Bali in 7 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Seven days are enough to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Bali, where you will find traditional cooking classes, dreamy beaches, sacred temples and out-of-the-ordinary attractions.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

16 min read

Bali in 7 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Bali beach |©SanMo

Bali is an island with as many plans as rice fields, temples and waterfalls, for that reason it is advisable to dedicate a complete week to explore its exuberant beauty. In 7 days you can take advantage of an itinerary diversified by the best activities and locations of Bali, divided between popular destinations and less known zones but of great cultural value. If what you want is to enjoy the nature and to know local anecdotes, you can begin in the village Kintamani.

To enjoy a paradisiacal vacations you can take a look at Kuta, the islands Gili and Uluwatu. The rice terraces also cannot be absent in your plans, since they figure among the best things to make in Bali. I anticipate to you that in the island the public transport is deficient, so it is preferable to move in cab, motorcycle or car. If you plan to stay several days, you should definitely consider renting a car to facilitate the itinerary.

Day 1: Explore Kintamani Village

Batur Lake|©Francesco
Batur Lake|©Francesco

Kintamani is a picturesque village that borders the island, offering various entertainment options. Touring it in a single day is virtually impossible, as it is the area with the most villages on the island of the gods. If instead of 7 you plan to stay at least 10 days in Bali, you can take the time to cross it with more calm and even to extend your possibilities at the time of making stops.

Mount Batur

It begins your trip in one of the most impressive natural enclaves of Bali, whose routes of hiking will not leave you indifferent. You will have to get up early to be able to appreciate the sunrise from the he ights and the morning cold vibrating in your bones. At the top the views are mind-blowing, as you will feel like you can touch the clouds. The hike requires a certain physical capacity, since it lasts between two and three hours.

I recommend you do it with an expert guide and book in advance, as the entrance is controlled by a local group that does not allow access on your own. In addition, it is a challenging adventure that can become dangerous if you venture without supervision or experience, especially in the rainy season that the paths are somewhat slippery. The best tours of Bali offer options from 45 euros, with departures between 1:00 and 4:00 hrs. This way, you may not have to worry about transfers from your hotel.

It reserves a walk to the dawn to the mount Batur


To continue the experience I recommend heading to the village to explore its small streets and monuments. It is a twenty minute drive from the mountain, it is difficult to get public transportation so I don't recommend wasting time on it. It is so big and has so many villages, that it is worth signing up for a bike tour of its rural surroundings.

Here you can spend the rest of the day cycling and making strategic stops at the most important sites such as temples, hot springs and villages. You can rent a bicycle by your own, or take advantage of the best tours of Bali. This way, you will have the possibility of crossing rice fields, sliding through its enchanting forests, having lunch in a Balinese corner, stopping at Lake Batur and visiting very popular sanctuaries. Guided experiences start at 25 euros, usually take place in groups and last approximately seven to nine hours.

Book a bike tour of Kintamani

Penelokan and Toya Bungkah Kintamani Village

If you want to spend some extra time in one of Kintamani's villages, you should definitely consider Penelokan, a village located just six minutes away by cab or car. It offers stunning views of Lake Batur and a variety of beach bars and terraces to liven up the evening. From here you can obtain interesting photographies of the mountain, or simply dedicate to buy souvenirs.

Among the best things that to make in Bali in an itinerary of 7 days, definitely it cannot lack a passage by the thermal waters Toya Bungkah Kintamani. Located a ten-minute drive from Penelokan, it is an enriching stop that will take you to a natural water park, where you can swim with the scenery in the background and take advantage of the healing benefits of the warm water.

Day 2: Marvel at the beauty of Kuta

Bali, Kuta|©Margarita Muromskaya
Bali, Kuta|©Margarita Muromskaya

Kuta is a spectacular zone of high tourist affluence in any time of the year, which is located to the west of the island. Here the temples happen to be a secondary attraction, to put the focus in the paradisiac beaches, aquatic sports and plans that involve sand, sun and sea. You can also leave the comfort of sun loungers to explore a turtle conservation center and take part in its rescue initiatives.

Kuta Beach

Kuta is one of the best beaches of Bali, known by its white sand and good prices. Beforehand I anticipate you that it is quite touristy and crowded, but we cannot blame those who choose this destination above others since it is full of life. In addition, it is surrounded by beach bars, beach clubs and fascinating proposals if you are looking for things to do on the island at night.

It has excellent waves for surfing and witnesses amazing sunsets. In general, I recommend arriving in the morning so you can find sun loungers and a good seat in front of the sea. Keep in mind that there are those who stay near the area to get the most out of its tourist benefits.

