The Best Time to Visit Bali: A Season-by-Season Breakdown
As the most popular and well-known island in Indonesia, Bali is a bustling hotspot no matter the time of year. Whether you choose family-friendly Nusa Dua, spiritual Ubud, or buzzy Seminyak, there’s something for every traveler on the “Island of the Gods.” Read on to discover which season best suits your priorities and start planning your Balinese escape.
While it can often seem like the island goes from busy to busier, tourism ebb and flow typically coincides with weather patterns. Bali has two distinct seasons, the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March). Fewer rains and less humidity make the dry season the most popular time to visit, whereas the wet season can yield fewer crowds and more affordable nightly rates. Travelers can also take advantage of shoulder seasons—such as the beginning or tail-end of the dry season—when the weather is moderate but the island is still abuzz.
Spring (March to May)
The beginning of the dry season is one of the best times to visit Bali: crowds are light and the rains drop off dramatically by the end of March. Though temperatures typically hover in the 90s (more or less the norm for Bali outside of high season), you’ll find a comfortable breeze in beach towns such as Seminyak, Uluwatu, Canggu, and Nusa Dua.
Travelers who prefer to park it on the sand all day can rent a lounge chair at trendy Sundays Beach Club, in Ungasan. Not only is the beachfront super private, but the club stays open through the evening, allowing you to cap your rosé all day with a bonfire dinner.
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If it’s a sunset ‘Gram you crave, head to Jimbaran’s Rock Bar, one of the premier venues to take in Bali’s sorbet-hued kaleidoscopic skies. Be sure to arrive early so you don’t have to wait in line—the open-air bar is situated on an elevated platform above the ocean and accessible only by funicular, so headcount is strict.
Burrata in Bali might sound like an oxymoron, but you’ll be surprised by the quality of the Italian fare at Da Maria. The Seminyak restaurant is an Amalfi Coast doppelgänger, and the mouthwatering homemade pastas and pizzas are sure to fire up your date night (or induce a carbo-coma).
Summer (June to August)
If moderate temperatures and less humidity are a requirement for your Balinese vacay, then the high season summer months are for you. Temperatures hover in the mid-80s and rainfall is at its lowest, so take your pick—every corner of the island is in its prime.
Escape the crowds on lesser-known beaches, like locals-only Thomas Beach or Bingin Beach, in Uluwatu. About halfway down the stretch of white sand you’ll find Kelly’s Warung, a hole-in-wall café serving one of the island’s tastiest frozen dragonfruit bowls.
You’ll have to book a room at the Bvlgari Resort Bali to eat at La Spiagga, but it’s worth the expensive overnight. Not only are the grilled seafood and Herbojito cocktails legendary, the cliffside setting and super private surrounds guarantee the exclusive vacay vibes you’ll crave during high season.
Fall (September to November)
The tail end of the dry season and beginning of the wet season is another timely bridge to take advantage of.
Now’s the time to head to the heart of the island, Ubud, where, thanks to more reasonable rates, you can splurge on a riverfront pool villa at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. By day, snap pics of mind-blowing sites like Tegalalang Rice Terrace before being lulled to sleep by the rushing waters of the Ayung River.
Adventure enthusiasts can make the guided trek up Mount Batur, a 5,000-foot, still-active volcano near the northwestern village of Kintamani. Or, test your balance on the breaks off surfer’s paradise Canggu. After you towel off, head to L.A.-meets-Bali lounge The Lawn Canggu, where the beachfront setting and sunset views tee up the perfect evening.
Winter (December to February)
The weather is largely unpredictable during the height of the wet season: rainstorms may dissipate within a few hours or deliver a constant downpour for days on end. (Do yourselves a favor and pack extra bug spray.)
However, there are advantages to traveling in winter, beyond the affordable room rates. The island’s already lush landscapes spring to life during the “green” season, and you might find attractions like Ubud’s Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) all to yourselves.
Same goes for some of the island’s prohibitively popular restaurant/bars. While there’s often a line out the door for Single Fin’s famously fun Sunday night dance parties, fewer crowds mean guaranteed front-row seats for a postcard-worthy sunset dinner in Uluwatu.
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