Bali Nudibranch Guide: My 11 Favorite Sea Slugs in Bali

A group of several nudibranchs hanging out underwater in bali

If you’re a fan of underwater photography, I don’t need to explain nudibranchs to you.

You probably already know the origins of their name — the Latin root of ‘nudi’ for naked and ‘branch’ for lungs, named for their exposed gills that flutter elegantly in the water.

You probably already know that there are over 3,000 species of nudibranchs, not to mention the endless color variations, and that they can be anywhere from 4 millimeters to even 2 feet long.

And if you don’t know, now you know *Busta Rhymes tune plays, god am I showing my age?*

Anyway, finding nudibranchs in Bali while diving is not surprising.

On every dive I’ve done here, I’ve encountered at least 3, more often 5, and sometimes up to 10 species of nudibranchs on a single tank.

However, it can be overwhelming to try to identify all these Bali nudibranchs — with nearly 3,000 possibilities, identifying a nudibranch sometimes feels like finding a needle in a haystack.

Luckily, I’m a neurodivergent adult with a diving special interest, who treats dive photography like the grown-up version of Pokémon Snap.

I spend hours — yes, literally hours — after each dive analyzing my photos and identifying any animals that, prior to the dive, were unknown to me, so I can keep it in my dive logs.

By the way, you can see my Bali dive logs, alongside my complete dive guides including my favorite dive sites and dive shops, for the following destinations: Amed is complete, and Tulamben, Pemeturan, Menjangan, and the Nusa Islands are coming.

Without further ado, I’ll share with you some of my favorite nudibranchs I’ve spotted in Bali, as well as my best guess on what they are.

Of course, I’m not a marine biologist… I’m just a PADI-certified diver and a hobbyist with an Olympus TG6.

I’m an enthusiastic amateur, meaning my photos are not the best, and my knowledge is not the most scientific.

That said, I hope this can be a jumping off point for you if you are struggling to identify any Bali nudibranchs on your trip!

And of course, these nudibranchs are not limited to just Bali. These little guys hardly carry passports.

I’ve seen many of these same critters while diving in Taveuni’s Rainbow Reef in Fiji, and I’m sure I’ll see them in other places as I dive more of Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

That said, these are the nudibranchs I saw in Bali, and for each photo, I’ll tell you what dive site I spotted them at!

My Favorite Bali Nudibranchs

Tambja morosa

A blue sea slug with gorgeous exposed lungs and brilliant colors on a patch of coral
Tambja morosa, aka the gloomy nudibranch, spotted at Pyramids dive site in Amed

With its moody blue markings and just overall Disney villain aesthetic (Chernabog from Fantasia, anyone?), the Tambja morosa or gloomy nudibranch earns its nickname.

This gorgeous but grumpy-looking little guy stands out in an ocean full of silly faces (Shaun the Sheep, for one) and goofy colors.

This Bali nudibranch is everywhere — when I saw it at the Pyramids dive site in Amed, it was my third sighting, as I had already seen it at the USAT Liberty wreck in Tulamben as well as on my first dive in Lipah Bay).

It’s one of the easiest nudibranchs to identify because of its striking colors and because it’s generally on the larger size, maxing out around 7 cm or 3 inches (although I did once see a tiny baby one in Rakiraki, Fiji, though that’s a rarity!).

Most of the gloomy nudibranchs I saw were probably around 2 inches or 5 centimeters, plus with their brilliant colors, they’re exceptionally easy to spot.

Chromodoris elisabethina

A beautiful Chromodoris nudibranch on a pink piece of coral with yellow, blue, black and white detail

One of the most common nudibranchs you’ll see in Bali are those in the Chromodoris family.

They all look quite similar, with the striated black markings and either white or orange rhinophores (antennae) and gills.

The main differences are in the main color (blue or white), whether their antennae are white or orange, and general pattern distribution.

Just because you see a nudibranch that looks somewhat like this, it doesn’t mean it’s a Chromodoris elisabethina.

Here are a few other Chromis I see often in Bali:

  • Chromodoris annae: Very similar to the above, but without the black stripes down the center
  • Chromodoris magnifica: More black and white, very stripy with stark pronounced orange mantle, rhinophores, and gills
  • Chromodoris willani: Black and white, with no orange markings. White rhinophores and gills.
  • Chromodoris dianae: Black and white markings, more ’rounded’ and spotted black markings, orange rhinophores and gills.
An orange chromodoris nudibranch
A Chromodoris magnifica in Amed at Lean Wall — note the lack of blue pigment (any blue is a result of the harsh lighting, oops!)

… and this isn’t even close to being an exhaustive list!

Chromodoris are exceptionally easy to spot… and then exceptionally difficult to narrow down to the exact species.

If you’re not a perfectionist pedant like me, you can simply just call it a Chromodoris and call it a day!

Hypselodoris apologma

Duo of purple sea slugs with orange gills
Two Hypselodoris apolegma nudibranchs, seen at Jemeluk Wall in Amed

The Hypselodoris genus is one of the most common kinds of dorid nudibranchs in Bali you’ll see.

They’re generally on the larger side, and they have a large “foot” and a floaty “skirt” type mantle.

This makes them look a bit bulkier than other nudibranchs genera (plural of genus), like the Chromodoris, which looks flatter.

They’re often really colorful and sometimes they can be hard to identify between each other!

For example, even with this particular photo, it was hard to decide if this was a Hypselodoris apolegma or a Hypselodoris bullockii.

I’ve eventually identified the former, since in my reading, I’ve learned that the bullockii is actually quite pale in color, more like lavender.

Plus, its white mantle does not have the reticulated (net-like/thread-like, speckled) pattern that leads, ombre-like, into the main color of the nudibranch body.

Hypselodoris tryoni

A colorful sea slug in Bali with brilliant markings
A Hypselodoris tryoni spotted at the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben

Frankly, I’d be surprised if you didn’t see this Bali nudibranch at least once on your dives (if you have multiple) — the Hypselodoris tryoni is one of the major fixtures of my dive logs there.

This large sea slug is really hard to miss. It has a gorgeous, almost glowing purple mantle, and a spotted underbelly as well as its back. Its back also has some dark brownish markings, too.

Its gills are white, and its rhinophores are a mix of white with a little violet purple detailing.

One of the other unique things about this nudibranch is that it’s often found with others — which is not that common in the nudibranch world, as these guys tend to be rather solitary.

They’re often found in duos (or even groups up to 4) and often will be quite close to one another, or even touching as a non-mating behavior but just typical behavior.

Scientists don’t understand why, but I think it’s adorable that they are prone to cuddle puddles… little touchy-feely guys.

Goniobranchus geometricus

The funky Goniobranchus geometricus a tiny sea slug with geometric shapes and green gills
The Goniobranchus geometricus, seen at the Japanese Wreck in Amed

Another common Bali nudibranch that you’ll see on a lot of dives in Amed and the region is the Goniobranchus geometricus.

It looks a little similar to the Chromodoris in size and shape, but it has the bumpy texture of the Phyllidelia nudibranchs.

This particular nudibranch is really easy to identify due to its bumpy texture, with a brownish-black body with raised white speckles.

But it is most identifiable for its signature pale mint green rhinophores and gills, which makes it really easy to identify.

Hypselodoris confetti

Speckled nudibranch with orange gills

One of my favorite nudibranchs in Bali, the Hypselodoris confetti is a very obvious one to spot and identify, but it’s also a lot of fun!

With a lovely steel-blue body mixed with dark blue and yellow spots, and its signature Hypselodoris orange rhinophores and gills, it’s pretty easy to know you’re looking at a Hypselodoris confetti!

Its name really does describe it perfectly: look at how colorful and celebratory it’s speckled body is!

I’ve only seen this nudibranch once, but it’s still one of my favorites in Bali.

Shaun the Sheep nudibranch (Costasiella kuroshimae)

Leafy nudibranch on a grass
The Costasiella kuroshimae, or ‘Shaun the Sheep’ nudibranch, at Melasti dive site in Tulamben

Extremely difficult to spot, and harder to photograph due to its teeny-tiny size, the ‘Shaun the Sheep’ nudibranch is part of the Costasiella family.

The Costasiella kuroshimae is one of the cutest nudibranchs in the world, with tiny dot-like eyes, huge antennae, and an aeolid body with leaf-green color.

This is it zoomed in 11x, and even that isn’t enough — I need to get better at zooming in even more with the macro mode on my Olympus TG6!

Costasiella kuroshimae are one of the tiniest nudibranchs, starting at a mere 5 millimeters in size (that’s just 0.2 of an inch!) to 1 centimeter (about 0.4 inches).

This makes them exceptionally hard to photograph, especially since they have so many details once you zoom in.

Mexichromis multituberculata

A white-bodied nudibranch with purple dots and orange gills
Mexichromis multituberculata at the Melasti dive site in Tulamben

The Mexichromus genus is another one that’s a little hard to nail down — there are a lot that look quite similar to one another, and I struggled to pin down the ID on this one.

I also looked at whether this was a Mexichromis mariei or a Mexichromis katalexis… and frankly, I’m still not certain!

I think I saw a variety of Mexichromis types on this one dive, as there were some similarities and differences with this nudibranch that I’m not sure boil down to being different species or just different color expressions.

In general, the Mexichromis is a “bulkier” type of nudibranch, with a more bulbous body and a bumpy texture, with either protruding speckles or more craggy texture.

At their most basic, these nudibranchs have white bodies with purple speckles, and sometimes with additional orange coloration, like additional speckles, a mantle, or gills.

Hypselodoris decorata

Another one of the Hypselodoris genus (home to many of my favorite nudibranchs), the Hypselodoris decorata — also named the spotted Hypselodoris — is another favorite in Bali.

Even though its colors aren’t as crazy as some of the other nudibranchs in Bali, it’s still a beauty.

It’s mostly brownish-orange, with interesting decoration in that it has a very speckled mantle and then a back that is striped with all sorts of unique patterns (which is what makes it so hard to identify!).

One indicator that strongly places it in the Hypselodoris decorata camp is its rhinophores, which are white with orange bands — a unique feature that other Hypselodoris types don’t necessarily have.

Goniobranchus hintuanensis

a bumpy-textured nudibranch with some spots and purple gills
The funky Goniobranchus hintuanensis, seen in Tulamben at Seraya Secrets

Another fixture in the Bali nudibranch scene, I’ve lost count of how many Goniobranchus hintuanensis I’ve seen.

They are easy to identify because they are quite flat compared to other nudibranchs, but they have brilliant purple rhinophores and gills.

A similar nudibranch in this family, the Goniobranchus kuniei, who also have a funny way of moving, fluttering their mantle up and down, which earned them the ‘Marilyn Monroe’ nudibranch nickname as it looks like their skirt flies up!

