The island of Bali welcomes visitors from around the world throughout the year. That’s no surprise when you consider all there is to do on the island. Deciding on the best time to visit Bali depends on your interests. There are Bali’s alluring beaches and coastal cities and towns. Then there are the many lively bars. Let’s not forget the incredibly serene and visually stunning religious sites. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a holiday experience, Bali has plenty to offer!
Bali is one of the southern islands of Indonesia. Thanks to the country’s close proximity to the equator, Bali experiences hot and humid conditions all year long. The climate in this tropical destination consists of two seasons, a dry and a wet season. You can expect to have a wonderful time, however, almost any day of the year!
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Average temperatures in Bali
The Wet Season
Although Bali experiences plenty of rain during this time, the wet season won’t keep you restricted to spending your holiday indoors. This period falls between November and March, and you can enjoy average temperatures of around 30°C. While the island is said to experience monsoon-type conditions, there are rarely monsoon rains in Bali, even during the peak of the wet season! The beach areas get far less rain than the central mountains, with most of it coming down in the afternoons and evenings. You can then spend mornings hiking along one of the many hiking trails, relax at one of the island’s many beaches or enjoy delightful snorkelling and diving opportunities. When it does rain, there are plenty of wonderful indoor activities for you to enjoy, including numerous indoor games, many shopping adventures, yoga classes, cooking classes or jewellery making classes. Take note that during late December and early January, parts of Bali will get busier due to Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Visiting the island during this season is ideal for families travelling together. On average, Bali gets between 70 and 90 millimetres of rain per month for this period.
The Dry Season
Visiting the island during the dry season will get you the best conditions for outdoor activities. During this time, you can enjoy temperatures of around 32°C. While the dry season is between April and September, July and August are more popular with tourists. You’ll be sharing the beaches and restaurants with more visitors. If you don’t mind such a busy atmosphere, however, get ready to enjoy Bali’s best weather! If you’re into the vibrant nightlife scene, then this season is the time to go, especially with evening temperatures ranging around 22°C with clear skies. The dry season is additionally an ideal time to visit Bali for single travellers, groups of friends looking for adventure and couples seeking that romantic retreat.
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Thanks to sitting close to the equator, Bali enjoys a consistent amount of daylight throughout the year. You can take pleasure in 11-12 hours of daytime fun, from as early as 05h50 to as late as 18h50.
How Much Are Flights to Bali?
Peak Season (April to October)
This is the most popular time to visit Bali; you can expect to pay up to 5% more for your flights and accommodation. Keep in mind that choosing to book your flights later may result in you paying more.
Off-Peak Season (November to March)
Despite the occasional showers and thunderstorms, booking your flights to Bali and accommodation could save you up to 10%. Please note that even during this period, it is still best to book your flights as early as possible for the best deals.
Top Activities to do in Bali
Enjoying a Splash at the Water Parks
If you love the water parks, the dry season is the best time to visit Bali. It’s the best way to find relief from the high temperatures, and you can have fun while doing it! This activity is ideal for families and groups of friends visiting the island during the dry season. Some of the best water parks in Bali include Waterbom Bali and Circus Waterpark Bali in Kuta, Finns Recreation Club and Taman Segara Madu in Canggu, Surf & Turf in Nusa Dua, and Citraland Waterpark in Denpasar.
Catching Up with History at Beautiful Temples
The temples in Bali are some of the most iconic landmarks on the island. There’s the picturesquely situated Tanah Lot, sitting on a small island off the coast of the area of Beraban. Northeast of the town of Ubud, is the stunning 11-century Hindu temple of Gunung Kawi. In Central Bali, treat your eyes to the visual treasure of Gunung Kawi Sebatu, arguably one of the most beautiful on the island. When visiting the temples, dress appropriately by covering your upper and lower body and taking off your shoes before entering. You can get sarongs and sashes for rent at all the temple sites. Other temple codes of conduct to consider include avoid pointing your feet at shrines (according to tradition, feet are considered unclean), and standing lower than the priests (it is considered a sign of respect). Visitors who are bleeding from cuts or women menstruating may not enter the temples. Pregnant women or women who have given birth within six weeks of visiting the temples may not enter.
