We have just completed an incredible one month stay in Bali with our family of six and would love to share the highs and the lows with you. From soaring cliffs and white-sand beaches to jungles, rivers and volcanos, our Bali itinerary covered so much that this stunning island has to offer but once you get a taste of Bali, you realise there is more to discover than you think!
We’re from Australia and have travelled to Bali before, as this beautiful place is only a short flight away. With a beautiful culture and people, a hot tropical climate and a wide selection of fantastic surf breaks, there are so many wonderful things to do in Bali it is no wonder we keep returning again and again.
Like most travellers, we usually get to spend a couple of short weeks in a private villa in somewhere like Canggu or high on a Uluwatu hill, chilling poolside and hardly even venturing outside.
This time was different.
We sold most of our belongings and packed everything we own into a couple of small suitcases.
Going on an adventure with our four children, we threw caution to the wind, did a crash course in homeschooling and bought one-way tickets to Southeast Asia.
Our Bali itinerary hasn’t been all about relaxing and cocktails!
Our itinerary has had to entertain and gain approval from the harshest critics, our kids, and they have been kept interested along the way!
You can follow our adventures on our blog Gadsventure and scroll down to the bottom of the post to find out more about us.
Looking for more Asian itineraries?
- Japan Itinerary
- Osaka Itinerary
- Nagoya Itinerary
- Hong Kong Itinerary
- Macau Itinerary
- Sri Lanka Itinerary
- Philippines Itinerary
- Taiwan Itinerary
- Thailand Itinerary
- Planning Your Bali Itinerary
- Our Bali Itinerary
- Bali Itinerary Week 1 – Padang Padang and Bukit Peninsula
- Bali Itinerary Week 2 – Canggu
- Bali Itinerary Week 2 – Sanur
- Bali Itinerary Week 3 – Keramas
- Bali Itinerary Week 3 – Amed
- Bali Itinerary Week 4- Sidemen
- Bali Itinerary Week 4 – Ubud
Planning Your Bali Itinerary
How many days?
We stayed for a whole month in Bali but you could use easily cherry-pick our 4 weeks in Bali itinerary to tailor your vacation to suit the amount of time you have.
If you want to squeeze most of these Indonesian landmarks into your itinerary, you’ll need a couple of months at least.
We had initially planned to stay the entire month in the one villa but decided to move around and explore new places and I am so glad it turned out this way.
Here is a breakdown of our one month in Bali:
- 7 nights in Bali – Padang Padang Beach, Uluwatu, Bukit Peninsula
- 5 nights in Bali – Canggu
- 1 night in Bali – Sanur (this one didn’t turn out well!)
- 4 nights in Bali – Amed
- 3 nights in Bali – Sidemen
- 7 nights in Bali – Abiansemal (just outside of Ubud)
If you want to get away from Bali to unexplored parts of the country read this post about Flores Indonesia.
Bali Airport and Transport
Before we left Australia, we paid a visit to our travel health professional to arrange vaccinations.
We do not need a visa for Indonesia as Australia is part of the visa waiver program and we are allowed to stay for 30 days.
Travelling to Bali involves arriving in Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is always smooth sailing for us and, this time, despite being 2.5 hours delayed, our spirits were super high as we arrived for our one month stay.
Having four young kids, we were waved straight through customs and immigration as if we were celebrities. But you can also pay for a VIP pass that will fast track you through immigration. Check out the details here.
The gauntlet of taxi drivers at the airport is not something I ever want to tackle with tired kids and husband.
Instead, I simply looked for the guy holding the sign with my name on it!
Another celebrity moment.
Top tip: Our number one recommendation for arriving in Bali is to make sure you book an airport transfer. Book your Bali airport transfer here.
Your hotel or villa accommodation can arrange this transfer and sometimes it is included but transfers are often extra. Book your transfer from the airport here.
Expect to pay somewhere between 200,000IDR to 300,000IDR (about A$20 to $30) for an airport transfer to the popular areas.