For whatever reason, this poor nudibranch has gotten the much less glamorous nickname ‘bus stop nudibranch’, but I think it deserves better!

Flabellina rubrolineata

Flabellina aeolid nudibranch with white and purple colors
A slightly out-of-focus Flabellina rubrolineata, seen at Melasti in Tulamben

An aeolid type of nudibranch, the Flabellina genus is another favorite of mine — they’re so elegant!

This family is what the ‘Spanish shawl’ nudibranch (the Flabellina iodine) belongs to, which is one of my favorite nudibranchs I saw in Fiji.

The Flabellina rubrolineata or red-lined flabellina is quite a beauty and comes in a really wide variety of color breakdowns… so you might see one that is the same species but looks very different.

This version has a nearly all-white body with purplish rhinophores and striped ‘cerata’, which are the external lash-like extensions that all aeolid-type nudibranchs have.

But there are also versions that are nearly entirely purple, with flecks of white and maybe a tiny bit of orange, as well as versions that are somewhere in between.

It’s believed this may actually be part of a series of species rather than one species, but as of now, it falls under the Flabellina rubrolineata umbrella.

The 7 Best Ubud Cooking Classes (Hand-Picked for Travelers)

A delicious Balinese feast with veggies, chicken, rice, and other various treats on a tablecloth

Want the best souvenir from a trip to Bali? Why not take an Ubud cooking class, where you learn all your favorite dishes from your trip!

A Balinese cooking class is the ultimate way to bring memories of your vacation home, time and again, every time you pick up a knife.

When you take a cooking class in Ubud, it’s a chance to go beyond the Instagrammable cafes, picturesque rice fields, and get a taste (literally) of the real Bali!

a traditional delicious balinese dish

Also learning to cook your favorite Balinese dishes at home is a fun and hands-on way to bring you closer to Balinese culture.

Plus, it’s a nice flex to impress your favorite people (or perhaps a new date you’re wooing) back home — so be sure to add a cooking class to your Ubud itinerary!

On the other hand, if you’re traveling Bali with kids, it’s also a fun way to get them involved in something hands-on and fun!

No time to read the full post? My top pick is this Balinese cooking class with family compound visit — it mixes a traditional Ubud cooking class with an intimate cultural experience. Plus it’s private (and still affordable) so you’ll have personalized attention every step of the way.

⇢ ⇢ Book it here!

My Top 3 Picks: Ubud Cooking Classes

No time to read the full article about these cooking classes and just want my top 3 picks and the highlights of each?

I’ve got you.


Pepes Ikan, a traditional fish dish in Bali made with a turmeric chili paste and steamed in a banana leaf

Private Balinese Cooking Class with Family and Compound Visit
✔️ See inside of local Balinese compound
✔️ Get a 1:1 cooking lesson on classic family-style dishes

↳ Book it


Balinese styled fried chicken with a delicious fried topping on top and sauce in the back

Subak Cooking Class with Optional Market Visit
✔️ Learn 9 different dishes per class
✔️ Morning cooking class has option to visit a local market

↳ Book it


Traditional Indonesian gado gado, made of a mix of vegetables, tofu, egg, and served with a peanut sauce

Farm-to-Table Ubud Cooking Class on Organic Farm
✔️ Visit a community-run organic farm & make 6 dishes
✔️ Split into vegetarian & omnivore groups, with vegan options available

↳ Book it

The Top 7 Ubud Cooking Classes

1. Private Balinese Cooking Class with Family and Compound Visit

Pepes Ikan, a traditional fish dish in Bali made with a turmeric chili paste and steamed in a banana leaf

🕰️ Tour Length: 4 hours | 🌟 Rating: 5/5 stars (125+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Learn:
– Pepes ikan (fish steamed in banana leaves)
– Bumbu kuning (turmeric and coconut milk braised chicken)
– Bregedel (hand-ground fried corn fritters)

Check class availability and rates here

This private Balinese cooking class is my top pick because you simply can’t beat the one-on-one attention a private class offers you.

If you are really serious about learning to cook Balinese food, this is the perfect tour for you!

The tour includes pick-up and drop-off from Ubud hotels, where you’ll be whisked away to Dewa and Jero’s charming traditional Balinese walled compound. 

Seeing inside a Balinese compound is a special privilege not every tourist gets to see, as you must be invited to do so. These are people’s homes, after all!

Luckily, on this tour you’ll be treated like one of the family, as Dewa, Jero, and their family help teach you some of their favorite Balinese dishes in a traditional wood-fired oven.

“What an incredible experience. This was so much more than a cooking class. We began with an extensive tour of Dewa’s village, lifestyle and culture… We cooked 5 dishes and have the entire recipes to take home. I would say this was one of the top highlights to our two week trip to Bali.” – Woodward M.

Read more reviews here!

You’ll also get to visit their garden and see what spices and herbs are grown in their compound, including galangal, cacao, cloves, and nutmeg.

The family stresses that this is not a professional cooking class, but rather an athentic learning experience where you can meet a local family — who happen to be excellent cooks — and learn about Balinese culture and food with them.

2. Subak Cooking School and Optional Market Visit

Balinese styled fried chicken with a delicious fried topping on top and sauce in the back

🕰️ Tour Length: 5 hours | 🌟 Rating: 5/5 stars (300+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Learn:
– Ayam bumbu (Balinese fried chicken)
– Tempe Manis (Fried tempeh with sweet sauce)
– Balinese vegetable soup

Check class prices and availability here!

If you want to learn to cook as many different types of Balinese food as possible, this is the cooking class for you!

This cooking class boasts the largest number of dishes they’ll teach you in a single class: an impressive nine dishes per class!

With so many dishes, you’re certain to find your new favorite Indonesian dish!

If you want to also learn a little more about Balinese culture, opt for the morning cooking class because it includes a market visit.

The afternoon class is still worthwhile, but the market is closed, so it’s impossible to combine a cooking class and a market visit in this way.

“Best experience ever. I really recommend doing the class in the morning youll never get to experience the local market like this without the tour” – Marina C.

Read more reviews here!

Note that since you learn to make so many dishes, this is a pretty jam-packed half-day cooking class.

It’s perfect for those really dedicated to learning Balinese cuisine and wanting to hone their cooking skills!

However, if you’re more of a casual cook and just want to learn a handful of traditional dishes, you may want to opt for a shorter cooking class in Bali.

3. Bali Paon Ubud Cooking Class

Minced chicken satay on bamboo skewers served on a leaf plate with cucumber and samba

🕰️ Tour Length: 5 hours | 🌟 Rating: 5/5 stars (70+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Learn:
– Opor ayam (chicken in coconut curry)
– Pepes ikan (steamed fish with spicy paste in banana leaves)
– Sate lilit Bali (minced chicken meat satay)

Check class availability and rates here!

For a more affordable Ubud cooking class, look for a group Balinese cooking class like this one.

You’ll learn to recreate all your Bali favorites while also visiting a local market to shop for the freshest ingredients (morning classes only).

While it’s not as intimate a setting as the private class on the family compound in the first tour listed, you’ll still get a chance to see a traditional Balinese home.

“I really enjoyed this experience, it was one of the favourite things I did on my visit to Bali. Visiting the market to understand the ingredients, and then going to a traditional Balinese house to cook in, which is set up in a class structure for cooking. The food we cooked was exceptional and I enjoy every part of this tour.” – Constance M.

Read more reviews here!

Mama Puspa, the host of this group Ubud cooking class, is jovial and welcoming, and she’ll quickly have you learning as much as you can in this half-day class.

That said, the downside of a larger group like this one is that you may not get to individually prepare each dish, since the dishes tend to be divvied up amongst the group.

However, for a fun group atmosphere perfect for solo travelers looking to meet other like-minded tourists, you’ll likely find that this is the ideal Ubud cooking class!

4. Farm-to-Table Ubud Cooking Class on Organic Farm

Traditional Indonesian gado gado, made of a mix of vegetables, tofu, egg, and served with a peanut sauce

🕰️ Tour Length: 6 hours | 🌟 Rating: 5/5 stars (30+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Make:
– Gado gado (freshly cooked veggies with peanut sauce)
– Satay lilit (chicken mince satay with bumbu bali spice paste)
– Black rice pudding (sticky rice with palm sugar and coconut milk)

Check availability for this Ubud cooking class here!

All of these Ubud cooking classes offer fresh, delicious Balinese dishes you’ll drool over long after your class ends.

But nothing is fresher then when the produce from its own organic farm is used for your cooking class in Ubud!

Plus, the farm is community-run, ensuring that the entirety of a local community gets to benefit from tourism.

Plus, this is one of the more vegetarian- and vegan-friendly Ubud cooking classes — you’ll be split into vegetarian and non-vegetarian groups, and even the veggie groups will have vegan adaptations.

“My husband and I are vegan and were a little apprehensive about doing this class, where some people might be cooking meat, over one that was fully vegan. However, the class was extremely vegan friendly – the group was split at the beginning into vegetarians and non-veg (about 2 thirds of the group of 12 were vegetarian), all meat prep was done in a different room before being cooked in a different part of the open air kitchen, and all vegetarian recipes had a vegan version!” – Louise B.

Read more reviews here!

This is the perfect cooking class if organic food and sustainable farming practices are just as interesting to you as learning to cook delicious meals.

You’ll get to pick your very own vegetables, plucked fresh from the garden, before learning to make six Indonesian dishes which vary by what’s fresh and in season.

You’ll even get to take home your very own recipe book so you can easily recreate the magic at home — a very thoughtful touch!

It’s a great way to spend an Ubud day trip!

5. Private Market Tour (with Photography) + Family Cooking Class

Fried vegetable fritters as part of a Ubud cooking class meal

🕰️ Tour Length: 5 hours | 🌟 Rating: 5/5 stars (80+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Make:
– Satay ayam (chicken skewers roasted over an open fire)
– Gado gado (freshly cooked veggies with peanut sauce)
– Bakwan sayur (fried mixed vegetable fritters)

Check class availability and prices here!

This tour is similar to other Ubud cooking classes that start with a market tour before bringing you into a family home to learn some Balinese classics.

However, this is a completely private class experience, making the cost a little higher than some other cooking classes, but not dramatically so.

The individualized attention and customization you can request is a great value-add for a minimalistic price increase.

Your host, Putu, will warmly welcome you and show you the ins and outs of a Balinese market, allowing you ample time to not only shop but stop and snap pictures of the market if you like.

“Putu was an wonderful, gracious host! Her family immediately made us feel welcome… The market tour was fascinating, trying new fruits, experiencing new scents, and watching daily Balinese life unfold. Both Putu and her cousin who helped with the cooking had good English and were able to easily communicate things about their culture and way of life.” – Kyle S.

Read more reviews here!

You and Putu will cook about 2-3 main dishes, so it’s more about in-detail quality education as opposed to churning out as many dishes as possible.

