The Ideal Bali Itinerary 7 Days | A First Timer’s Guide to Bali
A visit to Bali is on many people’s bucket lists when it comes to choosing where to go in Indonesia. From its beaches and blue waters to its jungles and waterfalls, Bali has so much diversity to offer its visitors. Spending a week on Bali is a great amount of time to get a feel for a few different areas of the island.
This 7 day Bali itinerary will go over a trip to the jungles of Munduk, the culture center of Ubud, and the beaches of Seminyak. Read on for everything you need to know for a visit.
Before jumping into the itinerary, I wanted to list out a few things to note for this itinerary in particular:
» Assume these are 7 full days on Bali. That would mean arriving early on day 1 or sometime on the previous day, and leaving later on day 7 or sometime on day 8.
» The itinerary begins up north in Munduk before heading to Ubud and ending in Seminyak. You can choose to go through it this way or the opposite if that works better for you.
» I focused this 7 day itinerary on just the Bali mainland. I would also highly recommend a visit to one or more of the Nusa islands located southeast of Bali. I will be writing up a guide on that soon as well.
» The easiest way to get around Bali is to have a private driver. The public transportation bus system isn’t great there and it can take hours out of your day getting from point to point. Splitting $50 USD or so for a driver among your group for the days you travel would be my recommendation.
» You can also rent a scooter for your time on Bali. I will only recommend you doing so if you 100% confident with your abilities to drive the roads. Many accidents do happen for those that do not have the experience.
Below you can find the day by Bali itinerary, which goes over 2 days in Munduk, 3 days in Ubud, and 2 days in Seminyak:
Table of Contents
- 1) How to Get to Bali
- 2) Getting Around the Island
- 3) Where to Stay in Munduk, Ubud, & Seminyak
- 4) When to Visit Bali
- Day 1 – Munduk Waterfall Trek
- Day 2 – Northern Bali Waterfalls
- Day 3 – Northern Bali / Drive to Ubud
- Day 4 – Ubud Attractions
- Day 5 – Mount Batur / Ubud Attractions
- Day 6 & 7 – Drive to Seminyak / Seminyak
Bali Itinerary Map
Below is a map of Bali that pin points each of the attractions mentioned during this 7 day Bali itinerary. If you click the icon on the top left corner of the map, you can see the day by day view.
1) How to Get to Bali
When visiting Bali, you are either coming in internationally or arriving from another part of Indonesia. Below I will go into more detail on how to get to Bali depending on where you are traveling from:
Internationally to Bali
The great thing about Bali is that it is home to an international airport in the city of Denpasar (DPS). You can catch direct flights into the airport from cities all over Asia and Australia. These include but are not limited to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Once you arrive at the airport, make the 2 hour drive north to Munduk.
» Airport Driver Hire Option: Private Bali Airport Round-Trip Transfer: Arrival and Departure (Round-Trip)
Domestically to Bali (Plane & Ferry)
If you are already in Indonesia and looking to head to Bali for your next stop, there are a two main ways to get yourself onto the island – by plane and by boat.
» If coming from places like Jakarta, Flores, or Sumatra, which are all a bit far from Bali, then you can easily take some domestic flights to get into the Denpasar Airport. Some of the main airlines that fly domestically within Indonesia include Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia, Wings Air, Citilink, AirAsia, Batik Air among a few others.
On the other hand, if you are coming from places like East Java or Lombok, you can easily take a boat to Bali. These boats however can get you into different ports on Bali depending where you are coming from.
» From East Java there are consistent passenger/car ferries that make the 30 minute journey between Ketapang and Gilimanuk. Simply show up to the ferry terminal, pay the small fee and you will reach Gilimanuk located on the very western end of Bali.
» From Lombok or any nearby islands like Gili Trawangan, you will want to purchase tickets through a ferry operator. There will be plenty to choose from and all these boats will get you to Sanur, Serangan, or Padang Bai. Feel free to take a look at the different schedules and prices for all routes to Bali from surrounding islands.
