The Top Things to do
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Top 25 things to see & do in bali


Thousands of Aussies flock to Bali every year for a tropical retreat, but Bali is more than just white sandy beaches and cocktails. Here at 1Cover, we want to help you uncover the hidden (and not so hidden) gems of this stunning destination. From cultural experiences to adrenaline-pumping adventures, Bali offers a range of activities that cater to every traveller's desires. So, whether you're seeking spiritual enlightenment, thrilling outdoor escapades, or simply craving authentic culinary delights, Bali has something special in store for you. Join us as we count down our top 25 must-do activities in Bali, guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable.

1. Mount Batur

Mount Batur


Mount Batur is one of 2 active volcanoes in the Kintamani district of Bali, standing at an impressive 1,717 metres above sea level. This majestic peak has become renowned for the exciting trekking experiences on offer. The climb usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, with the path winding through dense forests and rocky outcrops, so a moderate fitness level is needed to finish this hike. Head to Mount Batur before dawn and get to the summit on time to witness one of the world's most stunning sunrises. After soaking in the sunrise, take time to explore the volcanic crater and its surroundings. We do recommend going to Mount Batur in the dry season (May - October) as the weather will be a little cooler, and the mountain won’t be so muddy.

2. Tegalalang Rice Terrace​​​​​​

Tegalalang Rice Terrace


Located just north of Ubud, this iconic landscape offers a glimpse into the island's rich agricultural heritage. As you wander along the narrow pathways that wind through the terraced fields, you'll be treated to views of lush green rice paddies cascading down the hillsides. This is a serene and tranquil landscape, but it's also very Instagram worthy, so do snap a few shots when you can. For an even more immersive experience, consider joining a guided tour to learn about the traditional farming methods used by local Balinese farmers and gain insight into the significance of rice paddies on the island. This is ideal for nature enthusiasts, photography buffs, and those simply seeking a peaceful escape.

 

3. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple


Situated in the village of Tampaksiring, this sacred Hindu temple is known for its holy spring water, which is said to possess purifying properties. Inside the temple complex see its ancient architecture, with intricate carvings and ornate decorations. The centrepiece is a central courtyard, where temple members gather for ritual cleansing ceremonies beneath the sacred spring waters. Visitors can join in the spiritual experience by wearing a traditional sarong and sash before being immersed in the purifying waters. While you’re there we recommend you take some time to explore the tranquil grounds surrounding the temple, where there are lush, peaceful gardens. There are many many temples in Bali but Tirta Empul is a truly special experience, which will help visitors gain a deeper understanding of Balinese culture.

4. Turtle Conservation and education center
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Turtle Conservation and Education Center


Located on Serangan Island, this centre is one of the best ways to interact with Bali’s wildlife in an ethical and humane manner. The centre is working to put an end to the turtle trade, and giving baby turtles a safe place to hatch and start their lives before being released into the oceans. At Serangan Island this centre houses rescued turtles and brings them back to health, with 3 out of the 7 sea turtle breeds calling this centre home. You’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with beautiful turtles, while also getting a comprehensive education about the turtles and turtle trade of Bali.​​​​

5. Nusa Penida 

Nusa Penida


Just a short boat ride away from the mainland, this stunning island offers a little slice of paradise. Nusa Penida is famous for its dramatic coastal cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and idyllic beaches that look like a picture postcard. One of the island's most iconic spots is Kelingking Beach, with its unique cliff formation that resembles a T-Rex. Take in the breathtaking views from the cliff's edge before heading down to the beach below for a refreshing dip. Another highlight of Nusa Penida is the natural infinity pool at Angel's Billabong, where you can take a dip while soaking in panoramic ocean views. Make sure you snorkel or dive in the vibrant coral reefs surrounding the island, which are teeming with colourful fish and plants.