It’s a great choice to start small if longer, more intensive Ubud cooking classes are intimidating. 

It’s also shorter than other tours, with the cooking portion lasting a little under 2 hours.

If you’re looking for a starter, private cooking class in Ubud, this class should be your pick!

6. Private Multigenerational Compound Visit with Meal + Private Cooking Class

Balinese gado gado and rice at an Ubud cooking class

🕰️ Tour Length: 3 hours | 🌟 Rating: 5/5 stars (220+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Make:
– Gado gado (green veggies and peanut sauce)
– Tempe manis (sweet fried tempeh)
– Balinese vegetable soup

Check class availability and rates here!

Feel truly like part of a Balinese family when you join this Ubud cooking class in a multi-generational compound.

Compounds are a uniquely Balinese way of living, intertwined with culture and religion, and it’s not something every tourist gets to experience.

Mixing a private visit to a family compound with a private cooking class is an excellent way to see a different side to Bali that many people miss.

In between cooking, you can also tour the family temple and compound, seeing where they grow jackfruit, cacao, coffee, bananas, and more, as well as keeping their pigs, ducks, chickens, and cows.

“We had a wonderful night cooking with Putu in her home. Not only did we learn about traditional Balinese food, we learned about her family’s religion and Balinese culture… They were extremely welcoming and spoke great English. Our family of four had a private cooking lesson and we made five traditional Balinese dishes, followed by a huge dinner and local beers.” – Lori M.

Read more reviews here!

You’ll appreciate that everything is prepped and chopped for you before your arrival, so you can just focus on the fun cooking part and none of the prep work!

Once you make a meal — typically at least 5 dishes — your host, Putu and her husband Pasta, their children, and her grandparents, will all join you for a delicious lunch or dinner in the compound.

You’ll also get to learn about traditional Balinese medicine that Putu makes called jamu, local alcohol made in Bali, and about her grandparents’ local rice farm nearby.

7. 4-Hour Balinese Cooking Class in Ubud

Balinese lilit sate with mixed veggies served on a banana leaf

🕰️ Tour Length: 4 hours | 🌟 Rating: 4.8/5 stars (120+ reviews) | 🥣 Book Now

Sample Dishes You’ll Make:
– Tahu kare (tofu curry with Balinese spices) 
– Lawar bali (mixed Balinese-style vegetables)
– Dadar galung (cake with coconut and palm sugar)

Check cooking class + tour availability and rates here!

Running short on time in Bali and you want don’t watn to spend all day in an Ubud cooking class?

This half-day 4-hour tour encompasses a morning market tour and a Balinese cooking class with veggie options available, all in a short amount of time.

You’ll cook Balinese classics ranging from sate lilit to ayam jamur soup to pepes tuna, depending on what’s fresh that day!

“We had the best morning, exploring the market and being introduced to ingredients… We got to eat everything at the end, our hosts were friendly and funny. One of the best experiences we’ve had so far!” – Claire

Read more reviews here!

This is the perfect tour for people with limited time in Bali who want to tackle as much as they can in a single, convenient outing.

And even with that short time, you’ll still be able to sample a surprising amount of dishes!

FAQs about Cooking Classes in Ubud

Is there a vegetarian or vegan option for the dishes?

Vegan prepared food in the Balinese tradition with typical Indonesian plating

Bali is an extremely vegetarian and vegan friendly destination, and many cooking classes will offer vegetarian versions on request.

Check each individual class to see if they specify whether vegan or vegetarian options are available.

This class most definitely caters to vegans and vegetarians, with a separate group always dedicated to plant-based travelers, and meat-eaters prepare their food in a separate area.

How much does a typical cooking class in Bali cost?

This depends where you visit in Bali — Ubud is generally cheaper than say, Seminyak or Canggu or Uluwatu.

The price of a cooking class in Ubud largely depends on how large the group is and if the tour offers something special, like a compound or farm visit.

Generally, the cheapest tours are around $25 per person and the priciest tours are about $75 per person.

Are private classes available?

chicken satay served in a wooden bowl with beautiful plating and detail of the appetizer

Definitely! There are private classes available if you prefer more individualized attention, usually for quite fair prices.

For example, this private cooking class is relatively inexpensive and also includes a compound visit and a chance to be welcomed into a traditional Balinese home.

This private cooking class is a little more pricy, but it also includes a market visit with chance for photography!

Are these cooking classes able to accommodate allergies or intolerances?

This will largely depend on class to class, and it’ll also depend on the severity of your allergy.

For example, peanuts are very popular in Balinese cuisine, so if you have a severe allergy to peanuts, it’s unlikely that these cooking classes will be a safe environment for you.

If you have celiac, you may be able to eat some of the dishes, but communicate well with your hosts regarding what gluten actually is and what ingredients (like soy sauce) have it.

Traditional Balinese Foods You Might Make

a blue tablecloth with a beautifully plated serving platter of different balinese dishes on it

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most famous Balinese dishes you might make on an Ubud cooking class.

  • Gado-Gado: Traditionally made with a mix of vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and sometimes boiled eggs, vegans can opt for a version without the eggs. The dish is drizzled with a tasty savory-sweet peanut sauce that is all-too-addicting.
  • Sate Lilit: This kebab-style dish is made of minced meat (typically fish or chicken). The meat is mixed with grated coconut, coconut milk, lime leaves, and spices. Then, it’s wrapped around bamboo sticks and grilled.
a smattering of different balinese dishes
  • Soto Ayam: This flavorful chicken soup is made with turmeric so that it’s a beautifully sunny yellow color. It’s served with rice, vermicelli, and a variety of garnishes.
  • Pepes Ikan: Fish, typically tuna or something else locally caught, is wrapped in banana leaves with a blend of herbs and spices, then it is either steamed or grilled.
  • Ayam Pelalah: Shredded chicken is seasoned with chili, lime leaves, and other spices for a tasty chicken salad-like dish.
mortar and pestle with balinese food being prepared in the center
  • Nasi Goreng: Indonesian fried rice, typically made with egg cut into ribbons, vegetables, and a protein of choice, often chicken or tofu.
  • Pisang Goreng: For something sweet, the quintessential Balinese desert is fried bananas. It’s naturally vegan, simply made by frying banana slices in a batter until crispy

2 Day Ubud Itinerary: Visiting Bali’s Spiritual Hub in Two Days

For the traveler in search of the perfect Balinese getaway, Ubud just might be the perfect destination.

It’s the cultural and spiritual hub of Bali, and there’s just so much to explore, you’re bound to fall in love. 

Art museums, waterfall hikes through lush jungles, and beautiful infinity pools give you so many options to fill your days and make your stay unforgettable. 

If you only have a couple days in Ubud to explore, the 2-day Ubud itinerary in this post is your short and sweet guide to get a little bit of everything! 

I’ve lived in Bali for almost two years now, and during that time, I’ve visited and shown visiting friends around Ubud countless times. Now it’s your turn!

Day One of Your Ubud Itinerary

Start your day with a walk in nature. 

Sunrise in the Campuhan Ridge Walk area of Ubud, bali, with the sky softly lit up in pastel shades as the day breaks

The lovely Campuhan Ridge Walk is popular with locals and tourists alike, and once you set out and see Ubud’s natural beauty, you’re sure to see why.

Of course, it’s best to go early – this 2-kilometer trek has no protection from the sun, so you’ll want to go before the sun’s too fierce — or else be prepared to sweat!

The best part of this walk might be that it gives you a beautiful opportunity to see the jungle environment surrounding Ubud without venturing far from town. 

At the end of the path, you’ll start to see small shops and warungs (local restaurants serving Indonesian food) where you can stop to cool off and refuel with a quick bite before heading back the way you came. 

Grab brunch at Zest.

vegan tofu scramble with lots of fresh food like guacamole, sweet potato, mushroom, hummus

After you finish your journey into nature, head just across the street to one of Ubud’s trendiest cafes, Zest.

This vegan gem offers an extensive menu and drink list, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

If you think you’re not into vegan fare, trust me, Zest will change your mind.

With sushi, pizza, burgers, and rice bowls (all plant-based of course), Zest leaves everyone happy. 

If you want a drink this early in the morning (and hey, you are on vacation, right?), their passion fruit and arak cocktail is sure to put you in the island mood!

Enjoy a relaxing spa experience.

a foot bath and foot massage in a bath with flowers in bali

After a super active morning, it’s time to relax. Bali Botanica Day Spa is nearby and offers massages, body scrubs, flower baths, and more. 

The treatment rooms overlook a beautiful river, so you can keep on basking in the calming atmosphere of the jungle environment.

It’s not too far, either: it’s just a 3 minute drive, or an 18 minute walk from Zest. 

(Speaking of getting around Ubud: If you haven’t rented a motorbike of your own, you can call one easily through the Grab or Gojek apps!)

They specialize in Ayurvedic treatments, as well as traditional spa offerings for skin, hair, and nails.

With so many options, you can simply choose your favorite and embrace your bliss!

Enjoy dinner with a sunset view over the rice fields.

Rice terraces in Ubud surroundings at sunset on the island of Bali with bright sunburst and clouds gathering overhead

After your relaxing afternoon in the spa, it’ll probably be time for dinner, and Cafe Pomegranate is the perfect place to see a sunset over the rice fields. 

It’s located on a small street only accessible by foot or motorbike, so don’t plan to show up in a car. 

The food choices are varied and international, from Indian curry to tacos, but the real treat is the view! 

Explore a bit of the Ubud nightlife scene.

Man's hand serving an orange drink with crushed ice and mint

The nightlife scene in Ubud is much quieter than the beach towns of Canggu, Uluwatu, and Seminyak, which have clubs pumping into the early hours of the morning. 

Ubud does have a row of bars downtown, often featuring a band playing live music from around 8 PM to 10:30 or 11 PM, and things often close down completely by midnight. 

If you’re interested in hearing some music or just grabbing a drink and people watching, Laughing Buddha Bar, L.O.L. and No Mas are worth checking out. 

If you are up later than that and are looking for a local spot, Lovin is one of the few places open late, and they often have live music being performed as well.

Day Two of Your Ubud Itinerary

Visit Kanto Lampo Waterfall.

woman wearing a black bikini in front of a roaring waterfall called kanto lampo near ubud, indonesia

While it may seem like it’s not worth venturing out of town on such a short Ubud itinerary, hear me out.

If there is one nearby attraction worth leaving Ubud for, it has to be Kanto Lampo Waterfall.

This stunning area is perfect for a refreshing dip in the water or a killer Instagram shot. 

It’s about a 30-minute drive outside of Ubud (hire a Gojek or a Grab scooter or driver!), and you’ll have to pay a small fee to enter.

