Here is the best Bali itinerary for 7 days curated out of my experience from a recent trip here. This can particularly come in handy for the first time travellers to this tropical wonder.
The paradise island of Bali needs no introduction! This Hindu-majority province of the Indonesian archipelago boasts of pristine beaches, splendid paddy fields, charming offshore islands and a plethora of Insta-worthy sites. It attracts visitors from the nearby nations of India, Australia, Japan, China and many more with its capability to delight tourists of all age groups and cultural backgrounds. While you can choose to stay for any number of days, I believe you should spend at least 7 days (including arrival and departure) to make the most of this wonderland.
Table of Contents
Day – 1: Arrival and transfer to hotel
Bali is well connected to the rest of the world through air. Ngurah Rai International Airport in the provincial capital city of Denpasar, widely known as Denpasar International Airport, is the island’s primary point of entry. After checking-in to your hotel, I recommend that you relax for the rest of the day or indulge yourself in a Balinese spa session, which often comes as a service complimentary with your hotel booking. The evening can be used to soak in the beauty of your hotel or to take a stroll down the street to acquaint yourself with the city and to run other errands such as currency exchange. Do sleep well to make the most of the next day!
Day – 2: Nusa Penida island tour – The first major attraction in your Bali itinerary
Nusa Penida literally translates to the island of Penida in Balinese. This gem of an island can be visited by a 45-minute ferry ride from Denpasar. You can opt for a rented scooter or a get a taxi to tour the island, both of which are available right next to the harbour area. Prefer taking a taxi, as the drivers also serve as your tour guide.
Start executing your Bali itinerary with the Crystal Bay beach and have your first close-up encounter with a Balinese Hindu temple on the shore. Then, indulge yourself in the view of the ocean while enjoying a pint of beer at the little cafes near the beach.
Head to the beautiful little cove called Broken Beach and take your time to admire the scenic view of turquoise water punching in underneath the natural arch. The drone shot of this cove reveals a circular formation which is open to walk over. Don’t forget to capture some moments for yourself (and for your Instagram followers!). Move a little further to see Angel’s Billabong – the infinity pool created by mother nature.
And finally, head to one of the most photographed places in Nusa Penida – the Kelingking Beach, also known as the T-rex cliff. Find an empty cosy spot and admire the view before its encroached by fellow tourists eager to feature this landscape in their selfie’s backdrop.
Head back to the harbour at the time designated by your ferry operator. Many visitors choose to spend a night or two on this island, but my recommendation would be to keep it a day trip in order to utilise most of the 7-day Bali itinerary.
Day – 3: Visit Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu Beratan temple and Handara Gate
Start your day with a visit to the Tanah Lot temple that is situated just off the shore. The temple can be visited during low tide hours. Speaking to one of the priests, I got to know that the temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. There’s a freshwater spring inside while the temple is situated amidst saline water.
Head to Bali’s postcard-featured destination – The Ulun Danu Beratan temple. This 11-storied pagoda-styled thatched roof building stands on an island on the lake Beratan amidst a foggy and windy backdrop. The temple complex has a lot more to offer in the form of a picturesque garden, a children’s entertainment area and some cafes.
On the way to the Handara Gate, stop at one of the many strawberry farms and get a chance to pluck the berries yourself. You only pay for what you pluck!
And finally – the place that has become the emblem of Bali – the Handara Gate. It’s actually an entry gate to a luxury golf resort that has been made popular through its extensive featuring in social media. At a small ‘donation’, the guards at the gate can capture brilliant pictures and reels for you to show it off to your friends and families!
Day – 4: Bali Safari and Bounty Dinner Cruise
On this 4th day of your 7-day Bali itinerary, head to the Bali African Safari adventure after breakfast. It’s a fun and educational experience created through an amalgamation of traditional zoo and wild safari. You get to interact closely with a lot of animals including rare ones such as Komodo Dragons. As of July 2023, the entry tickets start at IDR 650,000 (USD 44 or INR 3600) for an adult and includes one safari journey and animal shows like Big Cat show and Elephant Show.
What could be the best way to conclude this day? By spending some quality time with your friends and family dancing, drinking and feasting upon Bounty Dinner cruise. Enjoy the mesmerising sunset views from the deck followed by a buffet dinner and a music and dance show featuring local artists.
Day – 5: Head to Ubud covering places along the way
Check out of your hotel in Denpasar and head to the land of terraced rice paddies without which your Bali itinerary is incomplete – Ubud. Take the first pit stop at the Tegenungan Waterfall. Be prepared for a long flight of stairs to and from the fall.
Then, head to the sacred Tirta Empul water temple. You need to mandatorily put on a Sarong, a Balinese traditional attire, before entering the temple which is available for free at the entrance. You can optionally dip in the holy spring water inside.
Move on to Mt Batur View, one of the many active volcanoes in Bali, which last erupted in the year 2000. Enjoy the view while having snacks before heading on to the next pit stop of Luwak Coffee tasting. Here, you can learn how coffee is traditionally prepared from the civet’s poop (yes, you read that right!). Check-in to your hotel in Ubud.
Day – 6: Alas Harum and Monkey Forest
Alas Harum is an agro-toursim center surrounded by lush green paddy fields offering many experiences. While it’s most popular for their extreme swings, you also get to indulge in other activities such as multi-layered swimming pool, ziplining, skybike and many more. Entry tickets start at IDR 50,000 and at around IDR 200,000, you get 1 extreme swing ride included. It’s one of the must visit places in your Bali itinerary.
Move over to Monkey Forest sanctuary which is a home to hundreds of long-tailed macaque monkeys living in their semi-natural habitat. The entrance tickets cost IDR 80,000 for adults (IDR 100,000 during weekends) and at a small additional fees of IDR 50,000 you can get a selfie taken by the monkeys! The place gives you a Tomb Raider movie location type vibes and it’s a great place to end your Bali trip.
Day – 7: Good bye, Bali!
Here comes the last leg of your 7-day Bali itinerary. It’s okay for all good things to come to an end, as long as they give you such memories to cherish! Check out from your hotel and head to the Denpasar Airport for the flight to your home country.