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This is the best time to visit Bali

Are you dreaming of a Bali vacation? Here's when to visit

Shoreline of Kelingking Beach, Bali
Kelingking Beach, Bali felfin felfin via Unsplash

Bali, Indonesia is a tropical paradise with exotic landscapes, cuisines, and culture. Located only eight degrees below the equator, the island getaway features balmy conditions year-round, with something new to discover around every corner. Ancient temples look out of a movie, and world-class surf breaks bring exhilarating barrels. At the end of the day, enjoy some rujak bulung (seaweed) as the sun sets.

Though Bali is a dream destination, at nearly 10,000 miles from the U.S., it’s a haul, so you’ll want to visit at the ideal time. From weather to pricing, knowing when to go can make your trip that much better. Here’s the best time to visit Bali.

Bali: Paradise along the equator

People in a pool watch the sunset in Bali
Seminyak Beach, Bali Ern Gan via Unsplash

A visit to the ocean lets you escape, both in body and spirit. The way the water washes over you and the sun recedes below the horizon. The easygoing mood of coastal culture, with everyone in a lighthearted mood, enjoying the surroundings. Fresh seafood is the perfect cap to the day, with local recipes highlighting regional tastes. Though many seaside destinations have these things, Bali takes them even further.

Lush surroundings with centuries-old temples take you to another world. Warm waters and barreling reef breaks attract surfers from around the world. Welcoming people and eclectic foods offer vibrant experiences and a taste of something new. Bali is a whole new world to explore, and since it covers 2,230 square miles, you’ll have your work cut out.

The island also has diverse options, whether you want to party or get away from it all. Seminyak Beach has 5-star hotels and lively clubs, while Padang Padang features a left-hand barrel tailor-made for expert surfers. A dawn hike to the summit of Mt. Batur (5,630 ft.) offers a mesmerizing view of the surroundings.

Then there’s the people. They make you feel welcome and comfortable, with a sweet, inviting disposition. 

Once you’re acclimated, unique cuisines delight the senses. Be Pasih — or Balinese fish curry — is full of flavor with spices like turmeric, ginger, and coriander. Though you can find it at most restaurants, smaller establishments can bring more eclectic tastes.

That’s just some of what Bali offers, with plenty more to explore. One thing is clear — you need to get there. But when should you go?

Bali: When not to go

Building overlooking ocean at sunset, Bali
Harry Kessell via Unsplash

Though you can visit Bali anytime, certain periods can bring crowds, higher prices, and less-than-ideal weather. Here are the details.

Christmas, Easter, and July to August are the high season when school vacations open up the floodgates. Hotels and airline tickets may cost more. But no matter when you go, you’ll likely face an hours-long wait at customs at Denspasar Airport. Additionally, narrow roads can bring traffic jams and lengthy delays.

Bali’s rainy season occurs from October to March, where quick but intense storms show Mother Nature’s power. Typically, they don’t last all day, and you could still enjoy day after day of sunshine.

The best time for a trip to Bali

Surfer riding a tube in Bali
Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

For an optimal Bali experience, try the low season, in April and May, or September and October. You can find better rates at hotels, and save on air travel. Besides that, you’ll have the island to yourself, with plenty of open trails, and more waves to score. 

Isn’t that what travel’s all about? The opportunity to explore, unencumbered by congested places, makes a trip that much better. Since Bali’s surroundings and experiences offer so much, going at the right time seems worth waiting for. Imagine a morning hike to the top of Mt. Batur, with only you and your friends on the trail. Or how about scoring morning glass at Padang Padang, with plenty of waves to go around? Being patient — and waiting for the right window — can make your trip something to remember.

Bali: A friendly, enchanting destination

Sunset and surfers in Bali
Nabeel Hussain via Unsplash

You only have so much time to travel. Busy schedules and work obligations mean you have to make the most of every excursion. Visiting Bali puts you in the middle of a movie, where stunning surroundings — whether lush jungles or dreamy beaches — are unlike anything you’ve seen. But beyond that, the island’s warm and welcoming populace greets you with a smile, making you feel at home while you’re thousands of miles away.

So, where would we go? During the low season, we’d visit Balian Beach, a low-key village with volcanic sand beaches and an easygoing attitude. Pandok Pitaya Hotel sits right on the water, with ample opportunity for surfing and yoga. Post-session, we’d eat at Sushi Surf, where the rolls are as much art as sustenance. Talk about a day in paradise.

Bali offers a next-level ocean vacation, but to score, you have to visit at the right time. Peak periods can bring crowded streets and higher prices. Rainy season can damper the mood with strong storms. But low season is perfect, with less of a strain on your bank account, and plenty of space to explore. So look ahead and clear some dates — it’ll be worth waiting for.

Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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