Bali is an amazing destination for travelers seeking a time-stopping travel and wellness experience. A place where you can enjoy all the delights of your bespoke getaway while simultaneously improving your health, Bali boasts beautiful beaches and a warm climate for the perfect backdrop on a spa day, with a large array of destinations to choose from. Relaxation and pampering to cleansing detoxes, stress management, yoga, fitness, living in the present and nurturing body and mind, implementing healing activities and practices to enjoy a luxurious experience are bound to be a part of your captivating travel experience. Bali is large and has many different locations and activities that no one can fit into one trip – in this guide, we offer our favorite experiences and round up our best tips to provide you with an amazing, and diverse adventure in Bali.
Bali is an island province of Indonesia located at the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Island near Java. Approximately 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali is known for having consistent temperatures around 30°C (86 °F) with a rainy season bringing significant rain, particularly from December to March. Home to rich coral reefs around the coast, unique wildlife, and home to over four million people, Bali offers a diverse array of experiences for all kinds of travelers.
Separated into various regions, each area boasts something special. South Bali, home to Seminyak, Tanah Lot, and Nusa Dua, is known to be the most visited part of the island, with tourists flocking to luxury beaches and chic boutiques. North Bali is the opposite, a quiet destination with opportunities for snorkeling. West Bali is known for locations such as Negara, West Bali National Park, and access to Java and Menjangan Island. In places like Ubud, Central Bali leads us to the heart of the culture of the island and the perfect place for wellness, surrounded by unparalleled nature. East Bali includes Padang Bai, Tirta Gangga, coastal villages at the base of volcanoes such as Mount Agung, and once-in-a-lifetime destinations such as Lempuyang Temple, and the east coast offers a black sand beach that stretches from Padang Bai in the south to Lovina in the north. Afar from the southeast, offshore islands complement mainland activities with breathtaking marine life and popular diving options.
Discover the inner parts of Ubud, to immerse in Balinese culture and natural beauty of the island. Visit Seminyak for chic boutiques, luxury dining and hotel experiences. In this ultimate guide, we share some of the most perfect sightseeing locations, adventure activities, fitness spots, hotels, food to eat, places to shop, where to snap the best photo, and so much more. Whatever you favor, there is bound to be something for all bespoke travelers.
Walk through the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud
The Ubud Monkey Forest is known for its conservation efforts and ability to interact with local wildlife. Research and studies are regularly carried out for observing the monkeys’ health, diet, and breeding habits, where you can find these primates in their natural habitat. Many tours of this sacred forest include the scenic rice terraces, local temples, and lunch destinations with an active volcano view.
Visit The UNESCO-classified Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
A great alternative to the overcrowded Tegallalang rice terraces, Jatiluwih is much more untouched. Meaning Beautiful Teak in Balinese, Jatiluwih is home to rice fields that one can marvel at the multiple layers of beautiful vast terraced, green rice paddies. Using the traditional Balinese irrigation system, elevation is used to form tiers that create multiple layers of beautifully curved rice paddies. Unfolding from the foot of the mountain until the coastal side, Jatiluwih is perfect for immersing yourself in natural beauty.
Come Upon a Local Waterfall
Known for immaculate landscapes, it is not uncommon for waterfalls to be nearby. Among many others, Tegenungan Waterfall near Ubud or Sekumpul Waterfall, a twin waterfall in the north, lie in lush valleys that create for scenic moments. Whereas the Gitgit Waterfall, which is widely known as the most picturesque cataract in Bali, takes you past leafy forests and through coffee plantations. Stumbling upon a waterfall is sure to be a highlight during your stay in Bali.
Find Deer by the Beach
Menjangan Island, which directly translate to Deer Island, got its name when locals observed that wild herds of Menjangan island deer periodically swam over 1.2 miles across the sea towards the island from West Bali National Park. Learn about sustainable efforts, and the ecosystem on Deer Island – you will gain much valuable insight from your experience on Menjangan Island. Although trekking on the island is the main reason to come, there are a plethora of underwater spotlights such as coral reefs, pristine water, and colorful fish.
