♥ 10 DAYS IN BALI: TRAVEL ITINERARY ♥
What can you do in 10 days on the Island of the Gods?
Yes, this is Bali’s nickname and only once you get there you can really get what it stands for.
We decided to go to Bali as we needed “a vacation from the vacation”, the time spent in Italy was awesome but also exhausting and we didn’t really get to spend much quality time together.
Bali was rolling in my mind for a while and so I opted for my very first trip to Asia!
We flew with Cathay which is quite good, comfortable seats, decent food and good entertainment on board. It’s a very long flight from San Francisco, 15 hours to Hong Kong and then 5 hours to Indonesia but Bali is worth every minute in the sky.
+15h from the West Coast
+6h from Europe
Free for the first 30 days but check online if your country is on the list (I’m sure for Italy and the US).
1 rupiah = 0,000067$ / 0,000057€
My big question was whether to change money before going, once in Bali or withdraw from the local ATM. (Credit cards are not always accepted)
After a lot of thinking we decided to change some money before leaving and if we needed other cash, to withdraw from there but we didn’t have to.
- If you change your money once you are in Bali, be careful to the places where the exchange rate is too high. Locals told us they do some tricks when they count the money, in the end you’ll be confused and get less than you are supposed to.
- They also told us ATM sometimes might be hacked and they can take your pin (it happens more in Jakarta though). I don’t know whether it’s true or not, overall Bali is pretty safe but just in case be extra careful if you use it.
No need for vaccines, just bring a lot of mosquito repellent, drink and brush your teeth with bottled water and I personally avoided raw food (this is very subjective, a lot of restaurants use filtered water to wash veggies and fruit). Buy a travel health insurance before going there.
We bought some charcoal pills and mosquito repellent bracelets on Amazon.
Motorbike (if you read some reviews online, you are not going to ride a motorbike in Bali ever, as they are scary! Personal opinion: yes, it’s a jungle but they are very respectful of each other, they have a balance in their own chaotic system, drive safe and respect the others. We didn’t have any problems. Always wear helmets!
- They honk a lot! It has a different meaning from our culture, it’s not to reprimand you but just a little honk to say: “Hey, be careful I’m overtaking”.
- If you have a light scarf put in on your mouth and nose, the air pollution is very very bad. They also sell anti-pollution mask almost everywhere.
Private driver (super cool option if you want to visit farther place and don’t feel like riding 100km on your motorbike). We had a very good experience with http://bit.ly/baliadventours.
I highly recommend to book private villas with your own private pool, it really makes the difference in your trip and Bali is still the place where you can realize your dreams without costing you an arm and a leg! We stayed here:
Ubud Padi Villas
Boga Segara Hotel
Nusa Penida is still wild so you can’t find the same level of accomodation you might find in Bali. Our hotel was simple but clean and had an amazing outdoor pagoda to enjoy breakfast just in front of the sea…(remember to give the key at the reception if you want your room to be cleaned!)
ITINERARY FOR 10 DAYS in Bali:
3 days in Canggu
3 days in Nusa Penida
4 days in Ubud
10 THINGS TO DO IN CANGGU!
1. TANAH LOT TEMPLE
“Tanah Lot” means “temple of the sea and the earth”, it’s meant to honour the Gods and Goddess of the ocean. Built on top of jagged rocks, it is accessible only at low tide when a footpath appears.
It’s one of the six cardinal temples in Bali and one of the most scenic along with intriguing history and legends: locals believe that the temple is protected by small poisonous black and white snakes which appear at high tide; another legend says that unmarried couples who visit the Temple will break up soon afterwards, this is perhaps why you will never see young Balinese couples visiting the site.
2. ECHO BEACH
Paradise for surfers, perfect spot for a drink at sunset.
3. ULUWATU TEMPLE + KECAK DANCE
This Hindu temple is set on the top of a high cliff and it’s the perfect spot for an unforgettable sunset. The Kecak dance is a traditional Balinese dance, it’s really special because the accompanying music is performed entirely by human voice, a choir of one hundred men singing in circle as the story develops. You can see it at Uluwatu Temple which makes it even more special (performed daily at 6pm).
