Bali in 3 weeks: travel itinerary + tips

by suitcasestoriesbe
Bali Leke Leke Waterfall

Indonesia is by far one of our most favorite destinations in the world. It’s an amazing country full of stunning landscapes, incredible nature, friendly people, heavenly food and the most beautiful islands. But with more than 17000 islands to choose from, there are some we love to visit again and again… Bali and the Gili islands! After visiting Bali and the Gili Islands three times, we created the ultimate travel itinerary for 3 weeks including the best things to do, our favorite places to stay, some recommendations to find the best food and tips on how to get around. To help you visualize this travel itinerary we’ve put it together on a map as well. Are you ready? Let’s go…

Tip: if you are traveling solo or would like to join an organized trip, definitely check this website. They have really great adventure tours through Indonesia. Super cool!

Bali in 3 Weeks travel itinerary + tips

Canggu

The perfect place to start the Bali travel itinerary is in Canggu, one of the hippest and most relaxed villages in Bali. It’s located on the west side of the island, only a 40-minute drive away from Denpasar International Airport. (search for the best flights to Bali here) Chill out at one of the amazing beach clubs, have the best smoothie bowls, learn to surf, stroll through the bohemian markets, visit stunning ricefields or join some yoga classes… the list is endless! You can stay for weeks in Canggu without getting bored. Our favorite go-to place in Bali!

Recommended stay

  • 3 – 4 days

Where to stay

Things to do

Where to eat

  • Shady Shack (trendy, cozy setting with a lovely garden and the best plant-based food ever, everything is so yummy)
  • Betelnut Café (favorite dinner spot, best wraps ever)
  • Ithaka Warung (Indonesian local food, right at Batu Bolong beach, try their vegetarian gado-gado, so good!)
  • Lola’s Cantina Mexicana (wonderful Mexican restaurant with a nice atmosphere at night)
  • Motion Café (great spot for healthy food, we loved to go there with lunch)
  • Madpops (best vegan ice-cream in the world, fav picks: coconut black forest, milk chocolate & coconut stracciatella)

How to get in Canggu

Ubud

Ubud is a wonderful village, located in the center of Bali surrounded by the most beautiful rice fields and impressive nature scenes. From white water rafting, visiting waterfalls, hiking volcanoes to cooking classes and meeting monkeys, there is so much to do in Ubud. Same as Canggu, Ubud is a place where you could easily spend a week without getting bored and must be in everyone’s Bali travel itinerary.

Recommended stay

  • 4 – 6 days

Where to stay

Things to do

As there are so many things to do around Ubud we decided to write a dedicated article about all the best things to do in Ubud.

Where to eat

  • Lazy Cats (super cozy setting with old French interior details, overlooking terrace over the main street of Ubud)
  • OIA (Greek & Mediterranean restaurant with yummy falafel plates)
  • Café des Artistes (Belgian restaurant with a wonderfully relaxed setting, great wide menu with typical Belgian & French cuisine)
  • Puspa’s Warung (lovely cheap, local warung with the best gado-gado and vegetable curries)
  • Warung Biahbiah (Ubud’s most popular Warung, go early as there are always many people waiting outside trying to get a table, lots of great local food)

How to get in Ubud

  • From Canggu, by taxi (best via Grab or Gojek app), 1-hour from Ubud, prices are around IDR 300,000/one-way

Gili islands

Time to hop on a speedboat and go to one of the three small islands located between Bali and Lombok: Gili Trawangan (or Gili T like they say), Gili Meno and Gili Air. Crystal-clear blue waters, white beaches, cozy bean bags on the beach, and incredible sunsets…  The Gili’s are the perfect stop to relax after days of exploring and adventure. With only bikes to get around the islands and a wonderful relaxed atmosphere, we bet you’ll love to stop here. If it’s your first time you go to the Gili’s, we highly recommend Gili T. It’s the most crowded islands but still relaxed and there are plenty of things to do which we describe below. If you like to stay more on a super quiet island, choose Gili Meno instead. Or if you like a good mix of both, Gili Air might be the best option for you.