Additionally, another ideal beach for surfing is Canggu, where sometimes the tourist influx is lower and you can even join a surfing lesson.

Hire a surf lesson in Canggu

The Bali Sea Turtle Society

To only eight minutes on foot is your next destination, known as The Bali Sea Turtle Society. It is a very popular center of conservation in the island, since it teaches you to take care of species in danger of extinction. Specifically, they take care of rescuing threatened turtles and later they return them to their habitat, in favorable conditions so that they have a good life.

Here you can be part of the rescue activities, as well as to attend workshops where you will learn the importance of each species. In total, Bali has six types of marine turtles, which have been traded illegally to sell their meat and eggs. Undoubtedly, it is a sensitive experience that will connect you with nature. If you still have energy and time, you can return to the beach or hang around Kuta.

Day 3: Know Uluwatu in Bali

Uluwatu|©Christine Hall
Uluwatu|©Christine Hall

Head to the south of Bali to continue the fun, probably at this point you will feel relaxed and rested from your trip, so you can explore this location in detail. As point of reference you can use the airport, since it is quite near. Your first stop has to be the beach, where the sunrise is a spectacle. Later, you can recharge energies in one of the best temples of Bali and finish the day exploring the remains of an old airplane.

Beach of Uluwatu

I recommend you to begin the day very early in the Uluwatu beach, so that you can witness an incomparable sunrise and to lie down on the clear sand. It is not surprising that it heads the list of the best beaches of Bali, due to its paradisiacal landscapes of postcard and roads that connect with the town. In fact, if you plan to be more than 10 days in the island, you could consider dedicating a complete day to stay until the sunset or to venture to a route of beaches, because it is very near Padang Padang and Bingin Beach.

It is considered the paradise of the surfers, so you can spend the morning and part of the afternoon on a surfboard. In addition, there are coves along the cliffs where you can enjoy panoramic views and tastings in the beach bars. The atmosphere is youthful, cool and party-like and it is not surprising that impromptu celebrations are held with music, dancing and water activities.

Book a sunset tour to Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple

Until 7:00 pm you will have a chance to visit the Uluwatu Temple or Cliff Temple, located just four minutes by car and thirty minutes on foot. You can use cab apps with the same system as Uber, better known as Grab and Gojek. This way, it will be easier to get to this sanctuary in the sea, which is believed to protect the island from evil spirits.

Here the sunsets are breathtaking, so find a good seat to enjoy. The entrance goes from 2 euros and it is necessary to take a sarong, a typical Balinese garment that covers the legs. Inside you will be able to witness a Kecak dance that usually chants chak-a-chak chants, as it takes you on a journey around the local island. Be aware that the sanctuary is guarded by monkeys, who tend to be curious and seek to steal visitors' belongings.

AirCrew Sensation Bali

It realizes a quick stop in AirCrew Sensation Bali, to about fifteen minutes in car from the temple, although at the end of the day there is usually more traffic. It is an abandoned airplane that appeared mysteriously in the middle of nowhere, without any logical explanation. It used to be visited on its own by tourists, but nowadays it is a very interesting amusement park. Until 23:00 hrs you can go up to the Boeing 737NG flight simulator, a family experience not to be missed.

You will be able to feel like the captain of the ship, while you explore the control port and try to decipher how the airplane arrived to the fields of Bali. The theory that gained more force, is that it was part of a hotel project that was abandoned. However, in the absence of an official version, you can let your imagination fly. During the flight you will enjoy 3D images, which makes the experience more enjoyable.

Traditional Balinese cooking class in Ubud

To end the day I recommend you to go out of the ordinary, to head to a traditional Balinese cooking class in Ubud. From AirCrew you will have to drive about half an hour to the center of the city. I promise you that it is worth it, when arriving you will submerge in the secrets of the local gastronomy to taste and to prepare variety of colorful plates. In Bali the preparations with spices, vegetables, fish and herbs predominate, in addition it has some similarities with the Chinese food.

Most dishes tend to be spicy, so they are accompanied with traditional drinks that tend to be sweet. This type of experience takes you to the private home of a local family to learn how to prepare Satay (kebabs), Pepes Ikan (meat wrapped in banana leaves), Ayam Care (chicken cooked in coconut water) and other local delicacies. You may also enjoy a walk through orchards and farms, for around 72 euros.

Book a Balinese cooking class

Day 4: It crosses Denpasar, the capital of Bali

Denpasar|©Chrissy H
Denpasar|©Chrissy H

Denpasar is the capital of Bali, so it is an obligatory stop during your passage by the island of the gods. It is not a so tourist zone, but it houses amazing locations and unmissable traditions. Here some of the best local museums are hidden, like the Museum of Bali. There is also the Park of the Birds and the Island of the Shark. Be prepared to spend a great day, making enriching stops.

