Follow our itinerary for a great, active two weeks in Bali, with hiking, biking and snorkelling, along with a little well-deserved relaxation.
Bali Active Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrival and Jimbaran Beach
We arrived at Denpasar airport and ordered a Grab to our hotel in Jimbaran, Kubu Kak Dudung Villas*, close to Jimbaran Beach (Tripadvisor Reviews*). After checking in we walked 10 minutes to the beach to have a delicious grilled fish dinner and watch the sunset.
Day 2 – Uluwatu Peninsula Walking Tour
After breakfast, we got a Gojek taxi to the car park above Nyang Nyang beach to start a hike to beaches and a temple in Uluwatu. This walk was 15 km with 200 m climb and includes visiting Nyang Nyang beach, Karang Boma Cliff viewpoint, Uluwatu Temple, Suluban Beach, Thomas Beach and Padang Padang Beach. This walk took most of the day and after getting a Gojek back from near Padang Padang beach we arrived back in Jimbaran just in time to watch the sunset from the beach.
Day 3 – To Ubud and Walk through Rice Fields
After an early breakfast we took a Gojek to Ubud. We went straight to our hotel, Gusti Kaler House*, to leave our baggage and then set off on a walk through the rice fields nearby. This was 10.5 km with 175 m climb and took almost 4 hours. It included Camuhan Ridge, rice fields, and at the end the sights in Ubud town – Blanco Renaissance Museum, Museum Puri Lukisan, Saraswati Temple and Ubud Royal Palace.
After the walk we went to find bicycles to rent for the following day. We ended up at Rent Bicycle and collected our bicycles already so we’d have them first thing tomorrow. For more details on renting the bikes see here.
After the walk we continued down to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary*. There are many, many monkeys in the forest, and a couple of temples – though you can’t visit inside these. The monkeys can be aggressive and you should remove any loose valuables before visiting. Make sure you never leave your bag unattended, don’t carry any plastic bags or eat any food while you are inside. I didn’t really like this place as it was very touristy and the monkeys were overfed.
Day 4 – Cycle from Ubud to Temples and Rice Terraces
We got up early the next day and had breakfast at Anomali Coffee Ubud (Tripadvisor Reviews*) in the centre of town. Although it’s slightly pricey, this is one of the few places to open at 7am, and we came here the next day as well because it was very tasty.
We then set off on our cycle to the rice terraces and temples. This cycle ride is 38.5 km with 600 m climb. It includes visiting the famous Tegallalang rice terraces, and three temples in Tampaksiing – Tirta Empul, Gunung Kawi and Pura Mengening. We spent most of the day on this cycle ride, returning to Ubud and the bike rental around 4 pm.
We met someone on the street who was a taxi driver, like most people, and organised him to collect us at 7:45 am the next morning to bring us to our hotel in Candidasa.
Day 5 – To Candidasa and Walk to Temple and Beach
After breakfast again at Anomali Coffee Ubud*, we met our taxi driver at 7:45 and set off to Hotel Genggong* in Candidasa. When we arrived we asked about bicycle rental (I’d messaged the hotel beforehand and they said they could arrange this). The staff at the desk didn’t know anything about it, but rang their manager and then a local man who had some bikes. Initially we were shown rubbish bikes, but a few minutes later after we’d rejected these, a different man turned up with two amazing mountain bikes. We actually wanted them the next day, and we agreed we’d meet him at our hotel early the next morning.
Midday Walk to Temple and Beach
After having resolved the bike issue, now almost 11 am, we set off on a walk to Gumang Temple and White Sand Beach. This walk was 9.5 km with 400 m climb. The first part, up a hill, was very steep and the path wasn’t totally clear, but from then on it was easy. When we arrived at the beach we had a very late lunch (around 2pm) and a brief swim. We then met someone who was a taxi driver who drove us back to Candidasa.
Back at the hotel we had a rest, swam in the pool and snorkelled for a short while in the ocean in front of the hotel, though we didn’t see much. Later we ate dinner at Vincent’s Restaurant (Tripadvisor Reviews*) just up the road. It was super delicious, though slightly expensive.