Hike Mount Batur
Mount Batur, a volcano located in the Bangli region, is home to some of the best hiking experiences on the planet. An aesthetically pleasing adventure to the top, walk around the edge and watch the steam rise from the summit. Consisting of a trek of 1,717 meters, the hike to the summit is about two hours for most, so it is important to fully prepare your trudging gear. A morning tour to the top creates for an immaculate sunrise view from the peak.
Go Whitewater Rafting
Bali has a huge range of water sports and one of the most exciting is a trip down the Ayung River on a raft. The river is covered with white water rapids that make for a wild ride and as you float down different landscapes and pass little local villages and lush forests that let you take in the beautiful vistas. Whitewater rafting is a great, adrenaline-pumping activity for groups and families of all sizes.
Learn Local Cuisine in a Balinese Cooking Class
Explore the variety of fresh tropical vegetables and aromatic spices before you learn to make your own traditional dishes. Learning from professional chefs, satay, babi guling, lawar, coconut pancakes, papaya soup and fried bananas are some of the local dishes that are fun and interesting to recreate. Cooking classes can be found all over the island, with larger concentrations in larger places in Seminyak or Ubud.
A hidden gem in Bali, Escape Nomade has created a beautiful and serene eco-luxury tent hidden in the rice fields outside Ubud. They offer unique one-day escape retreats that seemingly take you to wonderland – perfect bespoke luxury tents for clients who want to enjoy safari-style eco living, the barefoot luxury at Escape Nomade is one of a kind. Enjoy royal high tea or a Balinese healing massage, an afternoon here is bounds to teleport you to another world.
The Asa Maia
Located in Uluwatu, Bali, The Asa Maia is an intimate wellness resort offering luxurious experiences that combine cultural influences, a peaceful ambiance, and unobtrusive service with effective activities and carefully honed knowledge, giving guests the opportunity to tap into their full potential and inherent capabilities. All without the pressures and judgments that can block real progress. At the heart of each retreat here are time-honored practices that are known for their efficacy, including breathwork. The Asa Maia offers a comprehensive choice of health-enhancing activities, all led by experienced practitioners.
Advocating healing through psychotherapy, Kundalini Yoga, and meditation, along with a variety of other complementary therapies, The Place offers a range of personalized retreat programs, using the most effective practices to create a unique and impactful therapeutic program where participants learn and improve their ability to manage emotions. The Place retreats offer a diverse approach, with wellness programs tailored to your individual and personal needs – guests can expect a transformational experience in which you will be supported and nurtured by renowned and highly esteemed practitioners of psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, and bodywork.
See also: Top 13 Wellness Retreats in Asia
COMO Shambhala Estate
Head to COMO Shambhala Estate for a true transformation. Offering a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, COMO Shambhala Estate offers the perfect blend of healthy eating, exercise and soothing treatments for an all-encompassing approach to your wellness. Through various Asian and Western holistic treatments and therapies, you will receive support to achieve your wellness goals solo or alongside your partner. COMO Shambhala Estate is home to a spa and wellness programs with exceptional skills that have been elevated to an art form, with the goal of total rejuvenation of mind, body, and spirit.
See also: Best Wellness Retreats in Bali
REVIVO Wellness Resort
One of Bali’s top wellness retreats, REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort offers wellness programs that can be personalized according to each guest’s goals and needs in terms of nutrition, holistic treatments, and workouts. Inspired by local ancient healing traditions, all retreats are designed and customized to help each guest in reaching mental, emotional, and physical transformation in a comprehensive and holistic approach. From nutritious meals, setting you up for a good rest with its Balinese-style luxury suites and villas, to offering you ample active options to boost your immunity and wellbeing, REVIVO offers a wonderful bespoke experience in Nusa Dua. Book it here.
YOGA & FITNESS
Set slightly back from the bustling streets of Canggu, The Practice is an island of calm amidst a bustling area, offering over 50 expertly-guided, lineage-based practices a week. Led by a world-class team of teachers who are all committed to the Sri Vidya Traditional lineage – a path dedicated to bringing more beauty and goodness into the world, instructors take you through exercises ranging from Tantric Hatha Yoga, Tantric Meditation, Yoga Nidra and Kirtan, ongoing workshops, presentations, trainings, and more. Honoring the age-old axiom that ‘the Tantric path is for everyone’, The Practice maintains traditional teachings undistorted and offers a sacred environment to all practitioners. Specializing in straight up, old-school Hatha Yoga; the old-fashioned science of Soul remembrance, there is so much to be found at The Practice.