The Museum of Bali

The Museum of Bali is a historical and cultural marvel, where exhibitions of art and ethnology are conserved that will take you in a trip by the Balinese roots. It was constructed in 1931 near the Old Palace of Denpasar, to guard important objects of the history of the island of the gods. It is one of the best things to do in Bali, if you want to take a look at fashion artifacts, textiles, masks and dance costumes.

The structure simulates the royal palaces of the old Bali, reason why it is considered a sacred space. It is important to maintain a respectful attitude, not to run for the corridors neither to touch the objects nor to take photographies to them with flash. It has indoor and outdoor rooms, where you can enjoy the pleasant climate of the island. It is open from 8:00 to 16:00 hrs, except on Fridays when it closes at noon.

The Bird Park

Your next stop is ten minutes away by car and is an enclave surrounded by nature, ideal to visit with children. It is the Park of the Birds or Bali Bird Park located in the town Singapadu, whose aviaries preserve more than 1,300 birds of at least 250 species. Here you will be able to appreciate the wild life, to learn on the conservation of species of extinction danger and to enjoy educational activities.

Be prepared to witness exhibitions of avian flight and to know a representation of the exotic fauna of the island. For example, you can catch a glimpse of the flying fox bat, the crested eagle and the great Argus pheasant. Additionally, it has a 3D cinema where documentaries are shown. There are also programs of cultural shows, in the open-air gastronomic terraces. It is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on holidays.

Shark Island and the Orchid Garden

To only twenty minutes in car hides the famous island Bali Sharks or Island of the Shark of the town Serangan. There is a bus that connects both points, better known as Kura-Kura bus. The price of the trip oscillates between 1 and 7 euros, but it is little recommended because from the final stop you will have to walk at least half an hour. This bay is little known, but incomparably beautiful. It is a guarded environment where you can coexist with these graceful animals, and even feed them.

Turtles and other species of the marine life of Bali can also be appreciated, always at a prudent distance. It is a visit full of learning that can be combined with other centers of conservation in the island. It is to less than ten minutes of the beautiful Garden of the Orchids, so if you have time left over you should take advantage of a quick tour. It is completely worth it, but you should check the availability of visits in advance. Its splendor and natural surroundings will leave you dazzled, as it has labyrinths with hundreds of species of flora.

Day 5: Take advantage of the sunny days in Canggu

Canggu, Bali, Indonesia|©Chang Ju Wu
Canggu, Bali, Indonesia|©Chang Ju Wu

Canggu is a coastal town that stays sunny almost all year round, with unusually quick rains. For this reason, it is one of the favorite destinations of the locals. It is considered one of the most modern villages, with a contemporary style. Here you can visit a temple on the sea and be witness of the best beaches of Bali.

Temple Tanah Lot

The sanctuary Tanah Lot is one of the best temples of Bali, due to its importance and privileged location. Specifically, it is located in an islet on the ocean, so it is surrounded of the blow of the water. It can only be visited when the tide is low, to avoid risks and to be able to appreciate its surroundings comfortably. It is located near rice fields, cliffs where you can enjoy a dive and relax in hammocks near the shore.

In fact, it is recommended to combine this visit with a relaxing swim in the waterfalls of Kanto Lampo, as well as a tour of the vastness of the Monkey Forest. As for the temple itself, its interior gathers the most curious elements of Balinese mythology, such as objects that protect the island from evil spirits. The easiest way to get there is by motorcycle, gliding along the fairy-tale-like paths. The road has no curves, so you can enjoy the adrenaline without taking a real risk. I recommend you to dedicate at least two hours, keep in mind that the entrance fee starts at 3 euros and is open every day from 6:00 to 19:00 hrs.

Book an excursion to Tanah Lot, Kanto Lampo and the monkey forest

Batu Balong

To only fifteen minutes in car or cab, one of the best beaches of Bali is located, well-known as Batu Balong. It is ideal to spend the rest of the day, since it offers waves for beginner surfers. In addition, it has ideal footpaths to enjoy a walk by the mountain, and beach bars where the spectacular sunsets of Bali are appreciated, without agglomerations.

Here it is not necessary to remain nailed in the sand, you can opt for the favorite enclaves of the locals like cafeterias in the cliffs or a relaxing evening in The Lawn. This is a private space with a pool, ocean view and an outdoor terrace. All you have to do is relax, while the waves crash against the shore.

