Bali is the most famous of Indonesia's 17,000 islands and has been a tourist favorite for decades. Popular for its pristine beaches and green landscapes dotted with volcanoes, Bali attracts over 2.5 million foreign tourists per year!
Exactly Where is Bali?
Bali, Indonesia, is a 95-mile-wide island located in the Indian Ocean, only two miles east of the tip of Java and west of Lombok and Flores. Bali is a part of the Indonesian archipelago known as the Lesser Sunda Islands north of Western Australia.
- See some Indonesia travel essentials for a profile of the country.
Why is Bali so Famous?
Bali is considered one of the most romantic islands in the world and is a top honeymoon destination in Asia. Unlike the rest of Indonesia which is predominantly Islamic, Bali is Hindu; beautiful temples are spread throughout the island, lending a feeling of spirituality.
The volcanic soil provides a lush landscape of rice terraces, flowers, and rainforest canopy. Numerous artists have relocated to Bali to enjoy the inexplicable vibe that permeates the fresh air. Despite the explosion of development ranging from upscale hotels to golf courses, Bali still retains much of its original magic.
Unfortunately, an estimated 80% of international visitors to Indonesia see only Bali before returning home.
Things to Do in Bali
- Try Surfing: Bali has been drawing in surfers since the 1930s. The lack of a reef and abundance of surf schools make Kuta Beach one of the most popular places in the world to try your luck on a board. Read more about the surfing in Bali.
- Visit Ubud: Once Bali's green little hippie escape, Ubud's reputation has spread widely and so has its development -- much the same fate that Pai in Thailand is suffering. Even still, the verdant rice fields, boutique shops, and scores of spas and holistic healing centers still lure the crowds away from the beaches. See 10 things to do in Ubud.
- Enjoy the Beaches: From the raging party scene in Kuta where cheap accommodation can be found for US $10 per night to more upscale and sophisticated resorts in South Bali, there's a beach to suit all interests on the island.
- See the Interior: Crystalline volcanic lakes and tiny villages clinging to the slopes of smoldering active volcanoes provide plenty of eye candy in the lush interior of the island. Fortunately, Bali is small enough that day trips can be made to explore the rainforests without the need for an overnight. See more about the Kintamani region of Bali.
See some excellent places to visit in Bali.
Flights to Bali
Denpasar International Airport (airport code: DPS), officially Ngurah Rai International Airport, is Indonesia's second-busiest airport, just behind Jakarta. The airport serves as a hub for Garuda, Merpati, and Indonesia AirAsia -- three major airlines with flights servicing all of Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Only one mile from Kuta and the tourist beaches in South Bali, Denpasar boasts direct international flights to China, Amsterdam, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taipei, and Russia.
- See tips for finding the cheapest flights to Bali.
The Best Times to Visit Bali
The weather in Bali is pleasantly warm year around, but monsoon rains in the winter months can put a real damper on beach days. Expect heavy rain between December and March.
Bali is driest and busiest during the summer months between June and August. Hordes of college students from Australia tend to invade Bali's south beaches for their school breaks at the beginning of April and in late June.