The cars are usually large Toyota vans and with four kids and a mum squeezed in the back seat, Dad comfortably in the front seat and a surfboard sitting on our heads, we easily fit!
There are no baby car seats in Bali and often no seatbelt at all in the back, however, the going is mostly slow anyway.
Travel time from Bali airport
- Bali airport to Padang Padang Beach – it took us about one hour. We arrived around 3 pm (the traffic is a lot less hectic in the morning).
- Bali airport to Canggu – at least an hour.
- Bali airport to Ubud – 1.5 hours
Flying to Bali with Garuda? Read our Garuda Business Class review.
Food in Bali
Our favourite foods in Bali are:
- Nasi Goreng (fried rice, sometimes with chicken, and a fried egg on top)
- Mie Goreng (fried noodles)
- Ayam Betutu or Bebek Betutu (slow-cooked chicken or duck platter with bean salad, and plain rice)
- Cap Cay (chicken and vegetables in a tasty non-spicy gravy with rice)
- Babi Guling (spit-roasted pork)
- Beef Rending (slow-cooked tender beef curry)
- Nasi Campur (rice with a selection of meat dishes)
The kids ate a lot of tropical fruits which make up for their diet of pancakes, plain rice, eggs and french fries. Little Mabel is the most adventurous foodie.
Booking your accommodation in Bali
Booking an Airbnb in Bali
We found Airbnb to be great for browsing and booking an Airbnb in Bali can sometimes be like a mystery treasure hunt to track down the place.
Before booking, ensure you ask your host anything and everything you need to know. Here are some questions you should ask
- Is there a supermarket nearby?
- Is the wifi good?
- Do you have hot showers?
- Is breakfast included?
- Will we be able to find it?
Sign up for an Airbnb account here to see the types of accommodation you can book in Bali.
Other booking sites that also offer budget accommodation and homestays are Bookings.com and you can compare prices of accommodation on several bookings sites using HotelsCombined.
Our Bali Itinerary
Here’s how we spent our time in Bali. I hope it gives you some great ideas and inspiration to customise your own Bali itinerary.
Bali Itinerary Week 1 – Padang Padang and Bukit Peninsula
Padang Padang is on Bukit Peninsula, the little blob off the bottom of the island of Bali where a narrow bottleneck of land contributes to the traffic problems.
The land ends in dramatic cliffs and there are some incredible white beaches down below.
The surf is great, which was a major drawcard for us, but there are some beautiful swimming beaches as well.
Where to stay in Padang Padang
We bravely booked a homestay for our first week and I say “bravely” because it is not something we have ever tried before.
Our budget dictated that to stay for a month, we were limited to $50 (AUD) per night to spend on accommodation in Bali.
We wanted somewhere for our family travel tribe that would allow us to all sleep in the one room.
To get all of this in an area which was close enough to the surf forced us to look on Airbnb and for a homestay.
In Bali, a homestay means you have a couple of rooms within a traditional Balinese family
compound with other families living in that compound too.
Our compound had a bedroom pavilion and a separate building for kitchens and bathrooms.
There were temples, chickens, a cockatoo, a dog, cats and children and some elderly grandparents.
The great thing about staying in a compound is that it is good for security because there is always someone home.
There were kids to play with and learn from and our host spoke good English, so we could ask anything.
They arranged everything we needed, from popping out to grab cold beer to renting us a motorbike and even being our tour guide for the day.
Wayan’s Family Guesthouse was a fantastic way to start off our one month in Bali.
How to Get Around Padang Padang
Hiring a motorbike in Bali
We hired motorbikes for our stay in Padang Padang during our first week in Bali. With four kids, this was quite a challenge.
I know motorbikes are not going to be to everyone’s taste, but when in Bali, we think it’s the best way to explore.
Although the roads in this part of Bali are very quiet, we rode very slow.
