Tanah Lot water temple in Bali Indonesia

2 Week Bali Itinerary For First Time Visitors

It can be very confusing trying to plan a dream Bali trip, where do you start? It is well-known for its tropical white and volcanic black sand beaches; warm hospitality; hip-and-happening beach clubs; dreamy rice terrace views; peaceful Hindu and Buddhist temples; active yoga and conscious community; and powerful towering waterfalls.

Uluwatu Temple cliffs in Bali Indonesia

I know what you’re thinking – not another Bali 2 week itinerary! I get it, up until recently I had an aversion to traveling to Bali, simply because a) it seemed like every single person in the world was flocking to the island and inundating my social media feeds with photos of Instagram hotspot after Instagram hotspot, and b) I didn’t quite know where to begin with Bali trip planning.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bali Indonesia with text overlay Woman walking along infinity pool edge in Munduk in Bali Indonesia with text overlay Tegallalang rice terrace in Bali Indonesia with text overlay People watching sunset on the beach in Bali Indonesia with text overlay
Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang in Bali Indonesia

Where is the best place to visit in Bali? What are the best things to do in Bali? When is the best time to visit Bali? How long should you stay in Bali for? It can all be very overwhelming.

Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls in Munduk Bali

The thing is, Bali is a sprawling island with many different faces and personalities; there’s simply no way to see and do everything it has to offer in a single trip.

Bridge at Taman Ujung Water Palace in Bali Indonesia

That being said, if you are short on time and it is your first time to Bali, then look no further for an easy 14 day Bali itinerary (complete with easy extension options) to help you plan your travels!

Worshippers at Pura Tirta Empul near Ubud Bali

Though you may only scratch the surface of what the island has to offer in a 2 week trip to Bali, this itinerary will give you a good taste of the regional highlights, with room for plenty of time lounging on the beach and sipping away on sunset cocktails! Read on for how to plan a trip to Bali.

Basic Bali travel tips

First time to Bali? Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Visa on arrival receipt in Bali Indonesia

✈️ The main airport in Bali is Ngurah Rai International Airport (airport code: DPS). Many airlines fly direct to Bali.

🛂 A 30-day tourist visa-on-arrival is available for passport holders from more than 80 countries. The Bali visa fee is US$35 or 500,000 IDR, and can be paid by cash or credit card – the fee is the same for adults and children. As of November 2022, you can also apply for an electronic visa ahead of your trip here – this may save you some time at the airport on arrival.

You may be eligible for the visa exemption arrangement if you hold an ASEAN member country passport including those from Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Save yourself some time by completing the electronic customs declaration ahead of your Bali trip here.

As of February 14th 2024 you will also be required to pay a 150,000 IDR (approximately US$10) “tourism levy” to be used towards the conservation of Bali’s nature and support sustainable tourism – this fee is in addition to the visa-on-arrival fee. You should arrange to pay this fee online before your trip, though certain exemptions apply (diplomatic visa, Golden visa and student visa etc.) and must be applied for 1 month in advance. Read more here.

Indonesian Rupiah currency notes

💱 The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah and the exchange rate is approximately US$1/1 Euro: 15,000 IDR or AUD$1: 10,000 IDR. There are ATMs in the airport where you can withdraw some cash to get you started, and then you can visit a local ATM or money exchange place once you are in town.

Currency exchange in Ubud Bali

Legitimate currency exchange/money changer shops in Bali advertise the rates clearly and do not charge a commission – we had a great experience with the “Mr. & Mrs. Butler” chain of money exchangers in Bali; however, as you would anywhere else, make sure you count your cash before leaving to avoid any later disputes. The majority of hotels, tourist restaurants and supermarkets accept credit card payments (you may find that in Southeast Asia Visa and Mastercard are preferred over American Express), though you will still need cash to pay drivers and for any tips.

📱 Buy a local Indonesian SIM card. Everyone in Bali uses Whatsapp to communicate – this includes hotels, taxi drivers, spas and equipment rental companies. The easiest way to stay connected is to buy a Bali SIM card via Klook – you can get a data-only SIM for as little as US$12 and pick it up from the airport on arrival or get it delivered to your hotel. You will need to provide certain information including your passport copy and phone IMEI number. Buy your Bali SIM card here.

Padang Padang Beach in Uluwatu in Bali drone shot

🏖️ The best time to visit Bali is widely considered to be during the northern hemisphere’s summer months between July to early September. This also means that this is Bali’s peak tourism season and the island receives the highest volume of tourists during these months. This is also the dry season and Bali tends to receive lower rainfall during the summer months. The rainy season in Bali usually runs during the winter months from December to February and it can be very humid and sticky during this time (though the rain storms tend to come and go rather than linger all day long).

That being said, there is no “bad” time to visit Bali. One important thing to note for first time visitors to Bali is that Nyepi, New Year’s day in the Balinese calendar, falls in March (the date changes each year) and during this day the island observes complete silence. In 2024 Nyepi will fall on March 11th and last until the morning of March 12th, and in 2025 Nyepi will take place on March 29th until the morning of March 30th.

Shops and businesses close for the day, and everybody (including tourists) is expected to stay indoors as part of the ritual. The airport is no exception – there are no arrivals and departures on the day of Nyepi and some hotels may not arrange check-ins and outs during this day. Just a Bali travel tip to bear in mind so that you are not caught off-guard.

Penjors during Galungan in Bali Indonesia

Another major holiday in Bali to take note of is Galungan and Kuningan, a Hindu celebration which takes place every 210 days. The two major events are 10 days apart, and many Balinese Hindus will spend the festival visiting family temples – many government offices will be closed on Galungan and Kuningan, and some major religious landmarks (like Pura Lempuyang) may close for ceremonies or have different opening and closing times. It is a beautiful time to be in Bali, when all the streets are lined with towering bamboo penjors.