CrossFit Wanderlust is one of the largest and most equipped CrossFit gyms in Bali. Open 7 days a week, they offer group classes, private training lessons, and over 1,000 square meters of indoor training space filled with rowers, spin bikes, ropes, weightlifting equipment, gymnastics racks for open gym, among so much more. It is led by coaches who are certified fitness professionals and competitive athletes who work to curate an unforgettable experience. In their 8-Day Retreat, health instructors offer a fantastic training in paradise, while you can meet some extraordinary people along the way. The week’s program includes either one or two fully instructed lifting sessions per day. Rest is also super important – ensuring 5-star, beachfront hotel suites with a quiet, comfortable environment, followed by world class, clean organic meals to provide the foundation of every workout. A perfect complement to your fitness retreat, tour the best places in Bali: rice fields, waterfalls, volcanos and beautiful Balinese temples, alongside dedicated fitness coaches.
See also: Top 10 Fitness Retreats in The World
Sacred River Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel at Sayan
Align breathe and move with dynamic yoga programs at the tropical yoga pavilion, Dharma Shanti Bale. It features sessions in Yin Yoga, Chakra Yoga, Full Moon Yoga, Easy Yoga that is curated for beginners, Hatha Yoga, which focuses on breathing exercises and strengthening the body’s core, and so much more. A unique highlight is that the destination offers AntiGravity Yoga, a dynamic “flying” practice that combines athletic strength with the motion of dance. No matter your level of experience, there are so many benefits to this practice: lengthen ligaments, ease tension in the spinal cord and hip joint, heighten your adrenaline and emit natural hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine, which increase energy and boost mood.
NOMADIC LIFESTYLE, HOTELS, AND EXTENDED STAYS
Nestled in the heart of lush green forests, Capella Ubud shows us unique tented camps that sit in harmony with the surrounding nature. Each with their own theme, Capella Ubud offers over 20-bedroom accommodations, inspired by different tent styles: terrace, river, rainforest, and others. Enjoy a tent with an elevated view across unique environments or walk out to the terrace to your private pool. Capella Ubud also offers plentiful entertaining guest services, such as curated camping excursions, daily turndown rituals, and even a complimentary photoshoot in the camp. Kick back in stylish comfort at your stay in these eco-friendly, luxury tents in Bali.
See also: Best 12 Eco Resorts in Asia
Sandat Glamping Tents
Tranquil contact with nature in an environment filled with sophisticated luxury, Sandat Glamping offers amazing 40-square meter safari-style luxury tents, each made with a private pool overlooking the forest surrounded by tropical gardens. Glamping is one of the best experiences you can have, as cool hiking opportunities and breathtaking views are not uncommon in Bali. Make this a perfect romantic getaway by indulging in candlelight dinner for two by the edge of your private pool overlooking the forest.
Alila Villas Uluwatu
Poised on an elevated plateau that meets with limestone cliffs sweeping down to the ocean, the view from Alila Villas Uluwatu is completely integrated with the architecture, seamlessly flowing from inside to outside blending in with the surrounding natural environment. Rediscover the joy of pure relaxation in unparalleled comfort and space in each of the exquisitely designed Bali luxury villas. Surrender yourself to the enchantment of Bali’s beauty and serenity in the luxury of flawless perfection. Uluwatu is nothing less than picture-perfect – from pristine white sand beaches located only 10-15 minutes away, to the majestic Uluwatu Temple perched at the tip of a cliff nearby, this destination offers beauty, culture, and so much more.
The Menjangen Resort
A quiet resort with the focus on restoring calm and simplicity, The Menjangan is a peaceful nature retreat located in the heart of the unspoiled West Bali National Park on the island’s stunning northwest coast. An intimate boutique resort, made for escaping and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Bali, there are delicious restaurants, spa, cooking classes, kayaking activities and more available to all kinds of travelers. The Menjangan Resort, where the authentic wild side of West Bali is combined with luxury to create a balanced and sustainable service for visitors, providing unique land and marine delights.
