Bali, Indonesia Travel Guide with 5 Days Solo Travel Itinerary

Bali is a province of Indonesia located east of Java and west of Lombok. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia and even in Southeast Asia. The island caters to budget-savvy as well as luxury travelers. Bali has so much to offer to any type of traveler – from temples to beaches, lush green sceneries, yoga retreat, lively nightlife and so much more! Planning to travel to Bali soon? Let me share to you this guide that might help you plan your holiday.

Best Months to Visit Bali

Bali has a tropical, warm and humid climate all year round with just two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season is between April and September and the rainy season is from October to March. July and August, Easter Holiday and Christmas/New Year is the high season for Bali. It is the time when it receives the most visitors. Best time to visit Bali is just before and just after the high season which is May, June, and September. During these months, it’s still the dry season, it is slightly less humid and the room prices are 30 to 50% cheaper than during the high season. Bali is not too crowded during these months, which means traffic is more bearable.

Additional Thing to Consider When Planning Your Bali Trip

Another thing that you need to consider when planning your trip to Bali is the Nyepi or Balinese Day of Silence. It is a silent day that occurs for 24 hours in March, each year, following the new moon. During this day, hotels are asked to cover their windows, all shops are closed, no light or candle will be lit in any Balinese home, there are no cars on the road, no motorbikes, and no people.

Nyepi in Bali:

Year Date Caka Year
2019 Thursday, 7th March 1941
2020 Wednesday, 23rd March 1942
2021 Sunday, 14th March 1943
2022 Saturday, 3rd March 1944
2023 Wednesday, 22 March 1945
2024 Monday, 11th March 1946
2025 Saturday, 29th March 1947
2026 Thursday, 19th March 1948
2027 Monday, 08th March 1949
2028 Sunday, 26th March 1950
2029 Thursday, 15th March 1951
2030 Tuesday, 5th March 1952

Source: https://www.bali.com/nyepi-day-of-silence.html

Visa Requirements and Immigration

Visa regulations are based on your passport/nationality. There are over 160 nationalities* that are eligible for visa exemption (free entry) in Bali provided that the purpose of the visit is tourism and social visit only and you are staying for a maximum of 30 days. The day of arrival counts as day one and the day of departure counts as a full day. The penalty fee for overstaying is IDR 1,000,000 (~USD 71 / Php 4,348)** per day.

Filipinos are eligible for visa exemption in Bali. You just need to have a valid Philippine passport with at least 6 months validity. (I have read in https://www.bali.com/visa-indonesia-entry-requirements-bali.html though that your passport must be valid for 12 months from the day of arrival)

I wasn’t asked for a return/onward ticket at the immigration when I was there (1st week of May 2019) but to be safe, better have one just in case the immigration officer asks for it.

*the list of countries with visa exemption is available here

**I used the conversion rate of 1 USD = 14,070 IDR and 1 PHP = 230 IDR as this was the exchange rate when I was there 1st week of May 2019

How to Get to Bali from Manila, Philippines

Several airlines fly directly from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali. Cebu Pacific flights depart from NAIA early in the morning at 3:35 while Air Asia and Philippine Airlines depart at night (18:50 for Air Asia and 21:00 for Philippine Airlines). Flight to Bali is less than four hours. To maximize your stay in Bali, I advise flying to Bali through Cebu Pacific and flying back to Manila through Air Asia or Philippine Airlines. (Air Asia flight to Manila is at 23:20 while that of Philippine Airlines is 1:30 AM).

How to Get Out of Bali Airport

There are several options for getting out of the airport. You can hire local taxis at the airport, you can book a cab through Go Jek or Grab apps or you can book a private airport transfer through Klook. I wouldn’t advise the local taxis though as they charge way higher than Go Jek, Grab and Klook. For safety and convenience, I highly recommend booking Klook’s airport transfer. It only costs IDR 90,000 (USD 6.39 / PHP 326) for the Kuta area and the car is good for up to 4 passengers.

Tip: To save up on time and transportation cost if you are arriving in Bali in the morning, book a private car charter instead. For only IDR 470,000 (USD 33.29 / PHP 1,700), you get 10 hours full-day private car rental and the fee includes driver fees, fuel and you can request to get picked up from the airport. From the airport, you can go sightseeing right away.

