One Week in Bali: The Perfect Travel Itinerary

One Week in Bali: The Perfect Travel Itinerary

Yana visited Bali in 2008 and her experience was far from amazing. She spent most of her time in Kuta and Uluwatu and didn’t love the beaches or the drunken party scene. Fast forward 10 years later, and our experience was completely different.

We absolutely loved Bali and found that it had far more to offer than a lively party scene on Kuta Beach.

The longer we stayed in Bali, the more we loved it. But if you’re just visiting, one week in Bali is enough time to explore stunning temples, waterfalls, picture-perfect rice fields, and white sand beaches.

Bali has been a popular tourist destination for decades and it has only become more popular. There is a perfect mix for both budget travelers as well as high-end luxury tourism. The culture is wonderful with beautiful sites, the people are friendly, and the food is really good and inexpensive.

We think you can stay in Bali forever, but one week is enough time to see the main highlights. Check out our recommended itinerary to help you plan your trip!

Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.

When to Visit Bali

The best time to visit is during the dry season between April to October. The wet season in Bali is between November and March, but the rain usually only lasts for a couple of hours.

Sadly during that time, the beaches see a huge influx of trash due to currents. Crowds are much lower during the rainy season except during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.


How to Get Around Bali

Bali Itinerary: Kelingking Beach
Kelingking Beach at Nusa Penida, a short ferry from Bali

Hiring a driver or renting a scooter are the two main sources of transportation in Bali. We recommend hiring a driver for the longer journeys between destinations and for sightseeing. It is a good idea to download the Grab app for direct journeys and to and from the airport.

If you have experience riding a scooter or motorcycle, you can rent one to get around locally. Traffic conditions in Bali are a challenge for novice riders, so keep that in mind as you venture out in Bali.


The Perfect One-Week Itinerary in Bali

Map of Bali with stopping points and places to sleep

Bali Trip Plan: Map

Day 1: Visit Monkey Forest Sanctuary and Explore Ubud Market

One Week in Bali: Monkey Forest Ubud
Monkey Forest, Ubud

Explore: Arrive in Bali and hire a taxi or Grab a car to Ubud. The drive is about one and a half hours from the airport. First head to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary. The entry cost is 80,000 IDR ($5.58 USD).

You can spend an hour walking around the jungle sanctuary with hundreds of monkeys hanging about. Bananas are for sale for 20,000 IDR ($1.39 USD), and the cheeky monkeys will jump on your shoulder or head to get the treat. 

Head over to downtown Ubud and check out the shops and the Ubud Traditional Art Market. If you’re interested in yoga, many of the yoga studios offer free community classes. Paid classes cost between 100,000 – 130,000 IDR ($6.97 – $9 USD). 

For sunset, enjoy a stroll on the scenic Campuhan Ridge Walk.

Eat: If looking for some healthy comfort food, then you need to check out Kafe Bali! For local food check out Warung Pondok Madu.

Budget StayDesak Putu Putra Hidden is an adorable little hotel with a lush garden and an amazing pool. You can enjoy breakfast in the garden every morning. Rooms are super affordable and have everything you need for a great stay!

Mid-Range StayBlue Karma Dijiwa Ubud is a lovely resort that is pretty reasonably priced considering how lavish it is! It’s also the perfect place to capture Instagram photos of your Bali vacation.


Day 2: Visit Rice Fields and Temples in North Bali

Bali Itinerary: Jutiluwih Rice Terraces
Jutiluwih Rice Terraces

Explore: Today is about exploring central and north Bali. If you don’t want to be on a scooter all day, hire a driver. There are four stops: Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, the Handara Gates, and the Nungnung Waterfall.

The first stop is the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. The entry cost is 40,000 IDR ($3 USD) to this UNESCO World Heritage site. The rice fields are incredibly scenic with beautiful volcanoes in the backdrop.

An hour north is Lake Beratan and the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. This picturesque temple seemingly floats on the lake (and can get very crowded). The entry cost is 50,000 IDR per person ($3.50 USD).

Just a few minutes past the temple is the Handara Golf & Resort. At the entrance of the resort is the famous Handara Gates, a popular Instagram location. Snap a few photos (you may have to queue up as it’s quite popular) and then continue on back to Ubud.