Make sure to bring your swimsuit!

stone face carved into a cave entryway, guarded by two figures, at the goa gajah temple in bali, indonesia not far from ubud and its waterfalls

There are a couple other waterfalls nearby, as well as the Goa Gajah Temple.

If you are interested in exploring other attractions in the area and you’ve got time to spare, you can absolutely make a day of it.

Just hire a driver for the day (ask at your accommodations for a good recommendation!).

Alternately, have a morning swim at Titi Batu Ubud Club.

coconut with paper straw and gardenia flower near a pool

If you don’t feel up for a morning drive, don’t worry. You can still start your day off with a swim by visiting Titi Batu Ubud Club

Complete with a giant pool and gym facilities (priced separately), you can lounge in the sun with a book or use their free Wifi to catch up on some e-mails and social media.

The in-house restaurant serves delicious smoothie bowls and sandwiches, and they even have a sauna! 

Have an Indonesian lunch.

purple rice with other indonesian foods at a local warung (indonesian food eatery)

After you get back to town, you can stop in for lunch at Urban Jungle Cafe and enjoy some local Indonesian eats — check out their special purple nasi goreng

Located above a tattoo parlor with the same owner, Urban Jungle is a friendly community spot with good vibes all around. 

Explore Ubud’s excellent art scene and Ubud Market.

Ubud Market with a woman preparing the island's trademark offerings with orange, pink, purple, white flowers and rice

No matter how you choose to spend your morning, let’s head to look at some art after lunch. 

Tonyraka Art Lounge is a modern gallery with constantly changing exhibitions housed in a lovely cozy setting.

Take some time here to admire different artwork and handicrafts before enjoying a warm cup of tea in their back garden. 

While you’re downtown, stop in at Ubud Market to see the many souvenirs and stalls to browse, or just wander around. Do bring cash and expect to haggle!

Have a delicious dinner, one of two ways.

vegan food in ubud with beautiful plating

Let’s switch it up for dinner and head to Kebun Bistro. It’s easily walkable from the market and serves a European menu with a great wine list. 

From Spanish tapas to French and Italian mains, everything on the menu is delicious.

If you’re in a group, I highly suggest trying to convince them to order a few things for the table and sharing. 

Since the space is fashioned after a European courtyard, you’re sure to forget you’re in Asia. Be sure to leave room for dessert – the pâtisserie offerings are to die for. 

If you’re more in the mood for a health retreat than a decadent French bistro (which is totally understandable), Sayuri Healing Food is a popular spot for plant-based meals that are as tasty as they are good for you. 

They also host community events such as Bahasa language classes and kirtan chanting on different nights, and you can choose to sit at traditional tables or on pillows or mats on the floor.  


Ubud has so much to do and see, and this itinerary has barely scratched the surface.

If you have the time, there’s more than enough to fill a week or even longer with rice terrace walks, yoga classes, and so much delicious food. 

I hope you enjoy this two day itinerary for Ubud, and that these couple of days in Ubud are the perfect way to kickstart your Indonesian adventure!

2 Day Canggu Itinerary: A Quick Introduction to Bali’s Nomad Paradise [2023]

surfboards for rent on a canggu beach in bali

Travelers and digital nomads in search of a ultra-hip hot spot in Bali need look no further than Canggu, on the west coast of Bali. 

It’s located just 40 minutes north of the airport, making it the perfect hub for travelers. 

What will you find in Canggu? All the fun and buzz you could hope for, right in the middle of the party paradise of Bali. 

But don’t worry! Even with all that going on, we still lead pretty relaxed lives here! 

What truly made me fall in love with Canggu was the fact that there’s  endless options and opportunities, whatever your interest or mood might be.

rice field landscape in canggu bali with lots of buildings around it for cafes and other shopping opportunities

Need to unwind and recenter yourself with some meditation and yoga? You’re in the right place.

More in the mood to sweat it out at a boxing gym and live the excitement of attending a Fight Night? Canggu’s got you covered. 

How about salsa dancing, board game cafés, and high-end co-working spaces? Yep, you guessed it, it’s all here. 

To top it all off, you’ll have no shortage of great places to eat during your stay, as Canggu is full of top-quality restaurants from every cuisine imaginable. 

I’ve spent the last 2 years living in Bali and I’m so happy that Canggu is the place I get to call home. So, keep reading, and let me show you with this Canggu itinerary.

Day One of Your Canggu Itinerary

Wake up with yoga.

view of several people in a yoga clas in bali with views of nature outside in an open-air studio

As you probably know, yoga is one of the top reasons people come to visit Bali.

Even if a whole spiritual retreat isn’t exactly your thing, check out a class or two at Samadi Wellness Community

The class you take will depend, of course, on the day and your personal preferences, so check their website for a fully updated schedule to see all the options.

Personally, I love starting my Tuesdays and Thursdays with Abdi’s chakra flow class. 

This beautiful space hosts many daily classes in the shala, and features an outdoor cafe as well as two stores with yoga apparel and grocery products. 

Grab a coconut after class and you might even see some chickens walking around the property!

Samadi also hosts a Sunday market with different shopping stalls, as well as monthly events such as tea ceremonies and ecstatic dance, so be sure to check that calendar when planning your stay! 

Have a delicious breakfast at Front Cafe.

breakfast in bali with french toast and bananas

For a fantastic breakfast, head on over to the nearby neighborhood of Pererenan, just a quick 5 minute motorbike ride away.

This area slightly north of Canggu has some incredible cafes and restaurants, and is quieter than busy Batu Bolong and Berawa streets. 

Front is a little bit tucked away, but this little hidden gem with great coffee and breakfast fare is absolutely worth a visit.

They close up shop around 3 in the afternoon, so be sure to come in the morning to enjoy their offerings! 

Whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast burrito or a smoothie bowl, they’ve got you covered with their tasty fare.

Bonus perks include fast WiFi (perfect for those of us who work online!), and some of the best coffee in Canggu. 

Receive a blessing at Tanah Lot Temple.

Ocean view of Tanah Lot temple in Canggu area of Bali, which has the temple set literally on an island in the ocean, with waves receding around low tide

Since you’re already up in Pererenan, let’s keep going a bit further north to experience Tanah Lot Temple – a traditional Balinese temple literally situated in the ocean. 

Be sure to check the tides before you visit (this is a good resource) and plan your trip for low tide so you can walk out to the small island. 

As a sign of respect, remember to cover your shoulders and legs with a sarong.

Then, cross the sea to the temple grounds and receive a blessing by a local priest!

Have lunch at Zali.

traditional lebanese food like a chicken wrap with hummus

Let’s stop off again in Pererenan on the way back from Tanah Lot for a meal at Zali

This Lebanese fusion place has a delicious array of small plates and mezze, as well as larger portions for when you’re really hungry.

The hummus and babaghanoush are highly recommended by me!

I once had a friend visit me in Bali, and after our first meal here, he loved this restaurant so much, he ate there almost every day!

Unwind at a local spa.

a foot bath and foot massage in a bath with flowers in bali

The incredible Amo Spa is a favorite destination to unwind in the Canggu area. 

This beautiful building is home to experts in massage, hair care, nails, waxing, facials and more. You can even get a tarot reading here! 

All the massages are done in private, comfortable rooms with your choice of scented oil for ultimate relaxation.

It’s my absolute favorite place to go on the island for a treatment! 

Amo also has a sauna and ice bath downstairs that you can purchase a day pass to, plus a cafe serving healthy and delicious meals and snacks so you can really take your time and unwind. 

Have a delicious dinner at a local warung.

food at a balinese cafe with beautiful portions

The tasty Warung Sika is just up the road for some local Indonesian food sure to please both your stomach and your wallet. 

You can order off the menu, or I recommend going up to the counter and trying a few different things behind the glass for a well balanced meal.

Just point at what looks good to fill your plate, and you’ll get some rice to go with it!

Go out for drinks and dancing.

Man's hand serving an orange drink with crushed ice and mint

The nightlife scene in Canggu is pretty popular, so there’s a lot to choose from. A good bet to start the night is Black Sands Brewery

This casual but trendy spot is the perfect place to meet friends to catch up or maybe even play a card game.

It’s open-air, mostly outside, and the spacious setting is perfect for a relaxed night out. 

They also serve food in case you need a snack, and are open until 12. 

If you want to go to a proper club for some dancing, Vault is a fun one!

It’s located in Berawa underground in an old converted bank vault, hence the name. 

On Wednesdays and Saturdays they play hip hop, and Fridays are for house and techno, so no matter what your preference is, you’re bound to hear something that’ll get your body moving. 

Day Two of Your Canggu Itinerary

Take a beach walk or a surf lesson.

Surfers of all abilities play in the warm waters of Batu Balong, Bali

Canggu is on the west coast, which means lots of beaches and lots of surf.

While these beaches aren’t the best for swimming with the waves crashing close to the shore, they are great for taking a walk or learning to surf. 

You can head down to the shore to take a lesson!

You can easily rent a board and find an instructor willing to teach you the basics. It’s one of the most popular pastimes in Canggu after all.

Batu Bolong Beach is usually the most popular for beginner’s surfing in this area, while Berawa is a bit quieter. 

Seaweed Restaurant on the beachfront is a great place to chill on a beanbag with a coconut for a front row seat to the surfing action — but don’t eat yet, because one of my favorite Bali restaurants is next up!

Have brunch at Milu by Nook.

Smoothie bowl served inside of a coconut bowl with mango and strawberry and seeds and coconut shreds in Bali

Did all that surfing (or surf-watching) leave you hungry? Milu by Nook is sure to cure you of that! 

They have a range of different cuisines, from local favorites to lots of Western dishes, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. I love their pulled pork sandwich and their bahn mi! 

The scenery is beautiful as well. If you sit outside, there’s a lovely green garden area sure to brighten your day. 

Check out a famous beach club.

potato head beach club in bali area

One of the big draws in the Canggu area are the beach clubs.

Sunset time is the best to see a beautiful view over the water, but they are also popular for relaxing by the pool during the day or partying in the evening. 

Located in nearby Seminyak, one of the most popular options is the upscale Potato Head Beach Club.

Drinks are pricy here, but they’re delicious, and the amenities are great.

When it comes to beach clubs in Canggu, Finn’s Beach Club on Berawa Beach is probably the most famous. There are multiple pools to swim in, while you eat, drink, and relax.

If you want a sun bed to lounge on, there is a minimum spend, so it’s best to go with a few friends to share the cost.

But don’t worry — you use this charge on their delicious sushi and cocktails, or anything else on their menu. 

La Brisa is another beach club up the coast in Echo Beach.

The design is stunning, an old wooden boat theme with low lighting.

La Brisa is a bit calmer than the flashy Finn’s. They also host a Sunday Market here every week with nice shopping!

If you like to stay up on the latest trends, Atlas Beach Club is for you.

This new addition to the Berawa coastline is the biggest beach club in the area and brand new.

