Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Bali is a magical island that has everything an outdoorsy person dreams of. There are several volcanic mountains (that’s how the island was formed originally), jungles, tremendous rice fields, wide rivers, white and black sand beaches lined with coconut trees and great waves.
You can find plenty of outdoor activities to do in Bali but in this post we’ll provide you the top 10 that we like to do ourselves with our families and bring our guests to do with us:
1. The Hash
The is probably the most amazing, under the radar activity you can do in Bali. It’s basically a jungle walk (or run) off the beaten path. During it you might walk a long a path through rice fields, cross little rivers, walk on water canals, through Hindu temples and through shaded areas of the Balinese jungle.
Every time it’s a different trail. The trail organizers mark the trail with bundles of shredded paper every 20 meters and marks turns with a chalk. So you basically follow the paper trial like the story of Hansel and Gretel. How charming! And the amazing thing is that at the end you get free unlimited beers! (yes, you read it right, it’s not a typo – free unlimited beer) or soda.
There are hash trails three times a week Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Every time arranged in a different location. To find where the hash takes place this week and get the map and GPS coordinates, check out http://bali-hash.com/ or http://balihash2.com/. Cost: 50,000 Rp ($3 USD) and it includes the unlimited beers/drinks and sometimes food.
2. White Water Rafting
Rafting in Bali is not just a fun activity to fill the day for tourists, it also provides a way to view what Bali has to offer, in terms of rice terraces, lush green scenery, rainforests, and rivers. The perfect rivers for white-water rafting activities are the Ayung and TelagaWaja rivers. There are really nice rafting activity packages, which include lunch, showers, insurance and towels. Rafting in Bali is generally safe for children but check with your guide depending on the time of year. The one we used and highly recommend is here:
3. Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
While not one of the tallest in the world (just 1,717 m, 5,633 ft), the mountain is a masterpiece. It’s a great place for tourists and locals to enjoy nature and hiking. The walk up and down are pretty straight forward and everyone, including children 5+ can do it.
Located in the east of Bali in Kintamani, the sunrise is one not to be missed because it is a view of pure nature. Hiking this active volcano, which takes about two hours, is the ultimate outdoor activity for tourists that visit Bali. If you do the sunrise tour, you’ll be picked from your hotel between 2-3AM, have small breakfast at the beginning of the trail or on arrival at the top. Hike up with a guide, see the sunset and then come back by 10AM. If you have small children you may prefer to request a private guide who will help them and, as there are multiple trails to the top, choose a trail that is less steep but a little longer. You can book a cost effective tour here:
Diving is a favorite outdoor activity in Bali as there are so many interesting dive spots on the island, the water is crystal-clear and because it’s a semi-tropical island there is a large variety of tropical fish and sea turtles.
The Pulau Menjangan in west bali is considered one of the best spot for diving in Bali located in the Barat National Park. Another popular spot is located at the north east of Bali next to Amed. You can find there the wreck of the Liberty, a US Army Transport ship sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1942.
There are also nice diving spots in Sanur, which is near Denpasar and also at Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan islands. Local dive shops are the best places to book your diving package in Bali and they can provide cheaper deals then you’ll find online so save yourself money and book it locally.
Hiking down and rappelling through canyon water is an extreme sport in Bali and is considered a popular outdoor activity among people who visit Bali. In many ways, canyoning plays a huge part in helping tourists get closer to the unspoiled nature of Bali. It is a great adventure, where you embed yourself in exciting water streams and see many kinds of plants while canyoning. Canyoning in the forms of walking, caving, scrambling, jumping, sliding and abseiling. A lot of canyoning packages are available with this extreme sport, including professional river guides, equipment, towels and much more.
It is well known that Bali has some of the best surfing spots in the world. The west coast of Bali is really popular among surfers for its surfing activities. Everyone, from a beginner to an expert, is welcome to surf in Bali. There are courses for surfing available on hand to help beginners.
There are also many surf shops with equipment, clothing and other accessories for purchase or rental don’t have to bring your gear and pay your airline for oversized luggage. Get your gear ON! and head for some high quality surfing doing one of the best outdoor activities in Bali.
Trekking is a really popular outdoor activity among tourists visiting Bali. Best done in the early morning, trekking provides some of the best visual sights tourists can witness in Bali. Tropical Trekking is considered a very affordable outdoor activity and most of the packages include hiking sticks, hotel transfers, torches, breakfast, a guide and wet weather gears. Trekking can also be done in jungles, villages and rice paddies. There are naturally many trekking tours to choose from in Bali.
Another great and unique outdoor activity to be enjoyed in Bali, is kitesurfing. During Kitesurfing you are holding a large kite with your hands while standing on a small board (like a wakeboard). The wind pushes you forward and you can navigate on the water and do pretty amazing tricks while controlling the kite. It’s pretty fun and easy to learn within 2-3 lessons. If you come to Bali for a visit, you'll need a medical and travel insurance. We recommend a cost-effective travel and medical insurance. It's just $37/month and the best part, kids under 10 are free!
Bali has a picturesque countryside full of rice fields, coconut trees jungles and mountain range skyline. What better way to explore it closely than cycling.
If you love outdoor adventure you can pedal your way through some rough down hill terrain and countryside roads in Bali.
Cycling in Bali can be much nicer than any other mode of transport because you get to take your own route, can stop anywhere for a rest under a coconut tree and you can experience the rural side of the island up close and personal.
While cycling you can witness some ancient Hindu temples and small religious places, meet local farmers and their families (which are all very kind and nice) and see school kids pass by with their cute uniforms.
If you love to burn calories without spending hours in the gym this is probably the ideal outdoor activity in Bali to do it. There are few cycling shops that provide you with various cycling routes where you can explore Bali in its true form. We tried several and recommend this tour:
10. ATV Rides
There is nothing like an outdoor activity that gets you speeding down the jungle, splashing through mud and getting to marvelous places with breathtaking views. If you are willing to get your hands dirty then taking a ATV tour in Bali is the best place where you can test your driving skills to the extreme.
ATV rides in Ubud are known to be some of the best outdoor activities and are quite popular among tourists as they offer rides in the midst of the jungles high up on Bali’s north in a cool climate, lush greenery and rural setting. It offers a perfect backdrop for those who want to enjoy some laps on a cool 4X4 driving machine.
You will be guided by an ATV professional who will show you how to operate the ATV and take a few introductory spins around the area.
That's it! You have plenty of choices of outdoor activities in Bali. Enjoy this magical island, stay hydrated and don't forget to put some sunscreen :-)