Our host arranged our bikes, 60,000IDR each per day including helmets. For a longer rental, you can usually negotiate a better price.
If motorbikes are not your thing, while travelling in Bali you can easily find a private taxi to take you around.
Ask your villa host to arrange this for you or walk down the street to find the guys with the ‘transport’ sign.
A driver for the day can cost from 250,000IDR to 500,000IDR for the day depending on your bargaining skills.
Places to visit in Bali near Padang Padang
We were in this area for seven days (so yes you could stay here if you’re planning a 7-day Bali itinerary) and found there were so many things to do.
Padang Padang Beach
We were within walking distance to Padang Padang Beach so this became our favourite
place! Check out our video:
This beach costs 30,000IDR per adult to visit and you enter via steep steps through a cave.
Watch out for monkeys!
Down on the beach, go for a swim, have a refreshing beverage or nasi goreng, and explore the small stretch of white sand among the cliffs and rocks.
It is a picturesque place indeed so get there early to avoid the tour groups.
We found that if you visit at 8 am; you have the beach almost all to yourself.
There are lifeguards, and strong currents, so pay attention to the flags and instructions.
Uluwatu Cliff and Temple
One of the popular things to do in Bali is to visit Uluwatu, a famous surf spot just around the corner.
The Uluwatu village winds its way down the cliff face via a few hundred stairs.
There is a small beach inside the cave, and this is where the surfers have to launch.
It is cool to see the waves pound the beach inside a cave!
Uluwatu Temple is a stunning clifftop place of worship which costs 30,000IDR entry
You need to wear a sarong to enter but this is included in the price.
Watch out for monkeys; they like food and sunglasses.
Uluwatu Temple is especially great for sunset and they do nightly Kecak (fire) dances here too.
Bingin Beach and Balangan Beach
Bingin and Balangan Beaches are reachable by hiring a motorbike, or by private car.
They are both otherworldly places full of big surf, steep stairs, rocky access roads and super cool and atmospheric wooden warungs (restaurants) hanging over the beachfront.
When planning your itinerary for Bali, keep in mind these two are definitely worth the trek to see.
Dreamland was more the scene of the package tourist, with large ugly hotels housing hundreds of rooms and a big golf course.
A visit to Jimbaran for a delicious seafood feast on the beach at sunset with our toes in the sand was a spectacular way to end a day.
We spent 800,000IDR ($80AUD) for the cheapest basic seafood platter but that fed our entire family and even included a large Bintang (beer).
It’s a good spot to visit for a classic Bali moment when planning your itinerary for Bali.
Nusa Dua was a nice place for a relaxing day trip in Bali, where it was as calm as a swimming pool and the kids could swim for hours.
The beach over this side of the peninsula is so calm, clear and blue.
Nusa Dua is populated by massive luxury resort chains and is one of the original tourist areas in Bali.
There are plenty of luxury hotels in Nusa Dua, with opportunities to do fun watersports here such as parasailing and banana boats.
We found a super-cool beach bar here called Manarai, which was part of the Sofitel Resort.
They let us swim in their uber-fancy beachside pool if we ordered lunch and the kids behaved.
Waterbom was another fantastic day trip in Bali, no matter where you are staying, and we decided to do from Padang Padang.
If you don’t already know, Waterbom Waterpark is the best waterpark in Asia and a place you must put high on your itinerary for Bali if you’re visiting with kids.
Waterbom Waterpark is amazing.
It’s blow-your-mind awesome, especially for older kids who can go on all the super-fun slides.
Our Mr 9 and Mr 7 were very happy campers and there is an excellent area for the little ones too.
You can hire lockers here for 30,000IDR and private pergolas from 250,000IDR for the day. Waterbom costs around $50USD per adult entry.
Tip: Leave nice and early so the traffic is not too hectic if you’re planning on visiting Nusa Dua or Waterbom Waterpark from Padang Padang.
What to eat in Bali around Padang Padang
Eating and drinking in Padang Padang was awesome!
