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Best Day trips from Bali

Luxury infinity pool overlooking sunset sea and sky reflection. Amazing swimming pool and beach background

Anyone who has ever been to Bali will tell that it has a very unique, almost magical atmosphere. Whether you are there to dive and do water sports, explore the Balinese culture and amazing cuisine, or simply to take a break and heal from the buzz and bustle of your everyday life (Ubud, one of the most popular spots for visitors seeking relaxation in a tranquil environment, literally translates to ”medicine”), you will sure be tempted to explore different parts of this charming island.

With picturesque local villages, widespread rice terraces and mystical, ancient temples, Bali is the perfect place for day tours and excursions. Read our guide to the most best day trips from Bali!

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Day trip to Sacred Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary

If you are staying in Ubud, you can easily arrange this tour on your own, otherwise, we recommend to book a local driver who can take you to the Ubud Monkey Forest. 

Stretching over 12,5 hectares, the Ubud Monkey Forest is not only a tourist attraction. First and foremost, it is a substantial part of the city and a place around which many activities of the local communities evolve. Home to several temples (that date back to the middle of the 14th century!), it is believed to be a sacred space, where the principle of “Tri Hita Karana”, harmonious well-being in life, is cultivated.

Alongside its spiritual significance, the site is also home to rare fauna and flora (186 different tree species and distinct plants used for spiritual purposes are grown in the Ubud Monkey Forest). It is an important spot for research and nature conservation programs, and (like its name indicates) a natural shelter for (more than 700) monkeys! 

The Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary is open every day from 8.30 AM to 6 PM (occasionally the forest closes down for one day to let the nature and the wildlife rest from the many visitors, if that is the case, the closing day will be clearly indicated on the website, so check it ahead of your visit, just in case). Admission tickets are approx. 4,3 USD for children and 5,6 USD for adults. 

Day trip to Sacred Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Sacred pool in temple at Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali,Indonesia

Bali Quad Bike tour

How about combining incredible nature sights with a more adventurous way to explore? Bali quad bike tours around Ubud are popular among tourists because they are adjustable to every skill level, and offer you a new, interesting way to explore the Balinese landscape.

You will literally be exploring Bali “off the beaten track” riding your own ATV. There will be a guide who will lead you and the rest of the group (every excursion starts with a thorough introduction to ATV safety instructions!), and on this tour, you will pass by rice terraces, bamboo forests and see the Balinese riverside. Most tours also include a local lunch, so you get a full taste of the local culture!

You can contact an ATV rental office on your own, but for your convenience, you may want to look into booking a full guided tour with hotel pick-up and meal guarantee. The combined tours also often include a visit to the Luwak Coffee Plantation, so you can cross two things off your bucket list in just one day!

Bali Quad Bike tours

Sayan terraces with river, terraced ricefields, with palmtrees Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Day trip to Mount Batur

Ready to add some activity to your Balinese holiday? If so, a hike up Mount Batur is something for you! We recommend you hire a guide for this trip or book a tour with an agency, as you will need a guide to climb the mountain safely.

The magnificent, 1717 meters high Mount Batur is an active volcano in the North-east of the island. Its first documented eruption took place in 1804, and the most recent in the year 2000. South-east of Mount Batur you will find Lake Batur, and the entire area is an important agricultural point in Bali. 

Most tours to Mount Batur revolve around the sunrise – the views of the sun waking up and bathing the Balinese landscape in its rays are absolutely breathtaking. To reach the top of the mountain in time to see the rising sun, most tours start with a hotel pick-up in the very early morning hours (around 2 or 3 AM). The pick-up takes you to the foot of Mount Batur where you meet your local guide who will lead you and help you climb the mountain.

Prepare for a challenging hike, you will be given a flashlight and your guide will be equipped with water and emergency-snacks, but the climb itself still requires a fair level of physical fitness. After a 1,5 – 2 hours hike you will reach the top of the mountain where you will have some time to eat breakfast before the sun begins to rise. Once you are ready to go down, your guide will tell you a couple more interesting facts about the mountain and you will probably pass some of the volcanic steam vents!

On the way back, many tours stop by coffee plantations, but since the Mount Batur hike is quite challenging, you can also save the coffee plantation excursion to another day!