Situated on a lush hilltop, overlooking the sparkling waters of the Lombok Strait, is the gorgeous and secluded Amankila. Feeling more like a one-bedroom house, than a hotel suite – each suite has a living area with day bed, a large bathroom with deep tub, lots of natural light, and an outdoor terrace. While it is easy to spend most of the time cocooned in privacy, there are also two charming restaurants, the beach club, and a bar that has fabulous views of the sunset. Down on the shore, guests and non-residents can enjoy casual poolside dining in the Beach Club’s serene coconut grove, serving exquisite Indonesian and international cuisines with produce sourced from the resort’s own organic farm and garden. Located in East Bali, discover cultural heritage of this beautiful region or get active with watersports and land festivities.
FOODERY AND LOCAL CUISINE
Wild Air Restaurant at Kaamala Resort
Located at Kaamala Resort Ubud near The Sacred Monkey Forest, surrounded by unspoiled nature with breathtaking views of green valley, Wild Air Restaurant offers Asian and western cuisine perfectly handcrafted by professional chefs. With beautiful presentation, attractions such as live cooking and fruit carving create for a joyful and entertaining dining experience. Offering delicious cuisine and nice atmosphere, the Wild Air Restaurant should be on your list for restaurants to visit.
Visiting Locavore Restaurant, guests can anticipate an unforgettable culinary adventure, where dedicated chefs create unique, contemporary European food from the finest of locally sourced seasonal ingredients in Bali. Committed to environmental sustainability, over 95% of the kitchen’s ingredients are Indonesian, where locally produced vegetables are used to create award-winning cuisine.
Hidden away in the Balinese jungle, this cafe overlooks a valley of rice paddy fields and is a peaceful escape from busy Ubud town. Recognized by the Slow Food movement for its environmentally aware and socially fair work practices, the food is 100% vegetarian, and the restaurants aims to be at least 110% awesome in everything it does. Many of its dishes are easily adjusted to become vegan and gluten free, creating delicious, healthy food in a conscious and sustainable manner. The Elephant offers scrumptious vegetarian food and Balinese coffee.
Love Anchor is an iconic, ethical clothing boutique and bazaar in Canggu. Just a quick walk from the beach, ethical fashion from resort wear to antiques, Love Anchor offers unique men’s and women’s fashion, as well as everything from homewares to handmade decor. The fashion is sourced, tailored, and designed in Bali, made using naturally sourced materials supporting local families. As a one-stop-shop for all your Bali wholesale “thrifting” needs, Love Anchor offers a diverse array of unique finds and souvenirs in Bali.
See also: 9 Sustainable Swimwear Brands
Kim Soo is a chic lifestyle and homeware store based in Seminyak, featuring monochromatic interiors and exteriors that set this location apart. The Parisian apartment upstairs takes experiential retail to the next level. Locally crafted sculptures, tableware, bedding, woven baskets, and ornaments, there are plenty of unique finds. At Café Kim Soo, the food cooked and shared is created with deep care: mushroom risotto, French toast, chocolate cakes, and more, paired with coffee prepared from masterful baristas. Besides the charming cafe out front, Kim Soo is a Balinese craft mecca – difficult to leave Kim Soo without buying everything in sight.
John Hardy Ubud Workshop & Showroom
A luxury jewelry workshop, where each piece is crafted by hand using ancient jewelry making, showing how sustainability can provide both beauty and wellbeing, the John Hardy Ubud Workshop & Showroom is a spectacle to visit. John Hardy, one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of handmade silver designer jewelry, began designing its line of green and eco-friendly jewelry in 1989. From casting to polishing, you can join a quick tour of the workshop, where you can discover the roots of the artisan craftsmanship tucked in the heart of Bali amidst the lush tropical forest in Mambal. As part of this experience, you’ll get to explore John Hardy’s Kapal Bamboo Boutique and adjourn to a long table lunch with the John Hardy master artisans.
