Ultimate 3-week Guide To Bali, Indonesia
Bali is the paradise island where almost everything is possible! Here you can wander in the wild jungle, watch the sunset from impressive limestone cliffs and swim in the deepest turquoise waters. Discover the best Bali, Indonesia has to offer in this 3-week route guide.
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How To Get Around On Bali, Indonesia
Even tough Bali is a relatively small island, traveling between the different destinations can take a while because of all the hills and curves in the road. Therefore, I would advice you to book a taxi from one destination to the next, and to rent a motorbike for day trips.
Renting a motorbike in Bali is super easy as almost any hotel has a rental service.
Pro Tip ➳ Read this Quick and Easy Preparation Guide for Indonesia so you know all about trustworthy taxi’s, credit cards, vaccines and much more.
Ubud – 3 Days
The international airport on Bali, Indonesia is in Denpasar, located on the South side of the island. From the airport you can take a taxi to Ubud, the unofficial green capital of Bali. Ubud itself is really fun and vibrant little city. There is one block with cool shops and delicious restaurants. But what I love most about Ubud is the lush environment around it. Therefore, Tegalalang rice field, the Monkey Forest and the Campuhan Ridge Walk are places you cannot miss when you go to Ubud.
Because the centre of Ubud can be a bit chaotic, it’s much nicer to stay in a hotel a little outside the crowded area. Check out my favourite hotels below.
Day 1 – Ubud centre and relaxing
On the first day you arrive at your hotel in Ubud after a long flight. This first day is the perfect to relax and walk the streets of Ubud. There is a fun market where you can wander around, but you can also just relax at your hotel pool.
In the evening it’s time to explore the Balinese cuisine and Ubud has a lot of great food choices. But if you really want to try out some Indonesian food I would highly recommend you to visit a Warung. A Warung is a small family restaurant in Indonesia where they only cook traditional food. These Warungs are the perfect spot to try out the Balinese kitchen and to get to know some locals. You can find Warungs almost anywhere, so just keep your eyes open.
Tegalalang rice field
If you love nature and beautiful rice fields, Tegalalang rice field is definitely the place for you! The Tegalalang rice field is only 30 minutes away from the city centre of Ubud and houses impressive valleys filled with rice. What makes take a Tegalalang rice field stand out are the many layers of rice terraces. Tegalalang rice field is also a wonderful place to practice your travel photography. Check out the best minimalist travel photography gear here.
Because Tegalalang rice field is so beautiful it becomes crowded during the day and therefore, I highly recommend you to go here at sunrise. At sunrise the rice fields are empty and you can fully take in the natural beauty of this place. Also, the light in the rice field is very beautiful at sunrise. The soft mist reflects the sunlight that pears through the palm trees, creating stunning beams of light?.
When you go to Bali you will discover that monkeys are everywhere?. Especially in at the Monkey Forest you will find hundreds and hundreds of monkeys, from old grumpy ones to tiny babies clinging to their mother?. In the monkey forest you’ll see the Barbary Macaques species, this is also the most common monkey on Bali. The Monkey Forest is literally a forest with a walking trail through it which takes you to different parts of this jungle area. While you are wondering around the forest you will see tons of monkeys playing around.
What I love about the Monkey Forest is that these monkeys are well taken care of and are roaming around freely. But you do need to be careful, do not bring food with you into the Monkey Forest as they will smell it and try to open up your bag.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is a walking route over a mountain ridge in the city centre of Ubud. It is an easy walking route with a hardened path and incredible views over the rice fields of Ubud. You can look into the lush green valleys and discover the beautiful rice fields from another perspective. The entire ridge walk is about 1.5 km long and it’s a popular place for a morning run. The best to time to do the Campuhan Ridge Walk is at sunrise because the light is magnificent, there are few people and the temperatures are nice.
The trail of the Campuhan Ridge Walk ends at a cute restaurant with a view over the rice fields. This restaurant makes the perfect breakfast spot.
Take a taxi In the evening of the third day in Ubud to the Twin Lakes. Always book your taxi with Grab as it’ll save you a lot of money.
Twin Lakes – 1 Day
The Twin Lakes are two crater lakes located in the North of Bali. Officially the lakes are called Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan, the two lakes are separated by a stretch of jungle covered hills. The surroundings of the lakes is very rich in nutrition and therefore many fruits and plants are grown here. But why I truly love the Twin Lakes is because of the calming environment. The spectacular view you over both lakes will take your breath away. And especially when it is sunny, the shimmering water in the lakes will blind you with beauty.
Stay one full day at the Twin Lakes and discover the Pura Ulun Danu Beratan and the viewpoint over the two lakes. Don’t forget your sweater and a long pants when you go there, as it is very cold.
➳ Best Luxurious Stay at The Twin Lakes (OMG This Was A DREAM!?)