Where to Exchange Money

Indonesian rupiah (IDR) is the official currency of Indonesia. There are money changers at the airport as well as at the city/town centers. Do not exchange all of your money at the airport. The exchange rate at the city/town center is way better. Exchange only enough IDR to make it to your accommodation and to last for a day. (When I was in Bali, the exchange rate for 1 USD was 13,500 IDR at the airport while at the city center it was 14,070 IDR.)

If you are from the Philippines, it is better to bring USD to Bali and exchange it to IDR. Money changers change Php to IDR but the exchange rate is really low.

I haven’t tried using ATM there, but there are ATMs at the airport as well as the city center. According to a guy I met on Instagram who lived in Bali for 5 months, he said it is better to use ATM if I have a bank card because they have better rates. And from his experience in Indonesia, the best ATMs are Mandiri Bank and Maybank. They allow cash withdrawal without any fee.

Internet Connection in Bali

Free wifi connection is available in hotels and hostels in Bali. If you want to stay connected to the internet all the time, you can either rent portable travel wifi or buy a local sim card.

You can rent a portable travel wifi here at IDR 56,512 (USD 4 / PHP 204) per day and can connect 5 devices at once.  A deposit of IDR 700,000 (USD 50) deposit is required for one portable modem. The device can be picked up at the airport upon arrival.

You can buy sim card at the airport but it costs USD 20. It is cheaper if you purchase it online through Klook. It only costs 6.79 USD (IDR 96,000 / PHP 347) for 6GB data allocation good for 30 days. You can pick up the sim card at the airport upon arrival.

Where to Stay

While planning your trip, you may have come across Kuta, Ubud, Canggu, etc and probably wondered what these places are. To be honest, I had a hard time deciding where to book my accommodation that’s why I asked the same guy for the best place to stay. He didn’t recommend a particular place because he said he doesn’t know what I was looking for but he described each place to me. The different areas in Bali according to Kirill:

Ubud

It is a small town in the middle of the island. It is mostly rainy; not too hot. No sea here and the taxi is very expensive. It is better to rent a motorbike (which is quite cheap in Bali, compared to many other Asian countries). Ubud is a nice place- rice fields, forests, waterfalls, temples. A lot of artistic people (like singers, painters, designers, yoga, etc..) are in this place.

Amed

It is a small village on the north-east of the island. Calm water here (while almost everywhere there are big waves in Bali) so you can snorkel or even dive. Nice water, corals and there is a sunken ship on the bottom that is not so deep – it is possible to see it.

Canggu

It is a village (or small town?) in the south. Many foreigners live here. Not far from the sea with big waves; a good spot for surfing.

Denpasar

It is where the airport is located and the main city of the island. You can find anything here. Shops, services and markets.

Sanur

Located south-east of the island. Big hotels can be found here. It has nice sea where you can swim. Also the jetty to Nusa Penida Island can be found here.

Bukit

It is located south of the island. It is the peninsula where Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua are located. They say this is the most expensive part of the island. One interesting thing to see here is the Uluwatu temple. Must visit to watch the sunset, a very impressive view.

Kuta

It is the most touristic place. A lot of foreigners are here that’s why everything’s expensive and crowded. There are a lot of bars, cafe, clubs, etc.



Booking.com


Not mentioned by him were Seminyak and Legian. I stayed for 3 days in Seminyak and a friend I met on a tour stayed in Legian so I will try and describe these two also:

Seminyak

Somewhat similar to Kuta but I think this is like the tame version, quieter. For me, this is the best place to stay. La Plancha and Potato Head Beach Club are in Seminyak.

Legian

Located between Kuta and Seminyak and very similar to Kuta. The friend I met said it is cheaper to shop here than in Seminyak.

728*90

There are many different types of accommodations in Bali, from hotels to hostels and even villas. During my trip to Bali, I stayed for 2 nights in Kuta and 3 nights in Seminyak. In Kuta, I stayed at H-Ostel Bali while in Seminyak I rented a room for a night in Villa Kampoeng Saya and two nights in Gelatik Bed and Breakfast.

