Bali in 10 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

The island of the gods harbors innumerable secrets and precious places, which makes it difficult to choose the most complete route. I leave you a detailed itinerary to make the most of your 10 days in Bali.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

21 min read

Bali in 10 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

vista desde la montaña del mar |©Khairul Leon

In 10 days you will be able to delight with the most authentic facet of Bali, enjoying some of the best things to do in the island. During an extended stay, you'll have the freedom to visit must-see stops such as the Royal Palace in Ubud, Nusa Dua, Jatiluwih Terraces and Tirta Empul. But also you will have enough time to delight you with destinations infravalorados like the Cave of the Bats.

A long itinerary will allow you to enjoy Bali, so that you do not have to run of a destination to another. As general recommendation, it avoids saturarte of plans and takes advantage of between two and three destinations per day. This way, you will have the opportunity to experience the local beauty and schedule breaks between each stop.

Day 1: Enjoy a grand tour of East Bali

Tirta Gangga Wide View|©David
Tirta Gangga Wide View|©David

East Bali brings together a lot of attractions, as it is surrounded by temples, palaces and traditional villages. After leaving the things in your hotel, I recommend you to go to the Royal Palace Tirta Gangga where you will be able to marvel and to relax in its sacred pools. It is a well-deserved restful visit, close to the Pura Besakih complex, which houses about 22 local temples. To end the day, experience an adrenaline rush on the Ayung River.

For your first day, don't even bother waiting for the bus, as it has a slow and unusual route that may delay your itinerary.

Tirta Gangga Royal Palace

Tirta Gangga is known like the Palace of Water of Bali, surely the locals will recommend you to visit its facilities, since it is one of the best things that to make in the island. It has a unique beauty hidden among the corners of Amed. It was built in 1946, but was destroyed after the eruption of a volcano, which completely transformed the original building. A curious fact is that it is currently located near the slopes of the Agung volcano, which makes it vulnerable to constant volcanic activity.

Note that it is open from 7:00 to 18:00 hrs, and the entrance fee starts at 2 euros. If you are lucky it is possible that your visit coincides with local rituals, since the water in its pools comes from sacred springs and is used during different celebrations on the island. In this destination I recommend you take a look at the:

  • Pond of the steps: it is a pool with stone paths that allow you to cross the water, while you take a close look at the statues of local gods.
  • Great pond: the center of the park is impressive, as it is filled with fountains, green spaces and a variety of fish of all colors.
  • Tirta Gangga Gardens: the most beautiful gardens are on the middle level, surrounded by statues, ponds and fountains.

Pura Besakih Temple

To only ten minutes in car, one of the best temples of Bali is located. It is a complex of 22 temples known as Pura Besakih, which stands out by its immensity and sacred location in the Monte Agung. I recommend you to begin by the most important, that is to say, exploring the six pyramidal levels of Pura Penataran Agung or Lempuyang. The hike takes at least half an hour, but it is worth it if you want to get a glimpse of the Gates of Heaven.

Here you can learn about local traditions, as well as explore the folk culture of Bali, the ornaments of the Mother Temple and take a look at the creature-inspired elements of Balinese mythology. There are guided tours from 34 euros that facilitate the visit, since usually they include guiatura and transfers. If you go on your own, you should know that the entrance to this complex goes from 5 euros and can include a sarong to cover the knees and the shuttle bus that takes you to the starting point. In addition, you can visit between 8:00 and 18:00 hrs.

Book a tour of the Besakih and Lempuyang temples

Ayung River

At the end of your temple tour, I suggest driving about forty minutes to a beautiful natural enclave. The Ayung River is a popular location for adrenaline-filled adventures, including white water rafting. It is one of the best things to do in Bali, and a perfect option to close your first day on the island.

The experience is ideal for small groups and is usually accompanied by a traditional meal, a hot shower and all the necessary equipment to raft safely. You will find options from 24 euros, which offer a perfect route to enjoy the waterfalls of the island of the gods.

Book a rafting experience on the Ayung River

Day 2: Do not miss the wonders of the southeast of Bali

Taman Gili, Klungkung, Bali|©arjunalistened
Taman Gili, Klungkung, Bali|©arjunalistened

During your second day in Bali, I recommend you to take advantage of the temples dedicated to animals that offer a fascinating experience. The most striking are the Cave of the Bats and the Cave of the Elephant. In the middle of both, you can stop by what remains of the Royal Palace of Klungkung, which far from being ruins have a beauty that is worthwhile.

