Bali has been my dream for years, precisely from the moment I saw the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts, so you can imagine the joy I felt this summer when it came true … believe me, this island is really amazing! Below you will find my Bali itinerary in 10 days with some useful tips and alternatives.You can read here my post “Bali: things to know before to go“, it will be useful to organize your trip!
Day 1 – ★ Waterfalls and Temples
Accommodation in Canggu – Own Villa
- Leke Leke Waterfall: This beautiful waterfall is one hour far from Canggu by car, the entrance fee is around 50,000.00 rupees (3 €) and can be reached on foot in 20 minutes. I recommend going early in the morning, to find a beautiful light and to avoid the crowd of tourists!
Alternative: if Leke Leke waterfall is too far and out of the way, you can explore the Canggu area, go shopping at Love Anchor and relax in a spa like Tonic!
- Lunch at Coffe Cartel in Seminyak – Alternative: Cafe Organic in Canggu
If you have time: try the Mad Pops vegan ice cream; there are two shops, one in Seminyak and one in Canggu.
- Tanah lot + Batu Bolong: Two important temples, close to each other, overlooking the sea; a truly evocative place of prayer.
- Sunset on the beach at La BRISA: You can book it online directly from the official website; this trendy beach club is also a bar and restaurant. Don’t miss the sunset on this black sandy beach, the colors are incredible!
- Dinner at The Slow
Day 2 – ★ Exploring the beaches in the south of Bali
- Balangan Viewpoint: viewpoint on the cliffs at Uluwatu.
- Dreamland Beach: this beach was a real disappointment; discovered by chance while reading the book “Come una notte a Bali“, I wanted to visit it to see for myself the scenario of the story. Cars are not allowed to enter so I was taken to a parking lot where I had to pay a run-down shuttle to reach it. Once there, I realized that Dreamland Beach is small and that there are several buildings on the sides; the waves are very high, making it suitable only for surfers. Almost all the space on the beach is occupied by sunbeds and umbrellas.
Alternative: In my opinion you can skip Dreamland Beach and try Padang Padang instead. The water is beautiful and there are some big rocks on the sand that make it “special”. Watch out for monkeys that roam free!
- Thomas Beach: This beach is pretty nice! It can be reached by descending a steep staircase in about 15 minutes (the return is definitely challenging) and you can rent cheap sun beds facing the sea. The water is bright turquoise and surrounded by rocks and palm trees. I truly recommend it!
- Lunch at The Loft Uluwatu
- Kynd Community: On the way back, I tried this place in Seminyak. It is a place with pastel colors, quite famous and photographed … I eat the Vegan ice-cream, which was very good, especially the creamy flavour! The Kynd Community is open all day so you can also try breakfast and lunch there. #yummy
- Sunset and Dinner at The Lawn: Absolutely you must don’t miss this lovely club overlooking the sea. I swear, I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets in my life here! Booking is not necessary but I recommend it. This place is one of my favorites in Bali!
Day 3 – ★ Dreamy Pool Club
Accommodation in Uluwatu – Gravity Bali
This day I moved from Canggu to Uluwatu. If you have time: breakfast at Balibola in Seminyak.
- Oneeighty: An exclusive pool club, part of The Edge resort. It is open to the public only by reservation via the official website. There are several entry formulas and you can choose the time you prefer; I opted for the ticket which included sun beds in the area around the pool at lunch time. Also, included in the price there are credits to be spent on food and drinks. The real reason to come to Oneeighty is the cliffside pool that will literally make you fall in love! #poolgoals
- Sunset at Single Finn: Bar with great sound, ocean views and delicious cocktails. Plus, the waiters wear nice Hawaiian shirts. An ideal place to enjoy the sunset while drinking a Bintang (Bali beer)!
- Dinner Bukit Cafè
Day 4 – ★ Nusa Penida
- Excursion to Nusa Penida: You can visit it independently or you can buy a tour, as I did. After several researches, I decided to book the Four Elements Adventure company that took care of everything: a driver came to pick me up at the hotel at 6 am and took me to the port of Sanur, where I was given a ticket for the ferry that took me to Nusa Penida. Once on the island, another driver of the company took me to see the most famous places:
- Broken Beach
- Angels Billabong
- Crystal Bay
- Kelingking beach
Lunch and snorkelling at Manta Point were included in the tour, but I could not see the Manta Rays due to the rough sea. Surely the places I visited were beautiful but in general Nusa Penida is not yet ready to welcome the huge number of tourists that arrive every day: the island is very poor; the roads are uneven and there are few refreshment points.