2) Getting Around the Island
For the days that you are either going from one city to the next or spending much of the day outside of the city centers, you will need some sort of transportation. As mentioned, the two main ways to go about this would be by private driver or by scooter rental.
Driver Hire ⇒ If you are with a group of people, an easy and cost efficient way to go about your time in Bali is to simply hire a driver for the day. A driver for a full day tour will be pretty affordable – around $40 – $50 USD. Splitting that cost among a few people and you are looking at around $10 – $15 USD per person.
All you would need to do is let your driver know which attractions you are most interested in and you will be on your way from there. They can also be helpful in regards to answering any questions you may have or recommending other places to visit during your time in the city. You can either hire a driver once you arrive in the city or you can set up a driver beforehand.
Book a Private Driver Before You Go ⇔ Bali Private Car Charter With Driver
Scooter Hire ⇒ Hiring a scooter is another option when visiting Bali. But only do so if you are 100% confident with your driving abilities. You should see many options to rent a scooter for around $5 – $10 USD per day. It is also possible that your guesthouse can help organize something for you as well.
Join A Tour ⇒ If you are a solo traveler, want to save some money and are not comfortable on a scooter, I would recommend joining in on some group tour options. These tours will pick and choose several sites and activities around the area and give you time to enjoy each one. It is also a great way to meet other travelers along the way. I will recommend some options further along in the guide when going over some of the day by day attractions.
3) Where to Stay in Munduk, Ubud, & Seminyak
One of the main things you will need to think about when visiting Bali is where to stay in each of the three cities of Munduk, Ubud and Seminyak. Below are some of my recommendations for each:
Since northern Bali is a bit less frequented by tourists, you won’t find those big city centers like Ubud or Seminyak. But you will find some beautiful properties overlooking the surrounding peaceful jungle.
As Ubud is one of the more popular destinations to visit on Bali, there are a ton of different options to choose from. You can decide to stay within the city center itself and be in close proximity to all the restaurants and shops or you can decide to stay a bit further out of town in the serenity of the rice fields and surrounding nature. Below are some highly rated recommendations by price point for both options:
City Center | Outside City Center
Seminyak is packed with all sorts of accommodation options to choose from. Below are some recommended options close to town and/or the beach:
4) When to Visit Bali
Bali is pretty much split up between two main seasons – the dry season that runs from April to October and the rainy season that runs from November to March.
Just because you visit in the rainy season, doesn’t mean every day will be full of rain and just because you visit in the dry season, doesn’t mean every day will be perfectly clear. On average though, you will see more rain and clouds during the rainy season and that can certainty impact your visit to Bali and some of the attractions that you will want to visit.
You may also want to think about when the most tourists visit Bali, and that is usually in the summer months of July and August. While great for weather, you will find it to be the most crowded time of year. I visited in June and thought it was a great time to visit to balance the weather and the crowds.
A Bali Itinerary 7 Days
Now that you have some solid background on Bali, I will now go into more details about the day by day one week Bali itinerary. Once you land at DPS Airport or get in by boat from Java on the west side or the Pendidas/Gilis/Lombok from the east side, hop in a taxi / private car and make the drive up north to Munduk.
Day 1 – Munduk Waterfall Trek
For your first day in Bali, you can head on a beautiful waterfall trek through the jungle surrounding Munduk. The trail starts right in town at the Melanting Cottages and visits 4 different waterfalls throughout the valley floor.
Beyond visiting the four waterfalls, you will also get to enjoy some great views of the surrounding jungle as you trek your way through. You are also sure to pass by small warung restaurants where you can have some lunch and you can end the day at the Eco Café overlooking the final waterfall of Golden Valley.
Starting Point: Melanting Cottages
Waterfall #1: Labuhan Kebo Waterfall
Waterfall #2: Melanting Waterfall
Waterfall #3: Munduk Waterfall / Red Coral
Waterfall #4: Golden Valley Waterfall
Ending Point: Road Above Golden Valley
At day’s end you can either have a pre arranged driver pick you up from the ending point or you can walk back to your hotel if you are not too far away.
