Ultimate 3-week Route Guide on what to do in Bali

Ultimate 3-week Route Guide on what to do in Bali

Ultimate 3-week Route Guide on what to do in Bali

Bali is popular and there is a good reason why. The island is beautiful, the beaches are perfect for sunbathing and surfing, hiking is great, the locals on Bali are kind, and Bali is affordable. We created a 3-week Bali route guide to help you plan your trip but also give you some additional places to add to your route through Bali.

Everything about Bali

To start off, the Map of Bali. Save it on Pinterest! ⇟

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3 week bali route map

Bali route guide, 3-week travel plan

This 3-week Bali route guide includes all kind of sceneries like paradise looking beaches, incredible cliffs drops, waterfalls and the northern mountain views. The route is improved by our own experience, by the things we didn’t know before we’ve visited Bali. Bali is relatively small, distances are short but it can take some time to just drive an of distance of 15 km.  You can either get around by driver or by renting a motorbike.

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3-week bali route guide angels billabong

Some of the days below contain links to much more information about that specific location.

Day 1 – 2: Flying to Denpasar, staying in Canggu

Flying into Denpasar Airport doesn’t mean you have to stay in Denpasar after your flight. From the airport, take a taxi to Canggu. Canggu is a laid back, trendy surf-vibe town.
⇸ Read about: 6 Things to do in laid back Canggu

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3-week bali route guide canggu food

Day 3 – 4: Staying with a local family

Bali is known for its luxury and perfect island life. Have a unique experience while staying with a local family in Bali. You will learn so much about life, food, and culture in Bali. The best part is that you will make a lot of new life lasting friendships. We stayed in Gadugan, which is a 1-hour drive from Canggu.
⇸ Read about: Staying with a local family on Bali

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Day 5 – 6: Staying in the Munduk area

Many people do a day trip to the Munduk area for the temple at Tamblingan Lake. Actually staying in Munduk will give you the time to see even more beautiful places. The area is a little cooler and can feel really comfortable. Waterfalls, swings, coffee, trekking, Munduk has it all. From Gadugan to Munduk is a solid 2.5-hour drive.

⇸ Read about: 7 Things to do around Munduk

Location: Munduk Moding Plantation

Day 7 – 10: Ubud and Waterfalls

From Munduk, organize a trip to do the Bali waterfall route and end your trip in Ubud. Do a one or two-day trip and be amazed by Bali’s beauty.
P.S. There is a driver recommendation included in the next link.

⇸ Read about: Bali Waterfall Route

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Ubud is a great village in the center of Bali. There is so much going on here like the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, countless waterfalls, yoga retreats and many more things to do in Ubud.

 Read more: 14 x Things to do in Ubud

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Pssttt: Combine your Bali route with this Central and East Java route.

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3-week Bali route guide Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Day 11 – 13: Gili Air

After the great life in Ubud, head over to one of the smallest islands you will ever be. There are no cars or asphalt roads on the Gili Air. Get around by bike, relax at one of the many beaches, go on a search for turtles and enjoy the most incredible sunsets.

⇸ Read about: Gili Air island Guide

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3-week bali route guide hammock swing gili air

Day 14 – 16: Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida

From Gili Air, hop on the boat and go to Nusa Lembongan. It takes about 3.5-hours to get from Gili to Nusa. The Nusa Islands are less tropical but the vibes and views here are just right.

 Read more: Nusa Lembongan Guide

Nusa Penida can be seen in a Nusa Penida day tour. However, if you have the time we recommend you to do a 3-day Nusa Penida trip.

Day 17 – 18: Nusa Ceningan

Nusa Ceningan and Lembongan are connected via a yellow suspension bridge which is just wide enough to cross it with a motorbike. The life on the Nusa Islands is good and we would recommend staying on Ceningan for one or two nights. Nusa Ceningan is just a 20-min trip from Nusa Lembongan town.

⇸ Read about: Nusa Lembongan Guide

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3-week bali route guide cliff jump

Day 19 – 21: Uluwatu or Canggu

The last days your trip you can either spend in Uluwatu or again Canggu. Both places are close to the airport, laid back and you can surf as well. We loved Canggu’s vibe and stayed there. 

➳ Read: Things to do in Uluwatu

Planning to spend more time in Indonesia? Plan an unforgettable Komodo Islands boat tour.

Best time to visit Bali

Bali’s absolutely best time to visit runs from May until July. However, if you are a surfer you might want to pick another season. May to October are known as the best season to surf around Bali.
➳ Must read: 3-week Indonesia Route

Costs of food in Bali

The price of food in Bali is different per city and kind of meal. Eat very local food in a not too fancy looking place and you will pay $1.50 for a full plate of delicious food. When eating across the road at this great looking and tasting vegan place, you probably will pay somewhere from $5 – $8 per meal.

Flight tickets Bali

The price of a flight ticket to Bali can be half when going offseason. We found our ticket deal via Skyscanner. We paid €700 for a 1-stop return flight from Amsterdam, which is not the cheapest but the flight was only 15 hours. With a 1-hour layover in Singapore.

We got you a $15 discount at Booking.com if you book via this link, you’re welcome!

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And for the last bit of Bali inspiration, watch our short video. Enjoy Bali! 

