When planning a holiday it can often be difficult to know where to start, especially if that holiday is a 3 week long trip in an amazing and adventurous place such as Bali. A traditional 2-week holiday on the beach or a city break can be easy to plan for, especially when it comes to the latter with so many world famous sights to see in each major city around the world.
We’ve therefore put together what we consider to be the ideal 3-week trip to Bali, however we encourage you to do your own research and use this more as a tool to help you get a foothold in some of the amazing possibilities the country has to offer, rather than as the definitive trip you should take. Everyone is different, and one of the most amazing things about a country like Bali is that there are a million and one different potential trips out there for a million and one different types of people.
Hopefully the following guide will help you to create your own special memories from the place so affectionately known as The Island of the Gods.
Bali 3 Week Travel Itinerary
So we’ve put together what we consider to be the ultimate 3-week adventure around Bali, taking in as many of the amazing sights and most relaxing beaches as can be crammed into 21 days. Bali truly is an amazing country, and with so many amazing things to see and do we guarantee you there won’t even be the mere whiff of a single minute of boredom.
We warn you though that once this trip is over, you’ll probably decide that this has merely been the first trip of many, so don’t worry too much about trying to cram everything into this one trip. You’ll want to take the time to fully appreciate and take in all of the fantastic new things you’ll be seeing and doing, and the last thing you’ll want to do is feel like you have to rush anything.
So without further ado, the following is our itinerary for a 3-week trip to Bali.
3 days in Uluwatu
Due to its close proximity to the airport, one of the best starting points for your 3 weeks in Bali is Uluwatu. Famed for its amazing cliffs overlooking Bali’s eastern coast, you’ll enjoy some truly amazing views of the crashing waves below and the Nusa islands as they stretch off into the distance (and more on the Nusa Islands later). To take full advantage of the breath taking scenery here in Uluwatu, you’ll find many hotels, bars and restaurants committed to making the most of their location, with infinity pools stretching over the side of the cliffs and plenty of places to take in a drink or some dinner while enjoying the amazing views.
In spite of Uluwatu becoming more and more popular amongst the luxury travellers each year and all sorts of fancy resorts popping up in the area, the area has still managed to keep hold of its cultural soul. In amongst the more modern developments you’ll find the Uluwatu temple sitting atop the hillside, and you can also spend a good few hours checking out the local customs. Furthermore, keep an eye out for the Kecak fire dancers for a truly unique and spectacular end to the day.
4 days in Canggu
Canggu has become the go to beach resort as far as backpackers are concerned, and with plenty of surfing, fantastic bars and restaurants and an amazing atmosphere all around, it’s no surprise why, especially for those looking for a refreshing break from more overly touristy areas such as Seminyak and Kuta. Canggu is also one of the best places to relax and experience the laid back Bali lifestyle.
Compared to other places like the aforementioned Kuta, Canggu is much more peaceful and less touristy. The whole area is much more attractive too, and the restaurants and beaches are more distinctive. At Canggu, you can fully embrace beach culture in true Bali fashion, and once you’re done catching brunch, head out to the Tanah Lot sea-temple just a short drive from the beach, before returning for some evening cocktails as the sun sets over the ocean.
4 days in West Bali
West Bali’s nature parks are high up on the list of the best attractions this part of the country has to offer, and as an added bonus, you’ll find West Bali to be nice and quiet and free from the hoards of tourists you’ll find in areas with a closer proximity to the airport like the southern beaches and Ubud. If you want to truly make the best of West Bali’s culture and atmosphere, Gilmanuk, Negara and Medewi Beach are the go to areas, where you can relax on the quieter beach, take a boat out and go diving or snorkelling, or give a cooking class a go.
To the north-west of the island is Pemuteran, a more upmarket beach area which is worth a look at if you’re looking for somewhere fancier to stay. Compared to Seminyak, the 4- and 5-star hotels here are just as good, but will cost you a mere fraction of the price. The West Bali National Park is also nearby to those choosing to stay here, and it’s mountainous jungle terrain and beautiful white beaches are definitely going to be a high point for any budding hikers out there. There’s also some amazing tropical wildlife lurking around for you to keep an eye out for too, so you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied in West Bali.
5 days in Ubud and the north-east
Most people planning a trip to Bali will have likely already come across Ubud. The inland jungle village is one of the most popular destinations in the whole country, and is definitely not somewhere to be missed during your 3-week visit. While the levels of tourism and traffic through the main streets can be a little hectic due to the popularity, there’s no question that it will still be one of the best parts of your trip. Dense jungle terrain surrounds the entire town, along with fruit plantations, waterfalls, sprawling rice fields, and all manner of other natural wonders. You’ll find a number of options for places to stay within the town itself, and whether you’re after somewhere cheap and cheerful or a luxurious resort, you’ll easily find something to suit your budget.
