A week in Bali is more than enough time to explore so many of the wonders that this magical island has to offer. Although you could easily spend a month or more traveling through the many villages, coastal towns and more touristy parts of Bali, you can get a great feel for the island by moving through it in a week. There are a few key spots not to miss, so if you arrange your travel itinerary accordingly, you’ll leave here having experienced a little bit of everything. Read on for more on how to create a perfect week in Bali.
When you land in Bali, it’s easy to hire a taxi to Ubud to start your Bali adventure. This town was made popular with tourists by the book “Eat, Pray, Love” and yes you’ll find people seeking out Elizabeth Gilbert’s spiritual healer! (You can find her too!) Ubud is a haven for yogis, those seeking healing and spiritual enlightenment, and some of the healthiest and most beautiful vegetarian and organic food you can find. Spend a few days here and sign up for a yoga class or two at one of the beautiful yoga studios. You’ve got to check out Yoga Barn, because this yoga studio will put all others to shame! Browse the markets for some cheap local goods like fabrics, essential oils and crystal jewelry. And when it comes to eating, you’ll have your pick of some of the finest healthy cuisine anywhere. Some of the best health-food here includes gluten free vegan cheesecakes, soy ice cream, pumpkin tempeh lasagna and so much more. (Yes, vegan cheesecake! You won’t even miss the cheese!) And don’t forget to wash it all down with a green juice or fresh coconut bigger than your head. Ubud is also famous for its monkey forest and easy day trips to the sacred water temple and gorgeous rice terraces. Just make sure not to get bit by a monkey, because rabies shots are a real pain… yes, from experience! At night, you can attend a Kecak dance performance to experience some of the local culture and history.
The next stop on your journey will be Seminyak, to experience a bit more of the local culture. Here you’ll find less tourists which can make for a bit more of an authentic experience, and it’s close to the water so you can spend some time at the beach. A taxi from Ubud to Seminyak shouldn’t cost you more than $20. Once there, check out the market at Seminyak Square, as it’s known to be one of the best market areas in Bali. Haggle down the prices of scarves and sarongs and you’ll be feeling like a local in not ime! And here in Seminyak you can try some great local Indonesian specialties at the local warungs, or cafes. The bonus here is that you’ll pay local prices for food, which comes out to about a dollar or two per dish. Local favorites include fried rice (nasi goreng) and rice with a sampling of meats and vegetables (nasi campur.) You can also drink fantastic lassis and smoothies for a very cheap price. Don’t forget to spend time at the beach and get up early to watch the sun rise over the water, bonus points if you bring your partner for an uber-romantic moment.
Your final stop on your weeklong journey will be in Uluwatu, a fantastic surf town in the very south of Bali. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just starting out, you can take a lesson or rent a board here for a great experience. The surfing culture here is laid-back yet lively, as everyone heads to the beach bars and restaurants for drinks and dinner of grilled fish as the sun goes down. The name of the game here is CHILLED!
If you have extra time, don’t miss a trip to the Gili Islands while you’re in Bali. You may only have a day or two to spend, but it can be enough. Gili Air is a fantastic place to visit to experience some great snorkeling and beach time. If you’re looking to party with the younger crowd, head to Gili Trawangan (don’t overestimate your tolerance for the vibe here if you really want clean, beautiful beaches.) If you crave a solitary feeling, particularly after Gili T, Gili Meno feels very secluded and tranquil.