You can check out Agoda or Booking.com for hotels and Hostelworld for hostels in Bali or Airbnb for villas.



Booking.com

Getting Around Bali

There are public transportations in Bali but if you have a limited time, taking it is not advisable because they wait to get full before leaving. For sight-seeing, the most convenient way of getting around is by booking a private car charter. From my research, the cheapest is the private car charter from Klook. Rent a car for a whole day and just tell the driver where you want to go. If you have a limited budget, the cheapest way to get around would be by renting a scooter (that is if you know how to drive one and you have a driver’s license).

In going around the city (like if you are in Seminyak and you want to go to a restaurant in Seminyak or to Kuta or Canggu) and you can’t drive a scooter, you can book a Grab or Go Jek car or bike (cheaper and faster). There are also taxis but they are the most expensive. (We tried asking one and they charge four times the price of Grab or Go Jek).

Tip: Grab and Go Jek are banned in some areas due to the monopoly on taxi service. For this reason, even though you’ll be able to book a car from Grab or Go Jek, you will experience receiving a message from the driver telling you to cancel your request. This usually happens when you are in an area where there are a lot of local taxis parked waiting for passengers. What you could do is to walk a little to a place where there are no taxis on standby and make your booking there.

Recommended Things to See and Do

Visit a Hindu Temple

While the majority of Indonesians practice Islam, almost 85% of the Balinese population follow the practices of Balinese Hinduism. Many Hindu temples are spread throughout the island, from mountain and hilltops to low-lying coastal areas. These temples feature magnificent centuries-old architecture and are great for photos. Some of the famous temples in Bali are Tirta Empul, Lempuyang, Uluwatu, Tanah Lot and Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.

Do a sunrise hike to Mount Batur

Mount Batur is an active volcano. It is part of UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network. You will start really early to catch the sunrise but when you get to the top you will be rewarded with dramatic views of Bali’s mountainscapes. If you are alone you can book a join-in tour of the sunrise trek with Klook. Make sure to do this on your last day though because your body might get sore after the hike. If you do this at the start of your trip, you might not be able to enjoy the sightseeing because of a sore body.

Try surfing

One of the things that Bali is famous for is surfing. Bali has many surf spots, for beginners and experienced surfers. There are plenty of surf schools as well as board rentals on the island if you want to try this water sport.

Visit one of the rice terraces

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

There are several rice terraces on the island. They offer interesting insights into the local way of life. The largest of all in Bali, Jatiluwih, is recognized by UNESCO in its world cultural landscapes list.

Try one of the giant swings and have your picture taken in one of the bird’s nests

One of the bird’s nest in Satria Coffee Plantation

While you are browsing pictures on Instagram, you may have come across pictures of girls wearing colorful, flowy dresses on giant swings or doing a cute pose on a giant bird’s nest. Giant swings and bird’s nests are very famous in Bali. These are available in the rice terraces as well as in coffee plantations.

Take a trip to Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is not part of Bali but you can do a day trip to this island from Bali. This island is famous for its cerulean waters and cream-colored sands. There are so many amazing spots to visit on this island so if you have longer time I recommend to spend at least a night on this island rather than doing a day trip.

Popular Tours

Instagram Tour

Tirta Gangga Water Palace

This tour visits some of the most picturesque locations in Bali, the ones that you often see on Instagram. The sites included in the tour are the Lempuyang Temple, Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Balinese Coffee Plantation, Tegalalang Rice Field, and an optional jungle swing activity.

North Bali Tour

In this tour you will visit some of the most scenic locations on the northern part of Bali like Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Banyumala Twin Waterfall, Handara Gate, Wanagiri Hidden Hills, and Buyan and Tamblingan Lake.

Ubud Tour

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

In this tour you get to discover Ubud’s natural wonders and sacred temples. The sites visited in this tour are Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud Palace, Coffee Plantation, Tegalalang Rice Field with an option to do jungle swing activity and Tirta Empul Temple.

Nusa Penida Tour

Broken Beach

Nusa Penida is an island located southeast of Bali. From Bali you can go on a day tour and visit several beaches around the island. You can either do the West Nusa Penida Tour which includes Angel Billabong, Broken Beach, Kelingking Beach and Crystal Bay in the itinerary; or the East Nusa Penida Tour which includes Crystal Bay, Atuh Beach, Diamond Beach, Rumah Pohon Tree House and Teletubbies Hills.