They host a kecak fire dance every evening at 6, so you can experience some traditional Balinese culture in between DJ sets. 

Whichever beach club you decide to check out, cheers to a beautiful sunset over the waves of the Bali Sea!

Enjoy dinner on the sand.

bali warung food with shrimp chips and a noodle stir fry with egg

With a sunset view like this, why would you want to leave? Times Beach Warung on Echo Beach is a great spot for a bite. 

It’s a great middle ground, with relaxed beach vibes (you can keep your toes in the sand if you choose, or hop up into their covered deck area) and a nice menu.

I always enjoy their fish of the day. You can people-watch (and dog-watch) and soak in the beauty of the area.

2 Days in Uluwatu Itinerary: How to Maximize Your Time!

a beach in uluwatu bali with surfers enjoying the waves on a sunny day

If you’re visiting Bali, a trip to the southern Bukit peninsula, commonly known as Uluwatu, is an absolute must! 

The area is quite spread out, so I definitely recommend renting a motorbike if you’re comfortable driving or hiring a driver for the day — it can be really inexpensive in Bali. 

Located about an hour south of popular digital nomad and travel destinations like Canggu and Ubud, Uluwatu is the perfect place to escape for the weekend and truly relax. 

the view of uluwatu temple during the daytime on the cliffside with beautiful beach below it, characteristic of the uluwatu landscape you'll see on this uluwatu itinerary.

I’ve been living in Bali for over two years now, and Uluwatu is one of my favorite destinations.

Let me show you around a perfect two day Uluwutu itinerary, including all my favorite spots as someone who has named Bali their new home.

Day One of Your Uluwatu Itinerary: Beaches & Pool Clubs

Suluban surf beach in Uluwatu, watching surfers tackle the waves and several other surfers patiently waiting their turn in the water, with cliff with tree on it in the background.

The first day of this Uluwatu itinerary is a beach day, of course.

That’s why everyone comes to Uluwatu, after all!

Whether your style is hitting the waves all day on a surfboard or you prefer relaxing on the sand, Uluwatu beaches are sure to deliver a perfect day out in Bali.

Here’s how I recommend you line up your first day in Uluwatu.  

Fuel up for the day with brunch at Drifter Cafe.

Brunch with banana french toast at an Uluwatu cafe

After the drive south to Uluwatu, you’re sure to want to grab a bite!

Drifter Cafe has classic Uluwatu vibes, chill and surfer-friendly, with an attached shop if you want to peruse books for the beach or a crystal necklace to remember your stay. 

Enjoy perfectly brewed Sumatran coffee (from a neighboring Indonesian island) and one of their great plant-based or pescatarian meals.

This is the perfect spot to kick back and relax with some people-watching while you wait for your meal. 

My personal favorites are the mushroom burger and the mahi mahi tacos, but they also serve breakfast all day, so you’re sure to find something to hit the spot! 

Soak up the sun at Padang Padang Beach.

white sanad beach with turquoise and blue waters, a few people swimming in the waters and rocky cliffs and rock formations on the beach for visual interest on a sunny day on an uluwatu itinerary

Uluwatu is known for having the best beaches on the island, so how can you know which one to choose for your ideal beach hang? 

Padang Padang Beach, made famous by the ubiquitously-referenced movie Eat Pray Love, is a favorite with good surf and plenty of space to relax. 

You’ll even get the chance to see monkeys here!

Just make sure to hold on to your phone and sunglasses, since the monkeys are attracted to shiny things! 

There are even vendors on the beach, so you won’t have to go far when you’re in need of a sarong to lie down on or a cold Bintang beer (a local favorite). 

You’ll have to pay a small fee to enter, and there’s a fair amount of steps you’ll have to go down to reach the beach.

This is quite common in Uluwatu because of the cliffs, compared to the flatter land up north. 

The beautiful white sands and blue waters of the idyllic Dreamland Beach on Bali in a sunny day with some patchy clouds in the sky. Not too many people on the beach.

If you are mobility-limited or looking for somewhere without a fee, check out Dreamland Beach about 10 minutes north, another favorite of mine. 

This beach is also popular amongst surfers so it’s a great place to lay down your beach towel and watch surfers tackle the famous Uluwatu waves.

It’s also a great beach to get an inexpensive massage, and there are plenty of small vendors set up along the beach in case you want to purchase any drinks or snacks for your beach day.

Enjoy pool time and drinks at Single Fin.

an aerial view of single fin beach club and bar with a pool on the water and a drinks area

Sunset in Bali is something of a big event, especially in Uluwatu.

Everyone flocks to the coast to secure a good spot and a refreshing coconut (or cocktail) to enjoy with the gorgeous views. 

Sure, you could stay at the beach, but by this time you’re probably getting hungry, so let’s head to the famous Single Fin!

Located a mere 8 minute drive down the coast from Padang 2, Single Fin is one of my favorite sunset spots.

If you’re looking for the perfect view, it’s a good idea to head over a little earlier to secure a seat — this place gets quite crowded!

single fin sunset beach bar in bali with sunset in front of the empty area

Of course, there’s a swimming pool, in proper beach club fashion, but the vibe is more relaxed than that of other popular beach clubs Savaya or Potato Head

There’s a nicer restaurant hidden on the very top floor, which is my personal favorite secluded sunset spot — this is a great place to have dinner in Uluwatu too.

However, if you’re feeling up for more of a lively atmosphere, grab a drink and join the crowd along the bar facing the ocean. 

It’s always fun to watch the surfers from here!

Even better, if you’re there on a Sunday, the bar area turns into a dance floor with a DJ for one of the best parties in the Bukit. 

Day Two of Your Uluwatu Itinerary: Rejuvenation and Culture

the path leading to the uluwatu temple perched on a cliff with beautiful lighting on the ocean

Uluwatu is a calmer part of the island, so people come here to relax and treat themselves to a bit of pampering.

Today, our Uluwatu itinerary is all about relaxing and taking in the culture: having a spa day followed by an epic evening of culture!

Let’s get to it!

Take a spa day in Uluwatu.

woman receiving a back massage at a bali spa with flowers in the background

One of the best spots to do this is The Istana, a wonderful spa in Uluwatu!

While they also offer unique experiences like hyperbaric chambers and cryotherapy, The Istana is known for their spa packages.

These package deals include a treatment but also give you access to their top-notch saunas, ice baths, and an infinity pool with an absolutely breathtaking view of the ocean. 

It’s got to be seen to be believed – just remember to book ahead!

a foot bath and foot massage in a bath with flowers in bali

As an alternative, if you’d prefer a more personalized spa treatment, I definitely recommend OURS Spa.

Here you’ll find more traditional spa offerings, like massage, nails, Olaplex hair treatments, and more. 

I can honestly say this is one of the best massages I’ve had on the island, and as a former massage therapist, I’ve tried quite a few!

Have a delicious lunch and one of the best infinity pool views at oneeighty°.

The Instagram-famous spot called The Edge which is the infinity pool of One Eighty Day club in the Uluwatu part of Bali.

For an epic way have lunch before the next item on our Uluwatu itinerary, have lunch and take a swim break at the epic oneeighty°, a clifftop day club with views to die for.

With an infinity pool more than 150 meters (500 feet) above the ocean, this isn’t necessarily one for those with a fear of heights.

But for those who love an epic view, your jaw will drop at the glass-bottom sky-pool, which extends out 6 meters (20 feet) from the cliff edge to give you eye-watering views of the Uluwatu coastline.

This day club in Uluwatu is ultra-popular, so you’ll want to book at least 3 days in advance.

You can book a regular day pass online here!

Regular admission is 500,000 IDR ($32.50 USD) for a 4-hour stay with access to the pools and amenities, which includes 400,000 IDR credit towards food and drinks.

If you’re traveling with friends and want to splurge, you can book a cabana for the day.

It costs 4,500,000 IDR ($292 USD, or $73 USD per person) for up to 4 guests.

Of that, 2,000,000 IDR ($130 USD) can be used as credit towards food and drinks.

It also includes welcome granitas for everyone, free-flowing water and cold towels, a bottle of imported wine (and it’s hard — not to mention expensive! — to find good wine in Bali!) with oysters and salmon canapés on the house.

If you want to book the fancy cabana option, book on the official website.

Enjoy Uluwatu Temple at sunset followed by a fire dance.

orange sky and uluwatu temple framed against the setting sun with some clouds remaining in the pastel orange sky

One of the must-sees in Uluwatu is the temple, of course!

Most people get (understandably!) excited about the prospect of seeing the traditional kecak fire dance and arrive around sunset. 

That’s exactly what I did my first time there too – but after the show, the sun had set, and I wasn’t able to explore the temple! 

Lucky for you, you get to learn from my mistake, and arrive earlier in the afternoon.

This tour includes time to visit the Uluwatu Temple as well as tickets to the fire dance, which can often sell out if you wait to buy them in person.

This way, you’ll have time to marvel at the temple’s beauty, watch the sunset over the cliffs, and still get to see the marvelous kecak dance.

Note: There are monkeys here as well, so have your camera at the ready and a tight grip on your phone. 

A group of tourists watching a show at the stunning cliffside Uluwatu Temple where locals perform the traditional Kecak Fire Dance in Uluwatu, Bali -- a must on any Uluwatu itinerary!

The famous kecak fire dance at Uluwatu Temple is nothing short of mesmerizing, a vibrant testament to Bali’s rich history and culture that sets it apart from other parts of Indonesia.

As the sun disappears for the day, painting the sky in vibrant colors as it says goodbye, the historic Uluwatu Temple gets ready to come to life.

At the kecak dance, you’ll watch as men clad in traditional sarongs form circles around a ceremonial fire, chanting”cak, cak, cak,” in a hypnotic rhythm.

Amidst this trance-like chorus, a tale from the Ramayana (a Sanskrit epic, a nod to Bali’s Hindu beliefs) unfolds.

Dancers in ornate costumes and makeup portray characters like Rama, Sita, Hanuman, and most entertaingly, the demon king Ravana, telling a story of love, abduction, and the pursuit of good over evil.

The ceremonial fire in the center becomes an integral part of the narrative, and at one point, a dancer even dances amidst the flames and coals.

As darkness of night sets in, the intensity of the performance reaches its climax during a dramatic confrontation between Rama and Ravana.

Finally, as the tale reaches its end, the chants gradually diminish, leaving the audience in quiet awe of what they witnessed.

Enjoy dinner, dancing, and drinks at Hatch Bar.

hand serving a cocktail

Uluwatu used to be known as a sleepy side of the island, with amazing beaches but not much else to do after sunset.

This is starting to change due to new bars and music venues popping up since the pandemic. 

Hatch Bar has psychedelic-themed colorful decor and is one of the few places in the Bukit playing music until 2 AM.