The number one draw of your 5 days in Ubud is the surrounding nature, and getting out and about in it and exploring and embracing everything it has to offer. The atmosphere here is truly one of a kind, and you’re sure to meet several like-minded travellers from all over the world as you cross paths on your daytime adventures and evening activities. Whether it’s the amazing bars and restaurants or boutique shops, you’ll find everything in Ubud is making the most of its surroundings, giving you a raw feeling of nature that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
It’s also a great idea to use Ubud as a central location from which to travel around the north-east of the island. Here, you can vist the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple, or take a trek up the Mount Agung volcano.
3 days in the Nusa Islands
The Nusa Islands often go overlooked by first time travellers to Bali, but the islands of Nusa Pendia, Cenigan and Lembongan are definitely not to be missed. You’ll need to get a boat to get out to them, but as anyone who’s been before can attest, it’s definitely worth the trip. There are all sorts of special little hidden away beach coves, hiking spots, and blue lagoons for some great snorkelling to be discovered amongst the archipelago.
Nusa Lembongan is probably the best of the islands to set up base on, with plenty of accommodation to be found for all types of travellers. Since the island is relatively popular too, you’ll find a great atmosphere once the evening rolls around. You’ll also find kayak rental and boat tours that depart the island daily if you want to get out and explore all the coves and caves the Nusa Islands have tucked away.
2 days in Seminyak
For the final 2 days of your 3 week trip to Bali, take yourself back to the mainland and spend a couple of nights in Seminyak. As Bali’s beach resorts go, Seminyak is a fairly popular and busy one, but you’ll find a whole host of amazing hotels, restaurants and bars to help you relax for a few days before your big adventure unfortunately comes to an end.
If shopping is your thing, then you’ll find nowhere better than Seminyak, and since it’s only a 20 minute drive from here to the airport, you can be sure that you’re making the most of your last day in Bali and not wasting it all in the car on a long drive.
When’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Bali?
While Bali gets to enjoy warm weather year round, it can also get its fair share of rainfall. The rainiest months are November to March, so if you’re looking to avoid the rain and all of the humidity that it brings with it, traveling to Bali for your 3-week trip some time between April and October will be your best bet, especially if you’re looking to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, sunbathing or sailing.
There is a downside to the April through October season though, and as you’ve no doubt probably guessed, the lack of rainfall means this is Bali’s peak season for tourism, and July and August especially see the bulk of the country’s visitors. If you do plan to travel during this time you can expect to see hotel prices jump up, but these can typically be avoided by making sure to book well in advance.
Is 3 Weeks in Bali too Long?
If prior to reading this you were wondering whether or not 3 weeks in Bali would be too long then it’s probably safe to say that you’ve realised the error of your ways by this point. Bali is such a rich and exciting country with so much to see and do that even 3 weeks won’t be enough to see nearly all of it, and the fact of the matter is you could come for 6 weeks and still be leaving too soon.
We’re pretty confident that after your 3 weeks in Bali you’ll already be thinking about your next trip back before your plane even leaves the runway, and lucky for you you’ll find plenty of new and exciting places to visit and things to see and do for your inevitable return trip, whenever it may be.
How Much Do I Need for 3 Weeks in Bali?
If you’re going to be spending any time at all in Bali—or anywhere at all—one of the biggest things you’ll want to know is how you should budget for the trip.
On a simple level, the average daily spend on a trip to Bali is Rp918,427 (£51) per person per day, with a total average of Rp19,340,988 (£1,047) for a 3 week trip. To break it down though, some of the average costs you can expect to incur per person per day during your 3 weeks in Bali work out as follows:
- Hotel or hostel accommodation: £29
- Average double hotel room: £58
- Meals: £14
- Entertainment: £7.75
- Alcohol: £2.29
- Local transportation: £6.47
As far as transportation is concerned, you’ll find taxi prices are significantly more than public transport, much like it is back home. Comparatively though it’s all much more affordable for a taxi ride than it is here, so don’t worry about it breaking the bank.
Additionally, the typical admission prices for attractions around the island aren’t high either, usually costing no more than around £1 – £5 per person. The most expensive activities you’ll find will be excursions, but these shouldn’t cost much more than around £30 – £40 per person at most.
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