 

6. Sacred monkey forest sanctuary

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

 

This nature reserve and temple complex is located in Ubud and home to over 1260 long-tailed macaques, a sacred animal to the Balinese people. You can stroll around the jungle paths and observe these curious creatures up close as they swing from trees and interact with each other. The sanctuary also houses ancient temples, adding a cultural touch to your visit. Just remember to be respectful and follow the rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and the monkeys. The monkeys here are regarded as the guardians of the temple grounds, so any hint of disrespect towards them will not go down well with the locals. Make sure you check the sanctuaries website before you go to see their do’s and don’ts. 

 

7. Waterbom

Waterbom


Get ready to make a splash at Waterbom Bali! The fun never stops and the water adventures are endless at Bali’s top waterpark, which spans across 3.8 hectares of Kuta. Dive into excitement with thrilling slides or take it easy on the lazy river, there’s attractions for all ages, from the little ones to the big kids at heart. Attractions here are maintained to strict international safety standards, and all pools are kept clean using salt chlorination technology. So grab your swimsuit and get ready for an unforgettable day of watery fun at Waterbom.

8. Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple


Next we’re heading to Tanah Lot Temple, where ancient spirituality meets stunning ocean views. This temple is perched on a rocky outcrop in Tabanan, Bali. Feel the sea breeze on your skin as you explore this centuries-old site, surrounded by dramatic coastal scenery. Take a walk along the shoreline, soaking in the sunset views that have made Tanah Lot famous. Don't forget to snap some photos of the temple against the backdrop of the colourful sky. Tanah Lot is the ultimate experience for history buffs, as it has been part of Balinese mythology for centuries, the temple complex offers a market, restaurants and a park where you could catch some traditional dance performances.

9. goa Gajah Cave

Goa Gajah Cave


Also known as ‘Elephant Cave’ this archaeological site, dating back to the 11th century, is nestled on the western borders of Bedulu Village, close to central Ubud. This sacred site contains a temple, a relic-filled courtyard, a meditational cave and bathing pools. Goa Gajah is revered as a sacred site for spiritual practices, offering opportunities for meditation, reflection, and participation in purification rituals at the bathing pools. Beyond its cultural and spiritual significance, the tranquil surroundings of Goa Gajah, hidden in dense greenery, create a peaceful atmosphere.

 

10. Campuhan Ridge Walk

Campuhan Ridge Walk


The breathtaking Campuhan Ridge Walk is nestled in the heart of Ubud. This picturesque trail offers views of green valleys, rolling hills, and cascading rice terraces, making it heaven for nature and photography lovers alike. Strolling along the pathway, you’ll be surrounded by vibrant tropical foliage and the soothing sounds of nature; soak in the peaceful surroundings and relish the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of Bali’s cities. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat, a scenic spot for a romantic walk, or just a breathtaking backdrop for your Instagram photos, this is an unforgettable experience that captures the best of Bali's varied landscapes.

 

11. Surf at Kuta beach

Kuta Beach


Get ready to hang ten at Kuta Beach, Bali's ultimate surf spot. With consistent waves and a lively atmosphere, Kuta is a paradise for surfers of all levels. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner catching your first wave, the warm waters of Kuta are the perfect setting for a surfing adventure. This is the perfect activity for adrenaline junkies, but Kuta also offers a cute beachfront town with cafes, shops and restaurants to explore once you’ve finished your surf session. Kuta is a must go for seasoned surfers, and the most beautiful spot to try something new, so get the surf boards ready!

 

12. Kecak Dance Performance

Kecak Dance


You can catch performances of this traditional Balinese dance in lots of spots across the island, even at the Tanah Lot Temple mentioned above. Wherever you find it, watching a performance is a must do activity while in Bali. What sets the Kecak dance apart is its unique vocal accompaniment, which consists of a large group of male performers chanting "cak" in rhythmic patterns. The Kecak dance is often performed in open-air settings under the stars, such as at temples or outdoor stages so make sure you make your way to a show!

