Looking for a mindful, health-focused escape? Bali likely has exactly what you’re looking for, but even if you’re looking for something else, say, breathtaking nature and a laid-back beach getaway, Bali fits the bill, too. We’ve rounded up a comprehensive guide on what to eat, see and do in this seemingly ever-popular paradise of a destination.
When in Bali, eat as the locals do. Nasi goreng is a local fried rice dish, which means it’s cheap, fast, and available everywhere, not to mention tasty. For memorable versions of this local favourite, try Warung Heaven in Munduk (featuring bonus mountain views) and The Luhron in Seminyak.
Bali is also well known for its traditional suckling pig (called babi guling). Flytographer Gusmank recommends trying this local delicacy at Warung Ibu Oka 3 Babi Guling in Ubud, Babi Guling Pak Malen, and Warung Babi Guling Pak Dobil Nusa Dua. For a more modern spin on pork, try Naughty Nuri’s Pork Ribs for a Balinese take on smoked ribs. Treat yourself and satisfy your sweet tooth with the Umpa Lumpa shake for dessert, a chocolate shake garnished with pretzels and a brownie.
If you’re going for cleansing vibes during your Bali retreat, you’ll find no shortage of healthy eats. Alchemy Cafe in Ubud offers a raw, vegan, and organic menu with cold-pressed juice and freshly made smoothies. Clear Cafe offers healthy food from trusted, local farmers with an array of healthy small plates, sandwiches, and salads to choose from. Unsurprisingly, Yoga Barn offers a full schedule of yoga classes, but you can also stop by for a healthy bite to eat. Stop by for the Sunday lunch buffet offered each week from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm.
La Favela Seminyak
Yes, La Favela serves tasty tapas and expertly crafted cocktails featuring fresh ingredients like dragon fruit, but in addition to the culinary offerings, it’s worth it to visit for the funky vibes. Housed in two villas, the space features a swanky garden area, plus plenty of stylish spaces to explore.
Two Trees Eatery
This stylish eatery in Canggu is the place to get Instagram-worthy juices, lattes, and smoothie bowls. Loaded with healthful ingredients like goji berries, chia seeds, spirulina, and activated charcoal, Two Trees is the perfect spot to fuel up before an active day out.
The Shady Shack
This open-air vegetarian cafe overlooks Canggu’s scenic rice fields. From fresh salads bursting with colour and vegan cheeseburgers to vibrant smoothies and nutrient-rich breakfasts, the Shady Shack will leave you wondering why you ever ate meat.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
This is the spot (one of many, to be honest) that will make your jaw drop in Bali. Spend a morning at these iconic rice fields in Ubud taking in the breathtaking landscape, where lush, green terraces meet cotton candy blue skies. Sunrise is an especially magical time to be here (and a great time for a Flytographer shoot)!
Monkey Forest Ubud
Another Bali must-see is the Ubud Monkey Forest. We’ve compiled a comprehensive visitor’s guide to help you plan for a visit to this iconic spot. This conservation and research centre focuses on providing a sanctuary for local plants and, of course, the resident (and mischievous) macaque monkeys.
One of Bali’s main temples, the breathtaking Uluwatu Temple is set on the edge of a cliff jutting out into the Indian Ocean. Visit this temple near sunset to make the most of the stunning views, but watch out for the resident monkeys, who are expert thieves and like to barter stolen belongings for fruit.
For the active set, trek to Sekumpul Waterfall with a local guide (who can be hired at the ticket booth) and be rewarded with unforgettable views. Be sure to bring water shoes as crossing a rocky river multiple times is part of the adventure.
Waking up in the middle of the night to hike a volcano may sound painful at first, but the views and sunrise at the end will make you forget all about that early wake-up time. Sunrise tours are offered through Bagus Bali Sunrise Trekking and Bali Sunrise Trekking and Tours and include a light breakfast cooked over volcanic steam. Be sure to bundle up as temps can be chilly pre-sunrise and keep in mind that visibility can be poor during the rainy season.
Campuhan Ridge Ubud
Another epic spot for taking in Bali’s natural beauty, the Campuhan Ridge walk in Ubud is a must. Starting this walk as early as possible is recommended as temps rise quickly throughout the day in Bali. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen so you can fully enjoy this gorgeous walk through Bali’s lush rolling hills.
With no cars or motorbikes and spectacular beaches, Gili Islands might actually be paradise. The three islands each have their own vibe and are easily accessible via speedboats from Bali. Head to the largest of the islands, Gili T, for the best swimming and beaches, but be aware that this is also the most popular island, so if crowds aren’t your thing, keep reading. Gili Air has buzzing local culture, great beaches, and fantastic fare. The most under the radar of the islands (and the smallest) is Gili Meno, perfect for spending hours on the beach reading.