Uluwatu Temple Sunset and Kecak Fire Dance

This tour takes you to Padang-Padang Beach, one of Bali’s most famous surf spot. Afterward, you visit Uluwatu Temple, perched high above a sea cliff face. It is a good spot to watch the sunset. Do this while waiting for the start of Kecak Fire Dance, a traditional performance where performers act out a scene from the Ramayana with a mesmerizing trance chant, punctuated by exciting fire dances.

Sample Bali 5 Days Solo Travel Itinerary and Costs

This is a sample Bali 5 days and 5 nights solo travel itinerary with costs just to give an idea how much you need for a trip to Bali. The costs can go down if you have someone to split it with. You can modify this depending on your budget and trip schedule.

Day 1: Arrival in Bali and West Bali Tour

For this tour, you can book a private car charter. It costs IDR 470,000 (USD 33.29 / PHP 1700) and is good for up to five passengers. You can request to be picked up at the airport and go sightseeing right away.

  • Pura Luhur Batukaru- entrance fee IDR 40,000 IDR (~USD 2.85 / PHP 148)
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces- entrance fee IDR 40,000 IDR (~USD 2.85 / PHP 148)
  • Lunch at Gong Jatiluwih- a meal of Nasi Campur Gong with Coke plus service charge and tax costs IDR 108,900 (~USD 7.74 / 403)
  • Pura Ulun Danu Bratan- entrance fee IDR 50,000 (~USD 3.55 / PHP 185)
  • Hidden Garden Coffee Plantation- free coffee tasting

Dinner at one of the local restaurants near your hotel/hostel- a meal of Nasi Goreng Ayam and a bottle of Coke costs around IDR 35,000 (~USD 2.49 / PHP 130)

Accommodation: one dorm bed at Gelatik Bed and Breakfast costs IDR  124,000 (~USD 8.81 / PHP 458)

Total cost for the day: IDR 867,900 (~USD 61.58 / PHP 3172)

Day 2: Ubud Tour

You can also book a private car charter for this tour. Cost is IDR 470,000 (USD 33.29 / PHP 1700)

Breakfast: free at the hostel

  • Ubud Monkey Forest- entrance fee IDR 80,000 (~USD 5.70 / PHP 296)
  • Ubud Palace- free entrance
  • Satria Coffee Plantation- free coffee tasting; IDR 50,000 (~USD 3.55 / PHP 185) if you want to try the Kopi Luwak; IDR 200,000 (~USD 14.21 / PHP 739) for the giant swing activity and IDR 50,000 (~USD 3.55 / PHP 185) if you want to take a picture at the three bird’s nest
  • Lunch at d’ Alas- a meal with drinks plus tax and service charge costs around IDR 113,490 (~USD 8.07 / PHP 419)
  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces- entrance fee IDR 20,000 (~USD 1.42 / PHP 74)
  • Tirta Empul Temple- entrance fee IDR 15,000 (~USD 1.07 / PHP 56)

*after the tour, ask to be dropped off at La Plancha

Dinner at one of the restaurants in La Plancha- meals with drinks costs around IDR 120,000 (~USD 8.53 / PHP 443)

Grab bike/Go Jek bike to the hostel- IDR 10,000 (~USD 0.71 / PHP 37)

Accommodation: one dorm bed at Gelatik Bed and Breakfast costs IDR  124,000 (~USD 8.81 / PHP 458)

Total cost for the day: IDR 1,252,490 (~USD 88.91 / PHP 4592)

Day 3: West Nusa Penida Tour

It would be more convenient if you book this tour through Klook rather than doing a DIY. The tour costs IDR 610,000 (USD 43.19 / PHP 2206) and includes lunch at Warung Angel Billabong and a bottle of water.