Day trip to Mount Batur

Mount Batur, Gunung Batur, Kintamani Volcano in Bali Panorama

Day trip to a Luwak Coffee Plantation

Maybe you did not know but the most expensive coffee in the world, Luwak Coffee (called ”Kopi Luwak” by locals) comes from Bali! What is special about it? The coffee cherries are partially digested! Small Indonesian palm civets eat the coffee beans, and as the cherries pass through the animal’s intestines, a special fermentation process occurs. The cherries are collected again after they are defeated by the civet. The quality of Luwak coffee is not only dependent on the inner fermentation process though! It is believed that the animals, due to their sense of smell, only pick the best, the ripest and most fragrant coffee cherries, being a natural selector of the perfect coffee beans.

You will find several Luwak Coffee plantations around Bali, do not that among them you can also encounter scams and unethical enterprises, so either book a tour with a trusted local guide or ask at your accommodation which Luwak Coffee Plantation to visit on your own. Most visits to Balinese coffee plantations include a walk around the plantation itself, you will have the chance to see the civets and you will be offered a special coffee tasting and of course the possibility to buy a cup of Luwak coffee (since it is so expensive, Luwak coffee is mostly not included in the free samples) or a bag of Luwak coffee beans.

After tasting all the different coffees, take your time to wander around. Most coffee plantations are situated in beautiful natural surroundings and since they are popular among tourists, many offer great sites for photos or a tour in the Instagram-friendly Balinese swing!

Day trip to a Luwak Coffee Plantation

Different coffee beans on a table on a coffee plantation in Bali

Bali Instagram Tour

Speaking of Instagram! Did you know that one of the more popular day excursions for tourist is a dedicated ”Instagram Tour”? Bali is full of scenic spots, and booking a special tour with a local guide and driver will give you the chance to see (and photograph!) all the picturesque locations. 

This tour is perfect for you if you want to see the diversity of Bali and its cultural and historic sites. During Instagram Tour, you will visit the Lempuyang Temple (also known as “Gate of Heaven Temple”), and definitely have your camera ready for some pictures of the stunning Mount Ayung that you will see through the “Gates of Heaven”.

You will also make a stop at one of Bali’s famous waterfalls, the Tukad Cepung Waterfall, hidden inside of a cave, and afterwards, your guide will bring you to some of the famous Balinese rice terraces. Even if you are not looking to update your Instagram feed, you may still want to consider this tour as it will show you the variety of Bali’s nature and its lesser known local cultures.

Bali Instagram Tour

Traveler Standing at the Gates of Pura Lempuyang Temple aka Gates of Heaven Bali, Indonesia

Day Trip to Tegalalang Rice Terraces 

The Instagram Tour might offer you a sneak peek of Bali’s rice terraces, but we also recommend a separate day trip to Tegalalang Rice Terraces. The terraces are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of “Cultural Landscape of Bali Province” that also includes several water temples and covers an area of 19.500 ha in total.

Balinese landscape is dominated by volcanoes, which has provided very fertile soil for rice cultivation! However, the cultivation of rice is not only an agricultural activity, but it is linked to religious celebrations and follows the principle of “Tri Hita Karana” (significant for The Sacred Ubud Monkey Forest too).

The Tegalalang Rice Terraces have become a cultural icon, attracting tourists with amazing views of the fields worked by the local farmers. If you want to catch an authentic glimpse of the fields, try arriving early in the morning before the big tourist groups get there. If you are staying in Ubud, you can easily arrange a trip to Tegalalang Rice Terraces on your own. Simply rent a scooter, the beautiful terraces are about 25-minutes drive from Ubud! Afterwards, you can take some time to explore the adjacent villages, shop at local markets and have a meal in a traditional “warung”.

Day Trip to Tegalalang Rice Terraces 

Tegalalang rice terraces in Ubud, Bali. Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the famous tourist objects

Traditional Village Sightseeing tour in Bali

Are you looking for a day tour that will give you an authentic experience of Bali’s culture? The island is well known for its enchanting atmosphere, but also for its beautiful arts and crafts, batik-colouring and incredible wood sculptures. A Traditional Village Sightseeing tour will give you a first-hand experience of Bali’s culture and the local creative scene.

The village sightseeing tour is a full-day excursion that begins with an introduction to local artisans and traditional batik- and silverwork studios. You will get the chance to explore Hindu temples too, and the tour will include a local lunch (the guides often choose a scenic location eg. overlooking Mount Batur, so you can enjoy your food and the beautiful views and come home with amazing pictures).