I visited it with a daily 8-hour tour but, if I had more time, I would have preferred to dedicate 2-3 days to tour it all and stay in Nusa Ceningan, which is beautiful.
Day 5 – ★ Relax in Uluwatu
- Sundays Beach Club: I could say that this is the most beautiful place in Uluwatu! It is part of the Ungasan resort and even in this case, the admission ticket includes credits to spend on food and drinks. I recommend arriving early in the morning to choose the best sits and stay at least until lunch. Sunday is really a magnificent place, when there is low tide you can see the reef (there are poisonous fish among the rocks so it’s good not to walk on it) while the waves break in the distance. I would love to be there even now!
- After a relaxing morning, in mid-afternoon I came back to the hotel where I relaxed by the pool at the Gravity Bali before taking a shower and getting ready for the evening.
- Sunset at Uluwatu Temple: This temple in Uluwatu is located on the cliff and is one of the most famous temples in all of Bali. At the entrance, after paying the ticket, the classic Sarong are provided, large pieces of fabric to wear at the waist to cover the bare legs and not disrespect the place. Going to the Uluwatu Temple at sunset is certainly a must, both for the colors of the sky and for the chance to see the spectacle of Balinese dance, of which tickets are soon sold out. There are so many monkeys in this temple so beware of your personal effects!
- Dinner at La Baracca
Day 6 – ★ Temples and Rice fields around Ubud
Accommodation in Ubud – The Udaya
- Tirta Empul: Beautiful temple in the jungle of Ubud, where it is possible to do the purification ritual.
- Gunung Kawi Sebatu: Another lovely temple in the area. It is often confused with the nearby “Pura Gunung Kawi”. If you have time, you can visit both.
- Mason Elephants Park: This place did not convince me… Let me explain: the elephants, from Sumatra, are good and it is possible to interact with them. However, the admission price is very high for a place like Bali (about 25 €); moreover, even if the animals seem to be well, they are exploited for economic purposes: you can buy a ride on their back, bathe together them or wash them. Let’s say that it seemed like a touristy park where I was not fully convinced of the ethics with which elephants are treated. So… definitely avoid it without regrets.
- Tegalalang: The most famous rice fields of Ubud and probably also the most photographed. It became a little too much touristic because of the numerous stalls at the entrance and the swings placed everywhere inside. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful place full of palm trees, flowers and lush plants! Yes, this is an absolute #must!
- Lunch at The Bridge, Ubud.
- In the afternoon, back at the resort, I requested a Flower Bath: a hot bath with flowers … an experience not to be missed on the island of the gods! Even some SPAs in Ubud offer this service, like the Fivelements.
- Dinner at Restaurant Locavore
Day 7 – ★ Tour to the North of Bali
- Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: here is where I left my heart. Really, this is a breath-taking place … the rice terraces, a UNESCO heritage site, seem unreal… they are so perfect! After paying the entrance with the car, I walked down into the rice fields to explore this magical place and take some pictures. Some farmers at work smiled at me and I felt my heart explode with joy because at happiness I was feeling: wonderful rice paddies, an unforgettable view and kind people… I still get excited thinking about it! #WOW
- Pura Ulun Danu Bratan: Iconic temple on the water, probably when you search online for “Bali”, the photo of this place comes out 9/10. The reason is obvious, it is an enchanting place! You can also rent a small rowing boat and take a ride on the lake.
- Handara Gate: also called “Gate of Heaven“, this beautiful entrance has become very popular on Instagram, to a point that Indonesian people decided to make money out of it. Until a few years ago it was simply a gateway to golf courses, but today you pay a ticket of around 50,000.00 rupees per person to take pictures in front of it. The worst side of it is the big affluence of tourists who create very long queue. Thanks, but no thanks!! My idea was very simple: I got myself photographed sideways at the Handara Gate, excluding people from the frame, and that’s the result! A nice picture without losing precious time! I spent only 5 minutes at this spot.
- Twins Lake View: This is a quick stop on a beautiful landscape made of two lakes separated by jungle and mountains.
- Lunch at The View Restaurant Muntuk: This typical Balinese restaurant was a real surprise! It is a perfect spot to take a break and enjoy a beautiful view of the valley! The food is also delicious.
