The Ultimate 5 Day Bali itinerary – What to Do on the Island
From majestic sunsets to pristine beaches, Bali makes for the perfect vacation spot. The Island of Gods has something for everyone. Five days may not be enough time to explore every nook and cranny – but you can manage enough to come back feeling refreshed and in love with this beautiful island. Here’s our five-day itinerary to Bali.
Jimbaran + Uluwatu
Upon landing at Ngurah Rai International Airport, check into your hotel in Jimbaran. It’s only about 25-30 minutes from the airport and a convenient 30-minute ride from Uluwatu.
Start your day off by exploring Jimbaran. Take it easy and enjoy the variety of sandy-white beaches and pristine blue waters that this area has to offer. Only in Jimbaran is there a beach to suit each and every one’s personality. Surfers can head out to the quiet strip of Balangan Beach or Bingin Beach to enjoy the waves without being engulfed by the hectic party scene.
If you’re seeking peace, quiet and relaxation, check out Padang-Padang Beach. This beautiful bay, with cove-like waters, provides a sense of serenity from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s party beaches.
While you’re enjoying your welcome to paradise, be spoiled for food choices here, as Jimbaran offers the best selection of fresh seafood. For couples looking for a romantic meal together, head over to the bay and enjoy your picnic meal overlooking the Indian Ocean.
After a relaxing morning and afternoon in Jimbaran, make your way to Uluwatu to see the majestic Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple. With Bali’s infamous sunsets as the backdrop, this stunning temple is perched on a steep cliff about 70 metres above sea level, overlooking the Indian Ocean.
A treat for both spiritual and historical adventure seekers, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a definite go-to destination to enjoy the sunset as well as witness the traditional kecak dance performance.
According to Balinese Hindus, the Uluwatu temple is designed to protect Bali from evil spirits; it is a place of worship of Siva Rudra, the Balinese Hindu deity of all elements of life in the universe.
The next stop on your Bali trip should be the nature-friendly cultural hub of Ubud. Be mesmerised by Bali’s natural state of greenery with a set of activities to suit your inner adrenaline and nature-loving soul.
Start your morning right by devouring a hearty Balinese breakfast. Known as ‘sarapan’ locally, it usually comprises of a cup of aromatic Balinese coffee and a plate of spicy fried rice and crispy fritters. Restaurant options include Cafe Wayan, a beautiful garden cafe that’s known for its banana pancakes and coconut meringue pie, and Dapur Bunda, a cosy cafe that provides a plethora of Indonesian flavours wrapped in the comforts of home.
After breakfast, head to one of the main attractions in Ubud – the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. The Tegalalang Rice Terrace provides a scenic valley view of rice paddy slopes – the perfect background for picturesque Instagram photos. The atmosphere here is cool and breezy, a welcome break from the island’s usual tropical heat.
Be spoiled by the wide selection of cafes located near the rice terrace. Enjoy a piping hot cuppa in the midst of the panoramic rice fields, or hop around from one art stall to another for a look or to purchase a nice gift for friends and family back home.
While in Ubud, thrill-seekers should take the opportunity to check out the extreme swing ride at local Airbnb, Zen Hideaway, which affords magnificent views of Mount Agung and the Ayung River. Located 20 minutes away from the heart of Ubud, the swing hangs between two coconut trees and is perched high on a hill – this is an unmissable Instagram-worthy shot and Snapchat moment.
For travellers with kids, it would be a fun family activity to head over to Ubud Monkey Forest. Kids will enjoy the complimentary tour and wildlife lesson about Balinese monkeys, together with photo mementoes to bring back from a memorable holiday. Be sure to listen to the guide, though, and don’t provoke the monkeys here.
If you’re not much of a wildlife fan, stroll over to Ubud Art Market and be spoilt by the variety of traditional artwork on sale here. Located opposite Ubud Art Market is the Puri Saren Royal Palace, an ideal spot for history lovers to explore and learn about the Ubud Empire’s beginnings.
After a long day of sightseeing, unwind with a relaxed dinner and a traditional kecek dance performance. Kecek is a traditional Balinese dance and music drama, developed in the 1930s and performed by both men and women. The Ubud Royal Palace is one of the best places to enjoy the dinner and dance performance.