Dress code at Goa Gajah temple in Ubud Bali

👚 What to wear in Bali: The majority of the population on the island are Hindu, and as a top tourism destination the dress code in Bali is typically fairly relaxed. Vacation beachwear is the norm, so go ahead and pack your bikinis, dresses, shorts and crop tops.

Sarongs at temples in Bali Indonesia

There is, however, an important exception – if you plan on visiting any temple both men and women will need to have your legs covered with a sarong (available to rent at most temples), and make sure that your shoulders are also covered. You will also notice that most women in Bali dress conservatively and wear traditional attire on certain days during the week and to visit temples – it is worth bearing this in mind when you venture around town outside of your resort or hotel.

Drone shot of Padang Padang beach in Uluwatu Bali

🚁 Flying a drone in Bali: You can fly a small drone in Bali for recreational, non-commercial purposes without a license as long as you follow a few important guidelines. You should not fly a drone around or over any temple, and many hotels and beach clubs will have their own policies for drone usage on their property, so it’s best to check ahead before you launch your UAV.

Safety in Bali

Quiet street in Ubud Bali

The vast majority of visits to Bali are trouble-free, and tourism is not only a major source of revenue for the island but also generates a significant number of direct and indirect employment opportunities. Violent crime against foreigners occurs infrequently, but petty crime is sadly not uncommon.

Road policeman controls the traffic of vehicles in Bali, Indonesia.
Photo credit: tang90246 via Depositphotos.com

As you would anywhere else in the world, keep a close eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas. There are a number of common scams in Bali: if an offer seems “too good to be true” or overly convenient, it could very well be part of a scam.

Lines for Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple in Bali

A common scam in Bali is being told that you have to purchase a sarong from a vendor in order to visit one of the temples – in reality, many temples will provide a sarong to visitors free-of-charge. This is not a scam per se, but you may also be approached by local guides for a tour of the site – there is a fee associated with this service which is often not disclosed upfront. You may also be asked for informal donations at temples or historic landmarks which are usually not mandatory.

I also recommend taking certain precautions such as pre-booking airport transportation with a reliable car service and driver, watching your drink when you are out and about, and letting friends and family know of your travel plans/whereabouts and hotel contact information. Read more about safety in Indonesia and Bali by clicking here and here. Here is more information about local laws and customs in Indonesia.

Booking hotels in Bali

Gypsea Bali joglo in Uluwatu
Open-air joglo at Gypsea Bali in Uluwatu

It is easy to get sucked into wanting to book all the Insta-famous hotels in Bali. You know the ones I’m talking about. But it doesn’t always make the most sense in terms of practicality, location, amenities provided or pricing.

Found an amazing boutique villa in Canggu? Great! But double check the location in case it’s further inland – which is fine if you are happy to hop on a scooter every time you want to head out for a meal or to visit the beach! Those Bali hotels with brilliant infinity pools overlooking the jungle in Ubud are bliss – but there might not be much nearby in terms of restaurants and other things to do.

Ulu Cliffhouse in Bali Indonesia stairs

Planning on staying at a cliffside hotel in Uluwatu? Fantastic. But you might need to prepare yourself (and your thighs) for the steep flights of stairs going up and down the cliffs each day. Those dreamy bamboo bungalows that you see all over social media are great…if you don’t mind being exposed to the elements and local wildlife. All I’m saying is – know exactly what you are getting yourself into before you book!

Pool at MASMARA Resort in Canggu Bali
Peaceful pool area at MASMARA Canggu in Pererenan

I spent hours researching hotels for our 2 week Bali trip itinerary and can personally recommend these boutique and luxury hotel options – I hope you find them helpful. The total cost for all of our accommodation across 2 weeks in Bali barely covers a night or two at some of the billboard, big-name Bali hotels – and while I’m happy to splurge here and there for more upscale options, I’m all about ROI!

Coffee at Giriwood Hotel in Munduk Bali
Coffee overlooking the infinity pool at Giriwood Hotel Bali in Munduk

Alternatively, click here to check out other highly-rated hotels in Bali – I recommend that you search by location (and then check the location on a map) and sort by review scores to see what best fits into your itinerary! Either way, you’ll want to book ahead, especially if you’re planning a 2 week Bali itinerary during the peak travel season.

Casa Pantai private villa in Bingin Uluwatu pavilion

Trying to plan a Bali trip with friends and family and not sure where to look for accommodation for a group of people? You might also want to check out Airbnb if you are traveling with others as there are plenty of Bali villa options available (however you’ll want to double check if meals are served on-site or whether you will head out for every meal). We mostly used Booking.com for this Bali 2 week itinerary as the cancellation policies tend to be a little more flexible, and it is slightly easier to filter by facilities, review scores and location.

Where to stay in Bali

Tanah Lot Temple near Canggu in Bali

If you have 2 weeks in Bali you should have enough time to explore 3-4 areas across the island, and this 2 week Bali itinerary will cover only a handful of these places as you’ll want to spend a few days in each to get settled and explore your surroundings.

For future reference, there are some differences between the major tourism destinations. Here are some quick generalizations of the key areas to help you decide where to visit in Bali:

Kuta/Legian/Seminyak – some of Bali’s flagship destinations, these three neighbouring areas are the closest to Bali’s international airport in Denpasar and popular for beach vacations and a fly-and-flop holiday. There are beach clubs galore gathered around these three places as well as a whole host of big-name resorts complete with all the facilities. The potential downsides are the crowds and heavy tourism development. Some people love the convenience of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, but it’s not for everybody.

CangguCanggu is located further north of Seminyak and has become the next hip-and-happening destination to visit in Bali, especially for those looking to branch out beyond the typically tourist-heavy resort towns. For this reason Canggu is also starting to become fairly busy in the main areas and traffic can be a major headache. There are a few hubs in Canggu including Berawa, Batu Bolong, Echo Beach/Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan area and Pererenan.