On the way back take a short detour to the Nungnung Waterfall. The entrance fee is 3,000 IDR ($0.21 USD). It’s a short hike with 500 steps to the waterfall, but entirely worth it! Enjoy a quick swim then head back to Ubud.

Eat: Eat some beef rendang or stewed jackfruit at Waroeng Bernadette. So yummy!!!

Budget StayDesak Putu Putra Hidden is an adorable little hotel with a lush garden and an amazing pool. You can enjoy breakfast in the garden every morning. Rooms are super affordable and have everything you need for a great stay!

Mid-Range StayBlue Karma Dijiwa Ubud is a lovely resort that is pretty reasonably priced considering how lavish it is! It’s also the perfect place to capture Instagram photos of your Bali vacation.


Day 3: Waterfall Adventures

Itinerary for Bali: Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Explore: Hire a driver to the coastal city of Sanur with a few stops at waterfalls along the way. First head over to Tibumana Waterfall, roughly 30 minutes east of Ubud. Entry is 10,000 IDR ($0.70 USD).

After a swim, drive 10 minutes down the river to Kanto Lampo waterfall, our favorite in Bali. It requires you to wade through the river waist-deep, but it is an awesome adventure!

Another 30 minutes away is the virgin cave waterfall Tukad Cepung. It is a 15-minute walk through the caves to this stunning waterfall. Entry is 10,000 IDR ($0.70 USD). And if you have time, squeeze in Tegenungan Falls, even though this is the busiest waterfall. The entry cost is 15,000 IDR ($1.05 USD). 

From there, drive to Sanur and walk around the main street of Danau Tamblingan. Enjoy a cheap massage from one of the many spas in town and watch the sunset from Sanur Beach with Mount Agung in the distance.

Eat: The classic Mie Goreng at Warung Little Bird.

Budget StayKeke Homestay has simple double rooms for around $25 USD per night.

Mid-Range Stay: The Puri Hiromi Boutique Residence is a great value for the price and is just minutes from the beach!


Day 4: Day Tour and Visit the Temple of Lempuyang Luhur

Itinerary for Bali: Lempuyang Luhur
The temple of Lempuyang Luhur in Bali, Indonesia

Explore: Start the day early and hire a driver as it’s a 2-hour drive to the Temple of Lempuyang Luhur. The entry cost to the temple is donation-based, but 10,000 IDR ($0.70 USD) is reasonable. The famous Instagram temple gates are just a 5-minute walk from the entrance and the views of Mount Agung in the backdrop are stunning.

There are seven temples on this massive complex. The first three temples can easily be explored. The remaining temples require hiking up a mountain which includes 1,720 steps. Hiking to the top will take 1.5 – 2 hours.

Following the temple, have a quick stop at the nearby Tirta Gangga Water Palace and take the scenic route back to Sanur.

Eat: If you want to test your stomach, check out the Sanur Night Market for some street food vendors. If not, just around the corner is one of our favorite restaurants in Bali (and super cheap!). It is called Bali Jepun Warung at 14 Pungutan road – their noodles are amazing!

Budget StayKeke Homestay has simple double rooms for around $25 USD per night.

Mid-Range Stay: The Puri Hiromi Boutique Residence is a great value for the price and is just minutes from the beach!


Day 5: Nusa Penida Day Trip

Bali Trip Plan: Kelingking Beach
Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

Explore: Today will be another long day to Nusa Penida island. Boats depart from Sanur Beach and it’s possible to go independently or with a tour. Going independently is easy, but it will require a test of your motorbike skills. The roads on Penida are pretty treacherous. If you’re confident in driving a scooter, it will be a fun adventure.

For those not so confident, it is better to join a day tour that includes a driver. With time on your side, spending a couple of nights in Nusa Penida is a great option. It is possible to also go to Nusa Lembongan, which will allow for more time to explore the island and stay at these beautiful places for sunset!

Going Independently: You can book a ferry directly to Nusa Penida from Sanur Beach. Upon arrival, rent a scooter and consider going in the reverse direction of the day tours to see fewer crowds. First head to Kelingking Beach – the roads are pretty good and it should take one and a half hours.