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Start your morning off right by watching the sunrise at Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. This temple has been dedicated to the goddess of Lakes and Rivers, Dewi Danu and for this reason the temple has been positioned in the lake itself. The many levels of roofs make this temple look very unique. And during sunrise this temple is even more beautiful as the colours in the sky are reflected in the water, showing a wide array of colours. But don’t expect to be here alone, as many photographers want to capture the sunrise.
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Twin Lakes Viewpoint
After a wonderful sunrise at Pura Ulun Danu Beratan you are probably craving for breakfast. Drive up with a motorbike to the Twin Lake Viewpoint and all along the ridge of the lakes you’ll find little family restaurants. Enjoy a lovely traditional breakfast with a view over the Twin Lakes. And after breakfast, visit the viewpoint itself.
Book a taxi at the end of the day to take you to your next destination in this Bali, Indonesia guide, Lovina.
Lovina – 2 Days
On the Northern coast of Bali, Indonesia you’ll find a village called Lovina. The village itself is not particularly interesting or beautiful, BUT you can do something incredible in Lovina and that is swimming with dolphins! And don’t forget to visit the most impressive waterfall of Bali, Sekumpul Waterfall. In your 3-week trip on Bali, Indonesia I would reserve 2 days for Lovina, one day to do the dolphin trip and a second day to explore the beautiful waterfalls.
Lovina is located at the ocean so make sure you book a hotel on the beach or with an ocean view?. Check out my favourite hotels in Lovina ↡
➳ Best Luxurious Stay in Lovina (Private Little Villa With Pool!)
Sunrise Dolphin Trip
The dolphin trips in Lovina are widely known and you can book a dolphin excursion at almost any hotel in Lovina. At 5 or 6 a.m. you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the harbour. Here you’ll go aboard a small traditional fisherman boat with four people, including the captain. At sunrise you will be going onto the water and the moment the sun goes up you’ll start seeing dolphins jumping out of the water. This is the perfect time to spot huge pods of dolphins swimming around. With the boat you will sail along these dolphin pods, so you can see them properly.
Many dolphin trips leave strictly at sunrise, and because many people want to see these dolphin, it is crowded on the water at that time. Pick a dolphin trip that starts a little later than sunrise. There will be way less boats on the water, making this a much better experience.
Another thing is that you can do two different kind of experiences. You can either watch from the boat to see the dolphins, or you pay a little extra and you can also “swim” so with the dolphins. You’ll be in the water on the side of the boat, holding on to a rope and when the boat sails after the dolphins, you are likely to see the dolphins swim underneath you. This is definitely worth that little extra money!
Sekumpul Waterfall is only 1 hour away from Lovina and is in my opinion the most impressive waterfall of Bali, Indonesia, or actually I should say collection of waterfalls. As Sekumpul Waterfall consists of 7 separate waterfalls. Walk down to the river and wander along the stream, letting yourself be surprised by what waterfalls you might find.
The mist from the water spraying up, shimmers in the air against a decor of wild jungle, showing of the magic of this place! While at the same time you can feel the power of the water, as it clashes on the rocks.
After a day playing and discovering the different waterfalls you can book a taxi to bring you to Amed, the next destination in this Bali, Indonesia guide.
Amed – 3 Days
Amed is known for its beautiful black sand beaches, marine life and chill vibe. Because Amed is quite far from the more popular places in Bali, you will find only few fellow travellers here, creating an even more inviting setting. And if you love diving, this is the best spot on Bali to do it!
➳ Best Luxurious Stay in Amed (20 euros p.p. with infinity pool overlooking the ocean?)
Snorkeling and Diving
Discover the underwater world straight from the beaches of Amed. Almost anywhere you walk into the ocean, you will find large corals in wild colours, turtles and many many fish??. This beautiful underwater scenery makes Amed a great place for snorkelling and diving.
If you’ve got your PADI Advanced Diving License you might be interested in checking out a diving trip to the shipwreck. In front of the coast of Amed lies a large shipwreck, which is a really cool diving spot. Especially at night, since turtles sleep in this shipwreck?.
Sunset At The Black Sand Beach
In Amed there is something really cool and that is a black-sand beach. This beach is black due to volcanic materials. At the black sand beach, the waters are really calm and it’s the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.
I think we all have seen pictures of the stepping stones at Tirta Gangga ? . This garden in Tirta Gangga is part of the famous water palace Taman Tirtagangga. The palace is build on a holy water source, hence the name of water palace. The garden consists of multiple pools with fountains, stepping stones and statues. In the water you’ll find a large amount of fish and lilies. The garden feels more like a beautiful park area to walk around and its a great place for a morning walk.
In the evening of the third day it’s time to move on to the next destination. Book a taxi and go to Besakih for the next part of this journey.
Besakih – 3 Days
Besakih is an area on the South-Western slopes of Mount Agung. Staying in this area gives you the opportunity to really see what life is like when you live on Bali, Indonesia. There are little villages where people rarely see tourists. The area is mainly farm land but with a strong cultural spirit.
