Making a Balinese holiday unique only takes an adventurous spirit and a little gear. Leave the midday sleep-ins and banana lounges behind and enjoy the benefits of exploration. You’ll be forever glad you did.
Bali by bicycle
Balinese winds in your hair. Incidental exercise. Biking Bali is a good thing to do.
Most Balinese biking tours kick off in Ubud. The nature makes for engaging riding, visually and physically. You’ll see local Balinese things everywhere, like rice plantations and craftsmen and commuting cyclists. The long form tours take place over several days and usually involve eight cyclists and a tour leader. Along the way you’ll be set up in home stays.
Mountain biking expertise isn’t a necessity, but it certainly won’t hurt. For the more adventurous, the trails along Mount Batur are legendary for their views – plus, you can tell everyone you biked around an active volcano.
For more information check out Bali Bike.
Price guide: $42 AUD (per day including day trips)
Bali by scooter in nine days
Riding a scooter is virtually a birthright for the Balinese. As you zip around you’ll see people of all ages (often as young at ten!) riding. Bali isn’t that big and you can actually see the entire island in around nine days on a scooter. Rent an automatic scooter, because changing gears gets tiresome quickly. Many rental services will offer discounts for long term hire – so use your best Balinese bargaining skills to get a good deal.
Don’t get caught running low on petrol – there are service stations in major cities like Kuta, Seminyak and Sanur and in rural areas, it’s common to find roadside shops selling fuel in jerrycans.
There are many trips, trails and routes but it’s best to take off from Kuta and head south for Uluwatu. Then you can double back and travel the outskirts of Bali – from Blue Lagoon Beach to Ganung Batur Volcano, then through to Ubud and Sanur. Scooter may be the most authentic means of seeing Bali.
Price guide: $8 AUD (per day including insurance)
Bali by foot; hiking
Thanks to its many connecting hills and mountains, Bali’s north is rich with walking trails and hiking routes. Bali’s two semi-active volcanic mountains, Mount Agung and Mount Batur, are your first choice. Guided hiking tours run daily with several companies across an array of adventure trails. For the chance to walk through dense rainforests and see dazzling sights from high bluffs, the Mount Abang jungle hike is our pick.
Be sure to bring appropriate hiking gear. Windbreaker, footwear, water.
If you want to go truly wild, head for West Bali National Park, Bali’s largest national park. It’s a two and a half hour drive from Kuta, and you’ll have to buy a permit to hike there. The dense rainforest and amazing wildlife will be worth the extra effort. Permit includes camping, so accommodation is sorted, and local guides are on hand to answer any questions.
For more info head to Bali Hiking.
Price guide: $20 AUD (per day including meals)
Bali by sea
Travelling around Bali by boat is the only way to see the island’s amazing marine life, and its smaller, neighbouring islands (Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands). Take a ten day cruise around the Lesser Sunda keys. You’ll dock in at Flores – one of the oldest islands in Indonesia – before heading to Lombok. It’s also worth swinging by Komodo Island, which is home to the Komodo dragon. In between on-land day trips you will love life on the water. Whether it’s snorkelling, swimming or stand up paddleboarding – you’ll never be bored touring Bali nautically.
If you’re thinking about heading to Bali this year, we’ve got the accommodation packages you need.
Have you travelled through Bali by any of these means? Share your trips for a great ride in the comments below!