Munduk and Bedugul – Located in central Bali, Munduk and Bedugal are cradled high up in the Bali mountains surrounded by dozens of dreamy waterfalls and rice fields. It is also home to one of the holiest Hindu temple complexes in Bali – Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. Because of its distance from the airport, it’s not often the first or final destination for anyone planning a 2 week Bali itinerary, nor is it particularly well-suited as a day trip location. Instead, most people visit Munduk for a few days on their way to Lovina along the northern coast of Bali or before/after traveling to Ubud.

Lovina – Lovina in the far north of Bali encompasses a lengthy stretch of coastline and quiet villages. It is especially popular for dolphin watching tours and snorkeling trips off its black-sand beaches, as well as proximity to a few natural hot springs. It tends to be a quieter and more relaxed part of Bali, and is an option for people looking for a beach getaway far from the crowds.

Ubud – A cornerstone Bali destination that almost everyone has heard of. Sometimes referred to as the “cultural capital” of the island, Ubud is located just 2 hours away from the international airport and offers something to suit all types of travelers. From peaceful Hindu temples and palaces to roaring waterfalls and cascading rice paddies in Tegallalang, Ubud is considered a no-brainer for anyone visiting Bali for the first time.

Sidemen – A lesser-known but up-and-coming destination east of Ubud, Sidemen showcases the slower pace of life on the island. Surrounded by majestic waterfalls and rice fields, Sidemen is perfect for nature lovers. The tourism infrastructure is minimal compared to more developed parts of Bali, but there are still a number of luxury resorts and bamboo villas dotted around Sidemen.

Amed – Amed is perhaps most well-known among the snorkeling and diving communities. Set among a lush landscape and with Mount Agung in the backdrop, Amed is a popular base on the east coast of Bali for those wanting to explore more of this quieter piece of the island. Beyond the coastline it also offers proximity to the famed Pura Lempuyang, Lahangan Sweet viewpoint and Tirta Gangga. For those looking for alternative places to visit in Bali, Amed is one to add to the list.

Candi Dasa – Candi Dasa is also located on the eastern end of Bali island. Generally a quiet area away from the crowds, Candi Dasa offers a low-key island getaway. There are a number of luxury hotels in the area to choose from if you’d like a higher-end stay.

Sanur – Often compared to Canggu on the west coast, Sanur is a favorite for families traveling to Bali looking for a quieter getaway. Sanur also offers plenty of restaurants and bars, oceanfront hotels and cafes as well as day trip options to the neighboring Nusa islands. It is an easy 30-45 minute drive away from the international airport in Denpasar.

Nusa Dua – Nusa Dua is Bali’s resort haven located in the Bukit Peninsula. This ritzy enclave in south Bali is home to the who’s who of luxury hotel brands and some of the most pristine beaches on the island. It is an easy vacation destination but most restaurants and activities are located within hotels, and it may feel like there’s not much to do beyond the resort life. If you are looking for a resort vacation then there are other areas in Bali that may be preferable.

Uluwatu – In stark contrast to the lush waterfall-filled jungles and mountains of Bali are the steep hanging cliffs of Uluwatu. The chic Uluwatu is also home to one of Bali’s most prominent Hindu temples, Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Uluwatu is located on the opposite side of the Bukit Peninsula from Nusa Dua, and spans across a few beach areas including Bingin, Padang Padang and Nyang Nyang. Uluwatu is a firm favorite among honeymooners and die-hard surfers – there is a huge portfolio of luxury and boutique hotels on offer, as well as exclusive villas available for rent.

Jimbaran – The fishing-village-turned-resort-town of Jimbaran is located just above Uluwatu, a mere 20-30 minute drive from the international airport. Visitors love to watch the local fishermen and boats in the bay – it is one of the best places in Bali for a beachfront seafood dinner. Jimbaran is another option for a holiday destination near the airport.

How to get around Bali

Traffic in Ubud Bali

To get into Bali you’ll need to fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport near Denpasar. There are “standard” rates for airport transfers from the airport to different areas across Bali, here is a chart so you can get an idea of what rates are typical. Please note that these rates may not include charges for larger vehicles, surfboards/other large luggage, baby and child car seats etc., and are accurate as of mid-2023. They are only designed to give you an idea of how much Bali airport transfer may cost.

I recommend Gede (Whatsapp at +62 812 3689 2841) or Sudewa/Ani (Whatsapp at +62 819 9845 3366) for any long-distance transfers and day trips in Bali. We found that their rates were fair, vehicles were clean and they can also provide a forward-facing car seat if you are traveling to Bali with young children.

Scooters in Ubud Bali

Once you have arrived within a particular area in Bali it is usually possible to get around on foot if you are traveling short distances, by rental scooter or Grab/Gojek (on-demand ride-hailing – download the app before your trip), or by local taxis.

Electric scooter in Bali Indonesia

One caveat I will leave you with before renting a scooter in Bali is that you need to be extremely careful – you may want to consider this option carefully if you are not confident and experienced in driving a scooter, or do not have the necessary license to drive a motorcycle (in which case any accidents may not be covered by your travel insurance).

Don’t get me wrong – I love the flexibility of having our own scooter and having the ability to come and go as you please, but it really doesn’t take much to cause a serious accident. All I can say is, understand the risks of driving a scooter in Bali (or anywhere, really) and ensure that you know where the nearest medical centers and hospitals are located in the event of an accident.

