Whether it’s a world-famous clifftop bar or an epic underwater sea walking experience, take your adventure to extraordinary heights with our top things to do in Bali.
Bali equates to beachside bliss, five-star oceanfront resorts and an Eat, Pray, Love style of wellness. Many flock to this tiny corner of paradise for a dose of rest and relaxation, but there is so much more to Bali. Think thrill-seeking water sports activities, postcard-perfect private beaches and a rising beach club scene which beckons the effortlessly cool from across the globe.
Make your adventure un-Bali-vable with our top seven things to do in Bali.
Ready to secure your stay? Check out our handpicked Bali escapes.
Set up camp in Bali’s coolest beach clubs
From cool DJs sets, tropical cocktails, exclusive beach cabanas and fresher-than-fresh seafood, Bali’s beach clubs are the perfect way to spend a day in paradise. For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to IBIZA IN BALI, a sultry beachfront club along Kelan Beach in Kuta. Sit on crisp white sun loungers overlooking the ocean and order a platter of fresh seafood while listening to fresh beats and low-fi tracks.
If your idea of paradise is lounging on a bean bag by the sea with an Aperol spritz or piña colada in hand, Sundays Beach Club nails the brief. Set up camp on one of the beachfront sunbeds and take advantage of the complimentary watersports (stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling and kayaking) before gathering around the bonfire after sunset to toast marshmallows on the beach.
Dine at the hottest restaurants & bars
If there’s one place to visit to be wined and dined at in Bali, it’s Rock Bar. This celebrated cliff-top bar, part of the five-star AYANA Resort and Spa, delivers serious wow-factor thanks to an open-air design that allows for 360-degree views of crashing ocean waves and a fiery horizon come dusk. You may come for the sunset, but you’ll stay for cocktails. Stay cool with a Rock My World, a refreshing combination of kaffir and lemongrass-infused vodka, yuzu purée, pineapple, lemon and orange. If you prefer something a little spicier, sip on the Rockatonic, which blends dried-fig-infused dry gin, orange bitters and white vermouth.
There are also local and international beers, an extensive wine list and energising juices and mocktails to suit all kinds of tastebuds. The food is top-notch – snack on tapas like crispy calamari, popcorn chicken or sushi, or settle in for larger plates, such as lobster orzo or pizza from the nearby Sami Sami Restaurant.
Need more convincing? Here’s Why Rock Bar in Bali Should Be at the Top of Your List
Get your heart racing on an adventure
The perk of a Bali island-flavoured holiday is that the beach is always within easy access, as are an abundance of watersports and active adventures to keep the fun times rolling. If heights deliver a thrill worth chasing, don’t miss the chance to go paragliding in Nusa Dua. With an experienced pilot, launch off Sawangan Cliff into scenes of jaw-dropping natural beauty: gain a rare aerial view of Nusa Dua’s gleaming, golden beaches and glitzy five-star resorts.
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, why not embark on a sea walking experience? In Nusa Dua, you can make tracks across the ocean floor and come face-to-face with vibrant sea life without even getting your hair wet. Don a helmet with a transparent visor and your wetsuit and follow a professional guide to discover the watery wonders which lie beneath the surface.
Relax with a wellness experience
Every wellness guru worth their weight in Epsom salt knows that Bali is one of the top-tier locations for a wellbeing getaway. With a plethora of day spas, yoga retreats and wellness resorts available, it’s no wonder Bali has long been a source of physical, mental and spiritual restoration for many. At AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI, head to the Aquatonic Pool, a warm seawater labyrinth where strong currents, bubbling jets, microbubbles and 12 hydromassage stations are designed to aid with muscular rehabilitation, rebalancing mineral deficiencies and stimulating blood circulation.
For a more traditional spa experience, The Apurva Kempinski Bali ultra-luxe spa offers healing treatments based on a unique Javanese philosophy of both outer and inner harmony. Try the Dewasa Signature Journey which comprises of three different packages, all designed to take the stress out of everyday modern life. Treatments can include a softening milk body polish, energising massage with lemongrass oil, organic facial and Chakra-boosting afternoon tea.
Laze on Bali’s best beaches
What’s a trip to Bali without visiting some of its best beaches? Dreams of secluded shores and gleaming ocean waves come true at Kubu Beach, AYANA Resort & Spa’s very own private beach. The picturesque slice of coastline is accessible via an inclinator which scales the dramatic limestone cliffs, serving up breathtaking vistas. Unfurl a towel and open your beach umbrella to enjoy a whole day on the sand.
On the other end of the spectrum is Seminyak Beach. There’s five kilometres of buzzing shoreline brimming with sun lovers, rainbow-bright beach umbrellas and plush sun loungers. This is where you can take your pick of gourmet restaurants and five-star resorts, and learn to surf or pretend you’re a celebrity at an Ibiza-style beach club, saluting the setting sun with a round of cocktails.
Live it up in luxury at a five-star resort
There are Bali beach resorts and then there’s The Apurva Kempinski Bali, an ultra-luxurious haven boasting exceptional ocean views from an unrivalled vantage point atop the striking cliff of Nusa Dua. A highlight and must-do at this five-star resort is to dine at Koral Restaurant for a unique aquarium dining experience. This underwater eatery features dishes inspired by Indonesian coastal flavours, to be enjoyed while watching neon-bright marine life glide past floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Another gem in the crown of Bali’s most indulgent resorts is AYANA Resort & Spa, BALI in Jimbaran Bay. The resort is a world in itself, dedicated to delivering paradise on a silver platter. Award-winning facilities include 12 dreamy swimming pools – including three with waterslides and another with a swim-up bar – a whopping 19 restaurants and bars serving everything from traditional Balinese to Mediterranean fare, cocktails and tapas, plus an 18-hole miniature golf course, state-of-the-art fitness centre and a world-class spa.
Let nature steal the show
Moments in nature are powerful enough to form lifelong memories. The magic of a waterfall is hard to resist, and Tegenungan Waterfall is no exception. Just 30 minutes from Ubud or an hours’ drive from Seminyak, the falls are a popular spot for waterfall chasers in Bali. From the parking lot, follow the well-maintained pathway 126 steps down to the base of the falls. For a quick detour, you can also visit a temple located halfway down the pathway. At the base of the falls – if you’ve remembered your swimmers – cool off with a quick dip.
What’s more show-stopping than a sunset? Answer: watching the sunset from a cliffside beach. Tegal Wangi Beach in Jimbaran is a secluded beach located underneath a clifftop temple on the Bukit Peninsula in southern Bali, where natural caves and rock pools make for a stunning landscape. Time your visit for late afternoon to enjoy a leisurely swim and sun-soaking session before the sun begins its descent into a fiery splendour.
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