After lunch, a common part of the program is a stop the Luwak Coffee Plantation. You will learn a lot about Balinese culture and local traditions on this tour and the first-hand experience of local creative workshops is a must! However, if a Bali full day tour is too much, you can curate a local tour on your own. Talk to a local driver or rent a scooter on your own and explore the rural Bali!

Traditional Village Sightseeing tour in Bali

Bali Indonesia - Penglipuran village best known for its well-preserved culture and village layout with traditional houses in Bali Indonesia

Day trip to Goa Gajah Temple (The Elephant Cave)

Located in the outskirts of Ubud, you will find the Goa Gajah Temple, also known as “The Elephant Cave”. Discovered in 1922, the cave dates back to the 11th century. It got its memorable name from the carvings on the main cave, which is believed to be an elephant’s mouth (the open mouth is a symbol of protection from evil spirits and demons). There is also a famous mention of the Goa Gajah temple in a Javanese poem from the middle of the 14th century.

Now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple is recognized as a Hindu shrine, however many relicts in and around the temple are clear elements of the Buddhist tradition. The temple has its main yard, but there are also smaller caves, altars and ponds you can wander around and explore.

The Elephant Cave is open every day from 8 AM – 4 PM, and the entry fee is 50,000 IDR (approx. 3,3 USD). It is compulsory to wear a sarong; there are rental stations by the entrance to the temple. Out of respect for the Hindu tradition, women on their period are asked not to enter the temples.

Day trip to Goa Gajah Temple (The Elephant Cave)

Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia - : The beautiful decorated entrance door of the Goa Gajah temple in Ubud Bali

Day trip to Tanah Lot Temple

If you are curious to see more temples while in Bali, the Tanah Lot Temple is a must on your itinerary! The temple is a part of Tanah Lot (Balinese for “land in the sea”) which is the name of the rock formation itself. Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important religious landmarks, and unlike Goa Gajah which is hidden in Bali’s lush forests, Tanah Lot Temple is perched on the little peninsula! 

Its offshore setting makes the temple a very scenic spot, especially popular among photographers and mostly visited for sunsets. Its history dates back to the 16th century, and the temple was originally built to worship Bhatara Segara, the God of Sea, and the local myths say that at the base of the pebbles island there lives a snake that protects the temple from evil intruders.

The Tanah Lot Temple is located approximately 20 kilometres north-west of Kuta, in Beraban village. You can make a dedicated trip to explore the site or book a Bali full-day tour that will include Tanah Lot as one of the stops on the route.

Day trip to Tanah Lot Temple

Temple in the sea( Pura tanah lot) Bali Indonesia

Day trip to Besakih Temple in Karangasem

The area of Karangasem is a scenic region in the eastern part of Bali. Due to migration of the Balinese population, the area of Karangasem is quiet and peaceful, offering authentic, pristine sights and low-key tourist attractions.

One of the most popular sites in Karangasem is the Besakih Temple, also known as “The Mother Temple”, and it consists of more than 80 separate shrines and small temple constructions. The temple is also known for its extraordinary location, as it is perched 1000 metres above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Agung. The unique position of the temple makes it a great observation spot, offering spectacular views of Balinese rice terraces, streams and mountains.

The Besakih complex is big enough for you to spend a whole day exploring it, but you can also shorten your visit to the temple and dedicate some time on your day trip to exploring other attractions of the Karangasem region like the water gardens or the Royal Palace, built in traditional Balinese style but with Dutch and English furnishing elements and Chinese ornaments.

Day trip to Besakih Temple in Karangasem

KARANGASEM, INDONESIA People praying at the Besakih temple on Bali, Indonesia

Day trip to Uluwatu

Another famous Balinese temple, mostly associated with “Kecak”, a special type of traditional fire dance performances, is located in Uluwatu. Uluwatu is situated on Bali’s Bukit peninsula and attracts both surfing enthusiasts and visitors who seek a tranquil break away from bustling cities like Kuta or Seminyak. Uluwatu’s beaches like Padang Padang Beach or Suluban Beach (also known as Blue Point Beach) are popular amongst surfers and photographers alike! The beaches are scenic, the water is crystal clear, so even if surfing is not your thing, Uluwatu views will surely enchant you!