Bat Cave

Start your day at a very special sanctuary, more than 1,000 years old. This is the Cave of the Bats or Goa Lawah, a curious temple that does not stand out for its objects or structure. In fact, the little black animals are the protagonists of this experience, as their screeches resound against the prayers of visitors. It is an experience that can seem to you enchanting or unpleasant, but that is worth it if you want to leave the limits of the comfort zone and to enjoy the best things to do in Bali.

The entrance goes from 1 euro, so if you feel uncomfortable you can leave the facilities without remorse. In general, the black mass of vibrant bats is kept hidden in a cave behind the temple, without disturbing those who prowl the sanctuary. Here also the famous rituals of the death of Bali are carried out, and it is open in the schedule of 8:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Taman Gili

After shuddering at the hidden animals of Goa Lawah, head to Taman Gili. It is the only portion of the Royal Palace of Klungkung that remains on the island, and is located just a ten-minute drive away. It is a beautiful structure with pavilions and paintings that are worth a look, in fact you will be amazed at the historical heritage that remains.

If you are expecting ruins, you will probably be surprised because it is a well-kept space with unparalleled beauty. There are even artifacts from an ancient dynasty in the Daerah Semarajaya Museum. The most precious part is Bale Kambang, a beautiful floating pavilion that reserves elements of Balinese mythology. However, the Kerta Gosa pavilion is not left behind and has hundreds of paintings that narrate old histories. The entrance goes from 3 euros and can be visited from 8:30 to 18:30 hrs, in addition they usually are included in the best tours of Bali.

Cave of the Elephant

To twenty minutes in car hides Goa Gajah or the Cave of the Elephant, an interesting religious destination that was constructed in century XI. Upon entering you will see an imposing elephant carved into a rock, as well as the sculpture of the god of science Ganesha. It is a recommended visit to slow down and take a well-deserved rest, in the middle of its relaxing vegetation.

The entrance fee starts at 1 euro and you can visit between 8:00 and 16:00 hrs. Don't expect to see real elephants, as if that is your expectation, it is preferable to head to the Tegalalang Elephant Sanctuary. In fact, the tunnel is so narrow that tourists barely get in, so keep that in mind if you are claustrophobic. It is one of the best temples of Bali, since it is very different to other options that you will find in the island.

Day 3: Stroll through Ubud

ubud palace|©r_a_i_e
ubud palace|©r_a_i_e

Ubud is the most central zone of Bali, therefore it has some of the most important attractions and locations of the island. During a long stay in Bali, you cannot lose a stroll by its emblematic enclaves like the Forest of the Monkeys, the Royal Palace of Ubud and the nocturnal market of Pasar Senggol Gianyar.

Monkey Forest

The Monkey Forest is a fun attraction, ideal for those who love animals. This natural reserve is the home of the Balinese macaque of long tail, as well as the sanctuary of at least 100 species of trees. Also it has a Balinese cemetery and several temples, reason why it is a complete visit that cannot be absent in your tour by Bali.

To coexist with the Balinese monkeys, it is one of the best things that to make in Bali. Of course, it is not correct to touch them, to feed them or to take pictures of them without supervision, since they can become aggressive. This applies to the baby monkeys, who are adorable but extremely protected by their mothers. In this sanctuary there are about 700 monkeys, of at least 6 species. You can combine this visit with a tour of famous places on the island such as Tanah Lot and Kanto Lampo.

Book an excursion to Tanah Lot, Kanto Lampo and the Monkey Forest

Ubud Palace

For your next stop you can hop in a cab, which will take you from the forest to the Ubud Royal Palace in less than two minutes. You can also opt for the Kura-Kura bus, but it has departures only once a day. In general, this monument is an obligatory stop in Bali, since it offers the famous spectacle of Legong dance. It is a Balinese ritual that uses typical suits, old choreographies and frenetic rhythms to narrate the history of the Prince of Sukawati.

This palace was built in the 19th century and is a complex of historical buildings, where you can appreciate the lifestyle of the local royalty. For centuries it has remained authentic, with lush gardens, statues of mythology and striking elements from different eras. The visit is free, but its main attraction, which is the dance show, starts at 10 euros.

Buy tickets for the Legong dance show

Senggol Gianyar Pass

After delighting yourself with a cultural performance, you are ready to approach Pasar Senggol Gianyar. It is a night market full of life, where it is worth immersing yourself in the contrast of smells, flavors and traditions. It is located ten minutes by cab from the palace, but you can also go by motorcycle to skip the traffic. It is open daily from 15:00 to 22:00 hrs and is a cultural experience not to be missed.