Recommended stay

  • 3 – 4 days

Where to stay

Things to do on Gili T

  • Rent a bicycle and explore the island (around IDR 45.000 for a full day)
  • Go snorkeling and swim with sea turtles or at the underwater sculptures of Gili Meno  (IDR 600.000 for a private boat which you can share with others, 3-4 hours)
  • Complete a dive course (fixed prices on all the Gili islands, starts from IDR 5.900.000 per person for a 3-day PADI Open Water Course, our favorite Dive Center on Gili T is Trawangan Dive Resort where we completed our own PADI Advanced Course)
  • Watch the sunset on the west side of the island and get some pictures at the famous swings
  • Get a massage on the beach (prices starts around IDR 150.000 per hour)
  • Have a night out and enjoy some drinks in the many cozy bars
  • Watch a movie on the beach (Le Pirate & Villa Ombok organizes frequently open-air movie nights)
  • Visit Gili Meno or Gili Air on a day trip (public boats run 2 times a day, IDR 35.000 per person)

Where to eat

  • Fat Cats part of Trawangan Dive (favorite dinner spot, cozy setting with tables on the beach, try the poke bowl, vegan burger or superfood salad)
  • The Banyan Tree (favorite breakfast and lunch spot, fresh & healthy food with many plant-based options and the best juices, try the mixed berry bowl, chocolate peanut bowl, purple wrap… so good!)
  • Scallywags (best place for a delicious BBQ on the beach, unlimited vegetable/pasta buffet)
  • Diversia (great lunch spot or if you need to wait for the boats, yummy veggie platter with tempeh and lots of great juices)
  • Sunset Kiss Beach Club from PinkCoco Resort (favorite sunset bar/restaurant with lots of yummy cocktails)

How to get on the Gili Islands

Nusa Penida

When you visit Bali, you can’t miss the beautiful island of Nusa Penida! We only visited this island after our third visit to Bali, which is a shame. Nusa Penida is still quite a remote island and has many adventurous things to do. Huge cliffs, incredible ocean views, amazing beaches, and breathtaking landscapes… that’s how we can describe Nusa Penida the best! And ow yeah, it’s also a famous place to swim with the manta rays.

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 4 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Enjoy the best views at the famous Kelingking ‘T-Rex‘ viewpoint and hike down the scary steep stairs to Kelingking beach
  • Visit Broken Beach and Angels’ Billabong with low tide (we did in the morning, but be sure to check this)
  • Join a snorkeling trip an swim with the giant manta rays at Manta Point (Check out this page for a great snorkeling trip, including price and reviews which we highly recommend)
  • Hike down the stairs of Diamond Beach in the morning (in the afternoon it’s totally in the shadow) and enjoy a swim in the ocean
  • Get some beautiful shots with sunrise or sunset at the Rumah Pohon Treehouse (you can even spend the night here, quite basic but unforgettable views straight from your bed. But be quick with booking as it is booked out months in advance! Check prices and availability here)
  • Enjoy more epic views at Banah Cliff, Thousand Island, and Pulau Seribu Viewpoint
  • Hike the famous blue stairs to the Peguyangan waterfall
  • Relax at Crystal Bay Beach
  • Take a driver for a full day to explore the whole island and visit all the highlights (we paid IDR 750.000 for a full day with 4 persons)
  • Nusa Penida can be visited from Bali in a day-trip but if you have the time spend at least 2 days on this beautiful island.

Where to eat

How to get in Nusa Penida

  • From the Gili islands, by fast boat, 1 stop in Bali to pick up/drop off other passengers, 2-3 hours, prices are around IDR 400.000 per person (we highly recommend Eka Jaya Fast Boats as a company) Check schedules and prices here.
  • From Bali, by fast boat, 30 minutes, prices are around IDR 220.000 per person. Check schedules and prices here.

Nusa Lembongan

If you like relaxing at beautiful islands, include an extra stop in Nusa Lembongan too. We visited Nusa Lembongan the first time we went to Bali and loved it. It’s super easy to get to from Nusa Penida and only 30 minutes away from Bali. Nusa Lembongan has a more laid back and relaxed atmosphere than it’s big sister Nusa Penida. It’s also an amazing place for snorkeling or diving with the Mola Mola (bucket list!), surfing or enjoying stunning sunsets at the beach. Worth a visit, even for one day!

