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10 Unmissable Stops on Your First Trip to Bali

Are you planning your first trip to the magical island of Bali? Prepare to be enchanted by its tropical landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality. For such a small island, there is so much to do, so where do you start with your itinerary? We’ll start you off with a curated list of 10 must-see stops to make your first trip to Bali unforgettable.

Ubud: The Cultural Heart of Bali

Exploring Bali's Spiritual Sanctuaries

Heading towards the mountains of central Bali, Ubud has long been a haven for art, culture, healing and spirituality. There are vibrant markets to explore, temples to visit, and galleries and traditional Balinese dance and music performances that are feasts for the eyes. The iconic Ubud Monkey Forest, where you can see playful macaques amidst ancient temples and lush greenery is also in Ubud, so don’t miss that while you’re there.

Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple

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Perched on a rocky outcrop along Bali’s southwestern coast, Tanah Lot Temple is one of the island’s holy water temples and an iconic landmark. Visit at sunset to see the temple silhouetted against the idyllic Bali sunset creating a breathtaking backdrop for your photos. At low tide, walk to the caves under the temple to see the sea snakes that are often called the guardians of the temple.

Clifftop Views at Uluwatu Temple

Balinese Dances You Should See in Bali

Like Tanah Lot, Uluwatu is also one of Bali’s holy water temples. It is very popular for its dramatic views of the island’s southern coastline. Especially stunning at sunset, be sure to catch the famous Kecak Fire Dance performance, held against the backdrop of the setting sun.

Jatihluwih Rice Terraces

Balinese Wildlife Wonders: A Dive into the Island's Biodiversity

The picture-perfect landscape of the Jatihluwih Rice Terraces, are located in Tabanan Regency. These UNESCO recognized rice terraces have an intricate irrigation system that has sustained these terraces for centuries that you can stroll through. The emerald-green fields as far as your eyes can see are breathtaking and also make an incredible backdrop for your holiday photos.

Sunrise Trekking on Mount Batur

10 Bali Moments You Won’t Want to Miss

For an unforgettable experience, a pre-dawn trek to the summit of Mount Batur is a must-do. As the first light of day breaks over the horizon, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Batur below. The trek isn’t too difficult, but you do need to be reasonably fit. Taking suitable footwear and some weatherproof gear is necessary, so plan for that if you would like to do this trek.

Learn to Surf at Kuta Beach

Bali’s most famous stretch of coastline along Kuta Beach has been a mecca for surfers since the 1930s. If you are a beginner surfer, the rolling waves here are perfect for your first time and there are hundreds of surf coaches to choose from along the beach. After a day of surfing, unwind with a beachfront massage or sip cocktails as you watch the beautiful Kuta sunset.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Balinese Wildlife Wonders: A Dive into the Island’s Biodiversity

Get up close and personal with Bali’s cheeky inhabitants at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud. This forest is home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed macaques that you will see playfully running around, jumping into water, and often causing a little trouble by stealing phones, water bottles, and other items from tourists.

Candidasa: Tranquil Coastal Retreat

Lotus Bungalows Candidasa Bali

Escape the crowds and discover the serene beauty of Candidasa, a tranquil coastal town on Bali’s eastern coast. The diving and snorkeling in this area is excellent and nearby beaches are idyllic. It’s the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway off the beaten path.

The Mother Temple: Besakih

3 East Bali Temples You Must Visit

The majority of Bali’s population is Hindu and the hundreds of temples around the island show their dedication to their religion. Besakih temple, located in the foothills of Mount Agung is the most important temple on the island and is a wonderful place to visit to learn more about the traditions of Balinese Hinduism.

A Seafood Feast at Jimbaran Bay

Treat yourself to a seafood feast at Jimbaran Bay. This is a small picturesque bay known for its fresh seafood BBQ dinners served right on the beach and beautiful sunsets. Enjoy grilled fish, prawns, and squid as you dine al fresco with your toes in the sand. It can get very busy around sunset time, but soon clears after the tour groups have eaten.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Bali has something to offer every traveler. So pack your bags, and get ready to experience the magic of Bali on your first trip!

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