PICTURE PERFECT VIEWS FOR INSTAGRAM
The Bali Swing is getting all the hype nowadays with people visiting just for the Instagram able spots. Located a mere 20 minutes from the center of Ubud (Jl. Dewi Saraswati, 80352 Bongkasa Pertiwi, Kabupaten Bandung), the Bali Swing guarantees a spectacular view unlike any other that overlooks the lush Balinese jungle ambiance that’ll capture your heart. It is also best to check on the weather and best to go in the golden hours of the evening or early mornings for the best photo quality. Adrenaline rush, thrill, unforgettable experiences, and once-in-a-lifetime views are special to the Bali Swing.
Lempuyang Temple – Gates of Heaven
Lempuyang Temple is an ancient mountain temple situated in the East of Bali. Said to predate most Hindu temples on the island, the height is reachable with the provided staircase, which is very steep and reaches over 1,700 steps, featuring plenty of attractions and smaller temples along the way. Adventurous travelers would love this mixture of a hike and appreciation of culture.
Black Sand Beaches
Only found in a few places around the globe, black sand beaches boast a stark contrast of color and beauty. Black sand comes from eroded volcanic material such as lava, basalt rocks, and other dark-colored rocks and minerals, and is typically found on beaches near volcanic activity. In Balinese culture, it is believed that the black sand can be used to help mend vitamin deficiencies and physical ailments. Black beaches provide the most beautiful shorelines, bound to be essential and unique to your stay.
Locally known as Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Spring in Balinese), the water temple is located in the village of Manukaya, near the town of Tampaksiring in central Bali. The temple pond has a spring with fresh water, which Balinese Hindus consider to be holy. They come here for a purification ritual to cleanse their souls and ward off evil. This tradition still continues almost unchanged, and today, aside from worshipers, tourists from all over the world also flock to this place to marvel at its beauty, and bathe in its blessed and refreshing water.
SPA & BEAUTY
Sundari Day Spa
Founded on the principles of modern and traditional healing techniques, Sundari Day Spa offers healing and wellness inspired by the traditional Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, encouraging to nurture a greater harmony with spirit, the environment and with one another. Individually customized, holistic, and attentive treatments with five-star quality of service, natural products known for their healing and beauty properties create a fusion which ensures absolute relaxation and rejuvenation for all kinds of guests.
Wellness Sanctuary & Spa, Fivelements Retreat Bali
Fivelements Retreat Bali is a peaceful sanctuary that focuses on plant-based foods, sacred arts, and authentic Balinese healing traditions, such as deep bodywork, energy movement and meditation. There is a magical, nurturing energy that permeates the property, which features tropical ponds and lush gardens. Perfect for a romantic getaway or solo-transformational wellness retreat, Fivelements offers a delightful spa like none other.
Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat & Spa
Known for offering life-changing treatments that are based on the ancient healing techniques, Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat & Spa aims to increase wellness in oneself that will in turn help improve every aspect of one’s life, including relationships, career, and wealth. Taking an Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness, Sukhavati offers treatments and programs specifically aimed at relieving stress, anxiety, and other chronic health problems. Through meditation practices, yoga programs and natural healing techniques, Sukhavati is a great resource in restoring your health and enhancing your wellbeing.
AYANA Resort & Spa
Known for its renowned relaxing massages and ancient healing remedies, the spa at AYANA offers various relaxing and comfortable treatments where you drift off to the sound of the ocean and the caress of a gentle breeze. Surrounded by the sea, experience the sound of waves gently lulling beneath and reviving your inner energy with the perfect mix of massage, body treatment, and facial for your wellbeing.
Immerse yourself in delightful wellness and relaxation at the Mulia Spa with an array of treatments ranging from traditional to contemporary practices. Mulia Spa boasts a state-of-the-art wellness area comprising Finnish saunas, Meditative Steam Rooms, Ice Rooms, Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy Pools, featuring the use of Chromotherapy and Aromatherapy to further enhance the spa’s amazing therapeutic practices.
Overall, there are many bespoke travel and wellness experiences to be found on the bountiful island of Bali – from immaculate wellness retreats to unfathomable cuisine, among vastly different regions, you are bound to find a personal heaven. Before you book your ticket or reserve these amazing experiences, be sure to check current travel regulations for your country. Check here if travel is allowed and what requirements are needed before you depart to heaven on earth!