If you still have time left or want to marvel at other landscapes, you are in luck! Batu Balong is to only three minutes in car of the famous beach Canggu, one of the preferred ones to practice surf in Bali.

Book a surf lesson in Canggu

Day 6: Enjoy a tour of Jatiluwih

Jatiluwih Green Land|©Hendri Arba - Nature Landscape Photographer
Jatiluwih Green Land|©Hendri Arba - Nature Landscape Photographer

Jatiluwih will give you an authentic Balinese experience, it is known for its natural surroundings and its name gives you a preview of what to expect. The word "Jatiluwih" translates as "really beautiful" in Balinese. Here are hidden some of the best things to do in Bali, like visiting the abundant and colorful rice fields, or refreshing yourself among its streams and waterfalls. It is an ample zone and full of history, so to dedicate a day to him is the only way to cross it completely.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

The rice terraces of Jatiluwih are a popular Balinese location, located in the heart of Bali. It is considered one of the main attractions of the island, since the rice is the predominant culture of Bali, in fact the local gastronomy is impregnated of this cereal. You can make trekking, or venture to a guided experience in electric bicycle. This way, you will be able to explore its exuberant beauty, to know local histories and to pass by the small villages of the perimeter.

In all moment you will be in contact with true Balinese farmers, and from its hills you will obtain unequaled views. I recommend you to take short breaks in the chalets, bring mosquito repellent and comfortable slippers. If you are looking for things to make in Bali in October, this it is the best time to make this visit, because events are made around the closing of the harvest. You can realize the route by your account, or to contract guided experiences from 72 euros, to enliven the stroll.

It hires a tour in electric bicycle by Jatiluwih

Yeh Ho Waterfall

Just a fifteen-minute drive away is the Yeh Ho Waterfall, in Penabel village. It is usually not as crowded as other waterfalls, which makes it a perfect setting to enjoy a quiet getaway. You will be able to rejuvenate in the Balinese nature, in the middle of the jungle. It is quite isolated, so bring everything you need for this excursion.

The water is quite fresh most of the year, and it is ideal to relax after an energetic walk through the rice fields. You can also rent a bicycle to take a look at the back roads, as well as the village where different types of handicrafts are made. This scenic tour is recommended for people of any age, as it is low intensity.

Day 7: Escape to the Gili Islands

Bali and Gili Trawangan|©Aaron Geddes
Bali and Gili Trawangan|©Aaron Geddes

Of course, you can't leave the island without taking advantage of the best excursions from Bali. The Gili Islands are a popular archipelago located two and a half hours away. You can arrive in airplane or ferry, the best option to travel is Gili Getaway that offers routes once a day from 48 euros.

You can make a scenic route, although I recommend you come back with more time, to stay at least one day on each island of the archipelago. It has several, but the main ones are Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, where you can have a good time.

Gili Trawangan

When you arrive to the archipelago I recommend you to go directly to Gili Trawangan, to take advantage of the time. It is the most touristic of the three islands, so you will find more options for entertainment, accommodation and gastronomy. It has dream beaches, where you can indulge in surfing, snorkeling or swimming with turtles.

It is also famous for its swings in front of the sea, where it is worth taking a picture. Massages on this island are very inexpensive, certainly a way to relax with the sound of the waves in the background. It is actually an unpredictable island, because you never know what you are going to find. There are movie screenings on the beach, shows at sunset and beach bars with different gastronomic proposals.

Gili Meno

Unfortunately, you have little time so after lunch, I suggest you take a ferry that will take you to Gili Meno island in about fifteen minutes. The public ferry from Gili offers trips from 2 euros, at least twice a day. You can also choose private options from 10 euros, such as Scoot Cruise which leaves once a day and Karya Bahari which leaves every hour (the best option, so as not to waste time).

It is an ideal destination for romantic getaways, as it is quieter and more private. In fact, it has beautiful and not very touristic beaches. It is the one I recommend you to dedicate less time to, although you should not overlook its turtle sanctuary and yoga classes in front of the sea.

Gili Air

To finish the voyage and to say goodbye as it deserves of Bali, I suggest you to take a ferry to Gili Air, which will leave you in its port in less than ten minutes. It offers desert and calm beaches, but with more options of entertainment in Gili Meno. Additionally, it is a destination famous for traditional cooking classes, postcard sunsets and bike rides along its shores.

It also has beachfront swings, in fact there is at least one per beach and people try to reserve one at sunset time. They are very coveted, although they have no cost and it is a matter of luck to find an empty one. In short, if you have little time it is preferable to dedicate it completely to Trawangan or Gili Air.