Update: As of May 2023 it appears that the local government is beginning to enforce new rules on scooter rentals in Bali. Tourists can only hire a motorcycle from a business that is registered with the relevant trade agencies or the transportation renting association in Bali, and must also have an international driving license that covers them for driving motorcycles and relevant insurance documents. It is unclear if and how this rule will be enforced, but regardless you should hold the correct certification for driving a motorcycle vehicle in order to be covered by your travel insurance in the event of an accident. Source.

It is also possible to hire a car in Bali but you should know that Bali is not the easiest of places to drive (or park) as the streets are narrow with scooters zooming by, and parking spots are limited. Your international driving permit may require further endorsement by the local authorities, and you should double check that your travel insurance covers any motor vehicle accidents overseas (and check whether it covers any excesses/deductibles).

Have all your ducks in a row? Great! Click here to book your rental car ahead of your Bali trip.

2 week itinerary for Bali

Beach umbrellas and sunset on the beach in Canggu in Bali

Only have 2 weeks in Bali? There’s a lot to see and do in Bali, and it’s hard to condense everything within just a few days – you would need months (if not years) to properly experience everything the island and its surroundings has to offer, but you’ll get a great first taste of Bali in 14 days.

Goa Gajah cave temple in Ubud Bali

Read on if you’re wondering how to spend 14 days in Bali – this itinerary not only covers the sweeping beaches and cascading rice terraces that spring to mind when you think of Bali, but also the temples, archaeological sites and waterfalls away from the masses.

Rice fields in Canggu Bali

At the end of this Bali itinerary I will also list some options if you have more time on your hands and wish to extend this into a 3 week Bali trip.

Kecak fire dance in Ubud Bali

A quick preview of this Bali 2 week itinerary:

  • 4 days in Canggu
  • 3 days in Munduk
  • 4 days in Ubud (plus a day trip option to east Bali)
  • 3 days in Uluwatu

1. 4 days in Canggu

Surfers in Canggu Bali drone shot

Kick off your Bali trip on the west coast, the drive from the international airport to Canggu will take 1-2 hours depending where in Canggu you are headed and what time you are driving.

Cup of flat white at Honey cafe in Canggu Bali

Canggu in Bali has quickly become the next hip-and-happening destination to visit on the island, especially for those looking to branch out beyond the typically tourist-heavy resort towns of Seminyak and Kuta.

Watching the sunset at Pererenan Beach in Canggu Bali

The laid-back atmosphere, string of picturesque beaches, fantastic yoga studios and excellent boutique hotels have drawn in visitors from around the world looking for that perfectly balanced beach holiday complete with fiery sunsets every evening.

Baked cafe in Pererenan in Canggu Bali

Visitors to Canggu love the variety of cafes and restaurants on offer, but development is a double-edged sword as traffic and construction noise is a major problem in the area. My best tip would be to book a Canggu hotel that has several coffee shops and restaurants within walking distance, and read the reviews carefully to see if recent reviews mention neighboring construction noise.

Tanah Lot water temple in Bali Indonesia

Some of the best things to do in Canggu include visiting Pura Tanah Lot, one of the top attractions in Bali and just a 20-30 minute car or scooter ride from Canggu. This magnificent Hindu shrine often appears as if it is floating due to the high tide, but once the tide drops worshippers can walk across the tombolo to the temple itself.

Batu Bolong Beach in Canggu Bali

Canggu is one of the most popular places to surf in Bali, with an incredible number of beach breaks to suit all levels of surfers up and down this part of the western coast. You can take one-off beginner’s lessons or rent a board from one of the beach shacks to go for a free surf.

Splash waterpark children's section at Finns Recreation Club in Canggu Bali

Canggu is also home to some of the best beach clubs in Bali – head to Finns, The Lawn, COMO Beach Club or my personal favourite, La Brisa.

La Brisa beach club in Canggu Bali

If you are on a more leisurely schedule and have more than 14 days in Bali then you could easily spend up to a week in Canggu. That being said, there are no major “sightseeing” tourist landmarks beyond Tanah Lot and Batu Bolong Temple (which are located in the same compound).

HoiAn by MuiVe Vietnamese restaurant in Canggu Pererenan Bali

Canggu is one of those places where you can truly wind down and plan your days around café hopping, surfing, massages and sunset drinks. The perfect place to begin your 2 weeks in Bali! Read my Canggu destination guide here.

Gajah Mina Statue at Pererenan Beach in Canggu Bali

Where to stay in Canggu: We love the Pererenan area as it is slightly out of the hustle and bustle with easy access to incredible coffee shops. The surf at Pererenan Beach is ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers, with plenty of right and left handers peeling down the shoreline. Those looking for even more Canggu beaches can venture towards Echo Beach or Canggu Beach, or simply go for a dip in the pool at your boutique hotel or villa.

We have stayed at and recommend MASMARA Resort in Pererenan, a stunning luxury boutique hotel in Canggu just 150 metres (a 1-minute walk!) from the beach. The rooms feature plenty of warm wood finishing complete with cozy textiles and funky prints.

Pool at MASMARA Resort in Canggu Bali

The wonderful staff at this boutique property in Canggu made us feel right at home. We loved the on-site restaurant and dining on the open-air deck at sunset. MASMARA has a small number of ground floor garden view rooms as well as a few two-bedroom suites and a three-bedroom suite if you are traveling with friends or family. Click here to check availability and rates at MASMARA Resort in Canggu.

Another option in Pererenan is Casa Gypsy, a dreamy 2-bedroom private villa that we loved. Tucked away off the main road about 10 minutes from the beach, Casa Gypsy features an open-air lounge and kitchen, airy and spacious bedrooms with their own ensuite bathrooms, and a pool which we found ourselves in almost every afternoon.

Casa Gypsy private villa in Pererenan Canggu private pool

Perfect for independent travelers and families who want a little privacy and don’t mind not having access to an on-site restaurant or reception/concierge, the villa was cleaned every day and the management company was always extremely responsive – they can also provide high chairs, pool fences and baby cots for an extra fee. Click here to check rates and availability at Casa Gypsy.