4. TAMAN AYUN TEMPLE
Taman Ayun means ‘beautiful garden’ and is generally regarded as one of the most attractive temples of Bali. It is in fact situated in a beautiful park with trees and ponds and the architecture is magnificent.
5. SHOPPING IN SEMINYAK
Tons of tiny local shops full of bracelets, bags and little souvenirs to bring home.
6. AÇAI BOWLS AT KYND COMMUNITY
A very instagrammable spot, everything is pink and cute. Honestly I couldn’t try it because they were renovating while I was there ☹. But from what I could see, the place is really nice and if you feel like having an açai bowl, this must be the right spot!
7. BALINESE MASSAGE
Don’t miss the chance to get a massage, they are super cheap compared to what we are used to pay and very high quality!
8. PADANG PADANG BEACH
A surf gem became famous from the movie “Eat, Pray and Love”.
9. DINNER ON THE BEACH AT JIMBARAN BAY
A unique dinner on the beach, under a million stars, delicious seafood and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Super romantic and one of the best experiences ever!
10. GARUNDA WISNU KENCANA (GWK)
GWK is a monument dedicated to the Hindu God, Vishnu, and to Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion. The 75m statue sits on a pedestal (which will be soon opened to the public) and it’s even taller than the Statue of Liberty!
Don’t miss the nest for a perfect picture!
3 DAYS IN THE SUPER WILD AND STILL NOT TOO TOURISTY NUSA PENIDA!
Nusa means ISLAND, my very heart-felt advice about Nusa Penida is: visit it now before it becomes a tourist trap!
It’s a gorgeous and still super wild island which I’m scared will turn very soon into the new Gili, so if you are planning a trip to Bali, I highly recommend to spend some days on Nusa Penida.
You will be amazed by the imposing nature, my feeling there most of the time was how small and insignificant human beings are towards the wildness and the power of mother nature. It’s a good place to reconnect with your true self and stay away from the everyday hassle.
Not really thousand, just a few, but spectacular view!
You can actually rent the tree house, spend a night there to witness the most amazing sunrise of your life. Wonderful view but be aware of the stairs to get there!! (see the picture)
Told you, Nusa Penida is wild AF!!! 😉
My favourite place in Nusa Penida!! Pink sun umbrellas, the most amazing grilled fish I’ve ever had. Enjoy the good music while sipping fresh coconut water and just relax!
Giri Putri Cave Temple
A temple built inside a cave, the hole to get in it’s super small but inside the temple is huge and very fascinating.
Crystal Bay & Manta Bay
Snorkeling and swimming with the mantas! 🙂
Spot the T-Rex!! And be prepared for the steep hike to reach the wonderful beach below!
Tembeling Hot Springs
Dive in the fresh water of the hot springs! It feels very good after the long hike to get there!
You can choose to come here by yourself, rent a motorbike and explore the island or to rely on the different tour agencies. We opted for these guys: http://www.nusapenidatripnow.com and I couldn’t be more satisfied. As said Nusa Penida can be very wild, I’m not saying you can’t do that by yourselves but we had an amazing experience and didn’t have to worry about anything!
- The guys (a driver and a guide) know where to go, what to see and they are perfect guides through the island as they are locals!
- You have a personal photographer: our guide was so kind to take us pictures all the time in the perfect spot! They are very discrete and when you reach the location, they leave you time to do what you want alone.
- Everything is included in the price: 3 days tour with private guide and driver, private car with A/C, gas, pick up/drop off Bali hotels, fast boat return tickets, 2 nights hotel with breakfast, 3 lunches (no dinner), parking fee, attractions admission fees, snorkelling gears.
- Bring a pair of sneakers as you have to walk a lot, water, sunscreen, beach towel (keep a pair of flip flop in your bag for the beach).
- It’s still not full of tourists so hotels are very minimal and WiFi connection can be very slow.
10 THINGS NOT TO BE MISSED IN UBUD ♥
Ubud is the ultimate place to be in Bali, a perfect mixture of spirituality, wilderness, comfort and fun.
