Things to Do For a Short Trip in Bali
Making a game plan
One thing I will say about Bali is that while it is small in distance there is a ton of traffic and it can be pretty dangerous to drive. To avoid stressing yourself out I recommend picking one area that has a lot that you want to see. I personally picked Kuta for day 1 since my hostel was there and Ubud for day 2. That way I got a taste of the city and countryside. The city had plenty of shopping and tourist attractions, but Ubud was more beautiful and was definitely more budget friendly. If you prefer seeing sights and countryside you may want to stick to the northern parts of Bali for your adventure.
Bali Temple by the Lake
When should you visit? When did I visit?
The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season which is from April to October. Personally, I didn't have a big time frame to work with, so I personally visited just before the typical dry season starts.
Weather during my trip- I did get a little bit of rain on day 2, but the weather was nice and sunny on day one of my trip. I was able to white water raft on day 1 with no problem.
Holidays- I was there from around March 20-22nd. Also, be aware when I went my travel date was bumped due to the silent day of Nyepi, so if you travel in March be aware you can't travel into the area on the silent day and if you're present during the silent day you can't check into a new hotel or leave your current one during that 24 hour period.
I stayed at the Bali Bee House. The people that run the place were really nice. The beds themselves were clean and there was one outlet to charge your phone, but I wasn't super fond of the cleanliness of the bathroom although it wasn't too bad. In the future I'd probably stay in Ubud since most of the sights I wanted to see were there.
Cost- $23.37 for 4 nights. Breakfast was included. I booked it on Expedia.
Ubud Coffee PlantationClick thumbnail to view full-size
Day 1: Kuta and White Water Rafting
For my first day I had gotten in late the night before so I had picked an easy day with white water rafting and shopping. The white water rafting started with a 10:00 a.m. pickup from my hotel. I got to see plenty of the city. My advice to you is bring sandals or some waterproof footwear. The path was rocky and painful to get to because I only had sneakers. The rapids are pretty light so for experienced rafters or those seeking more of the thrill this may not be for you. However, there were some beautiful sights of countrysides and waterfalls.
If you have a GoPro or waterproof camera, definitely bring it with you for this ride. The price wasn't bad for the adventure and lunch was included.
Although if you're a picky eater like I am you may not want to eat much. They had some meats, fried rice, noodles, and some side dishes.
Information for the tour:
Booking website: Expedia
Tour name: Bali White Water Rafting at Telaga Waja River
Price at time of booking: $39.87 (USD)
I would say it was worth it. I recommend bringing sunscreen so you don't burn especially if you're fair skinned. They have a shower and bathroom that you can use before and after so make use of it. You should also bring a bathing suit but wear something over it to get there and back to avoid stares since people generally dress more conservatively.
Day 2: Ubud- Temples, waterfalls, and monkeys oh my!
On the second day of my trip I really hit the ground running. I went to a coffee plantation, saw some beautiful waterfalls with a hefty entrance fee, I went to a temple by a lake with a mountain as a backdrop, monkeys dotted the streets on the way up the mountain so we stopped and greeted them from a distance. Finally, we wrapped up at a gorgeous black sand beach for an even more stunning sunset.
Temple by the lake and monkeysClick thumbnail to view full-size
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple (Temple by the lake)
This temple was absolutely stunning and well worth the entrance fee even though it was a bit rainy when I went that day. I highly recommend going. They are pretty conservative clothing wise. If you check their website you can also see more information on the different temples there, admission costs, and events.
Dress code- For women it's recommended you wear clothing that covers your shoulders and longer pants or a long skirt. Do not wear shorts as it will be taken as disrespectful.
Cost- IDR 20.000 for adults which comes out to about $1.50 USD. Parking for a car is another 5,000 IDR or about $0.35. It's well worth it.
Note- for those that menstruate. If you are menstruating they do actual having a sign discouraging those on their period from entering the temple.
Temple by the LakeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sekumpul Waterfall and Aling-Aling Waterfall
These are two beautiful waterfalls that you don't want to miss. They do have a hefty entrance fee to preserve their natural setting at $45 for the both of them. However, it's worth it. Don't make the same mistake as me. Bring a bathing suit and a change of clothes because you can go and swim in the small twin waterfall there. It can be crowded during the early day time but if you go closer to the evening, you'll have a chance to get the waterfalls all to yourself.
WaterfallsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Black Sand Beach
I'm going to share this one even though I don't entirely remember where it was aside from we had to drive into the mountains to get there and it was probably an hour's drive from temple by the lake. My driver took me there and I wanted to share it because it was both beautiful and free. There was also a really nice restaurant there, so it was a great place to end the day.
Black Sand BeachClick thumbnail to view full-size
A lot of the great recommendations I got came from my driver. I booked 10 hours of driving through Expedia.
Cost- $33.69 USD
Labeled on Expedia as- Private Full-Day Charter via Standard Car: 10-Hour Service - Hotels in Zone 1-3
Additional Recommended Transportation- If you're traveling solo and don't mind riding on the back of a moped or motorcycle try GoJek. It's great for short trips and inexpensive too. It was about 1 USD each way.