Another low-key, underrated boutique hotel in Canggu to check out is Pangkung Sari, located on a quiet street overlooking the rice paddies in inland Berawa. This cozy bed & breakfast only has 6 rooms and is within walking distance from several restaurants and cafes; Pangkung Sari also has a small on-site restaurant serving up some delicious food and coffee.

Pangkung Sari B and B in Berawa Canggu rice paddy view

The rooms are basic but very clean, and each room has a small patio area with a view of the neighboring rice field. What really impressed us at Pangkung Sari is the extremely warm and accommodating staff who were so kind and friendly to our family. As the rooms are located side-by-side and the property is fairly quiet, this may be better suited to solo travelers, couples and families traveling with older children. Click here to check rates and availability at Pangkung Sari or head here to check out other highly-rated hotel options in Canggu.

Looking for even more Canggu boutique hotel options? Other accommodation options in Canggu that we considered staying at include The Bed By the Sea (an adults-only small hotel within walking distance of Echo Beach), and ZIN Canggu Resort & Villas (stunning rooms a stone’s throw from the busy Batu Bolong main road).

An alternative to Canggu: Sanur

Sanur on the eastern side of Denpasar is another popular option for a beach destination that is close to the international airport. People often say that Sanur is a “calmer” and less-crowded version of Canggu which makes it popular with families traveling with young children, or couples looking for a quiet beach getaway without compromising on access to restaurants and cafes. We loved the waterfront promenade which made it easier to get around on foot and bicycle without encountering the heavy traffic that Canggu is often known for. Read my guide to visiting Sanur here.

2. 3 days in Munduk

Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls in Munduk Bali

Next up is Munduk, located 70 kilometres or two hours by car from Canggu. Munduk is an underrated village high up in the hills of central Bali.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan in Bedugul Bali

The nearby Bedugul is also home to one of the holiest Hindu temple complexes in Bali – Pura Ulun Danu Beratan.

Lake Buyan in Munduk Bali

Traveling to Munduk offers you a chance to slow down during your 2 weeks in Bali and immerse yourself in nature. The landscapes and visual scenery is not always what comes to mind when people think of Bali.

Coffee tasting at Wanagiri Coffee Plantation in north Bali Indonesia

Spend 3 days in Munduk sipping on a homegrown cup of coffee at one of the local plantations (which you can visit and tour), get cultured at the Ulun Danu Beratan water temple and visit uncrowded waterfall after waterfall.

Banyumala Twin Waterfall near Munduk in Bali Indonesia lone exposure

Don’t miss the Bayumala twin waterfall (bring your swimsuit!) or cluster of streams at the peaceful Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls.

This area of Bali is also famous for its strawberry farms which offer visitors the opportunity to pick their own fruit. Read my guide on things to do in Munduk here.

Room at Giriwood Hotel in Munduk Bali

Where to stay in Munduk: Giriwood is a small, 20-room boutique hotel in North Bali, located about mid-way between Munduk and Bedugul. Its location makes it perfect for chasing waterfalls in Munduk, or visiting the famous water temple in Bedugul.

Infinity pool in Munduk at Giriwood Hotel Bali

We loved the view of the mountains and Wanagiri valley from the hotel’s infinity pool, and the lush jungle views from the bedrooms. The hotel is extremely reasonably priced (we found that hotels in northern Bali tended to be lower than the south in general), and it was the perfect place to stay near Munduk for 3 nights.

The on-site restaurant was fantastic – we enjoyed the rice bowls and excellent breakfast spread. Highly recommended for anyone traveling to Munduk! Click here to check availability and rates at Giriwood Hotel or check out rates and availability at other highly-rated Munduk hotels here!

Looking for even more Munduk boutique hotel options? Other accommodation options in Munduk that we considered staying at include Munduk Moding Plantation (home to probably the most photographed infinity pool in Bali), Sanak Retreat (eco-luxe wooden bungalows overlooking the rice fields with on-site spa) and Munduk Cabins (luxury treehouse-esque hotel with jungle views).

3. 4 days in Ubud

Saraswati Temple in Ubud Bali

Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a first-timer’s guide to Bali without setting aside a few days to visit Ubud.

Palm tree on Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud Bali

Ubud is one of the cornerstone tourist destinations in Bali, and often touted as the cultural capital of the island. To get there from Munduk you’ll need to hop in the car for a 70-kilometre or 2-hour car ride.

Crowds at Kanto Lampo waterfall in Ubud Bali

Brace yourself, as the once-peaceful town of Ubud is now a major tourism destination in Bali, and as such can be very crowded and hectic within the city center and at popular tourism landmarks.

My advice? Mentally prepare yourself and go with the flow! There are some incredible tourist experiences and landmarks in Ubud that you’ll want to check out – however, the vast majority of visitors to Ubud tend to go to the same places, so look beyond the obvious and you can always find a quiet corner or two to catch your breath after a busy day of sightseeing.

Kecak fire dance in Ubud Bali

A few Ubud attractions that you won’t want to miss include watching a traditional Kecak fire trance performance where dancers act out scenes from Hindu folklore.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud Bali

You should also plan on spending an afternoon at the magnificent Tegallalang rice terraces, a short 15-20 minute drive from Ubud proper. There are a number of restaurants and cafes overlooking the fields, we enjoyed our time at Tis Cafe which was laid back and less crowded than some others.

Worshippers at Pura Tirta Empul near Ubud Bali

Take the time to venture out to observe the purification rituals at Pura Tirta Empul, one of the most sacred temples in Bali. Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Tirta Empul features holy springs with water that is believed to purify devotees in a ritual known as “melukat”.