Delight your senses with this bustling experience, which brings together the best street food on the island. There are a variety of options with a varied and colorful culinary setting. Also there are small sections where you can buy traditional clothes, so it is an apt visit for all the ages, ideal if you are looking for things that to make in Bali at night.

Day 4: Escape to the island Nusa Penida

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida|©Marc Heurtaut
Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida|©Marc Heurtaut

Surely the island of Bali has made you fall in love with its natural charm and has left you wanting more. To satiate your curiosity for Indonesia, you have to take advantage of the best excursions from Bali and venture to a route for Nusa Penida. It is known as the island of the sun, where you can enjoy a relaxing bath in its paradisiac beaches.

Kelingking Beach

The forgotten neighbor of Bali is to only one hour in ferry, so it is an escape that you cannot lose you. When arriving I recommend you to go directly to the beach Kelingking, a beauty that not in vain figures between the most spectacular of all Indonesia. It has an impressive location under an imposing cliff, it is easy to reach as it offers stairs that connect to the sea. Be prepared because as you descend the landscape becomes more impressive and will leave you speechless.

Here you can see endangered birds such as the Java sparrow and the sulphurous cockatoo, of course it is important to respect their habitat. Don't expect a resort or anything like that, as this is a pristine bay surrounded by a beautiful viewpoint and a stunning waterfall.

Angel's Billabong

The next stop is a fifteen minute drive away and is a well-deserved disconnection from worries, where there is only peace. It is the natural pool Angel's Billabong, whose green and emerald tones seem unreal. It is a destination that will not leave you indifferent and that you will remember for life, especially for its striking limestone formations.

When the tide is low you can enjoy a pleasant moment, but when there is turbulence it is better to stay away. With or without the possibility of bathing, its wild beauty is worthy of admiration and does not compare to anything you can find on the island. There is no doubt that it is one of the best excursions from Bali, especially if it is your first time in Indonesia.

Broken Beach

Your last stop of the day before returning to Bali, is to five minutes on foot. It is Broken Beach, a majestic beach that can be admired during a scenic tour, since it is not allowed to bathe. Upon arrival you will find a stone arch, which overhangs a crystalline cliff where you can get to see stingrays.

The sunsets on this beach are unique, the best thing is that it is quite private and away from the hustle and bustle of the big tourist bays. If you are looking for things to do in Bali in summer, you can take advantage of a quick escape to Nusa Penida where the amusement will be your best company.

Contracts an excursion to Nusa Penida

Day 5: Relax in the best local beaches

jimbaran beach|©Catherine
jimbaran beach|©Catherine

Nusa Penida is not the only island with paradisiacal beaches, so back to Bali I recommend you to give a chance to the best local beaches. This way, you will be able to compare and to choose your favorite. The main difference is that the Balinese bays offer a contrast between completely virgin locations and luxurious resorts in front of the sea.

Nusa Dua

Start your day at a beach resort with a variety of options to choose from. Nusa Dua is located on the Tanjung Benoa peninsula and is surrounded by beach bars, tourist services and pleasant beach clubs. It is among the best local beaches if you go with children, as you have everything you need at hand.

You will find different water activities such as surfing or diving, which will allow you to connect with the marine diversity of the island. In addition, it is a multifaceted bay surrounded by temples and the Pasifika Museum, an art center with a variety of cultural objects and collections of artists from 25 countries.

Jimbaran Beach

Ten minutes away by car, you can find another important local beach. It is Jimbaran, which is in the road towards the capital of Bali and to little distance of the airport. Here you can enjoy an evening of luxury, since there are options of entertainment that include windsurfing, bodysurfing and sailing boat. In addition, it has a privileged marine location, its corals protect it of the storms of waves.

Years ago it was a small coastal town, but with the increase of the tourism in Bali, it took life becoming quickly one of the best local beaches. In fact, traditional rituals in front of the sea are still usually organized. In addition, it has an interesting fish market where you can delve into the local delicacies.

Legian Beach

To finish the route by the best beaches of Bali, it is necessary to drive around fifteen minutes until Legian Beach. It stands out by the imminent quietness, since it is not near any highway and it is not so touristy as other local options. Their main attraction is the trees that border the sea, offering shade in the peak hours.