We had some fantastic meals at clifftop beach bars such as Ulu Cliffhouse and Omnia, enjoying endless ocean views from infinity pools and cocktail happy hours.
- Despacito was a firm favourite for breakfast and a swim
- Bukit Cafe was great
- Budda Soul and the local guy with his fire-grilled corn all fed us well.
- Brothers Warung had the best nasi goreng ever, even getting the kids’ tick of approval.
Bali Itinerary Week 2 – Canggu
After 7 nights at Wayan’s family guest house, it was time to move on.
I had booked our entire months’ accommodation on Airbnb prior to leaving Australia as I wanted to make sure we had pre-booked secure accommodation as we were travelling with kids.
However, our next booking gave me cause to reconsider this.
Where to stay in Canggu
The villa I had booked in Canggu didn’t exist!
After an hour looking for our new villa through weird dog-infested streets, putting a dampener on our road trip around Bali, we had to give up and ask for our money back (Airbnb refunded us quickly plus an extra 10% once I lodged a complaint. Awesome customer service!).
But we now had to find somewhere new to stay and quick!
With a group of six, it’s a bit harder to find appropriate lodgings these days than it was when we first backpacked together as a couple 15 years ago.
The first place that came up on my search was a nearby hostel, so we got our driver to head there pronto.
We ended up at the idyllic La Boheme, in bunk beds, in a 6-bed dorm in the prettiest little hostel with free pancakes and a pool. Winning!
The whole dorm room cost us $70 per night.
So this was Canggu and our traditional favourite place to stay in Bali.
In the past, we would have found a luxurious villa to stay for a week-long holiday in Bali.
Canggu, Echo Beach and Pererenan Beaches are famous for the incredible fully-staffed villas with private pools for a few hundred dollars per night.
These are perfect for holidays in Bali with groups of friends and family.
Anything located south of Jalan Raya Canggu and close to Pererenan Beach Street, Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong or Jalan Pantai Berawa would be considered well-located villas in Canggu.
You can find out more on Canggu with our super-detailed Ultimate Family Travel Guide to Canggu.
Things to do in Canggu
For kids, Canggu has it all and there’s so much to do in Canggu.
You can ride horses at Bali Equestrian Centre, go indoor rock climbing and bouldering, get a massage (100,000IDR per hour!) and shop till you drop in Canggu.
Here are the places we visited in Canggu.
Finn’s Rec Club
We definitely recommend a day at Finn’s Rec Club while visiting Canggu.
It has low-key waterslides compared to Waterbom but you can watch it all from the safety of the sunbeds and the younger kids loved it!
A Super Fun Pass costs $50 per adult but includes waterslides, Bounce Now trampoline park and 10-pin bowling!
It’s a great day out for the family in Bali.
Tamora Gallery has a great kid’s playground, live music and games for Kid’s Sundays and kid’s movies most nights.
Childcare in Canggu
The Garden and Cheeky Monkeys provide excellent childcare options if you need them with drop-in centres priced between 60,000IDR to 150,000IDR per hour.
Beach Bars in Canggu
There are fun options for beach bars in Canggu with Finn’s Beach Club and La Laguna, both kid-friendly.
Beaches in Canggu
The beach is always close and has consistently good surf year round in Canggu.
Batu Bolong, Berawa, Echo Beach and Pererenan Beach are all amazing beaches in Canggu and get progressively quieter as you head further west.
Surf lessons and board rental can be found down on most beaches in Canggu.
Best restaurants in Canggu
There are supermarkets, excellent cafes, pizza shops and gelato in Canggu.
You can eat Indonesian, Japanese, American and Indian (go to Piring Daun for the best Indian ever) and there are still beautiful green rice fields interspersing it all and making you feel perfectly exotic.
Enjoy amazing food choices such as The Joglo and Dandelions too. Restaurants in Canggu are sure to please.
Getting Around Canggu
In Canggu, there are private taxis everywhere and they are easy to arrange.