Campuhan Ridge walk drone photo in Ubud Bali

Grab your walking shoes and go for a leisurely stroll along Campuhan Ridge, a 2-kilometre long stone-paved path that winds and weaves along the outskirts of Ubud town.

Ubud is also famous for being an international hub for yoga lovers who flock to the Island of the Gods for classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings. There are a number of excellent yoga studios in Ubud including The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive and the upscale Fivelements Retreat.

You may also like: Interested in practicing Yoga or deepening your Yoga practice during your next vacation? Here are some of the best Yoga retreat locations and destinations around the world!

Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang in Bali Indonesia

Optional: Once you are in Ubud, you may also want to set aside one full day to embark on a day trip to East Bali as it is home to some of the top Bali attractions and landmarks.

Lahangan Sweet viewpoint in East Bali Indonesia

The full day trip from Ubud should take you 10 hours at the minimum (if you don’t queue for a photo in front of the gates – you could be waiting for up to 4 hours!) and you can charter a car and driver for approximately 750,000-850,000 IDR for the day, or book a highly-rated private east Bali tour via Klook here.

Tirta Gangga palace in East Bali Indonesia

Start bright and early by heading on the 2-hour journey to Pura Lempuyang and the Gates of Heaven with Mount Agung dramatically looming in the background.

Taman Ujung water palace in East Bali Indonesia

You can then slowly make your way back towards Ubud by stopping at the Lahangan Sweet viewpoint before visiting the Tirta Gangga and Taman Ujung former water palaces. If you have more time, stop at Goa Lawah as your final stop to check out the colony of bats at this Hindu temple.

Note: This day trip is also do-able from Canggu but it will take at least 3 hours to get from Canggu to Pura Lempuyang. My recommendation would be to go on a Bali East Coast day trip from either Sanur or Ubud.

Interested in planning your Ubud stay? Here is my Ubud destination guide.

Poolside breakfast at Origin Ubud boutique hotel in Ubud Bali

Where to stay in Ubud: Origin Ubud was our home for 4 nights in Ubud, and boy did we feel right at home in this cozy boutique private villa – the staff went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable. This incredibly spacious pool villa in Ubud was just a 5-10 minute walk from the main stretch where the majority of restaurants and bars are located.

Origin Ubud pool area in Bali

We absolutely loved the daily made-to-order breakfast by the pool – such a treat! (Psst: make sure you book your breakfast timeslot the night before). Reasonably-priced private pool villas located within walking distance to Ubud town are rare – though it could use with the odd touch-up here and there, we would happily go back and stay again!

It is perfect for couples and independent travelers – click here to check availability and rates at Origin Ubud or head over here to see more hotel options in Ubud. Note: There is no on-site restaurant at Origin Ubud and when we visited in August 2022 only breakfast was being served, however they did mention that room service for lunch and dinner may be available again in the future.

Looking for even more Ubud boutique hotel options? Other accommodation options in Ubud that we considered staying at include 11 on Kajeng (a small boutique hotel within walking distance of the Ubud Palace and Saraswati Temple), The Sankara Resort (beautiful hotel 20 minutes from the city centre with an excellent on-site spa, provides a shuttle service into town) and Sapodilla Ubud (one of the top-rated boutique hotels in Ubud).

4. 3 days in Uluwatu

View of Bingin from Mu Bungalows in Bingin Uluwatu Bali

From Ubud, head to Uluwatu by private car – the drive will take approximately 2 hours. There are a few faces to Uluwatu – from the surf-crazed community that flocks to the coast to the honeymooners who book luxury cliffside resorts for a special getaway – there’s plenty of room in-between to find a piece of Uluwatu that resonates with you.

Reef pools at Uluwatu Beach in Bali Indonesia

We chose to end our 2 week Bali itinerary back at the beaches of Bali, this time further south of the island in the Bukit Peninsula. Unlike the golden and black-sand beaches of Canggu where you can kick off your Bali trip, you’ll find shimmering rock pools lining the coast as well as unique rock formations rising up along the seaside.

Cliffs of Uluwatu Temple in Bali Indonesia

There are a number of Uluwatu highlights that you won’t want to skip – the first being a visit to the revered Uluwatu Temple. The bougainvillea-strewn cliffs surrounding Uluwatu Temple create a magical setting for the otherwise fairly unassuming Hindu temple.

If you missed the Kecak performance in Ubud you will have another chance to observe the fire dance by the cliff at Uluwatu Temple during sunset.

Drone shot of Padang Padang beach in Uluwatu Bali

For those of you who are looking forward to winding down after nearly 2 weeks of sightseeing in Bali, head straight to one of Uluwatu’s fantastic beaches – you can laze the day away while watching surfers carve the open face of pumping waves. We especially enjoyed our time at Dreamland Beach, Bingin Beach and Suluban Beach.

Sunset in Uluwatu in Bali Indonesia

Surfers will lose their minds over the incredible number of breaks up and down this part of the western coast. Even if you don’t surf yourself, Uluwatu is a great place to watch advanced surfers carve waves and get barreled.

For more ideas for things to do in Uluwatu check out my full guide here.

Where to stay in Uluwatu: When you look up Uluwatu all you see are the iconic clifftop views that go on for days – but these can come with a seriously hefty price tag! We have previously stayed in Uluwatu in 2 hotels and 1 private villa, and while these properties do not have direct beach access they did have delightful sundrenched pools that we spent hours in.

Jepun Sari boutique hotel in Uluwatu Bali

The Jepun Sari Uluwatu is a stunning and quiet boutique property located about a 5-10 minute drive from the main “downtown” area of Uluwatu. As it only has a handful of rooms it is incredibly peaceful and private, and the rooms are practical and comfortable.

