The Bali Travel Guide for Couples: Things to Do & Vacation Packages

Escape to one of the most photographed islands in the world.
Couple visiting a rice field in bali
Photo: raquel arocena torres
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
by
James Wong
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
Travel Writer & Expert
  • James Wong is a freelance travel writer and expert.
  • He's reported for publications including VOGUE, GQ, Time Out and Thrillist.
  • James has lived in London, Tokyo and New York; and has traveled to almost every corner of the world.
Updated Oct 27, 2023
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Impossibly beautiful by every stretch, traveling to the island of Bali is a romantic dream come true. Imagine hiking alongside cascading waterfalls, sunbathing on golden sand and wildlife-watching in a national park, all with the love of your life by your side. That's why they call Bali true bliss. Although the secret is out, Bali still has plenty of corners for seclusion. Its luxury hotels and eco villas are fully equipped not only to pamper, but also to offer a level of intimacy that few major tourist islands can. It's all in the design and the sweeping jungle backdrop here. Some spots are nestled high in the mountains, while others are by the turquoise oceanfront, so guests can get multiple perspectives of the Balinese scenery. Venturing outside is filled with wonder at every turn.

Now Bali's not the quickest destination to reach from the US (in many cases, you'll take around two flights to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, then board a domestic flight to Denpasar), but with a little effort comes great rewards. Once you're there, it's VIP vacation all the way—exactly what you need to hear when taking a honeymoon, an anniversary trip or simply a romantic getaway. Bali is affordable, gorgeous and a true separation from the realities of day-to-day life—here's everything you need to know before falling head over heels for this little slice of paradise.
Bali Travel Trips in this Article:

    The Best Time to Travel to Bali

    Pura Ulun Danu Bratan in Bali, Indonesia
    Photo: Jackyenjoyphotography

    Bali experiences year-round warm weather, between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It has two seasons: one rainy and one dry. You'll likely want to be here for the (peak) dry season, which runs from April to October. The rainy season isn't as bad as you'd think—it generally rains for a few hours, then clears up quickly, so you can still head out to explore. (But admittedly, the rainy season can be a little uncomfortable if you're not used to humidity.) Bali is a major tourist destination, so key attractions and businesses remain open year-round to cater to the demand. However, religious sites may be closed on special ceremonies and festival days, so check ahead before visiting them.

    Bali Travel Tips

    Happy couple standing near window at villa in Bali
    Photo: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

    In most cases, flights to Jakarta via the US take over 24 hours with connections in Europe or the Middle East (coming east), and East Asia (coming west). From there, it's less than two hours to Denpasar Airport (DPS). The best way to get around is by car. Download the Grab or Gojek app before arriving (their versions of Uber), or hail a taxi at the airport. Note that travelers from many countries are offered a visa upon arrival at DPS, including the US, the UK and Australia.

    Is Bali Good for a Romantic Vacation?

    Couple laying together looking at sunset over ocean in Bali
    Photo: Panuwat Dangsungnoen / Getty Images

    Pros of a Bali Vacation

    A list of Bali activities reads like a honeymoon bucket list, and you can actually check off as many as you desire. The island is exceptional value for money by US standards, where $1 equates to 15,600 Indonesian Rupiah. Just $20 affords you a romantic, candlelit meal for two. The weather is superb, hovering at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, shining on some of the most beautiful sights you'll ever see. Yes, it looks just like you saw on the 'Gram. Bali also offers a chance to indulge in wellness, and you'll reemerge refreshed, rejuvenated and, most importantly, reconnected.

    Cons of a Bali Vacation

    Bali is one of the world's most posted-about islands, so the key tourist attractions are extremely busy. You don't just turn up to Lempuyang Temple and get the perfect snap—

    you get there at 5 a.m. and wait for an hour in line. On the plus side, all of these sites are organized with a queuing system, which is how the photos end up so perfect. (There clearly is a method to the madness.) Another con is the lack of public transportation, but the cost of rideshares is very affordable. An hour-long ride from the airport to Ubud is between $20 and $25.

    Places to Visit in Bali

    Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia
    Photo: Ali Trisno Pranoto / Getty Images

    Seminyak

    Couples looking to be pampered are spoiled in Seminyak, a beach resort destination at the southern end of the island. Here lies all of the best five-star luxury resorts, spas and fine-dining restaurants. Seminyak Beach and Petitenget Beach are among Bali's most beloved.

    Canggu

    Hipster Canggu on the south coast is popular with digital nomads, drawn to the area thanks to an abundance of artisanal cafés, vegan shacks and a roaring coastline that's ideal for surfing. Close to Seminyak, it's also within easy access to the island's top nightlife and entertainment.

    Ubud

    Probably the most well-known of Bali's towns, Ubud is surrounded by rainforest and rice paddies, lush in greenery and dotted with temples and shrines. Despite the jungle location, it's got a bubbling nightlife scene, and remember: Bali is small, so you're never far from the beach, even if you're based here.

    Nusa Dua

    The further south you go, the bluer the waters are. Nusa Dua has some of the prettiest beaches in Bali, and they're much less crowded, with the exception of the famous Pandawa Beach. Nusa Dua offers luxury villas, golf courses and plenty of watersport activities, including scuba.