- Banyumala Waterfall: Splendid waterfalls that can be reached on foot in about 20 minutes. Surely the most beautiful I’ve had the chance to admire here in Bali!
Alternative: in the area there are also the Sekumpul waterfall, larger and of greater impact, but definitely more difficult to be reached; it takes at least 4 hours of walk between the two ways.
With an intense day like this, dining at the hotel, for me, was the best solution!
Day 8 – ★ Ubud
Accommodation in Ubud – Calma Ubud
In the morning of day 8 I tried the Floating Breakfast (breakfast served on a floating tray) in the pool of our room. This is a type of service that many resorts offer in Bali. After that, I changed accommodation, but stayed in the area.
- Saraswati Temple and Ubud Tour: I spent a few hours in the city center, visiting the Saraswati Temple and Ubud Palace.
If you have time: you can add a visit to Ubud market and a walk to Campuhan Ridge Walk.
- Lunch at Full Circle by Expat.
- Monkey Forest: one of the biggest attractions in Ubud, the monkey forest. There are more than 700 specimens with which it is easy to interact if desired; if, on the other hand, you are afraid of monkeys like me, just don’t get their attention (for example, by wearing flashy objects like dangling earrings or a backpack with pendants on the hinges), in this way they won’t even notice you! I recommend going early in the morning.
- Zen Hideaway: Those who want to experience something different from the usual can book this bamboo house on airbnb and sleep in the jungle outdoors. I’ve been there and the place is crazy, the house is a great location for photographs and the swing is awesome! But there are many insects and sadly I must admit that I have not found the rooms completely clean. So … it takes a spirit of adaptation!
Alternative: If you want to take a picture on the swing without renting the house, next to the Zen Hideaway there is the Bali Swing.
- Dinner at Spice by Chris Salans
Day 9 – ★ Jungle Pool Club
- Jungle Fish: A gorgeous pool club, part of the Chapung SeBali resort. Before arriving at the pool, which overlooks the jungle, you pass through the lush and green rice fields. The entrance ticket includes food credits. I arrived early in the morning and I relaxed here until the early afternoon … my day started in the best way possible! #coolplace
- Goa Gajah: Also called “elephant cave”, is an ancient temple of Ubud. You can access the cave through the frightening mouth of a demon. Overall it is not one of the most beautiful temples in Bali, but the ancient rock sculpture of the cave distinguishes it from the others.
- Tibumana Waterfall: pretty waterfall, reachable on foot in few minutes. This waterfall should be seen early in the morning to avoid finding too many tourists … for me it was not possible!
If you have time: Kanto Lampo waterfall
- Dinner at Folk Ubud: Folk is actually a pool club opened all day so it’s also a good alternative to spend a chill afternoon. I tried it for dinner and loved the relaxed environment and the food!
Giorno 10 – ★ Tour a Est di Bali
- Tukad Cepung Waterfall: This waterfall is one of the most particular of the island; in fact, it is hidden in a subterranean canyon. You reach it in around 15 minutes through a small path, the view change and it almost feels like being in the Tomb Rider video game! To see the waterfall, you wade through a stream and in some places the water overcomes your knees; I recommend having a backpack where you can put your personal effects like phone, camera and shoes during the last stretch!
- Besakih Mother Temple: It is the main temple in Bali and, as far as I could see, it is also the most beautiful and majestic. People say it’s more expensive than the others (because of the tips you have to add to the admission ticket) but, in my opinion, you can simply say “no” with kindness to whom asks you for additional money. However, this sacred place is not to be missed!
- Tirta Gangga: Former royal palace that boasts beautiful gardens. One of the tanks with carp, adorned by the statue of Balinese culture, can be crossed by walking over the platforms suspended over the water. This place is extremely busy.
- Lunch at Bali Asli
- View of Mount Agung: a few meters away from the Bali Asli restaurant, there is a breath-taking viewpoint on this mountain. Taking some pictures here is a must!
If you have time: Lempuyang temple
- Return to the hotel and relax by the pool: Calma Ubud
- Dinner at the Sayan House: This is my favourite restaurant in Ubud. High prices for Bali, but the food quality is sublime! It also overlooks the jungle … a unique view! It is the perfect place to end your holiday.
This was my itinerary in Bali! What do you think? I’m honest with you, 10 days is not enough to see this wonderful island, there are plenty things to do and see! So … this is a good reason to come back in the future!♥