I’d recommend haggling to get a good price as taxis don’t have meters.
This is different from the Bluebirds that you see elsewhere in Bali who always turn the meter on, so you always get a reasonable price.
Gojeks are everywhere too in Bali.
A gojek is a cheap motorcycle taxi (not an option for when you have 4 kids!) but perfect if you’re travelling as a couple or solo in Bali.
Tip: Download the app and create your account before you leave home for your Bali trip.
They even deliver food!
Grab is another popular option worth checking out before you leave for your trip to Bali.
Bali Itinerary Week 2 – Sanur
Five nights in Canggu is never enough though and we reluctantly left for our next Airbnb.
We were hesitant after our previous bad experience and, unfortunately, our booking in Sanur did not meet our expectations either.
We had a beautiful house, with comfy king beds and a private swimming pool. And it got bonus points for actually being real!
However, the house was in a local area with no facilities travellers to Bali would expect and next door to a noisy military school, which blasted out hearty tunes and loud instructions all the livelong day.
We had booked to stay here for five nights but ended up leaving after one.
Luckily it was cheap!
Bali Itinerary Week 3 – Keramas
We arranged a private driver and got him to take us north for the first time flying free with no idea where we were going in Bali.
A stop in Keramas for the world-famous Bali surf break and a perfect swim in an infinity pool overlooking a black sand beach was an incredible way to spend some time in Bali.
The pool was part of the Komunas resort, which is directly on this unique Bali beach.
They don’t have family rooms here though (we checked) and interconnecting rooms would blow our budget.
But we were content with great surf and a play on that glittery black sand.
Just behind Komunas Resort is an old Boeing 737 that you can go and sit in for lunch.
It is a very cool and surreal experience.
The kids spent over an hour in the old cockpit playing fighter pilots and we checked out the view from our elevated seats while enjoying a delicious meal.
The views over the rice paddies to the Keramas surf break allowed you to watch the surfers while you dine in your private jet.
It’s a Bali bucket list experience for sure!
You can see the island of Nusa Lembongan from here also.
Bali Itinerary Week 3 – Amed
Amed was on our radar thanks to hearing about from some of the backpackers in our Canggu Hostel who were heading there for diving courses.
Amed is 2.5-hour drive away from Sanur on the northeast corner of Bali.
The drive was beautiful – up and over volcanic mountains and ridges, past fishing villages and banana farms.
We arrived in the middle of a heavy monsoonal downpour, so it was rather challenging to tell where we were! And this made us regret not having booked accommodation in Amed before we arrived.
Amed consists of a series of picturesque bays along a stunning 14km coastline, with the Mount Agung volcano in the background.
Look up at this in the morning to see the peak, before the mountain is covered with cloud.
If you are lucky, the view of Mt Agung from the bar at Sunset Point will be amazing as the sun sets behind its slopes.
It’s a classic Bali moment to enjoy.
It was cloudy most days we were there in March but from May to August should be clearer.
Amed town offers a few basic facilities while further south is Jemeluk Bay, which has a black pebble beach, dive shops, restaurants and excellent accommodation options.
Further south is Lipah Bay with a smattering of white sand and Japanese Wreck beach and then on to some quieter fishing villages.
Anywhere between Jemeluk and Wreck Beach would be the better spots to stay.
Everywhere is easy to reach on a motorbike and this is a great place to ride as the roads are quiet.
If you’re spending 2 or 3 weeks in Bali this is a place I’d recommend visiting.
We ran through the rain and into a few accommodation choices to look for the best deal.
It was low season, so luckily there were many possibilities, and they were all very accommodating for our party of 6!
We found ourselves a simple beachfront bungalow at 3 Brothers Bungalows for only 350,000IDR per night (including breakfast and cold showers).
They gave us a couple of extra mattresses for the kids and we were sweet.