Day 6 – Long Cycle from Candidasa up Sidemen Valley
We got up early and had breakfast around 7am before meeting the man with the bikes. We then went on a day cycle up through Sidemen Valley. This cycle loop was 70 km with 1100 metres climb. We spent 9 hours on this loop, 5hr30 of which cycling and the rest at stops. This ride includes the Blue Lagoon for snorkelling, Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple), Klunglung Royal Palace and the road up through beautiful Sidemen Valley.
After returning from the cycle we relaxed by the pool, swam in the ocean and had dinner at the hotel. We also organised a taxi for the next morning at 11am to take us to Tenganan Village.
Day 7 – To Tenganan Village and Walk to Tirtagangga
After a relaxing morning, we left at 11 am in our taxi to Tenganan Village. After looking around this ancient village, we walked from here with all our baggage (one small rucksack each) to Tirtagangga Water Palace. Here we stayed at Pondok Alam Bukit*, a cute little place with lovely views from our balcony.
Day 8 – Long Walk to Lempuyang Temple and down to Amed
We woke up early again, and after breakfast on our balcony we set off at 7:45, again carrying our baggage, on a walk to Lempuyang Temple. It was 16.5 km with 970 metres climb to end up at Lempuyang Temple Gates, via the temples at the top of the mountain. We ate lunch by the temple gates and set off once more to walk down to Amed beach area. This afternoon hike was much easier than the morning, 12 km with 150 metres climb.
Amed* is an area famed for snorkelling. We were very tired when we arrived at our hotel Sunshine Bungalows*, and had a lie down before snorkelling – it was great. We then had dinner at Galanga Restaurant*, very nearby and tasty, before going to sleep.
Day 9 – Relax at Amed Beach and Snorkelling
Today was an entirely relaxing day. We went snorkelling in front of the hotel and along the coast slightly in Pantai Jemeluk Bay. The best snorkelling in Bali was our second time in front of our hotel when we swam to the outer edge of the reef. The water was extremely clear on this side of the reef, and we could see the seabed dropping quickly away into the deep. There were an incredible number of fish, and we were lucky enough to see a turtle as well.
We arranged with our hotel for a taxi the next day to Mount Batur region (Rp 400,000) for early the next morning. We then ate dinner at Joli Best View Cafe* around sunset, which as the name suggests, does have a really good view over Jemeluk Bay and the volcanoes beyond.
Day 10 – To Mount Batur Area and Afternoon Cycle
After breakfast in our hotel, we met with our taxi driver and set off. It was quite a long way, and definitely a long way uphill to Mount Batur. We were dropped off at C.Bali Canoeing & Cycling where we rented two decent mountain bikes. We then cycled a loop around the crater of Mount Batur (via dropping our stuff off at our hotel, Black Lava Hostel*, just underneath the volcano). This cycle ride is 27 km with 315 metres climb. This took 3hr30 including lunch and other stops, the cycle part itself took around 2 hours.
We cycled back to our hostel and kept the bikes there for the night. At the hostel we also organised a trek up Mount Batur for the next day.
Day 11 – Hike up Mount Batur and Afternoon Cycle
We woke up very early for a cup of tea/coffee at 5 am in the hostel restaurant where we met our guide. We then hiked up Mount Batur to see the sunrise, a very popular activity in Bali. The route we took, starting at the hostel, was 7.7 km with 675 metres climb. We walked up for about 1 hour before stopping two-thirds of the way up to see the beautiful sunrise. Total walking time was roughly 2 hours, but including breakfast and other stops it was 4hr 15, so we arrived back around 9:30 and had a second breakfast (yay) at the hotel.
After a short break, we set off on our cycle around the crater rim of Mount Batur. This route was 39 km with 1000 metres climb, and very tough in places. Along with nice views, we visited Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple in Kintamani along the way. We ended this cycle at the bike rental place in Kedisan and then took a taxi 5 km back to our hostel.
There was a taxi mafia in Kedisan, so we walked a few hundred metres out of town before we flagged someone down. We then ate dinner at Rejeng Restaurant where we had delicious fish overlooking the lake. After returning to the hotel we organised a taxi for the next day to take us to Singaraja.
Day 12 – To Singaraja, Walk in Town and on to Lovina
On the way to Singaraja we stopped off at Pura Meduwe Karang*, a temple with a famous bicycle carving. Once in Singaraja, a few hours after setting off, we walked around the town. We had been dropped off at the Royal Palace and ended at the harbourfront, a walk which was 3.5 km. Afterwards, we ordered two motorbike Gojeks (there weren’t any car taxis in the area) to take us to our hotel Balinda Rooms and Villas* for the next two days in Lovina*, about 8 km down the road.