Recommended stay

  • 1 – 2 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Rent a scooter and explore the island (around IDR 70.000 for a full day)
  • Cross the Yellow Bridge to Nusa Ceningan
  • Visit the beautiful mangrove forest
  • Join a snorkeling trip and swim with manta rays (around IDR 350.000 per person)
  • Dive with the amazing Mola Mola fish (the best season is between July and November)
  • Relax at the secluded beach of Sandy Bay
  • Hang out or have lunch at the relaxed beach of Mushroom Bay
  • Watch the sunset at Devil’s Tear

Where to eat

  • Bali Eco Deli (great breakfast and lunch spot with lots of healthy vegan/vegetarian options, yummy smoothie bowls, salads, and juices)
  • Sandy Beach Club (a great spot for dinner, lovely setting with stunning views and a wide menu with great vegan options)
  • Ginger & Jamu (favorite spot for lunch/dinner, amazing sunset spot, best salads & smoothie bowls, healthy food, relaxed setting on the beach)

How to get in Nusa Lembongan

Uluwatu

The last stop of our 3-week travel itinerary ends in Uluwatu, which is located on the southern tip of Bali. Uluwatu has the most beautiful beaches in Bali, super laid-back with impressive cliff viewpoints, trendy restaurants, and many beach clubs to relax at. Uluwatu is also known for its epic surf spots and the Uluwatu Temple where you can watch a traditional Kecak fire dance. We love Uluwatu as there are so many great things to do and you can easily explore them on yourself by renting a scooter. In other words, the perfect place to end your Bali trip with.

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 3 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Rent a scooter and explore all the nearby beaches like Suluban Beach, Thomas Beach, Padang Padang, Bingin Beach, and Tegal Wangi Beach.
  • Visit the Uluwatu Temple in the afternoon and watch a traditional Kecak fire dance just after sunset inside the complex (entrance fee for the temple is IDR 30.000 per person and IDR 100.000 per person for the Kecak dance. We highly recommend buying tickets in time as it sells out quickly. Find a great tour that includes all of this and we personally like here)
  • Take a surf lesson and surf the epic waves.
  • Go with sunset to Karung Boma Cliff, epic spot to take some beautiful shots (still on our list with things to do!)
  • Or Balangan Viewpoint, also a great spot with sunset.

Where to eat

  • Single Fin Beach Club (nice lunch spot to have a healthy juice or smoothie or just to hang out, great ocean views from their terrace)
  • Bukit Cafe (our favorite spot for lunch and dinner with so many good vegan and vegetarian options, try the falafel pita sandwich)
  • The Mango Tree Cafe (a nice place with a great menu and atmosphere)
  • The Loft (a trendy spot with lovely interior details, great vibes, yummy smoothie bowls, and salads)
  • Rolling Fork (best Italian food we’ve had in Bali, lovely interior, relaxed setting, good service, highly recommend the place for dinner)
  • Sunset Point (chill spot to watch the sunset and have some cocktails)

How to get in Uluwatu

Optional: Munduk

If you prefer to do see more in Bali, have more time or want to skip some nights on the islands, be sure to add Munduk on your list. Munduk is located a 1-hour drive from Ubud, and a great place to relax and explore all the beautiful places in the north. From stunning waterfalls to photogenic Bali swings, and scenic temples, Munduk has it all. And if you like to treat yourself for a few nights, stay at the beautiful Munduk Moding Plantation Resort. The infinity pool, the views, and the surrounding will blow your mind! Enough reasons to add Munduk on your list, right?

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 3 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Visit the Banyumala Twin Waterfall, the Git Git Waterfall (entrance fees are both IDR 20.000 per person) and the Sekumpul Waterfall (‘view only’ fee IDR 20.000 and IDR 125.000 per person for the medium trekking with a guide)
  • See Bali’s most beautiful temple, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. It’s a floating temple that looks out over Lake Bratan and totally surrounded by mountains. (entrance fee IDR 50.000 per person, go early as it can be very crowded)
  • If you like to combine a visit to the Sekumpul Waterfall and the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple and don’t want to drive yourself, we highly recommend the guided trip from GetYourGuide. (guide, transport and pick up/drop off at different locations included)
  • Take some stunning shots at the famous Handara Golf Gate (entrance fee IDR 30.000 per person + IDR 100.000 if you want to use your drone, go early in the morning to avoid queues)
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset from Wanagiri Hidden Hills viewpoint where you can swing on the famous Bali Swings or sit in a giant bird’s nest. Epic Instagram shots, check! (entrance fee to take photos IDR 100.000 per person and there are locals helping you out taking pictures)
  • Join a guided jungle trek around the stunning Tambligan Lake (2-3 hours, prices around IDR 350.000 per person)

Now you’ve read our Bali itinerary, you might be ready to go. Following websites can help you plan the perfect trip:

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