Bali in 9 Days - My Suggested Itinerary
Experience Both Sea and Jungle in Bali
Days 1 - 2
Stay by the beach! You’ve had a long flight and a long year. Take a cab a short distance to Kuta, Seminyak, or Sanur. It’s the most Westernized area so it’ll help you acclimate and you can take advantage of guaranteed ATMs, English menus, and wifi. Just keep in mind that souvenir shopping will likely be more expensive here than anywhere else. Check out my guide in advance so you’ll be prepared with cash, sunscreen, and a willingness to go with the Balinese flow!
Days 3 - 4
It’s a one-hour taxi ride (and about $20 USD) up to the compact mountain city of Ubud, home of spiritual retreats, ex-pats, and windy streets filled with mopeds. Whether you stay in town to take advantage of the crystal shopping, stay outside town near the rice paddies, or simply use it as a base to explore nearby hikes, temples, and bike rides, it’s a great central location. Make sure to check out the Monkey Village, a short walk from town - though keep your valuables and jewelry packed away unless you want a monkey to walk away with them! Nighttime offers kecak dances, which can be interesting but make sure you get a story primer in advance, otherwise the dances will be tough to decipher.
Stay in the Ubud area another night, but hire a driver for the day to take you out to eastern Bali to check out the Tirta Gangga Water temple along with either Pura Besaikh or the lesser-known Pura Lempuyang. These are about 1 hour to 90 minutes away. A driver for the day will cost about $40 USD plus tip, and you can usually get one through your hotel or homestay.
Arrange a taxi to take you the one hour back to Sanur and hop a 50-minute ferry to the smaller islands of Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan, where streets are quieter and the beaches more idyllic. There are at least seven ferry crossings a day. Check to confirm the schedule in advance, as there are a few different ferry companies and their schedules do change. After several days in bustling Ubud, it’s time to get away from the crowds as you explore a quieter, more laid back scene.
Day 7 - 8
Stay on Nusa to do some snorkeling with Manta Rays or SCUBA the offshore reefs. If you’re thinking about getting SCUBA certified, Bali is definitely the place to do it. Not only are the costs inexpensive, there’s so much to see under the water here!
It’s a 50-minute ferry and a 20-minute drive back to the airport.