Instead of adding a third stop at Crystal Bay, hike down to the beach for a couple of hours. Although the path looks gnarley, is fairly safe and the beach at the bottom is definitely worth it.

After Kelingking, head to Broken Beach. This is one of the worst roads on the island, so be ready for an adventure.

Explore Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong in the afternoon when all the tours have left (usually by 2 pm). After soaking in the views and going for a swim, head back to the wharf (1 hour 15-minute drive) for the return ferry. 

Joining a Tour: Tours leave Sanur around 9 am. They come fully inclusive of boat transfers, a car, a driver in Penida, entrance fees, and lunch. This is the best option if you have reduced mobility or are worried about driving a scooter on horrible roads. While the distances are not far, it takes over an hour between each stop on the tour.

Tours typically go to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong for the first stop. After enjoying a swim in the natural pool and incredible views, the tour continues to Kelingking Beach. The last stop is snorkeling at Crystal Bay.  

Book in advance: Prices for tours and direct ferries tend to rise closer to departure times.


Day 6: Explore the Uluwatu Cliffs and Temple

One Week in Bali: Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple

Explore: Today is about relaxing. After a few days of some serious sightseeing, it is time to head to the beach. It is a one-hour drive to the beach town of Padang Padang, one of the best beaches in Uluwatu. It’s possible to visit one of Bali’s abandoned airplanes on the way down.

After checking in to a hotel, head to the beach to chill for the day. Entry to the beach is 10,000 IDR per person ($0.70 USD). If you really want to relax, stay for the day and watch the sunset from the beach.

And if you want to venture off and see something, the Uluwatu Temple is a 10-minute drive. It is a beautiful temple perched on the side of a cliff. The entry cost to the temple is 30,000 IDR ($2.10 USD).

Itinerary for Bali: Uluwatu Cliffs
Uluwatu Cliffs

Eat: Just next to the homestay is Bukit Cafe or check out some other incredible restaurants in the area.

Budget StayDevata Giri Homestay is located near several restaurants and just a couple of minutes from Padang Padang Beach. Double rooms are a great value!

Mid-Range Stay: The Room Padang-Padang has a super friendly staff and a pristine pool. You’ll love the comfy beds, modern bathrooms, and reasonable price.


Day 7: Find the Best Beach in Uluwatu

Plan a Trip to Bali: Dreamland Beach
Aerial view of Dreamland Beach

Explore: Today is another beach day! Motorbike over to Dreamland Beach and parking costs 5,000 IDR.

The beach has a warung on-site as well as beach umbrellas to rent (100,000 IDR for the day, $7.00 USD). A few minutes past the umbrellas you can have the beach almost entirely to yourself.

After getting your tan on, the only other activity for the day is to watch the sunset. Head to the Uluwatu Cliffs, known in Balinese as Tebing Karang Boma. The impressive cliff has unobstructed views of the sunset and the Uluwatu Temple can be seen in the distance.

Eat: If you are enjoying the local Indonesian food, then check out Warung Heboh Padang Padang. It is one of our favorite Indonesian restaurants in Bali. It can be a little confusing on the pricing because it is self-serve. Each dish has a cost per scoop.

Budget StayDevata Giri Homestay is located near several restaurants and just a couple of minutes from Padang Padang Beach. Double rooms are a great value!

Mid-Range Stay: The Room Padang-Padang has a super friendly staff and a pristine pool. You’ll love the comfy beds, modern bathrooms, and reasonable price.


Day 8

Hire a taxi or take Grab back to the airport for around 150K IDR ($11 USD).

One Week in Bali: Broken Beach
Broken Beach, Nusa Penida

That’s it! Hope you enjoy our Perfect Bali Itinerary! Let us know in the comments!


Planning a trip to Indonesia? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!


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Ashim
Ashim
7 months ago

Could you please recommend a private cab for a week? Thanks

Joel
Joel
2 months ago

One week is not enough to visit Bali and all the secret places, not only south of Bali but all directions are, advisable is renting cars with driver.

Last edited 2 months ago by Joel
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