Latin music and dancing is on Saturdays – don’t worry if you’re not a pro, it’s just as fun to watch as well! 

The other nights have other music themes, so be sure to check their website for the current line up.  

If you’re not looking to get your groove on, Ulu Garden is a chill cafe surrounded by twinkling string lights and lots of greenery for you to grab a bite in a calmer setting. 

12 Best Day Trips From Ubud

Bali is a paradisiacal holiday destination filled with unbelievable sights; gushing waterfalls, palm-tree-lined beaches, and luxurious resorts.

Ubud, the spiritual capital of the island, is a popular place to visit in Bali.

Plus, it’s also really easy to travel around from Ubud, since it has a fairly central location on the island.

Whether you want to visit Sanur or Seminyak, there are lots of easy day trip destinations within reach.

While there are many activities to do in Ubud, holidayers should also get out of Ubud to see some of the more untouched regions of Bali. Its central location makes it perfect for epic Bali day trips!

So make like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love and make Ubud your base for day trips in Bali. Here are the 12 best day trips from Ubud.

Best Day Trips From Ubud

Tegallalang Rice Terraces and Tirta Empul

Tagallalang Rice Terraces are a must-see in Bali and the perfect place to visit if you’re an avid Instagrammer. The terraces are filled with lush greenery and palm trees which create a picturesque backdrop to your photos.

There is a cafe here which is a great spot to stop at for some specialty coffees. Entry into the terraces is 15,000 IDR.

Tegallalang is home to the infamous Bali swings. Take part in this unique experience swinging into the canyon. There are also massive bird nests to fit groups of people for photo opportunities. Entry into the terraces and to ride the swing will cost 500,000 IDR.

Batu Bolong Beach and Tanah Lot

Canggu is one of my favorite places in Bali, and in recent years, has gained recognition as the place for expats, surfers, and budget travelers. The two most popular things to do in Canggu are hanging out on Batu Bolong Beach and visiting Tanah Lot Temple.

Batu Bolong Beach is the place to go if you want to surf. There are calmer parts of Batu Bolong Beach, making it a very popular spot to learn how to surf. Lining the beach, you’ll see many surfboard hire stalls, most of which will offer lessons for all abilities.

If surfing isn’t quite your thing, Finn’s Beach Club is a relaxing way to spend your time in Canggu. This top spot has four pools, luxurious sun loungers, and the best cocktails.

If you get hungry, there are some great restaurants in Canggu – the food scene in Canggu is top-notch. There is a huge selection of smoothie bowls, plant-based foods, warungs (traditional casual Indonesian restaurants), and more. 

Tanah Lot Temple is one of the best places to view the sunset on the island. This sacred temple is perched atop a small mountain, surrounded by the sea. Entry is 60,000 IDR, which is only possible during low tide.

Aling-Aling Waterfalls

The Aling-Aling Waterfalls is one of the best places to visit in Bali for adrenaline junkies, and it’s one of the hidden gems in Bali if you want to avoid crowds. The waterfalls are seen on a half-day hike which will take you to up to seven waterfalls. 

Cliff jumpers drop up to 35 meters in the water! If this seems a little too daring for you, there are a couple of lower drops, at five and 15 meters. It is recommended to take a guide with you to show you the safer places to jump, but the waterfalls are commonly done as a self-guided tour as there are adequate sign-posting and pathways. 

The easiest way to visit Aling-Aling is to book a shared tour online which will include return transport and a guide at the waterfalls.

Munduk Waterfalls and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Munduk is an underrated region of Bali. Munduk contrasts the popular hotspots in Bali in the number of tourists – in the few days we stayed here, we barely saw any tourists! 

There are plenty of exciting things to do in Munduk. The best attractions in Munduk are their waterfalls. There’s a half-day trek to explore their four waterfalls, either guided or self-guided through averagely marked paths. 

The best place to start is at Melanting Cottages. First, you’ll come across Labuhan Kebo Waterfall which will be deep enough to swim in during the wet season. Then, head to Red Coral and Melanting (my favourite of the four). The last waterfall on the hike is Golden Valley Waterfall, where you can dine at a cafe with a view.

After your hike, head to the neighbouring town of Bedugul for one of the most spectacular temples in Bali. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is commonly photographed and is used by Bali tourism board to promote tourism to the island.

The temple ‘floats’ in Beratan Lake surrounded by gorgeous red flowers and manicured gardens. Entrance into the temple grounds will cost 50,000 IDR.

Mt Batur Sunrise Trek

Trekking Mt Batur was my favorite Bali experience. The views at the summit of the active volcano were breathtaking, and it was such a rewarding morning. We were picked up from Ubud at 2:30 am, then at around 4 am we started climbing the mountain with our guide. It took us around 70 minutes to climb to the top.

When we reached the summit, our guide even made us sandwiches, a hot drink, and a banana. The sandwiches contained egg which had been boiled in volcanic steam! After that climb, the warm drink and food were all we needed. 

As for the difficulty of the hike, this would be suitable for almost anyone. We saw people of all ages hiking. The hike, albeit challenging, isn’t too long. The part that makes the hike difficult is that it is steep and rocky, which may not fare well with those nursing lower limb injuries. 

If you’re lucky like we were, the sky may be clear enough for you to see Mt Rinjani on Lombok, the neighboring island to Bali.

Sekumpul Waterfalls

Sekumpul is another set of waterfalls perfect for cliff jumping. It is located in Northern Bali, relatively close to Aling-Aling. These waterfalls are grand and absolutely massive. As well as cliff jumping, there are areas where you can go rock sliding too.

There are tours that visit both Sekumpul and Aling-Aling waterfalls in one day, but I would recommend choosing one of the two. The treks and times at the waterfalls will feel quite rushed in order to fit in both waterfalls, including transport time in between.

Nusa Penida Island

Some of the most stunning views in Bali can be seen from Nusa Penida Island. 

The most common route is the west coast of the island. The first stop will be Kelingking Beach, with the iconic view of the cliff shaped like a t-rex. Then, make your way to Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach which are both within walking distance of each other. The last stop of the day will be Crystal Bay for snorkelling, swimming, and relaxing on the beach with a cold beer.

Either hire a driver for the day or hire a scooter if you’re a confident driver. This will allow you to see the sights of the island.

To get to Nusa Penida, head to the port in Sanur. The port at Sanur Beach will feature a row of stalls with all the ferry companies. Choose a reputable company and buy your tickets there. Doing so will save you money – a return ticket should cost 300,000 IDR, whereas online, you could pay up to double this amount.

Bear in mind Nusa Penida gets very crowded from 10:30 am onwards. For this reason, take the earliest ferry possible. Some companies leave as early as 7:30 am.

Tukad Cepung and Sidemen

As if a waterfall wasn’t spectacular enough, Tukad Cepung is a waterfall inside a cave, with sunlight passing through to create light shafts. Located less than an hour away from Ubud, it’s definitely worth a trip. 

If you’re looking for a waterfall to swim in, this one definitely isn’t for you. We made this mistake as the water is only mid-calf deep, but it did make for a great photo spot.

The walk to get to the waterfall doesn’t take too long at around 10 minutes. There are steps and a small river to cross, so bring sandals or water shoes.

Time your visit between 9 am and 10 am, as this is when you’ll find see the sunlight peeking into the cave. It also isn’t so busy at this time, you’ll only have to wait five minutes or so for a photo.

Sidemen is a town just 30 mins further from the waterfall. This is another hidden gem with a rice field, vibrant markets and some great Indonesian cuisine. You could easily spend a few hours here exploring the town in a less touristed part of Bali.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bali: Pakerisan Valley, Taman Ayun Temple, and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are located in central Bali, in between Ubud and Munduk.

The rice fields are impressive, extending as far as the eye can see, and the mountains backdrop the rice fields perfectly. There are multiple walking tracks at Jatiluwih, all of varying distances. The shortest walk is just over one kilometre, where the longest of the walk is around five kilometres.

My favorite part of visiting Jatiluwih is the lack of people. Due to its location, Jatiluwih isn’t a huge tourist attraction, which means you can walk through the terraces almost without seeing another soul. 

Entry costs 40,000 IDR.

Taman Ayun and Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest

Taman Ayun Temple is another one of Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is located just half an hour from Ubud Town. Built in the 17th Century, there are similarities in the buildings to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, which was completed around the same time period. The temple belongs to the Mengwi Royalty.

A moat and trimmed gardens encircle the temple, which make for a great place to go on a walk. Like all Hindu temples in Bali, make sure to dress appropriately, covering your knees and shoulders. Sarongs are available at the entrance if needed.

Entry into the temple is 20,000 IDR.

 Drive further west for 20 minutes to reach Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest. This monkey forest is similar to that in Ubud Town, but a lot less touristed. The forest also contains a temple named Pura Dalem Kahyangan Kedaton.

You’ll find the long-tailed macaques there. They’re quite docile here, but they still have a spark of cheekiness. Remember to keep your belongings secure. If possible, put your sunglasses, hats, and drink bottles in your bag. 
Entrance into the monkey forest will cost you 50,000 IDR.

Tegenungan Waterfall and Hidden Canyon

Tegenungan Waterfall is one of the closest waterfalls to Ubud, at only 30 minutes from the main town. It’s a great place for a dip. The water is a little murkier than some of the waterfalls in Northern Bali, but it’s still a perfectly safe place to swim. There will usually be a guard on duty to ensure you don’t get too close to the waterfall itself which is quite powerful.

The walk down to the waterfall will only take around five minutes. There is an iconic Bali swing here, as well as a cafe for food.

Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang is only around 15 minutes from Tegenungan, so visiting these locations in one day works well. It isn’t quite a hidden gem of Bali anymore, but it is much less busy than some of the major tourist attractions. 

You’ll be doing a lot of climbing, walking and wading through water, so bring appropriate shoes. Water shoes are your best bet but sandals with grip should suffice. A local guide will accompany you to guide you around the canyon.

Entrance fees start at 200,000 IDR, but are heavily discounted with the more people there are in your group.

Bias Tugel Beach

Located just one hour away from Ubud is a little piece of paradise. Bias Tugel Beach features turquoise waters, white sand, and black volcanic rock.

This small stretch of beach is an excellent place to go for a day-long getaway. It’ll only take a couple of minutes to walk down to the bay, which is a nice change from some of the beaches in Bali like Suluban Beach and Tegal Wangi Beach.

The water is crystal clear for snorkelling and exploring the marine life. The calmer the water on the day, the more fish you will see.

Head to the local warungs nearby for an authentic Balinese lunch.

About the Author

Delilah is a travel blogger making her way around the world. Follow her adventures on her travel blog, Instagram and Pinterest.