» Learn more all about the day in the Munduk Waterfall Hiking Guide up on the site
Day 2 – Northern Bali Waterfalls
For your second day in Munduk you can head on a day trip and visit some more scenic waterfalls and viewpoints in northern Bali. The easiest option here is to hire your own driver for the day, so all logistics will be taken care of for you.
Danau Buyan Viewpoint
On your way to the waterfalls, you can stop by any one of the numerous viewpoints that overlook the Danau Buyan lake. Some of these viewpoints are free to enjoy while others such as Wanagiri Hidden Hills, you may need to pay a few dollars to take a photo in some of their props (swings, nests, etc) overlooking the lake.
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls
After enjoying the view for a bit, it will just be a 10 minute drive to the first waterfall of the day – the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls. This is one of Bali’s most scenic waterfalls, and here you will have the chance to jump into the water and enjoy a nice morning swim.
» Learn more in the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls Guide
Next up is Sekumpul Waterfall, which actually comprises of three waterfalls within the valley – the Hidden, Sekumpul and the Fiji Waterfalls. If you decide to head down to all three, then a guide will join you to get you going in the right direction.
What I really enjoyed about a visit here, is that you get to enjoy a nice hike in the valley, across the rivers, and through the water as you go from one waterfall to the next. It is more than just a simple visit to a waterfall.
» The Sekumpul Waterfall Guide will go over everything you need to know about the experience
Aling Aling Waterfall
Finish up the day at the adventurous Aling Aling Waterfall. This waterfall area offers a bit of a different experience from any others you will visit on Bali. At Aling Aling you will find a variety of different waterfalls, where you can cliff jump and slide down into the pools below.
There are 5, 10, and 15 meter jumps to choose from and a natural waterfall slide. When it comes to adrenaline activities on Bali, this is definitely one of them. After enjoying some jumping and swimming, you can check out the main Aling Aling Waterfall, one of the tallest on the island.
» Go into more detail about the waterfalls in the Aling Aling Guide up on the site
Day 3 – Northern Bali / Drive to Ubud
Now that you have seen the jungles and waterfalls of northern Bali, it is time to start making your way down to the center of the island to Ubud.
Similar to the previous day, it would make most sense here to get a driver to pick you up in Munduk, take you to a few attractions along the way, and drop you off in Ubud at day’s end.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
The first stop of the two stops will be at the Ulan Danu Beratan Temple, which is built on right on the Beratan lake. This Hindu temple was built in 1633 and is used for ceremonies of the Balinese water goddess Dewi Danu. Not only can you enjoy the over water temple, but you can also spend some time walking around the rest of the temple site that is full of other structures to visit.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Continue the drive south and make your way to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. The rice fields are one of my favorite spots in Bali, where you can get some beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. You enjoy the views from the top of the rice fields and then decide to take one of the many hiking trails within them too. There are trail options ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours so feel free to pick one that suits you best.
Once all done at the rice fields, you can enjoy a nice lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the area before heading on the 75 minute drive to Ubud.
» Read up on the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces Guide for more details about the experience
Day 4 – Ubud Attractions
Your first day in Ubud will bring you to 5 attractions in and around the city. Try to get an earlier start to the day because you will want to get an early sleep in for your Mt Batur sunrise the following morning. You can also learn more about Ubud in particular in the Ubud Itinerary I have up on the site.
Once again, since these attractions are spread out, it would make the most sense to hire a driver (or rent a scooter) for the day. Here are some tour options you can choose from, however note that they may not go to each place mentioned below.
Start off the day by heading to Goa Gajah, also known as the Elephant Cave. Here you find a Hindu archeological site with its main attraction being a unique cave temple. You will also find some other sections of the site including a pond, waterfall, and garden.