Jepun Sari boutique hotel in Uluwatu Bali

The décor is very modern with a splash of tropical touches, and we loved our stay in the poolside villa. Highly recommended for couples or independent travelers looking for a boutique hotel in Uluwatu – click here to check availability and rates at Jepun Sari Uluwatu. There is no on-site restaurant so head to the nearby Cashew Tree or Gooseberry to grab a bite to eat. The hotel can help you rent a scooter to get around as not much is within walking distance.

Gypsea Bali bungalow_bedroom in Uluwatu

For the remainder of our 2 week Bali itinerary we booked ourselves into Gypsea Bali. This boutique Uluwatu hotel will seriously wow you – incredible service, gorgeous rooms and an amazing pool. It is a cruisy 10 minute walk from Bingin Beach and I could have easily spent a week or more here.

Gypsea Bali bungalow in Uluwatu

The restaurant serves up delicious Western and Balinese food, and it is also a stone’s throw from Gooseberry restaurant. You can’t go wrong with Gypsea Bali – click here to check availability and rates!

Casa Pantai private villa in Bingin Uluwatu pool

Visiting Uluwatu with friends and family? You might also want to consider this incredible 4-bedroom private villa in Bingin: Casa Pantai. It is located just steps away from the stairs down to Bingin Beach, Frencha Bakery and The Cashew Tree restaurant, and provides a full staff and daily cooked-to-order breakfast during your stay.

Casa Pantai bedrooms in Bingin Uluwatu

Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and there is also a small kitchen area if you need access to a microwave, coffee machine, water dispenser and fridge. We also loved the huge pool complete with shallow children’s area. Click here to check rates and availability at Casa Pantai in Bingin.

Looking for even more Uluwatu boutique hotel options? Other accommodation options in Uluwatu that we considered staying at include The Elementum (stunning pool, rooms and a killer on-site restaurant), Origin Uluwatu (luxury glamping tents with modern, funky décor) and Legends Beachfront Resort (stunning cliffside boutique hotel with million dollar views). You can also explore some other highly-rated hotels in the area.

Beaches of Bingin in Uluwatu Bali

If you do choose to book on the cliff in Uluwatu, just be aware that you may need to walk down 100+ steps to get to beachfront properties – make sure you check before booking!

Is 2 weeks enough for Bali? 3 week Bali itinerary

Sanur beach in Bali Indonesia

Have more than 2 weeks in Bali? Lucky you! There are a number of options to extend your Bali holiday. One popular option is to head to the Nusa islands southeast of Bali – with an infant in tow we ruled out taking the speedboat out on sometimes choppy waters.

Kelingking Beach at Nusa Penida in Indonesia
Photo credit: jirousek.zoo-foto.cz via Depositphotos.com

However, if you have 3 weeks in Bali (or more) then you should definitely consider hopping in a boat and heading out to the nearby Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida islands!

Aerial view with Gili islands and ocean, drone shot
Photo credit: Keola via Depositphotos.com

Other options for your 3 week Bali itinerary include spending a few nights out at the Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan or “Gili T”, Gili Meno and Gili Air) off the coast of Lombok.

Drone photo of rice terraces in Sidemen Bali
Photo credit: Cavan via Depositphotos.com

Alternatively, head to the slightly quieter eastern end of Bali: Sidemen, Candi Dasa (or Candidasa) and Amed.

Sanur beach in Bali Indonesia
Private beach at Tandjung Sari in Sanur

We also thoroughly enjoyed our time in Sanur, a beachside destination on the east coast just an hour from Denpasar and the international airport. The laidback seaside town is perfect for travelers and families looking for a slower pace and fewer crowds, and offers a long walking and cycling path that spans the coast. We loved hopping on our rental bikes and heading out for a morning coffee, followed by time on the white sand beach and pool at Tandjung Sari hotel – the original Bali boutique hotel. Read my hotel review of Tandjung Sari here.

Aerial view of Pulau Padar island in between Komodo and Rinca Islands near Labuan Bajo in Indonesia
Photo credit: danaan via Depositphotos.com

Feeling adventurous? Another option to extend your Bali itinerary is to hop on a domestic flight to Labuan Bajo airport and embark on a multi-day cruise to explore Komodo Island to see the dragons, venture on to Flores Island and visit the pink-sand beaches on Padar Island.

Tips for traveling to Bali with a baby

Minimonkey mini sling in Bali Indonesia

There’s a reason why everyone travels to Bali with children – it’s because Bali is so child-friendly! The plethora of resorts with kids clubs, restaurants with play areas, water parks and experienced nannies-for-hire means that parents are set up for a successful family holiday. After some trial-and-error we managed to make the trip work for us – here are some top tips for visiting Bali with a baby.

Worried about bringing too much luggage? You can rent any baby gear including travel cots and car seats for around US$5 or AU$7 a day. We used Bali Baby Hire – it was easy to coordinate the equipment booking via e-mail and they even dropped off and picked up all the gear for us.

Book a driver with a child car seat. I recommend getting in touch with Gede or Ani/Sudewa (numbers at the top of this Bali 2 week itinerary travel guide) who can provide a forward-facing child car seat.

Stock up on diapers and baby food. You can easily buy diapers and baby food from Carrefour near the international airport or from the local Pepitos supermarkets. We like to bring liquid paracetamol, probiotic drops or powder which can be added to drinks and food, reef-safe children’s sunscreen and plenty of Stasher bags as these are things that we often find difficult to buy overseas. You can find some of my favourite travel essentials here, and get 5% off your order with this code: CVP6670.

Be prepared if your baby gets sick in Bali. Some hotels will have a pediatrician on call, make sure you ask if your baby requires medical attention. Otherwise, head straight to one of the BIMC private hospitals (locations across Bali).