The Balinese usually visit this beach when leaving work, to appreciate the sunset with a craft beer in the hand. It is the hour in which the beach is full of people, offering a beautiful natural spectacle. It is very near the imposing Museum of the Shell of Bali, where you can appreciate marine shells and fossils with centuries of antiquity.

Day 6: It crosses the rice terraces and visits the best thematic park of Bali

Jatiluwih|©Martijn J
Jatiluwih|©Martijn J

A new day begins in Bali and it is time to visit one of the largest rice terraces in Indonesia. Jatiluwih is a location that deserves your attention, where you can spend hours walking, riding a motorcycle or breathing fresh air aboard a bicycle. To appreciate the rice fields from another perspective, this visit can be combined with the Aloha Ubud Swing theme park.

Terraces of Jatiluwih

In the region of Jatiluwih they emphasize the majestic terraces of rice, a tourist attraction that you cannot be lost. They are the biggest of Bali, with an approximate extension of 600 hectares. It is a kilometer-long route that can be enlivened if you rent a bicycle, so that you can enjoy the green landscape sprinkled of enchantment and exuberance.

Without a doubt, it is one of the best things to make in Bali, since the experience usually is accompanied by a gastronomical tasting. The Balinese rice stands out by its quality, so in the occasional stops I suggest you to savor some rice cookies or the famous Nasi Goreng, which is elaborated based on fried rice with meat, fish or vegetables. This daring tour usually passes through the Monkey Forest and traditional villages.

Book an electric bike tour in Jatiluwih

Aloha Ubud Swing

After spending most of the day in the rice paddies, I suggest you drive around fifty minutes to the Aloha Ubud Swing theme park. An attraction that hides the spectacular aerial swings, which you will surely remember from the most popular pictures of the island on the internet. From here you can delight yourself with a jungle landscape, as well as appreciate the famous nests of birds and chickens.

It has about five swings where you can enjoy the sensation of flying through the air. You can even choose to be between 10 and 50 meters above the ground, depending on how comfortable you feel. It also has a butterfly park, where you will surely be amazed by the natural spectacle. This scenic tour starts at 28 euros, sometimes they can offer tea to accompany the views.

Buy tickets for Aloha Ubud Swing

Day 7: Escape to Tanah Lot and Kanto Lampo

Kanto Lampo|©Mr. & Mrs. Blum
Kanto Lampo|©Mr. & Mrs. Blum

During your last days in Bali, I recommend you to enjoy a tour by the most important natural enclaves. Starting with the temple on the sea, better known as Tanah Lot, which is imposed on the rocks offering amazing views of the ocean. Later, venture to Kanto Lampo to dive into its magnificent waters.

Tanah Lot

The architecture of Tanah Lot has impressive Balinese elements, in fact the tour by its pillars and statues, is simply wonderful. You will only have to dedicate yourself to enjoy the peace that emanates from this place, which is located on an islet of Bali. It can be appreciated from far away on board of the best local cruises, but it is worth the trouble to take a look at it closely.

It is an unforgettable location that only can be visited when the tide is low. The main attraction is the surrounding caves, as well as the blessing and purification rituals outside the temple. As such, tourists cannot enter, but there are those who wear traditional Balinese clothing and get a lucky break. The entrance fee starts at 4 euros and can be visited from 7:00 to 19:00 hrs.

Kanto Lampo

To forty minutes in car you will find a beautiful cascade, where you can take impressive photographies. It is Kanto Lampo, one of the most exotic of Bali, where you can take advantage of a trekking experience. It is quite accessible and can be combined perfectly with the visit to Tanah Lot.

To access to the water flow, you must go down some stairs, quite safe for any person. It is a bit slippery, so it is preferable to wear water shoes or hiking shoes. A dip in these waters will make you feel purified and renewed, you can make the hike on your own or book a guided tour from 61 euros, which can take you briefly to the Monkey Forest.

Book an excursion to Tanah Lot, Kanto Lampo and the Monkey Forest

Day 8: Take advantage of the beauty of Mount Batur

Bali Batur|©Jérémie Lochon
Bali Batur|©Jérémie Lochon

The mount of Batur is located in Kintamani village, surrounded by natural beauties that deserve your attention. Here you can spend the day wrapped in the mountains of Bali, exploring some of the best things to do on the island. I recommend you to begin with Mount Batur at sunrise, to later refresh yourself among Lake Batur.

Mount Batur

The mount Batur is a popular attraction that cannot be absent in a long stay in Bali, since it offers a spectacular volcanic landscape. The best time to enjoy this experience is during the dawn, the guided departures are programmed between 1:00 and 4:00 hrs, so that you have the opportunity to see the sunrise from the top of an active volcano.