Breakfast: free at the hostel

  • Kelingking Beach
  • Lunch at Warung Angel Billabong
  • Angel Billabong
  • Broken Beach
  • Crystal Bay

Grab bike/Go Jek bike to Nostimo- IDR 7,000 (~USD 0.50 / PHP 26)

Dinner at Nostimo in Seminyak- meal with drinks costs around IDR 130,000 (~USD 9.24 / PHP 480)

Grab bike/Go Jek bike to hostel- IDR 7,000 (~USD 0.50 / PHP 26)

Accommodation: one dorm bed at Gelatik Bed and Breakfast costs IDR  124,000 (~USD 8.81 / PHP 458)

Total cost for the day: IDR 878,000 (~USD 62.24 / PHP 3196)

Day 4: East Bali Tour

East Bali is more than 2 hours drive from Kuta. It is not included in the service areas of the private car charter. You can book an East Bali Tour here. The tour costs IDR 580,000 (USD 41.05 / PHP 2098) and includes all entrance fees and donations.

Breakfast: free at the hostel

  • Goa Lawah Temple
  • Virgin Beach
  • Lunch in one of the restaurants in Virgin Beach- a meal with drinks costs around IDR 90,000 (~USD 6.40 / PHP 333)
  • Lempuyang Temple
  • Tirta Gangga Water Palace

Grab bike/Go Jek bike to Potato Head Beach Club- IDR 10,000 (~USD 0.71 / PHP 37)

Dinner at Potato Head Beach Club- meal with drinks costs around IDR 200,000 (~USD 14.21 / PHP 739)

Grab bike/Go Jek bike to hostel- IDR 10,000 (~USD 0.71 / PHP 37)

Accommodation: one dorm bed at Gelatik Bed and Breakfast costs IDR  124,000 (~USD 8.81 / PHP 458)

Total cost for the day: IDR 1,014,000 (~USD 71.89 / PHP 3702)

Day 5: Sunrise Trek at Mt. Batur and Uluwatu Temple Sunset and Kecak Fire Dance Tour

You can book a join-in tour for Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek here. It costs IDR 558,900 (USD 39.55 / PHP 2022) and includes hotel pick up and drop off in Kuta, Tuban, Seminyak, Denpasar, Sanur, Ubud, and Nusa Dua, English speaking trekking guide, wooden trekking pole and flashlight, breakfast (egg and bread), water and entrance ticket to a coffee plantation.

For the Uluwatu Temple Sunset tour, you can contact Gusti through Whatsapp at +62 878 6060 0329. Private car charter with him to Padang-Padang Beach and Uluwatu Temple costs IDR 400,000 (USD 28.43 / PHP 1478).

  • Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek
  • Coffee plantation visit
  • Lunch at a local restaurant- a meal with drinks costs around IDR 80,000 (~USD 5.69 / PHP 295.66)
  • Padang-Padang Beach- entrance fee IDR 10,000 (~USD 0.71 / PHP 37)
  • Luhur Uluwatu Temple- entrance fee IDR 30,000 (~USD 2.13 / PHP 111)
  • Kecak Fire Dance Performance- entrance fee IDR 100,000 (~USD 7.11 / PHP 370)

*after the tour, you can ask Gusti to drop you off at a restaurant where you want to have dinner.

Dinner- a meal with drinks costs around IDR 80,000 (~USD 5.69 / PHP 295.66)

Grab bike/Go Jek bike to hostel- IDR 10,000 (~USD 0.71 / PHP 37)

Grab car to airport- IDR 80,000 (~USD 5.69 / PHP 295.66)

Total cost for the day: IDR 1,348,900 (~USD 95.71 / PHP 4941.98)

Total cost for 5 days: IDR 5,361,290 (~USD 380.33 / PHP 19603.98)

Other Bali Trip Related Costs

Airfare to Bali from Manila- around PHP 5600 (~USD 108) with Cebu Pacific if booked a month prior to the trip

Airfare to Manila from Bali- around PHP 6400 (~USD 123) with AirAsia if booked a month prior to the trip

Travel Tax- PHP 1620 (~USD 31)

Total: PHP 13620 (~USD 262)

Hope this guide will be helpful in planning your trip to Bali. If you have any questions, feel free to write it down in the comments section. Happy travels!

* Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to book something is completely up to you. Using my links costs you nothing extra and will help in maintaining this blog. Thanks for your support!

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