Traveling to the Island of Gods? We’re so excited for you! This one week route guide includes all the major highlights you must check out while you’re in Bali. The mainland of Bali is relatively small but there is so much to see and explore! The route was created by our own experiences but feel free to alter the route based on your own travel preferences.
DAY 1 – Arrive in Bali & head to Canggu
DAY 2 – Canggu
If you’re fancy, you can spend a day at Finn’s Beach Club and soak up the sun by the pool while watching surfers catch waves. If you want to explore, you can check out some culture, and head over to Tanah Lot (a beautiful rock temple located on the water – it’s best seen during hide tide). There’s also plenty of shopping around Canggu. Finally, make sure to catch sunset at The Lawn or La Brisa.
DAY 3 – Ubud
On day 3, make your way to Ubud, a great town in the center of Bali. There are so many things to see in Ubud from beautiful rice terraces to countless waterfalls and temples. There are also plenty of places to do yoga, if that’s your thing. It’s also about an hour away from Canggu and you can easily hire a driver from your hotel or guesthouse. PRO TIP: Make sure to NOT use Gojek or Grab drivers in Canggu or Ubud. The locals aren’t huge fans of it.
When you arrive in Ubud, make sure to check out the amazing temples like Saraswati Temple, Ubud Water Palace or Pura Dalem. You can also do some shopping at the Ubud market and practice your negotiating skills.
DAY 4 – Ubud
Wake up early and head to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. We highly stress to get to the rice terraces early (around 7am would be the latest). Why? You’ll beat the traffic, the crowds and the heat – all things we’re not huge fans of! When you’re done, grab some lunch back in Ubud center at a local warung (a small family-owned restaurant or café) to taste some yummy Indonesian food (Sun Sun Warung, Warung Fair Bale and Made Becik Waroeng are our favs) or if you want western food, check out Suka Espresso or Milk and Madu.
Next up, check out the Sacred Monkey Forest. There are over 600 monkeys roaming around this complex. Just beware the monkeys can be aggressive so make sure you follow all the rules. Or if you dislike monkeys, head to Tibumana, Kanto Lampo or Nungnung waterfalls (you can squeeze two in one day) where you can take a refreshing dip in the cool water. You can either rent a motorbike or hire a driver. It’s about an hour drive north of Ubud.
DAY 5 – Gili Islands or Nusa Islands
Gili Air is one of the three Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok. The tiny island is surrounded by white sand, turquoise water, and great underwater life. Gili Air is well-known for its super clear turquoise water to snorkel and dive in, and its laid-back living. Gili Trawangan is better if you prefer a good party every evening. There are no motorbikes or cars on either of these islands, so you’ll have to walk around or rent a bike. If you want a bit more adventure, head to the Nusa Islands. Depending on your island preference, you can take a fast boat to either the Gilis or the Nusa Islands. PRO TIP: The water can be a bit rough so make sure you take something if you get seasick.
If you’re headed to the Gilis, you’ll notice that there are no cars on the island. It’s so tiny that you can explore all of Gili Air in 30 minutes. PRO TIP: There are only two ATMs on Gili Air so make sure to take enough cash out when you’re in Ubud. Once you reach Gili Air, head to the beach and grab one of the many swings around the Gilis. The famous pink swing is located at PinkCoco (one on Gili Air and Gili T). You can also grab one of the beanbags at Gili Lumbung Beachclub, enjoy live music and drinks for sunset.
If you’re the adventure seeker, you’re headed to Nusa Lembognan. First things first, check out the cliffs at Blue Lagoon in Nusa Cenigan, which is just a short motorbike (10 minutes) across the yellow bridge. The water in the lagoon is so blue that will make your jaw drop. Unfortunately, you’re unable to swim because the water is too rough. The viewpoint goes all around the cliff and there is a small blowhole behind when you walk past the bushes.
If you want to enjoy the beach, head over to Ohana’s Beach Club, where you can relax by the pool and also swim in the ocean all day. There is a minimum spend but there is no time limit. You can also enjoy sunset drinks at The Deck or Water Blow and have dinner on the main street at Lemongrass with live music or on the beach at Ginger & Jamu. PRO TIP: Most places in Nusa Lembongan offer free pick up and drop off services
DAY 6 – Gili Islands or Nusa Islands
This day you’ll explore the underwater world of the Gili Islands. Just off the coast of Gili Meno, there are sculptures in the water that make a good snorkeling/diving site and are home to countless fish. Once you put your goggles underwater, you will discover an entirely new world. Gili Meno is only a 15-minute boat trip away. You can also head to Turtle Point where you can find a ton of friendly turtles!
If you’re on Nusa Lembognan, take a day trip to Nusa Penida. The boat ride is about 20-30 minutes. Kelingking, the famous dinosaur rock formation, is located here. You can hire a driver from the pier to take you to Kelingking, Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach and Crystal Bay. These spots offer stunning views of Bali. PRO TIP: If you decide to hike down to Kelingking Beach, make sure you wear proper shoes and bring water. The steps are etched into the side of the mountain and are pretty steep.
DAY 7 – Departure Day or Seminyak
Time to head back to mainland Bali You’ll have to take the fast boat back from either the Gilis or Nusa Islands. Once you arrive at the pier, you can hire transport to take you directly to the Denpasar airport. If you have time or another day, you can head back to Seminyak and catch one last Bali sunset or do some last minute shopping. We recommend Potato Head Beach Club. Seminyak is about a 45 mins drive from the airport.