Stay 3 days in Besakih and its surroundings to discover an even more beautiful rice field than Tegelalang, the most holy temple in Bali and to climb up Mount Batur.
➳ Best Budget Stay In Besakih (Spectacular view!)
➳ Best Luxurious Stay in Besakih (Luxurious Bamboo Treehouse?)
Mount Batur Hike
The hike up Mount Batur is definitely something you want to add to your bucket list. Mount Batur is the second highest volcano on Bali, Indonesia and it rises 1700 m in the sky.
This hike starts at 2 am in the morning, walking up under the stars, following a trail of flashlights up the mountain. On top of Mount Batur a hot drink and little breakfast awaits you, perfect to warm you up. The wind on the top can be cold if you’re sweaty from the climb, so don’t forget to wear a sweater.
From the top of Mount Batur you can watching the sun come up over Mount Agung and the Batu Lake. This will blow your mind as the lake glistens below the impressive shadow of Mount Agung. It’s the best feeling to see such a stunning view as a reward after a long hike.
When you do this hike you need to bring water, hiking shoes and a thick sweater. The best way to climb mount Batur is with a guide, which you can book online or at your hotel.
P.S. Don’t let the monkeys on the top of the Mount Batur steal your breakfast??. The moment the sun goes up, monkeys appear out of nowhere and they want breakfast too.
The Mother Temple or Pura Besakih is located close to Mount Agung and is the largest and most important and sacred Hindu Temple on Bali, Indonesia. This temple consists of 23 different temple buildings and they are spread over 6 terrace levels. The large gate on top of the large stairs is the entrance to the temple.
Over the year, many festivals are celebrated in the Mother Temple. During the festivals you can participate in the culture and enjoy the traditional dances and telling stories about the past. When you are on Bali, try to visit the temple during one of these festivals.
Sidemen Rice Terrace
Sideman Rice Terrace is still a huge hidden gem on Bali. As most tourists only visit the famous Tegalalang rice field, many people miss out on (in my opinion) the most beautiful rice field on Bali, Sidemen’s. The Sidemen Rice Terraces are large valleys with layers upon layers of rice ?. Rent a motorbike and cruise around the Sidemen rice terraces, every corner you turn you will see another beautiful sight. From up the mountain you look down in the valleys and when you stand in the rice fields themselves you will be able to see Mount Agung. Take your time and stop frequently to take in the views.
Take a taxi in the evening of the last day in Besakih to Ubud, stay the night in Ubud and leave for Nusa Lembongan the next morning.
Nusa Lembongan – 3 Days
Nusa Lembongan is part of the 3 Nusa Islands next to Bali, Indonesia. This island radiates happiness and relaxation. Nusa Lembongan is the place to relax and enjoy ocean swings, turquoise waters and coolest beach clubs. Discover the best Nusa Lembongan has to offer in this Complete Island Guide.
After 3 days, take a boat to the largest island, Nusa Penida.
➳ Best Luxurious Stay on Nusa Lembongan with view over the Blue Lagoon?
Nusa Penida – 4 Days
Nusa Penida is the island of steep limestone cliffs, white sand beaches and snorkelling with Manta Rays and Mola Mola’s! Nusa Penida is much larger compared to Nusa Lembongan and has a more adventures island vibe.
Do a snorkelling tour, visit the T-Rex cliff, stay in the famous treehouse and much more! Find out the Perfect 3/4 day Itinerary for a trip to Nusa Penida here.
From Nusa Penida you can easily arrange transportation to Canggu with your boat company. Because you have already booked a boat ticket to the mainland, you can add transportation to Canggu with them for a cheap price.
Canggu – 2 Days
After a few days of relaxation on the Nusa islands it is time for some partying, cocktails, surfing and don’t forget the smoothie bowls. Canggu is a very hip and trendy destination. And because of this relaxed hipster (and European) vibe, many travellers go to Canggu. Discover the Top 10 Things To Do In Canggu here!
➳ Best Budget Stay In Canggu (Only 7 euros per person)
➳ Best Luxurious Stay in Canggu (Drop Dead Gorgeous❤️!!)
Summary 3-week Bali Indonesia Schedule
- Incoming flight on Denpasar, Bali
- Ubud – 3 days
- Tegalalang rice fields
- Monkey forest
- Ridge walk
- Twin lakes – 1 day
- Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
- Twin Lake Viewpoint
- Lovina – 2 days
- Swim with dolphins
- Sekumpul waterfall
- Amed – 3 days
- black sand beach
- Tirta Gangga
- wreck diving
- Besaki – 3 days
- Mount Batur Hike
- Mother temple
- Sidemen rice field
- Nusa lembongan – 3 days
- Nusa Penida – 4 days
- Canggu – 2 days
- Flight back home
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