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
One of the best waterfalls in the immediate vicinity of Ubud is the Kanto Lampo waterfall. Heading to the waterfall at the start of the day is your best bet to avoid many of the crowds that are sure to come in later on. Here you will find a scalable rock face with the water coming down from above. Be careful as you do climb since it is obviously pretty wet up there.
Pura Gunung Kawi
One of my favorite stops on my Bali itinerary was the Pura Gunung Kawi temple. Unlike some of the other stops around the area, Pura Gunung Kawi was mostly empty of tourists and it offered a beautiful temple ground. The highlight were the various massive structures that were built into the wall itself. It was incredible seeing the detail and hard work put into building such a place.
Pura Tirta Empul
You last temple stop of the day can be at the well-known Pura Tirta Empul water temple. This temple will be unlike any others you have come across, probably anywhere. At Pura Tirta Empul you will see many people in the main water section of the temple, as they cleanse themselves with the water coming out of the various spouts.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
End your day at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, the most famous in all of Bali. Rather than a large open area of terraces, Tegalalang features more dramatic terraces within a narrow valley. In order to visit them, you will need to head down from the main road into the terraces, where you can then walk all around, enjoying different angles and viewpoints.
You are also sure to come by all sorts of different swings and picture opportunities as you make your way around. Usually to go on these swings, baskets, etc. you will need to pay a few dollars.
Once you are back from the rice terraces, have dinner, and get to bed since wakeup will be at 2:00AM!
Day 5 – Mount Batur / Ubud Attractions
In the early morning hours of day 5 you will make the climb up Bali’s most famous volcano – Mount Batur. The volcano is located further towards the north side of the island, around an hour or so drive from Ubud to the base of the volcano.
In order to take part of the hike, you absolutely must have a guide. Not because it is difficult or hard to figure out, but because the mountain is basically controlled by the locals. They simply don’t let anyone near the entrances without a local guide. Here are a couple highly recommended tours to join when climbing Batur:
Once you reach the starting point you will start the 2 hour climb up to the top. The climb itself is not too difficult as the path is pretty maintained and not too steep. Once up top, find a nice spot to sit and wait for the sun to rise over Bali.
After sunrise is complete, I would recommend walking the ridge and making the full loop back to the main path. Having the chance to take in these new views will surely not disappoint. You can then head right back down the main path until you are back at the starting point.
It is then back to Ubud, which you should get to around 11AM or so. Feel free to rest for a few hours before heading to the Sacred Monkey Forest & the Saraswati Temple sometime in the afternoon.
» Read more about this hiking experience in the Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking Guide up on the site
Sacred Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest is one of the most well known and visited sites in Ubud. Here you will find a huge complex with monkeys hanging out in every which direction. Now this is not a zoo whatsoever, the monkeys are not caged. They are free to roam around as they please into and out of the complex. Walking around the area and enjoying being surrounded by all these monkeys is sure to be an incredible experience to take part of.
After enjoying a couple hours with the monkeys, you can make the walk to the Saraswati Temple, which is also located near town. From the monkey forest it is about a 20 minute walk. Here you will find a beautiful temple area with lily pad filled ponds leading up to the main structure. Another option here is to have drinks or food at one of the restaurants that overlook the temple and ponds, making for a very scenic lunch spot.
Day 6 & 7 – Drive to Seminyak / Seminyak
After 5 days of touring all around Bali and enjoying all sorts of highlights, it is time to just enjoy some relaxation on the southern beaches of Bali. On the morning of day 6 you can make the hour drive to Seminyak, check into your hotel and relax on the beach.
The rest of day 6 and all of day 7 can just be spent enjoying the town of Seminyak and finding a lounge spot at one of the many beach clubs that line the sand.
This will be the perfect way to end your 7 days in Bali to get you all rested and relaxed. After enjoying Seminyak, it is either back home or onto your next destination in Indonesia.
I hope this one week Bali itinerary has helped you better prepare for a trip to this Indonesian island and has answered any questions you may have had.
If you do have any questions or comments feel free to write them in below. Also don’t forget to check out the other Indonesia itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!