I kept the best on purpose as my final destination. Rent your motorbike or a private driver and go out to explore, it’s truly amazing!
SACRED MONKEY FOREST SANCTUARY
If you love monkeys, this is the place for YOU as more than 600 monkeys live in the forest!
If you would like to see them in their natural habitat but you are scared, just follow some simple rules: don’t bring any food and do not disturb them, especially baby monkeys, mama monkeys like any mamas are really protective. Honestly I loved to see them, especially mamas breastfeeding their babies or the families together, so cute!
Inside the forest there are three temples, we were lucky enough to go on a day with a ceremony so it was even more special!
2. BE OVERWHELMED BY BALI SPIRITUALITY
Spirituality is everywhere in Bali, discrete but omnipresent. You feel part of it, in your own way, whether your religion or creed is. What I loved the most was the daily offering, Canang Sari, a composition of colourful flowers lying on a palm leaf basket, put in every temple or in the streets. It is offered every day as a form of thanking for the peace given to the world.
3. JATILUWIH RICE TERRACE
Jatiluwih is my favourite rice terrace in Bali. Tegalalang is wonderful but to me it has lost its charm a bit, due to the too many tourist attractions inside the rice fields, which are fun, but if you really want to experience the beauty and the peace and quiet of the rice fields, then this is the place for you. There are different tracking routes according to your time and be aware as it is based at the foot of the mountains, the weather can be unpredictable!
It’s difficult to describe the feeling but I was completely overwhelmed by the allure and the lush green of the rice fields, it is no coincidence Jwatiluih is a Unesco Heritage site.
4. HANDARA GOLF RESORT (BALI FAMOUS GATES)
Iconic spot if you want to take a picture of the famous gates in Bali. The crazy thing is that you have to pay (not much) to get in a line to take a picture! So be prepared, you have to pay and be very patient because it’s a long line and people don’t usually take just one picture! It might take a while but it’s the perfect place to say Goodbye properly to Bali.
5. ULUNDANU BERATAN TEMPLE
The temple is named after the lake it’s floating on, Lake Beratan. It’s a unique and picturesque landmark, a must see!
6. BUY A SARONG
One of the things I loved the most about Bali was to wear Sarong. Before entering any sacred place or temple you have to wear one to cover your legs. They are colourful and beautiful, I ended up buying one of course!
7. GET LOST IN THE TEGALALANG RICE FIELDS
As mentioned before, these rice fields are truly beautiful but it has become a tourist trap! I have to admit I enjoyed going on a swing in the rice fields myself but every step you take, someone asks you for money. Absolutely to see but to me the real essence of the rice fields lies in Jatiluwih. Be sure to visit both of them.
8. TIRTA EMPUL HOLY WATER TEMPLE
It’s a holy spring water temple, Balinese people use it for a purification ritual. People come with empty tanks to fill in with holy water and the offerings to be put on every water spouts.
The path is made of 13 spouts in total but the last 2 must be avoided as they are used for cremation rites. If you want to experience it you have to rent a special green sarong to go in the water and with great humility and respect start your journey to purify your soul, mind and vibes.
A must do!
9. THE BEST VEGAN RESTAURANT EVER
If you think veggies are boring, well go to Moksa and be prepared to be amazed by the finesse and the deliciousness of their plant-based menu! Best food ever!!! A true gourmet experience!
10. EXPERIENCE THE FOLATING BREAKFAST AND BE PAMPERED BY A BALINESE FLOWER BATH
You can’t leave Bali without the experience of the floating breakfast in your own private pool, they charge you a little more (12$) to experience it but I loved having this special treat on my last day in Bali! Not to be missed the famous Balinese flower bath, you’ll be immersed in thousands of flowers surrounded by their scent. Surreal! Absolutely unforgettable as Bali itself.
So far the best trip I’ve ever had!
BALI is for sure the islands of the Gods and the best gift you can give to your soul!
I hope this post will help you to plan your trip to Bali and if you have any questions, just ask, I’ll be happy to help! 🙂