Bali Packing List: What to Pack for Bali (In Rainy or Dry Season)

Packing for a trip to Bali is pretty easy, but having spent 6 weeks traveling on this gorgeous island, once in rainy season and once in dry season, I’ve got a few opinions on what you need to bring to Bali. The biggest variable when it comes to deciding what should be on your Bali packing list is the time of year. Being a tropical country, Bali doesn’t have a summer or winter, but rather a wet and dry season.

From May to September, it is dry season, and you can expect gorgeous sunny skies and humid weather. My first trip to Bali was during dry season and it was some of the most perfect weather I’ve ever experienced in my life: humid without that feeling that you’re steaming in your own skin the way I felt in Bangkok and Singapore, just a bit breezy, and barely a speck of rain. If you have the ability to travel to Bali any time of year, the dry season is definitely the best.

Most of the year, though, is the rainy season, from October to April roughly. Despite the name, the rainy season is actually still a pretty pleasant time of year to travel to Bali, so you shouldn’t let that discourage you. In fact, my most recent monthlong trip to Bali was entirely in the rainy season. While there were a few all-day downpours, they were few in number. Generally, I found that mornings were generally really sunny, and there would be an epic rain or thunderstorm around 4 PM, usually clearing up by around 6 PM for a killer sunset.

So, by all means, definitely consider traveling to Bali during the rainy season, but I’d allow yourself more time and flexibility in your schedule to account for the rain. And be sure to pack properly for the weather.

Here’s everything you need to know about what to pack for Bali:

What to Pack Everything In

This is the most important part, in my opinion. If you are traveling through a few different parts of Bali you will likely prefer a well-designed travel backpack to a rolling suitcase, especially if you are planning any onward travel to places like the Gili Islands (highly recommended) or other islands of Indonesia. Sidewalks aren’t common in Bali and if you have to move from one place to another, a suitcase can be annoying.

However, keep in mind that there really isn’t much in the way of public transportation in Bali – everyone gets around in cabs or Ubers, or rents their own scooter for a portion of the trip. So, that said, if all you have is a rolling suitcase and you don’t see using a backpack in the future, disregard my backpack recommendation and just bring your suitcase — you’ll be okay.

  • Travel Backpack (carry on size or check-in size): I always use my Tortuga Backpack (I have the Setout version) for carry-on travel, even when I travel long-term.
  • Packing Cubes: While you can go either with a backpack or rolling suitcase when packing for Bali, I do have strong opinions about packing cubes being 100% necessary. It helps you organize your clothing and makes opening your backpack or suitcase a little less terrifying. Pretty much any set of packing cubes will work: you just need ones with a rectangular shape and a zipper. I personally use these packing cubes and love them. If you must, some gallon size plastic Ziploc bags will have the same effect, but they will eventually rip and need to be thrown out and thus aren’t very eco-friendly.
  • Laundry bag: I’ve never been anywhere where it’s easier to do laundry than Bali. Seriously — laundry is about $1 per kilo. It’s incredible. Laundromats are also everywhere, so if you think you’ll want to wash your clothes during your Bali trip, I’d bring a laundry bag like this one from Kikkerland to make laundry day even easier.
  • Hanging Toiletry Bag: I carry a lot of cosmetics and toiletries when I travel and using a simple hanging toiletry bag is a huge help. This conveniently fits perfectly in the outer pocket of my Tortuga backpack so it’s kind of meant to be. It has the perfect number of separators, organizers, and pockets without taking up any excess space. It’s like Mary Poppins magic bag.
  • Backpack with locking zippers : While Bali is safe, it’s not completely free from petty crime. I actually had my ATM card skimmed (more on this later — be sure to travel with a backup debit card if at all possible). While wearing a shoulder bag is probably the most secure option, it’s just not comfortable if you carry a lot of stuff with you during the day like I do. If you plan on renting a scooter, you’ll definitely want a travel backpack. I swear by PacSafe products and love their PacSafe Citysafe backpack. It’s actually super, super cute and comfortable. It fits my 13″ Macbook laptop no problem with plenty of room for all my other electronics and daily needs. If you don’t want to carry another small backpack, I recommend either a cross-body bag or a small handbag that you can carry securely and keep your daily items in.

Essential Things to Pack for Bali

Bali is set up well for tourism and as a result it usually won’t be a catastrophe if something is missing from your Bali packing list. However, there are a few things that are difficult to get in Bali or with fewer options. These are the essentials that I want to highlight that you definitely shouldn’t forget when you are planning what to pack for Bali.

  • Travel insurance: OK, it’s not technically something you pack for Bali but it’s so important that it deserves the top place here. Bali is a safe country but it’s not without its risks. Namely, lots of people choose to use scooters while they are in Bali and lots of people also choose to drink while they ride scooters. Put two and two together and you’ll see why scooter accidents happen regularly in Bali. Virtually everyone I know who spent a significant chunk of time in Bali has crashed their scooter at one point. Don’t be stupid – travel with insurance. I use World Nomads every time I travel, including in Bali. I recommend their Standard plan if you aren’t planning to dive, but definitely make sure you choose the Explorer plan if you are going to be doing any SCUBA diving as the original plan doesn’t include diving coverage. Get your free quote here.
  • Mosquito repellent: As a tropical country, Bali has lots of pesky mosquitos, especially in the rainy season. Dengue fever is a possibility in Bali and from people who have suffered it, it sounds absolutely miserable.. I usually carry a bottle of mosquito repellent with me (sometimes it’s hard to get the strong stuff in Bali) and also some repellent wipes with me if I need to reapply on the go.
  • Water bottle with built-in filter: Bali tap water is not drinkable and needs to be filtered or boiled before drinking. Bali has huge problems with plastic pollution, which is destroying its beaches (and thus the tourism-dependent island’s image) so please do not rely on water bottles during your Bali trip and instead pack a sustainable water solution. I used to carry a Water to Go bottle with me and never got sick on my travels in Bali. However, my filter broke and the water bottle now leaks so I am in the market for a new water bottle with filter – I have my eye on the Lifestraw variety which has rave reviews. You could also use a Steripen which is another option I am considering.
  • Reusable tote bags: Like many countries in the developing world, there is plastic everywhere in Bali and it’s a huge problem for the island. Bring your own reusable tote so that you can signal to it and refuse plastic bags whenever possible. I keep one or two small ones in my larger bag and bring them with me daily, plus I use them as beach bags, separating shoes from clothes, etc.
  • Basic medicine: Most medicine is available in Bali but to be safe I always carry a mini medicine kit as the last thing you want to do when you are sick is drag yourself to the pharmacy and explain your ailments. I carry Pepto-Bismol for standard stomach troubles, Imodium as a nuclear option for diarrhea (i.e. you have to ride a bus for several hours), some sort of painkiller like ibuprofen for headaches and minor pains, and some sort of motion sickness tablets. Supplement with any prescription medicine you need. The Pepto-Bismol is especially important as Bali doesn’t have great stomach medicine options – when I got sick last time all I could find was activated charcoal which is okay but not quite as effective.
  • Some cash in USD/euros/pounds and a back-up debit card: Unfortunately, card skimming scams at ATMs are incredibly common in Bali. It happened to me on my last trip. Also, on my first trip to Bali, I accidentally left my debit card in an ATM. This is because Bali ATMs give you your money first, then you have to tell them the transaction is over, and then retrieve your card. If you’re not paying attention and are used to things being in a different order it’s very easy to leave your card behind. I highly recommend having a secondary debit card – it was super helpful for me to have. If you don’t have a back-up debit card then bring at least $100-200 in a common currency like USD, euros, or GBP in cash as a safety measure (which I recommend doing every time you travel, anyway). I don’t mean to scare you off Bali but nearly every one I know who has spent some time on the island has had their card skimmed or lost at one point so be prepared.

What to Wear in Bali

Admittedly, this is a list for female travelers — dudes, sorry, but I trust you know how to dress yourselves in summer, so just follow that.

Bali is used to tourism, and while Balinese society is a bit conservative, they are used to tourists wearing pretty much whatever. You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in shorts, mini dresses, etc. though it’s better to be wearing proper clothes and wandering around in just a bikini in restaurants and other establishments (though obviously that certainly happens, too). Be sure to bring comfortable travel shoes – this list has some of my favorites.

The only time you really should be mindful of what you wear is when visiting a Balinese temple. Cover your upper body with at least a short-sleeve shirt, and if you have any leggings or pants it is more polite to wear those. You will also have to put on a sarong regardless of what you are wearing / how covered up you are (sarongs are thought to keep bad energy in, away from the temple). Most popular temples will provide free sarongs to borrow but I recommend having one of your own just in case (plus they are a super handy travel item).

  • 5 lightweight summer dresses: Or really, however many you can pack without being cramped or ridiculous.
  • 5+ tees & tanks: The more neutral, the better. I suggest black, gray, and a few bright colors. Avoid white – it’s not sweat-friendly.
  • 1 pair loose pants: Pants can sometimes be more comfortable than
  • 2 pairs shorts: I bring one pair of loose-fitting linen or silky shorts for those insanely hot days, and one pair of denim shorts.
  • 1-3 skirts: I suggest bringing one black skirt and one printed skirt for flexibility. Personally I love having at least one midi-length skirt and prefer having two. The extra fabric around your legs traps some cool air, making you feel less hot, and I liked the additional coverage it gave me, especially when on scooters.
  • 1 sarong: Necessary for temples and for life. I like this one.
  • 1 pair sneakers: If you plan on getting active during your time in Bali. I usually wear a pair of black Nikes as I find they look cute even with my dresses and I’m all about options.
  • 1 pair cute sandals: Having a cute and comfortable pair of sandals is key. I’m obsessed with my Birkenstocks and will never go back.
  • 1 pair flip flops: Great fot beaches and days when you don’t want to muck up your cute sandals.
  • 1 rain jacket: Even if you don’t plan on traveling in the rainy season, sometimes the weather has other plans. The rainy season in Bali is no joke and you will want a proper waterproof rain jacket. I love my Marmot rain jacket.  If you plan on renting a scooter I recommend also buying a proper waterproof poncho as they will keep you much drier than a rain jacket.
  • 1 cardigan: Usually not necessary given the weather in Bali but I like to have it for those occasions when you’re in an over-air conditioned room or bus.
  • 1-2 bras: I trust you’re all big girls and you know what you need when it comes to bras. I personally brought 1 regular bra and 2 sports bras and switched between the them.
  • Exercise clothing: If you want to do yoga, etc. you’ll want to bring
  • 7+ pairs of underwear: The more underwear you bring, the longer you can go between washes. I don’t recommend bringing stuff to do your laundry on the road – it’s a waste of time and money. There are plenty of laundromats catering to backpackers in Nicaragua, plus you’re supporting the local economy. If you really need to clean some clothes in a pinch, a bar of soap and hanging it somewhere
  • Bathing suit: You’ll definitely want it, whether you’re taking dips in the your epic Bali hotel pool, going to the beach, learning to surf (in which case I recommend bringing a rash guard too) or diving in Bali or the Gilis.