On this visit you will be at 1,700 meters above sea level, so you will be able to see black lava from past eruptions. If you are looking for things to do in Bali in October, I recommend you to make this tour because the climatic conditions are more favorable. Keep in mind that the guided visits usually offer a quick tour by the coffee plantations.

It hires a walk to the dawn to the mount Batur

Lake Batur

Back on flat land, I recommend you hop in a cab to Lake Batur, located less than twelve minutes away. This is a volcanic lake that was formed over 30,000 years ago. Its age makes it special, but also the pleasant conditions of the water that is reserved for drinking. As you can imagine, bathing is not allowed, but the viewpoints in the surroundings offer a postcard view. You can combine this visit with a jeep ride on the volcano of Mount Batur, so that you have enough energy to walk along the river.

On the water you will see traditional fishermen, as well as farmers from nearby villages watering their crops. It is an enriching experience, considered one of the best things to do in Bali, since it is surrounded by exuberant natural beauty.

It reserves a tour in jeep by the volcano of the mount Batur

Day 9: Admire the hidden gems of the capital of Bali

Pile of yellow lifeguards|©[空] SORA
Pile of yellow lifeguards|©[空] SORA

Denpasar is the capital of Bali, therefore it has variety of contrasts of amusement. From a natural environment full of mangroves, to a water park full of intense attractions. I recommend you to take this day with calm and to dedicate yourself to enjoy your last hours in the island.

Forest of Mangrove of Ngurah Rai

Bali is a multifaceted and little predictable island, where the Forest of Mangroves of Ngurah Rai hides. It is a forest park that was restored, given its privileged location in the heart of the island and emblematic mangroves. Specifically it has 33 types of mangroves, but the one that stands out the most is the perapat class.

It is an ecological tour out of the ordinary, where you can visit nurseries and take advantage of educational experiences. It will not take you a lot of time, but it is worthwhile if you want to delve into the natural beauty of the island.

Waterbom Bali

After nine days in Bali, you probably have less energy. This is not excuse to lose you one of the best aquatic parks of the island. It is Waterbom Bali, located to ten minutes in car from the forest of the mangroves. Here you will find everything you need to spend a fun day, especially if you go with children.

It is an oasis in the middle of Kuta, with exciting water slides surrounded by traditional gardens. There are attractions of all levels of intensity, suitable for any age. Undoubtedly, it presents a contrast between the typical western amusement parks and the Balinese culture. You will also find a gastronomic area and a bar, plus you can purchase day passes to take advantage of all the entertainment options.

Day 10: Experience the Eat, Pray, Love Tour

Tirta Empul|©Enrica
Tirta Empul|©Enrica

To say goodbye to Bali with brooch of gold, nothing better than to explore some of the locations and references that are reflected in the book of Come, Reza and Ama. In this way, you can find out what prompted Elizabeth Gilbert to immortalize her memories on the island of the gods. Especially, I suggest you have fun at Tirta Empul Palace and explore the rice fields of Tegalalang.

Tirta Empul

The Come, Pray and Love tour is inserted in some of the most sacred places on the island. For that reason, you cannot pass by Tirta Empul, considered one of the best temples of Bali. It has a spring of sacred water, where you can participate in a ritual of purification typical of Indonesia. You will have the opportunity to enter in contact with authentic healers and seers.

Specifically, the ritual consists of wetting three times the face and drinking three times water, quite particular and impregnated of the ancestral traditions. You will return home refreshed, because it is usually combined with a yoga class. If you have time to spare, you can continue the writer's journey of transformation, visiting Ubud's Royal Palace, art market and other locations. Or, you can take advantage of a full tour from €68.

Book the private tour of Eat, Pray, Love

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

To continue tasting a cultural tour to the rhythm of Come, Reza and Ama, I suggest you to venture to the rice fields of Bali. The most emblematic is the rice terrace of Tegalalang, which stands out for its peculiar beauty and is located ten minutes by car from Tirta Empul. When arriving you will find a traditional painting, which will give beginning to your voyage by its greenish fields.

You will discover the most authentic side of the island, alternating between rice fields and cascades. Particularly in Tegalalang you will be able to take a look at the crops, but also at the handicraft areas and souvenir stores. Unlike the terraces of Jatiluwih, in these you have to pay an entrance fee to access the plantations.

Book a tour of waterfalls and rice paddies