The host was able to do our laundry, arrange us motorbikes for 70,000IDR daily, snorkelling gear for 50,000IDR and give us advice on the best things to do in Amed.
The prices of rental equipment vary so it can pay to shop around or at least haggle to get a better deal.
Where to eat in Amed
Our favourite place to eat in Amed was a simple local eatery called Warung Bu Kadek across the road from our bungalow.
A nasi goreng here only set us back 20,000IDR and was so delicious!
The kids loved the wood-fired pizzas at Reef Bar.
Things to do in Amed
Snorkelling or diving is the order of the day in Bali and the two best places to snorkel are Jemeluk Bay and the Japanese Wreck site.
We could snorkel straight off our beach which was just next to Jemeluk Bay and saw amazing fish life only a few meters offshore.
We saw colourful varieties of reef fish, big blue starfish, sea snakes and eels.
If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of the elusive octopus, however, none showed themselves to us.
Jemeluk Bay has a few warungs along a sheltered beach where you can rent snorkelling gear and leave your stuff on a daybed (as long as you buy a drink at the end).
Just offshore is a wonderful example of a hard coral reef and the fish life is amazing!
They sunk a temple out here to create another unique reef, so make sure to paddle out a bit further and check this out.
A buoy marks the temple, just ask the people on the beach to point you in the right direction.
Seeing a sunken ship only 20 metres offshore and being able to snorkel over it has been one of our highlights of this month in Bali.
Our boys aged 7 and 9 loved making up stories about how the wreck came to be there as they swam over the top of it, checking out the resulting impressive reef and plethora of fish.
The currents are strong at certain times so wear a life jacket.
Like most snorkelling spots in Bali, it is better to get there early before they get crowded or windy.
Diving in Amed
There were plenty of operators offering PADI type dive courses for around $USD450.
Adventure Divers were always busy ferrying people back and forth with professional looking equipment.
Another famous wreck, the USS Liberty is nearby and is one of the best shipwrecks to dive in Bali and even in Asia.
Relaxing in Amed
The azure waters of Amed lulled us into a complete state of relaxation in our comfortable shady sunbeds.
We could watch the kids swim, delightfully calling out that they discovered a new species of fish, or playing on the ocean swings.
It was like paradise!
Bali Itinerary Week 4- Sidemen
It was hard tearing ourselves away from blissful Amed but we had already booked to go to Sidemen.
This was a place we knew nothing about and it ended up being one of our favourite places in Bali.
A private taxi from Amed to Sidemen cost 250,000IDR but if you prefer a car and driver, it is best to arrange this with your host because a lot of villas are difficult to find.
The one in Sidemen was up and down rocky driveways through farms and no amount of Google Map geolocation would have helped you!
Natural View Guest House, hosted by Wira and his family, is a huge house with commanding views over terraced rice fields and farms.
It has four rooms and easily accommodated our family in a two-level air-conditioned apartment with sweeping views through a floor-to-ceiling glass panel.
There is an infinity pool and a large common area where they serve meals.
We loved our stay here and not having wifi for a few days was a healing experience Bali style.
It was around $30 a night, a bargain, even though the hot shower was temperamental.
There were plenty of other accommodation options closer to town and we saw some villas scattered amongst the rice fields too.
Things to do in Sidemen
We kicked back and enjoyed the view mainly!
There were heaps of books and toys to keep the kids entertained while our host’s 12-year-old daughter loved playing with the kids too.
The best things to do in Sidemen is a cooking class and farm tour.
A visit to the local market in the village in the morning revealed colourful stalls, local people and the freshest local farm produce.
We selected the ingredients before returning to our villa followed by a walk around the surrounding farms.
Our walk took us up and down hills, through rice paddies, along viaducts, past waterfalls, jungles and crops.
We saw cacao, turmeric, coffee, peanuts, corn, chillies, sweet potatoes, rice, flowers, coconuts, rambutans and snake fruit growing in the fields and forests.
