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20 can't-miss activities in Bali

We love learning about new places and gathering the best tips we can to share in Kiva's 'Explore your world' series. 

Bali is on many people's travel bucket lists… and for a good reason! Bali’s rich Hindu culture is unique in majority-Muslim Indonesia and the island’s breathtaking landscape does not disappoint. Whether you’re fascinated by the island’s history, entranced by adorable monkeys or infatuated with beautiful beach scenes - Bali has something for everyone. Here are the top 20 can’t-miss activities to either help you start your planning or fuel your daydreams.

Two Balinese women participate in the traditional fire dance. Photo by Aditya Agarwal

1. Watch a traditional Fire Dance at any temple (but Uluwatu is the best!)
2. Cover up with a traditional sarong and discover Bali’s Hindu culture at the countless temples all over the island 
3. Explore Ubud’s famous art market 

A baby monkey in Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest. Photo by Sebastian Voortman.

4. Come face-to-face with baby monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud 
5. Swing out over a beautiful view of cascading rice paddies at Tegallalang
6. Hike up Mount Batur at sunrise 

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple at sunset. Photo by Aron Visuals.

7. Walk by tranquil pools at Tirtagangaa Water Palace or Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
8. Tour Bali’s largest temple, Pura Besakih, on the slopes of Mount Agung volcano
9. Visit little-known Petulu at dusk to watch thousands of herons fly into the trees to roost

People wash in the sacred pool at Pura Tirta Empul. Photo by Artem Bali.

10. Bathe in sacred waters of the Pura Tirta Empul temple
11. Eat traditional banana pancakes for breakfast
12. Spend a few days in the Gili Islands 
13. Take advantage of Seminyak’s great shopping and nightlife

Balinese rice terraces. Photo by Paolo Nicolello.

14. Spend the night in a hotel or homestay nestled next to a rice paddy 
15. Lounge beachside and poolside at any retreat on the Denpasar peninsula 
16. Enjoy a traditional Balinese massage 

Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida Island. Photo by Shashank Acharya.

17. Explore gorgeous landscapes on Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan
18. Watch surfers in the beach town of Sanur
19. Discover rare bird species at West Bali National Park
20. Gaze at enormous Hindu sculptures at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.