When in Uluwatu, make sure not to miss the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (abbreviated GWK) with a 120-metres tall monument of the Hindu God Wisnu riding his eagle, Garuda. The monument is one of the tallest of its kind in the world, exceeding both the American Statue of Liberty and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. 

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is a centre with a vivid event- and performance-calendar. On the park grounds, you will find a street theatre, gardens, peaceful walking areas with ponds and of course a shopping and dining area where you can try local Balinese dishes and shop souvenirs!

If you are staying in Uluwatu, you can explore the sites on your own, but if you want to visit from eg. Ubud, we recommend booking a tour with a local guide or hire a driver for the day.

Day trip to Uluwatu

Bali, Indonesia - : Unidentified tourists watch traditional Balinese Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple on Bali, Indonesia. Kecak is very popular cultural show on Bali.

Day trip to Nusa Penida

Ready to visit a pristine island, immerse in the untouched nature and get a first-hand experience of a traditional, Balinese village? Nusa Penida is the perfect destination for island hopping Bali day trip! Ferries to Nusa Penida depart daily from Sanur, and if you book a full guided tour, it will include a convenient pick up from your hotel.

From Sanur, the ferry ride takes approx. 45 minutes, but with the amazing sea views, the sailing trip itself becomes an adventure! When you reach Nusa Penida, start with a calm walk along one of the beautiful island beaches, get a glimpse of the local island life in the village of Toya Pakeh and snorkel! Snorkelling equipment is easy and inexpensive to rent on the island, so just remember to take your swimsuit with you, and you are all set!

If you book a guided Nusa Penida day trip, lunch will be included in your tour, otherwise, you can be sure to find plenty of dining options on the island! After lunch, make your way to the Dalem Ped temple! Let the mystical atmosphere of this religious site embrace you – this particular temple is believed to have a miraculous tendency to heal and cure diseases of those who come there! If you visit the island on the day of the full moon, you will witness a special full moon ceremony/prayer in and around the temple.

Day trip to Nusa Penida

Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida Island, Bali - Indonesia

Day trip to Nusa Lembongan

Slightly further out from the Bali main island than Nusa Penida, you will find the island of Nusa Lembongan, which is also popular among tourists who want to join an island hopping Bali day trip. 

Nusa Lembongan will feel like paradise for those who want to stay away from the crowds and simply enjoy the natural scenery and rural life. With its white, sandy beaches and clear waters, Nusa Lembongan is a fantastic place for snorkelling, and scuba diving – the underwater scenery is spectacular!

Speaking of scenic sites! Do not forget to check out “Devil’s Tears” with amazing panorama views of the coast and wild crashing waves, swirling “tears” up in the air. It is one of the most spectacular spots on the island, a perfect spot for photographers that becomes even more magical with the setting sun.

If you want to explore Nusa Lembongan on your own, or maybe prefer a multi-day stay on the island instead of a day trip, you can look into boats and ferries departing from Sanur. There are different options, you can choose the speedboat (30 minutes long cruise for 500,000 IDR, approx. 35 USD for a return journey) or the regular ferry (90 minutes long journey for 100,000 IDR, approx. 7 USD), depending on your budget and time flexibility.  

Day trip to Nusa Lembongan

Beach on Nusa Lembongan island in Bali, Indonesia

Day trip to Gili Islands

Technically, Gili Islands are part of Lombok, but they are now becoming a popular destination for island hopping trips from Bali! Especially divers will not be able to resist the amazing “Gilis”, but even if you are not going for the sake of water sports, the three Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – might end up stealing your heart!

Gili Trawangan offers a mixture of quiet beaches as well as dining and partying spots, while Gili Meno – the most relaxing of the islands – is its complete opposite. There is even a local ban on late partying! Gili Air (the closest one to Lombok mainland) is slightly more upscale than the two other islands, here you will find resorts and luxury hotels as well as a range of shops and beach bars.

Trips to Gili Islands can be arranged from basically everywhere in Bali. Eg. in Ubud, you will find many local tourist agencies that will offer daily departures to Gili. Keep in mind that it takes around 3-4 hours to get to Gili from Bali, so you might consider staying in Gili overnight and maybe booking another tour while you are there, eg. a snorkelling adventure or a sunset cruise!

Day trip to Gili Islands

Beautiful tropical island with crystal ocean, aerial view. Gili islands

Recommended Day Trips from Bali

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Best Day trips from Bali

Best Day trips from Bali

Best Day trips from Bali

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!