 

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13. Balinese Spa

Balinese Spa


Balinese spas offer a holistic approach to healing and wellness, drawing inspiration from ancient Balinese traditions and techniques passed down through generations. From soothing massages to invigorating body scrubs and luxurious beauty treatments, Balinese spas offer a wide range of therapeutic services. The serenity of Balinese spas provides the perfect escape from busy Bali, allowing you to unwind and pamper yourself in a peaceful oasis. Additionally, the use of natural ingredients such as aromatic oils, herbs, and spices in Balinese spa treatments will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

 

14. Scuba Diving and snorkelling

Scuba Diving

 

Snorkelling and scuba diving in Bali are incredible opportunities to discover the diverse marine life and underwater landscapes of Indonesia. With crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, Bali is perfect for both beginners and experienced divers. Popular sites like the USS Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben and the coral gardens of Nusa Penida provide unforgettable diving experiences, while snorkelers can enjoy colourful reefs and tropical fish along the coastlines. Whether you're exploring shallow reefs or diving into deeper waters, Bali's underwater world is a unique and exhilarating experience. 
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15. Banyumala Twin Waterfall

Banyumala Twin Waterfalls

 

Tucked away near Lake Danau Buyan, about a 2 hour drive from Canggu, the Banyumala waterfall's twin cascades plunge into a deep pool below, inviting visitors to jump in and swim in chilly, but refreshing waters. Like other hikes, we recommend doing this in the dry season (May - October) both for safety and ease of access. The trek from your transport to the waterfalls is moderately difficult, but short only taking about 20 minutes each way. There is a small entrance fee but it does include a bottle of water, and the money is put towards the upkeep of the park. 
 

16. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

 

Uluwatu Temple, also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, is one of Bali's most iconic temples, sitting on the southwestern tip of the island's Bukit Peninsula. Perched on cliffs 70 metres above the Indian Ocean, the temple offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding coastline, making it a popular spot for watching sunsets. Dating back to the 11th century, the temple holds significant religious and cultural importance to the Balinese people. It is one of the six key temples believed to be Bali's spiritual pillars, protecting the island from evil spirits and serving as a place of worship for the sea gods. One of the highlights of a visit to Uluwatu Temple is the traditional Kecak dance (mentioned above) performance held at the amphitheatre during sunset. While exploring the temple, be mindful of the resident monkeys, although entertaining, these monkeys are mischievous, so keep belongings secure and avoid feeding them.

17. Jatiluwih Green Land

Jatiluwih Green Land


This UNESCO World Heritage site located in West Bali is one of the most stunning spots in Bali, and is, surprisingly, a little more off the beaten track than some other similar spots. These green rice terraces stretch over 600 hectares of the Batukaru mountain range, and their unique topography is maintained by the irrigation systems which have been in place here since the 9th century.  Another thing that makes this place special is, it’s the only place in the world that has three rice harvests every year. You can head out here on a tour, or drive yourself but it's pretty rural so those are pretty much the only options. There are cycling tours available, or you could hire a driver for the day to bring you around the scenic roads.

18. White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

 

White water rafting in Bali is absolutely exhilarating. With several rivers to choose from, including the Ayung River near Ubud and the Telaga Waja River in eastern Bali, there are options for rafters of all experience levels. Along the way, there are opportunities to pause and admire the natural beauty of the surroundings, swim in refreshing pools and explore hidden waterfalls. Wildlife sightings, such as tropical birds and monkeys, are common along the riverbanks. Make sure you choose your guides carefully and only go with reputable companies. Overall, white water rafting in Bali promises an unforgettable, exciting experience full of natural beauty, making it a must-do activity for adventurous travellers.

19. Menjangan's National Park 

Menjangan Park

 

Menjangan is a little off the beaten path, but definitely worth the trip in our eyes, this is a small island about 5 miles off the mainland featuring the huge Bali Barat National Park. You can actually stay here in the Menjangan resort, which spans a stunning 382 hectares. There’s an array of different activities on offer here like snorkelling and boat trips, horseback riding, treetop lookouts, kayaking, safari's to spot the local wild deer, monkeys and lizards, and even spa treatments. Menjangan and the national park are definitely worth a night or two of your time in Bali. 

