Bali is an enchanting destination that continues to impress all who grace it’s tropical shores. Discover all you need to know about the island of Bali, from comprehensive region guides
1 | South Bali
(Kuta, Bukit Peninsula, Canggu, Denpasar, Jimbaran, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, Tanah Lot)
This is by far the most popular region of Bali with visitors. The airport is here along with the greater Kuta area which now stretches several km to incorporate Legian and Seminyak. The area south from the airport is quieter and largely upscale including Jimbaran and Nusa Dua.
The areas north of Seminyak up the coast to Canggu and on to Tanah Lot are more rural but fast being developed also. Sanur on the opposite coast is a mature tourist town which appeals mostly to older families.
The most visited part of the island by far, with Kuta Beach and chic Seminyak.
2 | Central Bali
(Ubud, Bedugul, Tabanan)
This by definition is a large and varied region. It is mostly known though for the artistic and cultural capital of Bali in Ubud and the mountains and lakes around Bedugul. Several of Bali’s most notable archeological sites are also to be found here as well as two of the key nine directional temples.
With a prevalence of artistic, cultural, historical and scenic attractions, Central Bali appeals most those looking for break from the sun, sand and partying in South Bali or to those who are seeking a more thorough understanding of this complex island.
The cultural heart of Bali and the central mountain range.
3 | West Bali
(Negara, Gilimanuk, Medewi Beach, Pemuteran, West Bali National Park)
This is the least populated and least visited region of Bali.
It is dominated by the West Bali National Park and a huge area of protected reserve, much of which is completely uninhabited.
Both the north and south coasts of this region offer quiet beaches but of a very different nature. Those in the north fringe calm seas which are excellent for diving and snorkelling.
The southern beaches are wilder and include a number of renowned surfing spots. The town of Gilimanuk on the very westernmost tip of Bali is the departure point for ferries to Java.
Ferries to Java and the West Bali National Park.
4 | North Bali
(Lovina, Munduk, Singaraja)
This is an area far removed from the hectic pace that can be so apparent in South Bali.
In Dutch colonial days, Singaraja with its port and easy access from Java was the administrative capital of the island. Touches of that history still remain with the noticeably wide streets and the occasional old house which has retained the large gardens which would have pleased the Dutch so much. This combines to give Singaraja a different feel and atmosphere to any other town or city in Bali.
Lovina is the other area of the region often visited by tourists.
The name Lovina was actually coined for tourism development purposes in the 1950s and consists of three traditional villages along a stretch of black sand fringed coastline. Development has been a bit haphazard here but that just seems to add to its laid back charm.
Lovina is popular with visitors who want a beachside holiday in Bali but do not want the hectic pace of the resort regions of South Bali.
Quiet black sand beaches and the old capital city.
5 | East Bali
(Amed, Besakih, Candidasa, Kintamani, Klungkung, Mount Agung, Padang Bai, Tirta Gangga)
East Bali is a large region with natural habitat ranging from lush forests and black sand beaches to barren gravel plains and an active volcano.
The south coast is home to the popular seaside resort town of Candidasa and ferries to Lombok at Padang Bai. Mighty Mount Agung, Bali’s highest volcano, looms large over the whole of East Bali and hosts Bali’s holiest of temples, Pura Besakih. In the far east, Amed is an increasingly popular and ever charming stretch of coast.
East Bali provides as much for visitors as any of Bali’s regions.
Laid back coastal villages, an active volcano and the mighty Mount Agung.
6 | Southeastern Islands
(Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan)
These three islands sit some 15 km off the southeastern coast of Bali. The Badung Strait separates the islands from Bali. All three feature white sand beaches and wonderfully crystal clear waters.
Nusa Lembongan is by far the best known by visitors and has a well developed level of tourism-related infrastructure within its eight square kilometres or so. This is a popular surfing location with three highly rated breaks, has some lovely beaches and coves and a range of accommodation to suit all budgets.
Nusa Ceningan is a tiny island where few people stay but it is easily reached via a suspension bridge from Nusa Lembongan. Has a well regarded surf break and is a fun place to explore.
Nusa Penida is huge in comparison to the other two at more than 200 square kilometres. It is though a wild and untamed island in every imaginable way and has very little in the way of tourist facilities. This is an island of stunning natural rugged beauty and tourist development plans have been rumoured and mooted to no effect for many years now. Currently, Nusa Penida is best known as a world class diving destination.
Quiet offshore islands in the southeast, popular for diving activities.