We spent the afternoon relaxing at our pool and booked a dolphin tour for the next morning.
Day 13 – Lovina Dolphins Tour, Snorkelling and Relaxation
Lovina Dolphin Tour
Early in the morning we woke up, but it was raining quite heavily. The hotel owner said we should wait 30 minutes and see if it gets better, which luckily it did. We then met a man who took us to our little fishing outrigger to see the dolphins. We were joined by another couple and set off onto the ocean. I enjoyed being in the boat, though for a very long time nobody could find the dolphins.
Eventually they were spotted by another boat and we raced over, being one of the first boats to arrive. It was great seeing the dolphins, but soon many many more boats arrived and it became very crowded. Some groups were also clapping the dolphins, which was slightly annoying. After about 20 minutes of following them, we left them and returned to shore.
Snorkelling in Lovina
When we returned we asked our boat driver about snorkelling on the reef (which is about 10 minutes boat ride into the ocean) and agreed to go in the early afternoon. In the meantime, we relaxed and ate lunch. The snorkelling was good, though the visibility was slightly poor in some parts of the reef (it varies depending on the tides and it would have been clearer in the morning).
The sunset from Lovina Beach that evening was really great, and many locals and tourists alike had gathered to watch it. Back at the hotel we arranged a taxi to Bedoegoel (Bedugul) in the Lake District area of Bali for the next morning.
Day 14 – Taxi to Bedugul and Sightseeing Walk
We were dropped off in Bedugul near our hotel, ECO Bedugul Adventure Camp*. There were quite a few steps down to our room, which had great views of the lake and was surrounded by jungle vegetation. We then set off on a walk to see the sights in the area starting from the Botanic Garden (we walked to the Botanic Garden as well). This walk was 12.5 km with 700 metres climb. We took 6 hours for the entire hike including stops, with our moving time roughly 4 hours. Apart from the Botanic Gardens, this walk leads up Mount Tapak and down to the famous lake temple, Ulun Danu Beratan.
We ate dinner at our hotel, with a lovely view of the lake, and asked about a taxi for tomorrow. The owner said he would drive us himself.
Day 15 – Hike up Mount Catur and Mount Lesung
Up early again, we set off through Bedugul town and hiked up Mount Catur. This is 12.5 km with 935 metres climb. It’s an out-and-back route, and after 4 hours we were back at our hotel. The hotel owner drove us to our next stop at Hotel Terrasse du Lac*, near Lake Tamblingan.
It was slightly rainy and cloudy when we arrived, so we waited a while in our room for the weather to improve. It got a bit better, and we set off on a walk up Mount Lesung. This hike is 10.5 km with 685 metres climb and we took 3hrs 30, including a few short stops. The weather wasn’t great and we were glad to return to our hotel, where we had dinner and made a cosy log fire in our room. We also organised a taxi for the next day through the hotel owners.
Day 16 – Hike over Mount Batukaru
After breakfast we set off in the taxi to the start of the hike over Mount Batukaru. The taxi took a long time, because you have to descend a lot before winding back up again. The route google suggested to us, which is fairly straight, goes along non-passable roads. The hike itself is 8 km with 1150 metres climb and took us almost five hours, despite the short distance, because it’s very steep both up and down.
Opposite a large temple at the bottom of the hike, we followed the little signposts to D’wan Tea Mountain Side* where we were staying. It was a lovely place, with old-fashioned luxury vibes and a gorgeous pool. At the hotel we arranged for a taxi the next day at roughly noon to take us sightseeing on the way down to Denpasar.
Day 17 – Jatiluwih Rice Terraces Hike and Temples Sightseeing
After breakfast we walked down to Jatiluwih and then walked around the rice terraces. This easy walk was 6.5 km with 175 metres climb. We then walked back up to our hotel to grab our stuff and take our taxi.
We were aiming for our next hotel in Kuta near the airport, but on the way we first stopped at Pura Taman Ayun*, a lovely peaceful temple with many tall shrines.
Futher downwards, we visited Pura Tanah Lot*, a touristy temple in the ocean. I’m not sure why Tanah Lot is so famous, because you can’t really see the temple since it’s on an island partially obscured by vegetation. This was definitely the most touristy place we’d seen in Bali.