Back at our accommodation in Sidemen, we set about preparing a delicious meal of fried tempeh and tofu with peanut sauce, with a green bean and coconut salad.
Where to eat in Sidemen
We ate all our meals at Nature View House as it was the only place in the area!
They provided a simple and mostly vegetarian meal but we did splash out on the whole grilled chicken dinner one night (and loved it).
There were perfectly fluffy pancakes for breakfast too.
Getting Around Sidemen
Hiring motorbikes and bicycles or getting a private taxi are all possible in Sidemen.
It is a nice place to explore, just don’t get lost on those windy mountain paths!
Watch out for dogs and chickens on the road.
Bali Itinerary Week 4 – Ubud
We got to Ubud via a taxi which took an hour and cost 250,000IDR.
The air conditioning wasn’t working though so when we couldn’t find our villa initially and kept pulling over to check maps, we were starting to sweat!
We eventually connected with our host on WhatsApp who was waiting on the road for us and flagged us down.
Where to stay in Ubud
We stayed at Teman House in Abiansemal, 20 minutes outside of Ubud, as the places close to town only offered the option of two interconnecting rooms which made it more expensive. And the villas closer to town were too expensive for us.
At Teman House, for $50 a night we had the entire upper floor of Wayan’s house, with a gorgeous two-bedroom apartment overlooking palm trees and rice fields.
There were plenty of roosters to wake us up for a glorious sunrise and breakfast with coffee was included too.
The shower was always hot but the wifi was unpredictable as they are waiting for fibre optic internet to be installed in the area, however, a portable pre-paid wifi modem is included in the price.
We loved staying at this place in Ubud and when we left for Phuket, it was with heavy hearts as our Ubud accommodation made us feel at home.
If you are visiting Ubud and looking for a villa stay closer town, check out the area around Junjungan.
It’s a gorgeous place with big villas overlooking the brightest green rice paddies and palm-fringed waterways, near Ubud town.
Getting Around Ubud
Our host Wayan took us anywhere we needed to go, sometimes if he was busy, we had to book a time for later but overall, he was incredibly accommodating.
Motorbike rental is possible here too but I found the roads so confusing and preferred to have someone drive me around Ubud who knew where they were going!
Taxis are easy to find in Ubud but they are used to tourists, so negotiate hard to get a good price.
Tip: A 20 minute taxi ride in Ubud should cost around 100,000IDR (around A10/USD7)
Things to do in Ubud
Famous for Bali yoga retreats, there are a lot of things to do in Ubud and the surrounding area, which makes a 1 week stay here the perfect amount of time.
Visiting the Tegalaling Rice Terraces is a popular activity that should be on any Bali itinerary, even though it can be a bit of a tourist trap.
The green and perfectly terraced hills look stunning from every angle.
Expect to pay a donation at the top for entry, then photos in swings, nests and with ‘authentic’ looking rice farmers cost extra.
Campuan Ridge Walk
From the Warwick Ibah Villas and Spa in downtown Ubud, take the path just to the left and follow it up to the Campuan Ridge.
This beautiful path continues for over 8km through rice fields and elephant grass full of coursing waterways and scenic views across to Mt Agung.
We didn’t go the whole way; we just went in about 800m to get some cool photos of Bali and then it hammered down with rain, so we headed back!
Signs advertising Luwak Coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world, all over Ubud.
The coffee is cleaned and then lightly roasted after being extracted from the poo of the Luwak or Civet Cat.
We went to a plantation and paid 65,000IDR each for a cup which included a tour, a visit to the Luwaks and some free samples of herbal teas.
They have Instagrammable Bali swings here too for an extra fee.
To be honest, the coffee was a little bitter in my opinion.
A lot of people are against Luwak Coffee due to the possible mistreatment of the animals, which may be force-fed the coffee to support the lucrative tourist trade.
Imagine paying $6 to $10 for a cup of coffee in Bali!
I will leave it up to you whether to visit or not.