Baby in Ubud Bali

Many hotels may not have a cot, or may be adults-only. Double check with hotels if they are able to provide a cot or extra bed, as they might not even if the hotel’s booking page says that they can. MASMARA Resort in Canggu provided one, Giriwood in Munduk and Jepun Sari in Uluwatu were both not able to provide a baby cot but we brought our own rental, and Gypsea Bali and Tandjung Sari were able to provide one in the room. Make sure you contact the hotel a few days before your check-in date to confirm that they received your request for a cot/extra bed and are able to provide one.

The vast majority of restaurants and beach/day clubs in Bali have high chairs. If you prefer to bring your own, I like the Munchkin portable travel booster seat over unstructured soft travel seats like the Totseat.

Rental bicycle with child seat in Sanur Bali

Leave the stroller at home. The sidewalk and roads in most places across Bali are non-existent or very uneven, so it’s likely to be more of a hassle to bring the stroller out. Instead, use a structured carrier or a sling (I like the MiniMonkey mini sling which folds down to the size of an iPhone and is great for warm weather) for short distances. In places like Sanur you can rent a bicycle with a child seat if your little one is able to sit independently.

Shallow wading pool at MASMARA Resort in Canggu Bali
Shallow end of the pool at MASMARA Resort in Canggu

Traveling with a toddler? You won’t regret booking a hotel or visiting a Bali day club that has a pool with a shallow wading section.

Ulu Cliffhouse in Bali Indonesia pool area

Bring a couple of pool toys and that will kill a few hours (and burn off some energy!).

Last but absolutely not least, here is my top tip for traveling to Bali with kids: need an extra pair of hands to wrangle your little one? There are many experienced nannies in Bali who you can hire by the hour (or day, or even your whole trip) to help you out so that you can actually sit down and eat your meal, go for a surf, practice yoga or go for a massage.

Nanny with baby in Bali Indonesia

I highly recommend getting in touch with Febri from Feby’lous Bali Nanny or Ani from Mom’s Nanny Care – we have personally used both services. I recommend spending time with your nanny over the first few days to evaluate if it is a good fit for both parties, and to make sure you are comfortable leaving your kid(s) alone with the nanny.

Our lovely nanny mostly joined us during lunch time so that we could sit down and have our meal and stayed at our hotel while our baby napped. This gave us the opportunity to head out and do some exploring. It is also possible to ask your nanny to help with bedtime and stay at the hotel so that you can venture out for dinner.

Rates vary from 75,000 IDR per hour and up and most nannies ask that you book a minimum of 5-6 hours/day, a fee may apply if you need your nanny to travel beyond Canggu/Uluwatu as most nannies live and are based around Denpasar.

Entrance to the Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud Bali

I hope this Bali 2 week itinerary helps you to better plan your dream Bali trip, and gives you an idea of how long to stay in each place, what to do and where to stay. You can easily shave off a few days here and there or skip a destination to convert this into a 10 day Bali itinerary.

Quick recap before you book your Bali holiday:

Where to stay in Canggu: We really enjoyed our time at MASMARA Resort in Canggu. The room was spacious, tastefully-decorated and extremely comfortable. It was a 2-minute walk to Pererenan Beach and was within walking distance to tons of excellent cafes, bakeries and restaurants. Click here to check availability and rates at MASMARA Resort in Canggu. For a little more privacy and access to a small kitchen check out Casa Gypsy, a 2-bedroom villa and pool located about 10 minutes from the beach. Alternatively, independent travelers or couples might also like Pangkung Sari, a small boutique B&B in Berawa with rooms that feature a rice paddy view. Head here to check out other highly-rated hotel options in Canggu. We also considered staying at , The Bed By the Sea (adults only) and ZIN Canggu Resort & Villas.

Where to stay in Munduk: We opted to stay in the Munduk/Wanagiri area instead of in Bedugul. I highly recommend Giriwood Hotel which has some incredible rooms with balconies overlooking the misty mountains. The on-site restaurant is a great option as there are few restaurants and cafes in the area. Click here to check availability and rates at Giriwood Hotel or check out rates and availability at other highly-rated Munduk hotels here! We also considered staying at Munduk Moding Plantation, Sanak Retreat and Munduk Cabins.

Where to stay in Ubud: For maximum convenience I recommend staying close to Ubud town where the vast majority of cafes and restaurants are located. We enjoyed our stay at the boutique Origin Ubud which only has a handful of private pool villas. There is no restaurant but they serve a huge made-to-order breakfast by the pool – the mie goreng noodles were to die for! It is perfect for couples and independent travelers – click here to check availability and rates at Origin Ubud or head over here to see more hotel options in Ubud. We also considered staying at 11 on Kajeng, The Sankara Resort and Sapodilla Ubud.

Where to stay in Uluwatu: If there’s one thing you take away from this 2 week Bali guide let it be that you need to book accommodation in advance! Especially in Uluwatu where the boutique hotels often book up months or a year in advance. We enjoyed our time at Jepun Sari Uluwatu which offers lovely little luxury cabins in Bingin, and also recommend Gypsea Bali which has beautifully-designed boho-inspired bungalows. Both hotels in Uluwatu have pools or you can venture to Bingin beach. Click here to check availability and rates at Jepun Sari Uluwatu and click here to check availability and rates at Gypsea Bali. Here are some other highly-rated hotels in Uluwatu – we also considered staying at The Elementum, Origin Uluwatu and Legends Beachfront Resort.

Where to stay in Sanur: If you are headed to Sanur instead of (or in addition to) Canggu, we highly recommend booking your stay at Tandjung Sari, a family-owned boutique hotel in Sanur with a location that can’t be beat, stunning spacious rooms and a private beach area. Check the rates and availability at Tandjung Sari or read my full hotel review here. We also considered staying at Maya SanurAndaz Bali and Hyatt Regency Bali.

Been to Bali before? Leave a comment below with your favorite landmark!

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