What to Pack for Bali Hostels

If you’re staying in hotels or a private pool villa in Bali, you can skip this part, but there are a few specialized things you might want to bring in case you are staying in a hostel.

  • 1 pair flip flops: Yes, it was on the above packing list, but really, don’t forget your flip flops if you plan to stay in a Bali hostel. Those bathroom floors are rank.
  • 1 travel towelMany hostels nowadays do not provide free towels when you check in. Bring your own to avoid rental fees – and also to double up as a beach towel for beach days. These pack up smaller than you’d think and are an essential for me when I travel in hostels.
  • 1 eye mask: I swear by this contoured eye mask as it doesn’t put uncomfortable pressure on your eyes but completely blacks out any light. Great for inconsiderate roommates and early nights in when you’re tired and want to sleep before everyone else.
  • Some earplugs or good noise-canceling headphones: I love Hearos — they’re the gold standard for ear plugs. I’ve also been eyeing these noise-canceling headphones but haven’t tried out a proper noise-canceling variety just yet.

What Toiletries to Pack for Bali

Bali’s pharmacies and beauty stores will have most of the things you want and need… but these are my essentials that I always pack from home.

  • Hand sanitizer: If you’re traveling off the beaten path, restrooms can be questionable, so having some hand sanitizer is always a good idea.
  • Kleenex packets: Like above — public restrooms may be lacking in the toilet paper department (especially if you encounter a squat toilet), so having some Kleenex in a portable sleeve is a nice choice.
  • LUSH solid shampoo: Life-changing. Just trust me. Buy online or in store from LUSH and you’ll save serious money over Amazon.
  • Sunscreen: Bali is sunny as hell even in the rainy season. And you’ll want to wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, as damaging UV rays can permeate cloud cover and wreak havoc on your skin and age it prematurely. My skin is really sensitive on my face, so I use this fancy Japanese sunscreen to prevent facial acne, and I buy a more standard sunscreen for my body when I’m on the road.
  • Travel medications: I listed them above, but just to reiterate — stomach medicine, motion sickness pills, and some sort of painkiller are my standards.

What to Pack for Safety in Bali

Bali is a perfectly safe place, despite all the fear-mongering about the volcano that has happened in the media over the last year. Let me break it down for you: unless you are in the exclusion zone, which is a mere 12 kilometers — a tiny fraction of the island — you will not encounter any problems in Bali. And no hotels in the exclusion zone are operating, so it’s kind of a moot point. I stayed in Sanur which is kind of close to Mount Agung and I never felt unsafe. Amed is even closer but it is outside the exclusion zone and safe for tourists as well.

Again, I recommend having travel insurance (especially for peace of mind regarding trip cancellation) – World Nomads is what I use – and just using common sense.

  • Combination locks: In Bali, you’re probably at the greatest risk of theft from your fellow travelers. Prevent crimes of opportunity with simple measures like having a combination lock and keeping your valuables locked away. I always check hostels on Hostelworld to ensure they have lockers available because I travel with so many valuable electronics.
  • Daypack with locking zippers: Backpacks are easy targets — I wrote above about how much I love my PacSafe Citysafe backpack. After nearly being pickpocketing while wearing a different backpack in Vietnam, I now carry no other kind of daypack. Pickpocketing is less of a problem in Bali than in many other places in Southeast Asia but it’s still good to be aware.

Don’t bother with a money belt. Thieves know about them. You’re better off carrying your wallet deep in a slash-proof backpack (like the one mentioned above) or in your day bag, tightly zipped.

Also, like I said before, before you travel to Bali I recommend having a second checking account and two debit cards if it’s at all possible. Keep them in different spots in case you get pickpocketed. This way you won’t be screwed while you wait for your bank to send you another card!

Electronics to Pack for Bali

There are really no special considerations when it comes to packing electronics for Bali. Bring whatever you’re comfortable bringing. As a travel blogger, I bring my entire life with me on the road, which includes a laptop, camera, multiple lenses, smartphone, GoPro, and more. If I stay at hostels, I always make sure that I stay at hostels with lockers so that I can lock up my valuables. People who are more paranoid/responsible than I am may want to bring a portable safe for peace of mind. But I’ve never felt the need, personally.

  • Laptop, if necessary: I bring my Macbook Air everywhere since I need it for work, but other people may prefer a tablet or an inexpensive netbook. I work on the road so a user-friendly, lightweight laptop is a must.
  • Kindle Paperwhite: English-language bookstores are few and far between outside of expat-haven Granada. I love the Kindle Paperwhite because the screen is glare-free, making it easy to read at the beach or in direct sunlight.
  • Travel camera: I use a Sony A6000 because it’s lightweight for a professional caliber camera, inexpensive, and a HUGE step up from a smartphone. You may want to replace this or add a GoPro too, especially good for adventure activities like rafting and diving (just check to see if you also need an underwater house for your GoPro if you dive, as many of the newer models are only good to 10m — not nearly enough for divers)
  • Portable charger: As an electronics-addict, I’m always running out of juice. Bring a portable charger to save yourself many headaches! Anker is a reliable brand and what I personally use.
  • Adaptor, if necessary: Bali uses the same plugs as Europe (non-UK), so if you’re coming from the US, Australia, Canada, or the UK, or anywhere that uses non-EU plugs, you will need an adaptor.


Well, nearly 3,000 words later, I think I’ve finally exhausted all the things you need to pack for Bali. While this sounds like a lot, I was able to fit my entire Bali packing list into a 44L backpack (carry-on size) and daypack because I chose lightweight fabrics and packed carefully.

Is there anything I’ve forgotten? Is there anything else you’re wondering if you should bring? Let me know in the comments!

6 Stunning Places to Visit in Bali

Spectacular beaches, world-class massages, mesmerizing landscapes, outrageously delicious food… Bali is absolutely stunning. I’m writing this from a beautiful villa in Canggu, feeling safe as can be. But because of the rumblings of an angsty volcano, the tourism-driven island economy is suffering. People working in hospitality are losing their jobs left and right, and businesses are being forced to shutter. 

The reality is that while Mount Agung is active, there’s no telling when the eruption will be: it could be today, a few weeks later, or even a year from now — or it could die down completely. Stay away from the 12-kilometer exclusion zone (easy to do, as Bali is a massive island) and you’re in no danger.

So if you’re hedging on coming to Bali, let me assure you: now is a great time to visit. Your dollars will make a huge difference to an economy devastated by the decrease of tourism, and you’ll be rewarded with the least crowded Bali has been and will be for years to come. If you’re not yet convinced, here are 6 absolutely magic places to stay in Bali that are perfectly safe to visit now, volcano or not!

Live the high life in Seminyak

Seminyak is one of the great places to stay in Bali

Seminyak is one of Bali’s top luxury destinations, where the best beachfront hotels in Bali dot the shoreline and fine restaurants and boutiques line the neighboring streets. The Legian Bali is one of a handful of five-star resorts in Seminyak with an exclusive spa and lush tropical gardens, while premium dining and entertainment venues such as Ku De Ta and the Potato Head Beach Club are popular hangouts for dinner and cocktails when the sun goes down.

Besides the luxe hotels, Seminyak is also known for being the epicenter of Bali fashion, with tons of trendy and one-of-a-kind boutiques to be found. Auguste the Label and Paulina Katerina are two favorites, but there are countless more boutiques to be found in Seminyak.

Relax and unwind in spiritual Ubud

Ubud, another great place to stay in Bali

One of the main stops for travelers backpacking in Bali, Ubud is one of Bali’s most beautiful cities and the cultural heart of the island, and most people spend at least a few days in Ubud.

The sense of a home away from home can be credited to the people – the Balinese are some of the friendliest people on the planet.

Bali has become known as a yoga and wellness destination, and nowhere is that clearer than in Ubud, a hippie little city about an hour inland. Here, you can take all the yoga classes you like, cycle through the rice paddies, dine in delicious cafés, enjoy the Campuhan ridge walk, or visit temples and markets.

Ubud is renowned as the cultural haven of Bali and the place to discover art galleries, museums, dance and traditional Indonesian crafts. There’s the excellent Seniwati Gallery, which exhibits female artists, plus the Neka Museum, which showcases artworks by Balinese and international artists.

Even the drive to Ubud is a treat: tranquil terraced rice paddies sit side by side with ancient Hindu temples offering a window into the real Bali.

Even better, Ubud is a great hub for chasing some of Bali’s best waterfalls.

Visit the real “Wild Bali” in northern Lovina

The north of the island is Wild Bali and an area that’s well off the familiar tourist trail.

But if walking in lush paddy fields, strolling on peaceful black sandy beaches, trekking to waterfalls, dolphin watching, snorkelling and authentic travel are of interest, it’s well worth a journey.

The best way to experience the quieter areas of the island is to book a private local guide or driver who can tailor the trip to your tastes.

Normally, I’d recommend the area around Amed, but even though it’s outside the exclusion zone it’s still a bit close to Mount Agung for comfort. Instead, try the area around Lovina – it’s stunning and famous for its wild dolphins.

Snorkel or dive in crystal-clear waters near Sanur

While the south of Bali is blessed with world-class surf breaks for which the island is so famed, there are also several beaches with calmer waters to the north, east and west that are ripe for snorkeling and diving.

Nusa Penida, Pemuteran Bay, and Nusa Lembongan are fantastic areas of coastline and surrounding islands to snorkel, with warm turquoise waters inviting you in to explore coral gardens, coves, and tropical habitats packed with rare marine life. 

Sanur is a great base when traveling to these spots and has a handful of local dive shops which can arrange snorkeling or diving tours by boat, plus it’s home to some of the most delicious restaurants in Bali.

Get your surf on in Uluwatu

Surfers from around the world congregate in Uluwatu’s beaches, which are considered the #4 surf destination in the world.

It’s a great place to get lessons or even check out a surf camp or retreat.

If you’re not much of a surfer, Uluwatu is also home to plenty of stunning hotels with infinity pools looking out to over the ocean and countless bars serving up delicious cocktails.

Hang out in hip Canggu

Canggu is kind of like the Brooklyn of Bali — filled with yoga studios, delicious cafés serving organic and vegetarian-friendly options, and some of the best coffees I’ve ever had.

But even for all its cafés, tattoo shops, and beach bars, Canggu is still decidedly rural. Rice paddies dot the streets in between the main avenues with all their shops, studios, and restaurants. This is where you’ll find most of the hostels in Bali so you’ll be surrounded with plenty of fellow travelers.

Canggu is also a great surfer destination, with waves not nearly as intense as in nearby Uluwatu. And, bonus, Canggu is home to the stunning Tanah Lot temple, which is one of the most beautiful temples in all of Bali.