    Things to Do in Bali

    Couple taking selfie on scooter ride in bali
    Photo: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

    We've outlined the best things to do in Bali for couples, from spa treatments to famous tourist attractions.

    Get a Couples Massage by the Ocean

    For the couples massage to end all couples massages, check into the AYANA Spa. The ocean rituals treatment is a "drift and dream" wellness session held within one of two private spa villas. They're perched atop a cliffside, surrounded by the deep blue Indian Ocean. Therapists perform a Balinese ceremony, followed by a mask and a delicious full-body massage. Combined with the sounds and sights of the ocean, the immersive retreat is a dream come true.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Take a Cooking Class

    Discover Balinese food like kare ayam (chicken curry) with a traditional cooking class. AirBnb Experiences has options run by locals all over the island. Many include a visit to pick up fresh produce from the vibrant markets, a lesson in spices and herbs, and a fun and educational cooking session catered to your dietary requirements. The best part? The multi-course meal at the end. Yum.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Get Your Honeymoon Snaps on a Private Photo Tour

    An Instagram tour, as it's called on GetYourGuide, may not sound like the most romantic excursion, but trust us because we've tried it. With so many jaw-dropping sights to check off in Bali, this tour places you in the hands of an expert-meets-chauffeur—somebody who's at the iconic spots every single day. They'll know what time to get to Lempuyang Temple to avoid crowds and where the best spots to take photos at Tirta Gangga are, plus they'll take care of pretty much everything else, including entrance fees and keeping you hydrated. For an extra $28, you can have a private tour (recommended).

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Make Furry Friends at the Sacred Monkey Forest

    One of Ubud's most popular attractions, you can't come to Bali without encountering its famous monkeys. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a nature reserve and temple complex that's home to over 1,260 long-tailed macaques that are considered sacred by the community. Remember, these are wild animals, so keep your distance and do not bring food or snacks into the park. Pro tip: Visit on a weekend and witness the traditional Lubdhaka Dance performed here as part of your entrance fee.

    4.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Barbecue on the Beach

    Slurp Bali's ocean bounty at The Beach Grill. The restaurant serves fresh catch of the day (like scallops and lobster), plus premium steaks to the soothing sights and sounds of the Indian Ocean. Be sure to save room for dessert because each one is a work of art. Extra special occasions like proposals can be marked in their beachfront gazebo. Here lies a private table where couples can feast on a specially curated five-course tasting menu with bubbles.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Best Bali Vacation Packages and Resorts

    Pool at Hanging Gardens of Bali resort
    Photo: The Hanging Gardens of Bali

    Bali is packed with luxury villas, rentals and spa resorts, all of which make for a sumptuous time for couples. Here are our choices for a romantic vacation in Bali.

    The Hanging Gardens of Bali

    A foray into the jungle, The Hanging Gardens of Bali is a social media sensation, so book early to avoid disappointment. Their villas are like luxury tree houses that come with personal infinity pools and terraces. On site, guests have access to an outdoor spa and an award-winning restaurant. Honeymoon packages include a stay in their Panoramic Pool Villa, dinner under the stars, a couples spa treatment and floating breakfast in your pool.

    Buahan, Payangan, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80571

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

    Overlooking the beach in Nusa Dua, this luxury resort is where lovers can tie the knot (there's a breathtaking glass chapel on the premises) and begin their honeymoon on the same day. The sky villas come with their own infinity pool high above the palm trees. Being a resort, guests are also spoiled with a slew of dining options (we love Bejana for authentic Indonesian cuisine) and a glorious spa inspired by the power of healing waters.

    Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan Jl. Nusa Dua, Lot III, Sawangan, Kec. Kuta Sel., Bali 80361

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Luxe Nomad

    To stay in cozy, home-like digs in Bali, check into The Luxe Nomad. They have plush rental options starting at just $105 per night. Think prime locations, private pools and all the home comforts you could ever want. At Villa Du Bah, a short drive from hip Canggu, couples can cook romantic dinners and admire the beauty of its tropical gardens. Private chefs and/or grocery services can be provided for added luxury.

    Jalan Merta Sari N.78 Kerobokan Kelod, Kerobokan, Kuta Utara, Badung Regency, Bali 80361

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    AYANA Segara

    There are multiple choices on the massive AYANA Resort, but for couples, we recommend staying on AYANA Segara. An Indonesian-born hotelier, the recently opened Segara offers chic rooms with views of Jimbaran Bay, as well as deep soaking bathtubs bubbling with local Sensatia products. Guests have full access to the rest of the resort, including the famous Rock Bar and the Kubu Beach Club.

    Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera Karang Mas Estate, Jimbaran, Bali 80364

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    What to Pack for a Bali Vacation

    Woman packing suitcase for Bali
    Photo: d3sign / Getty Images

    A tropical climate means heat and humidity, so bring quick-drying outfits if you're strapped for space. When visiting temples and religious sites, guests may be asked to cover their legs and shoulders, as well as remove shoes, so pack a shawl, a sarong and flip-flops. Finally, beware of the notorious Bali Belly. It's extremely common, even when on a complete five-star trip. Always bring a box of Imodium with you just in case it strikes when you least expect it.

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