After Tanah Lot we continued in our taxi to Kuta. The traffic was quite heavy and we were glad to arrive at our hotel. We walked to Kuta Beach* to watch the sunset and ate dinner at one of the restaurants just behind.
Day 18 – Early Morning Departure
Early up again, we walked 1 km to the airport and ate breakfast inside the terminal. We’d had a great trip in Bali, and only regret not having hiked up Mount Agung. We’d also love to hike up Mount Rinjani on neighbouring Lombok but that’ll have to be next time.
Shortening the Bali Active Itinerary
To shorten this itinerary by a few days, you could miss out on Singaraja and Lovina. Instead, head straight from Mount Batur area to the Lakes Area of Bali. Alternatively, you could miss the Lakes Area and Batukaru entirely to shorten the itinerary by three days, heading straight from Lovina to Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
To shorter the itinerary further, head straight from Mount Batur to Jatiluwih to miss out five days and bring the itinerary down to an easy two weeks in Bali.
Extending the Bali Active Itinerary
The days on our itinerary were pretty packed and the activities could easily be spread out with more time for rest and relaxation.
The main activity we missed on our Bali Itinerary was the climb up Mount Agung and the visit to Besakih Temple complex afterwards. If we had two more days we would definitely have done this. We’d also love to climb up Mount Rinjani on neighbouring Lombok island, a trip which would take an extra three days.
Tips for a Great Bali Itinerary
- We made all our hotel bookings through Booking.com*. We planned only one or two days in advance, which worked well since we weren’t sure what to expect before we arrived in Bali.
- If you want to hire a car with a driver for the day, which gives you full freedom over where to go, it’s easy to hire one on Klook*. It’s also possible to ask at your accommodation about a one-way taxi or getting a car with a driver. Most people in Bali are either taxi drivers themselves or know a taxi driver.
- A convenient way to rent scooters or motorbikes in Bali is from BikesBooking.com*. They deliver your scooter/motorbike to your accommodation (if staying anywhere in the area between Ubud and Bukit Peninsula) and it’s professionally done.
- We had travel insurance with SafetyWings*. We always use them because you can specify exactly how long you want coverage for and they include covid-19 coverage, even producing a nice letter for you to show immigration if proof of covid insurance is needed.
- To pay with card and get out money from ATMS we both have Wise cards*. These cards allow you to easily transfer money from one currency to another in an easy-to-use app, and use the card abroad with no extra fees. It saves a lot of money compared to normal bank cards which charge ridiculous fees if you use them abroad.
Places we Stayed on our Bali Itinerary
All the places we stayed in Bali were at least satisfactory. Stand-out places were D’wan Tea Mountain Side* for the stunning location, Gusti Kaler House* for being in central Ubud yet quiet, cute and very cheap, and Black Lava Hostel and Lodge* for the hot springs pool and great views. In the table below, Cheap < $20, Medium $20-$40, Expensive > $40.
|Kubu Kak Dudung Villas*||Jimbaran||Moderate||Very cute cabins, small pool, 10 minutes walk from beach|
|Gusti Kaler House*||Ubud||Cheap||Lovely place with cute rooms in a temple-filled garden area|
|Hotel Genggong*||Candidasa||Expensive||Nice place with a great pool, right by the beach|
|Pondok Alam Bukit*||Tirta Gangga||Cheap||Cute place with great views from the balcony|
|Sunshine Bungalows*||Amed||Medium||Fine place, great location by the beach, noisy party in evening|
|Black Lava Hostel and Lodge*||Mount Batur||Medium||Great place with clean rooms and a hot spring pool with views|
|Balinda Rooms and Villas*||Lovina||Medium||Fine place with nice pool not far from beach|
|ECO Bedugul Adventure Camp*||Lakes Area||Cheap||Cute place with views, friendly owners with cheap yet delicious dinner|
|Terrasse du Lac Tamblingan*||Lakes Area||Medium||Nice place, cosy log fire, good restaurant|
|D’wan Tea Mountain Side*||Jatiluwih||Expensive||Beautiful location, old-world feel and picturesque pool|
|Ara Inn Bed & Breakfast*||Kuta||Cheap||Nothing special but near the beach and airport|