Watching Animals and Appreciating Nature
Thanks to its complex ecosystem, you can look forward to discovering a multitude of amazing creatures on the island of Bali. This makes any time of the year the best time to visit Bali to discover the local wildlife. Get ready to catch sight of (but not get too close) the various monkey species at locations such as Ubud Monkey Forest, Uluwatu Monkey Forest, and Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest. In the Bali Bird Park (close to Kuta, Sanur and Ubud), explore walk-through aviaries and discover many rare or endangered species, including Bali starlings, purple swamphens, magpie-robins and grey parrots. Go on hiking and cycling tours and explore breath-taking landscapes near Ubud, Payangan, and Denpasar. Bali additionally boasts a wealth of spectacular waterfalls, including the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls and Sekumpul Waterfalls (near Singaraja), Nungnung Waterfall and Les Waterfall (near Tejakula). For even more magnificent sights, make sure to visit Mount Agung and Mount Batur.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Bali has been a popular destination for diving and snorkelling for many years. The island’s popularity is all thanks to the surrounding warm waters. Discover beautiful coral reefs and catch sights of wonderful marine life, including turtles, manta rays, tropical fish, sharks and colourful tropical fish. Some diving sports even take you to shipwrecks! Some of the best spots for diving when in Bali include the southern part of the island, the east coast and the northwest coast. For snorkelling, heading to Menjangan Island (northwest), Tulamben and Amed (northeast), as well as Candi Dasa and Padang Bai (east). Take note that if you are a first-time diver, make sure to allow 12-24 hours after your last dive before flying. Doing this will help you avoid experiencing decompression sickness.
Enjoy Time at the Beaches
Of course, this should go without saying. What would a visit to Bali be without the experience of its stunning beaches? The beautiful coastal locations are ideal for whatever you desire, be it for surfing, sunbathing, people watching, bay watching and simply just relaxing. Bali’s best beaches include Seminyak Beach, Balangan Beach, Echo Beach, Sundays Beach Club, Padang Padang Beach, and many more!
Annual Events in Bali
Tumpek Kandang – this is the day in Bali when locals worship the god of animals, Sang Hyang Rare-Angon. Animals that play a special part in the daily life of Indonesians (cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, and birds) are dressed up in high-quality clothing and then fed with special foods, sprinkled with rice and holy waters. The locals then offer prayers. Staff at the zoos and wildlife preserves also honour the animals in captivity on this day.
Tumpek Wayang – this is a day dedicated to the traditional performing arts in Bali. The locals place special emphasis on the traditional Balinese shadow puppetry, known locally as wayang. The residents make a variety of offerings to numerous character puppets involved in this art type.
Pengrupukan, New Year’s Eve of the Saka Calendar – this is a loud and festive event, taking place before the day of silence. Celebrations take place during the afternoon, where ogoh-ogoh papier-mâché effigies are paraded throughout the streets. The fire torches, firecrackers and loud celebrations are meant to rid the land of malevolent forces in preparation for the day of silence.
Ubud Food Festival – this is an exciting three-day culinary event in the city of Ubud. It is a celebration of the diverse Indonesian cuisine and local produce, and a gathering of Bali’s leading chefs. It’s made up of presentations, live cooking demonstrations and culinary tours.
Bali Blues Festival – this wonderful festival in Nusa Dua features some excellent local and national jazz and blues bands. Except to enjoy jazz festivals on beach sites and mountain tops regularly. This festival acts as a culmination of all the creative energy and passion of the Indonesian jazz scene.
Mekotekan Rituals – this event in Munggu Village is a traditional re-enactment of the triumphant battles of the Blambangan war. Male villagers brandish long stiff bamboo poles on the street. Each pole end is combined in mid-air to form a pyramid. Friendly opponents then climb up to face off at the top of these pyramids!
Bali International Choir Festival – this is an event organised by the Bandung Choral Society. The festival features over one hundred choirs, several conductors and clinicians in a range of choir symposiums and competitions.
Sanur Village Festival – this is a fun-filled event in the village. It involves water-sport activities, the Sanur Run, creative expos, art and music performances, as well as a cultural street parade.
Tirta Empul Temple Piodalan Anniversary – this major event is one to witness. During this anniversary, pilgrims from all over Bali head to the temple for prayers, making for an amazing sight.
Nusa Dua Fiesta – this is a vibrant celebration of Bali’s culture. The event features a week’s worth of arts, culture, sports, music and exhibitions in and around the peninsula in Nusa Dua.
Makepung Buffalo Races – This racing tradition begins in July and runs until mid-November. It is a large event in the town of Jembrana. The festival usually starts with various preliminary races around the coastal tracks of Jembrana in July. The finals and festivities then take place in November. During the festivities, locals perform various other art forms too, including bull fashion shows and Jegog bamboo orchestras.
New Year’s Eve and Countdown to New Year – if you love the party scene, then this is the time to be in Bali. Various spots on the island come alive with parties. You can look forward to watching wonderful fireworks constantly launch in the countdown to the new year.
With everything this incredible and affordable island destination offers, why not start planning a getaway to Bali? Subscribe to the Travelstart newsletter for the latest deals on the best time to visit Bali and get ready for an adventure!