20. Balinese Cooking Class

Balinese Cooking Class


Taking a Balinese cooking class is a fun way to discover Bali's rich culinary heritage. Through hands-on participation guided by experienced local chefs, you'll learn to craft authentic Balinese dishes. Beyond mastering cooking techniques, these classes provide a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of food in Bali. Cooking classes also serve as social gatherings where you can connect with fellow food enthusiasts from around the world, and the best part? At the end of the class, you'll sit down to enjoy the delicious dishes you've prepared. Cooking classes are perfect for solo travellers looking to meet new people and foodies eager to expand their culinary repertoire.

21. Bali Swing

Bali Swing


Time to up your Instagram game, and head to one of Bali’s many swings. These are dotted across the island and are a quintessential Bali experience. These are possibly a bit of a tourist trap, yes, but when in Rome! This is one of the most fun ways to take in the stunning views in Bali, soaring above the tree tops and glistening waters. The swings are also exhilarating and get the adrenaline pumping, without quite going to the extremes of white water rafting or surfing.

22. Visit a beach club

Beach Club

 

Bali is absolutely full of exciting and relaxing beach clubs. Which club you choose will depend on what you want out of your visit. Some are party spots, with international DJ’s and late nights under the stars, but some offer gourmet dining and cocktails delivered to your sun lounger. Whatever you’re looking for though, you have to spend at least one of your days in Bali lounging in the lap of luxury and being waited on at the drop of a hat. Check out our guide to Bali beach clubs to get some inspiration on where you should head.

23. Bali Botanic Gardens

Bali Botanic Gardens


Located in Bedugul, central Bali, the botanic gardens host 21,000 living specimens of about 2,400 species of plants and flowers. This region is a lot cooler than other parts of Bali, making this a great option for families with young children. This is an easy day trip, about a 90 minute drive from Denpasar, and is an opportunity to experience a whole new region of Bali that’s a little less visited. The onsite adventure park lets you go through 6 circuits running through the treetops, including zip lining, Tarzan swings, nets and bridges. You’ll also be near Beratan Lake and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, so you can take in some extra sights on the onetrip.

24. Visit the elephants

Elephants

 

Before you take this tip, please research the sanctuary you’re thinking of visiting and ensure the animals are being treated ethically and facilities are up to standard. At the Mason Elephant Park you can even sleep at the sanctuary in villas overlooking the park. Many parks are home to Sumatran elephants, just be sure the elephants in your chosen sanctuary have been ethically sourced. The chance to have an up close encounter with these graceful giants is unique to these parts of Asia, so if you can do your research and ensure you’re only interacting with the best sanctuaries, this is a must-do in Bali.

25. Cycling tours

Cycling Tours

 

These tours are available at a lot of the landmarks across Bali, like Mount Batur, the monkey forest and some of the rice terraces. These are a great way to see Bali as you’ll be out and amongst the landscape, while covering a lot more ground than you would by foot. Make sure you find a reputable tour guide who’ll give you reliable bikes and safety equipment for your trip, and bring you into the more rural parts of Bali for a truly unique and cultural experience. Tours should be graded by difficulty so make sure you’re signing up for the correct level of difficulty for your experience and fitness. 

Ready to Go?

It's time to explore Bali's diverse landscapes, immerse yourself in its rich culture, and indulge in its culinary delights. From thrilling adventures like surfing at Kuta Beach and white water rafting in Bali's rivers to moments of relaxation at Balinese spas and beach clubs, our guide has highlighted 20 amazing experiences that capture the essence of Bali's beauty and charm. Whether you're seeking adrenaline-pumping activities, cultural immersion, or just a chance to unwind, Bali invites you to embark on a journey of discovery. So pack your bags and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime in the magical island paradise of Bali...and don't forget to pack travel insurance!
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