are the most popular tourist hubs in Bali, meaning they’ll most likely be the most crowded. Seminyak is said to be a bit quieter than Kuta, although both give off a Miami Beach-like vibe with tourist shops, big restaurants and beautiful resorts lining the sidewalks.
Top Things To Do In Kuta/Seminyak
Surf at Kuta Beach: This beach lies on a soft sand bar, making it a great spot for beginner surfers to learn the sport. Board rentals and lessons are widely available.
Sunset on the Beach: The sunsets here can be truly spectacular. There are plenty of beach bars along the sand that make for the perfect spot to watch a sunset with a Bintang beer in hand.
Legian Beach: Legian Beach is within walking distance from Kuta Beach. It’s less crowded than its busy neighbor, which makes it a nice spot to sunbathe.
Potato Head Beach in Seminyak: This modern-day beach club is extremely popular with tourists and expats alike. There’s a restaurant, pool and lounge beds facing a gorgeous stretch of sand and ocean. Expect a wait and higher prices.
Jalan Laksmana: This road is lined with tons of shops and boutiques, ranging from luxury to budget options.
Double Six Beach: Colorful beanbags and sunbeds are sprinkled throughout Double Six Beach — where you can grab a seat and order as many Bintangs as your heart desires.
Uluwatu: During my stay in Kuta I spent a day beach hopping in Uluwatu, which sits at the southern tip of the island. Uluwatu is known for its high cliffs and beautiful beaches, as well as great surf. Some highlights include Balangan Viewpoint, Uluwatu Cliff, Padang-Padang Beach, Suluban Beach, Pantai Tegal Wangi and Single Fin’s cliffside bar.
Where To Stay In Kuta/Seminyak
Days 11-14: Canggu
Canggu was my second favorite destination on the island of Bali for many reasons. Canggu is home to a thriving expat population, which has infused the small town with trendy cafes, yoga retreats and buzzy beachside clubs.
It certainly doesn’t feel like an authentic Balinese experience, but it does offer a glimpse of what modern-day life in Bali is like for the hundreds of digital nomads and entrepreneurs who call it home.
Top Things To Do In Canggu
Surf: Canguu has been called a surfer’s paradise and with good reason. Its waves suit everyone from beginners to pros.
Old Man’s: This beachside bar hosts one of the most popular sunset parties in Bali. Live DJ sets bring in a trendy crowd, and Old Man’s is bustling with people all afternoon. Finn’s Beach Club is another popular option nearby.
Take a Yoga Class: There are countless yoga studios to choose from in Canggu, each more beautiful than the last.
Stay In a Luxury Villa: You’ll be surprised at how affordable a luxury villa can be in Bali. I stayed in a beautiful property during my time in Canggu for only about $50 per night. Split between two, that was just $25 each! The property had two pools, spacious rooms, breezy cabanas and massages on-site.
Cafe-Hop: Canggu is a trendy cafe haven. There are so many adorable cafes to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Some highlights include The Avocado Factory, Milk & Madu, The Loft, Crate Cafe and Matcha Cafe.
Where To Stay In Canggu
Alternative Bali Itinerary: 10 Days
Not everyone can take off a full two weeks for vacation. I get it. If you’re traveling across the world to Bali though, I do recommend spending at least 10 days on the island. Remember that you’ll be dealing with jet lag for the first couple of days!
If you only have 10 days in Bali, I’d recommend editing this two-week itinerary in the following manner.
- Days 1-4 Ubud: temples, waterfalls, green cafes, volcano hikes
- Days 4-6 Nusa Penida: Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong, Diamond Beach
- Days 6-8 Nusa Lembongan: Blue Lagoon at Nusa Ceningan, scuba diving
- Days 8-10 Canggu: yoga, cafe-hopping, surfing
Why am I suggesting you skip Kuta and Seminyak? I simply found the other islands or towns much more interesting, authentic and charming.
Kuta was one of the most touristy and busiest areas I visited, and the South Beach vibe wasn’t really for me.
Seminyak on the other hand isn’t too far from Canggu. You can easily take a Grab or ride your scooter from Canggu to Seminyak’s beach clubs and boutiques, without necessarily having to spend a night there.
Overall, Canggu trumps both in my opinion for its beautiful villas, a plethora of yoga studios, white sandy beaches, delicious cafes and laidback atmosphere.
I hope this two-week Bali itinerary helps you plan your dream vacation. Bali will forever hold such a special place in my heart — and if this itinerary can help your experience be as magical as mine, then mission accomplished!