D’Tukad River Club
We found this dreamy bar/restaurant with two swimming pools clinging to the river bank overlooking a waterfall.
The kid-friendly club had heaps of cool swings, nests and more Instagram-worthy photo spots for the perfect Bali moment.
White water rafting in Bali is the most fun thing ever!
I went with my 9-year-old and together we had the best time rafting 8km down the mighty River Agung rapids.
It was thrilling and the river was incredibly scenic with towering jungle-clad banks and overhanging vines.
We went with Toekad Rafting and it cost about $50 each including lunch. Book your rafting tour here.
I hate monkeys. There, I said it.
They terrify me and they scare the kids, not to mention the fact that they may have diseases.
We made it to the entrance of the monkey forest but when we saw the warning sign “Don’t look the monkey in the eye”, we decided not to enter.
It costs 80,000IDR for adult entry. Enter at your own risk.
This is on Monkey Forest Road and you can walk here from the centre of town.
There are many opportunities to watch a performance of the Balinese Barong dance or one of its variations.
We saw a very entertaining Barong Frog Dance at Balai Banjar Ubud Kelod for 75,000IDR each, on a beautiful stage on Monkey Forest Road.
The ticket sellers were on the street in front of the theatre in the evening and invited us in.
The Ubud Palace also has nightly performances from 7.30pm, which cost 100,000IDR.
Shopping in Ubud is fun! The central Ubud market is a fun place to shop for souvenirs but bargain hard to get a
A taxi will take you on a shopping tour of artisan shops, including to the nearby village of Mas which is famous for handicrafts.
There are some cool clothes and craft shops in town as well such as Mimpi Mannis for well-made designer sandals, Fipper for thongs, Suen Noaj, Green Rock, Bali Tees, as well as your usual Ralph Lauren, Billabong and Rip Curl.
Ralph Lauren opened a factory here in the 1960s, that’s why you see Polo shops everywhere.
Where to eat in Ubud
- If you are craving a steak, the best place to go is Cinta Bar and Grill.
- For a swim with your meal, try the eclectic Folk Ubud. The food is great and a swim is 75,000IDR for an adult (kids are free). They have cool cabanas for hire here too.
- Green Kubu is a must-see place in the rice fields with delicious, cheap food and a beautiful atmosphere. There are geese, fish and a kids playground too.
- We had the best Babu Guling (spit-roasted pork) at Babi Guling Warung, across from Ubud Palace.
- Grandfathers has great coffee and so does Lazy Cats in a cool vintage-themed cafe with an elevated street view.
- Try Bittersweet for an amazingly decorated cafe exploding with chandeliers and awesome chocolate cake.
That’s a whole month in Bali! And what an amazing month it was!
It has been a perfectly balanced time, with an enjoyable distribution between surf and sand, volcanoes and coral, mountains, jungle and rice terraces.
We have been to both touristy and non-touristy attractions in Bali and having a whole month has allowed us to have a couple of lay days as well, which we appreciated.
We have had more amazing food than we ever thought possible and swam in so many magical pools.
A month in Bali has rejuvenated and replenished our souls in a way that only Bali can do.
If we were to stay longer, we would spend time checking out the other islands of Indonesia such as Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Lombok and Gili Islands.
We’ll just have to save those places for our next visit to Bali.
See you in Bali!
Meet the Gadsventure family:
- Kris, that’s me, the mum, a registered nurse who loves yoga and playing the ukulele.
- Brian is originally from the Sunshine Coast; he is passionate about surfing and SUPing.
- Jasper (aged 9) is our eldest and he enjoys playing Brick Rigs and talking about computer games and YouTube.
- Dash is 7 and is an English whizz kid, he is cute, fun-loving and adores sea creatures.
- Daisy is next and at 5 is our youngest student. The challenge with her is to educate her on the fundamentals of reading and writing in her prep year.
- Then there is Mabel, almost 2, and with a fiery personality at odds with her gentle name.
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