If you’re not tired yet and wish to check out the nightlife, head over to Monkey Forest Road, where you’ll find an array of bars and restaurants. Enjoy the night scene with a couple (or more) of Bintangs, Indonesia’s local beer.
Canggu is every fitness and wellness enthusiasts’ idea of heaven. Seeing that Canggu is also on the other end of the island, you might want to consider spending a couple of nights here.
Those used to a healthy lifestyle will love Canggu’s offering of yoga, crossfit and mixed martial art classes. If the idea of hitting the gym during your holiday isn’t that appealing, you can always rent bicycles and leisurely cycle around Canggu’s serene environment.
Feast on traditional dishes, such as pisang rai, from warungs, or street-side stalls. Pisang rai is a Balinese snack comprising a boiled banana rolled in grated coconut. Or, if you fancy a wholesome breakfast, opt for healthy cafes such as Betelnut, Nalu Bowls and Cafe Organic, where you can try popular smoothie bowls and blended detox juices.
After starting your morning on a healthy note, head over to see one of Bali’s popular spots, the Tanah Lot temple complex. This temple is perched on a small rocky outcrop, surrounded by shrines and temples on the shore side. Legend has it the high priest from the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha travelled to Bali in a quest to spread Hinduism and arrived at Tanah Lot, thus establishing it as a temple to honour Baruna, the sea god.
The temple complex is absolutely stunning during the sunset, but if you don’t wish to go through the hassle of jostling with other tour buses and tourists, it’s best to avoid that time. If you visit the Tanah Lot temple complex earlier in the day, you can enjoy the rest of the night in the company of friends and family over dinner and drinks at Canggu’s top dining options such as The Lawn and Watercress.
You’ll be leaving Bali tomorrow, so try to take things easy today. Spend the day in every social influencers’ idea of paradise – Seminyak, which is Bali’s answer to the Hamptons. Littered with trendy beach clubs, eateries and shops, you’ll feel your daily stress melt away as you sip on your drink with your feet in the sand here.
For thrill-seekers and amateur surfers, Seminyak’s beaches are perfect to learn how to tame the wild waves of Bali. The waves are not as harsh here, and there are abundant surf schools to guide you through.
Not up for getting your hair wet? No problem! Enjoy the sea breeze and sun while lounging by the infinity pool on one of the vibrant bean bags at Potatohead Beach Club.
Once you’ve had enough of the beach, check out Nyaman Gallery for a dose of the local arts scene in Bali. The best part about Nyaman Gallery is that you can find the perfect souvenir or home accessory to take home – you’ll find ceramics, carvings, sculptures and paintings by upcoming local artists here.
Make the most of your last sunset in Bali by heading over to the Australian-Mexican restaurant La Laguna for a nice dinner amid carefree bohemian vibes and stunning ocean views. The food and drinks here may lean towards the pricier side, but the juicy grilled tenderloin and veggies and the prawn fries skewers are well worth it.
If you’re on a tighter budget, though, check out Sardine, which offers a quality deal for two, and a romantic dinner against panoramic paddy fields. Your best option at Sardine would be the seafood dishes as the chef uses quality ingredients which really brings out the flavours. Another tip is to request a table close to the fan, as it can be a bit warm at night.
If you don’t feel like tucking into bed yet after dinner, head over to Ku De Ta for a nightcap (or two) and to experience Bali’s hip and trendy beach club scene.
As you wait for your flight home, explore the best that Bali’s high-end district, Nusa Dua, has to offer.
If you’re looking for a little relaxation and me-time at the end of your trip, check out the variety of spas in Nusa Dua, or enjoy the sounds of the ocean and sunbathe by Pandawa or Geger Beach.
You can also check out Water Blow Beach, located close to the Grand Hyatt. In line with its name, the main attraction here lies in the massive water eruption between two cliffs which creates the impact of seawater splashing and the appearance of massive water eruption.
This is a spectacular sight from afar, especially during the sunny months of July to October, but there have been warnings for tourists to take precautions when visiting the site as the rocks can be slippery and the breaking shores can be detrimental.
The Island of Gods is filled with things to see and experience, but with our handy itinerary you will be able to maximise your five days here.