17/03/2019 https://www.saltinourhair.com/bali/bali-route-guide/
Blog comments (76)

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  • Woaw, incredible guide!! Very useful and amazing pictures :) Thanks for the great inspiration!
    I am planning on going to Bali, but can only travel during January, when it is rainy season. Would you recommend specific places on Bali that is better than others? I am considering Munduk, Canggu, Ubud, Nusa, Uluwatu, Gili Air – as you have written amazing reviews of these places ;) .
    I would very much love to see rice terraces and hiking a volcano, but I am not sure if it is possible during the rainy season? Can you maybe help with some advice.
    Best, Astrid

    • Salt in our Hair

      Thanks Astrid! That plan sounds great…unfortunately because it’s rainy season then it’s unlikely you will be able to hike a volcano. A lot of trekking paths are often closed over this time :( However, the monsoon season ( especially at the back end of January after the holidays) is actually a great time to visit Bali, as it can be much quieter and sometimes the rain will only be brief and still plenty of sun! Have a lovely trip!

  • Sandy smith

    Great amount of information!!! Due to work commitments, we have to travel in the month of January from Canada for 5-6 weeks. Over the last 5 years, we explored Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines. Bali and surrounding islands are our next exploring desires however it being rainy season worries me a bit. From looking at the last 3 years of weather, sunny and hot during the day with evening and night time showers for short times. No prediction of the weather however in Jan, 2019 we had hit and miss with rain and sunshine in Thailand and looks the same in Bali. We still had a wonderful vacation!! Thoughts and advice? Makes me want to play it by ear… not book any accommodations and be on the “fly to Thailand” should the forecast be rain throughout the days in Bali. Thoughts and advice would be grateful!!

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Sandy,
      In our experience during that time in Bali it is very likely to expect rain most days. However it normally lasts only a few hours and this can be during the night too. If you don’t mind this though, then we would highly recommend going to Bali at this time of year as its low season, so much quieter and cheaper! If you are flexible then maybe your best option is not to book accommodation too far ahead so you can make an escape plan if you decide the rain is too much. Enjoy!

  • Hi there,

    Oh wow, love your blog! Thank you so much, we are definitely going to do this trip. The only thing is that we have kids and would like to end in Kuta where the Waterbom Park is… we are thinking of doing:
    Canggu > Ubud > Gili Air > Kuta DPS? How do we get from Gili Air to DPS?

  • Geethanjali

    Hi, It’s such a lovely blog and you paint a beautiful picture of Bali ! We are going for 7 nights and 8 days. We definitely want to cover Ubud. But could you suggest an itinerary? We are not looking for night life. But are looking for a diving experience.. thanks so much!

  • Hi Hannah & Nick,

    Afgelopen zaterdag was ik bij brouwersdam en zag ik jullie met jullie lieve hondje wandelen! Jullie zijn echt een leuk stel! Maar ik heb een vraagje.. Mijn vriend en ik zijn van plan om van 2 augustus (komen 3 augustus laat aan) tot en met 25 augustus (vertrekken zeer vroeg) in Bali te verblijven. Nu vraag ik me af of dit een goed plan is;

    Seminyak – 2 nachten , Canggu – 3 nachten, Munduk – 3 nachten, Ubud – 4 nachten, Sanur – 1 nacht (zodat we de volgende ochtend de eerste boot kunnen pakken), Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan – 2 nachten, Nusa Penida – 3 nachten, Uluwatu – 3 nachten, Seminyak – 1 nacht.

    Wij zijn pas 19 jaar en hebben daarom ook geen groot budget. Mijn vriend is videograaf en zou daarom graag alle gave plekken willen bezoeken dus als ik iets mis of beter kan plannen hoor ik het graag!

    Daarnaast heb ik een vraagje over de motoren. Heb je hier een internationaal rijbewijs voor nodig en is het rijden te doen wanneer je verder nog nooit met een motor hebt gereden?

    Ps. Ik vind jullie blogs super en ik ben echt fan van jullie foto’s op instagram!

    • Hi Paulien,

      Ah grappig dat je ons hebt zien lopen! Haha
      Jullie trip is eigenlijk zo goed als perfect. Er is 1 ding wat we zouden aanpassen. Seminyak en Canggu liggen super dicht bij elkaar dus het is eigenlijk zonde om 5 nachten te besteden in dezelfde area.
      Wij zouden dan starten met 3 nachten in Canggu en die 2 nachten die je over hebt van Seminyak toevoegen aan Nusa Lemongan & Nusa Ceningan.

      Heel veel plezier!

  • Hi!
    We are going from LA to Bali for 3 weeks in mid October for a family celebration. We are staying in Kuta for the first week with the extended family then we were thinking of heading to Thailand. After seeing your Guide we are now planning to stay in Bali for the remaining time. We would love to see it all but not sure we will have time-We will only have 8 days to explore after Kuta (we are open to a day trip from Kuta). We know we want to spend a couple of days in Ubud then the rest on beaches (Gili Air and/or Nusa’s) Do you think Munduk is too much to try to squeeze in? Any recommendations would be appreciated :)

  • I loved that I found your website! Thanks to you guys I just booked my trip to Bali in June to celebrate my 30th birthday, I’m so excited!

    I do have a question, something that is complicating my itinerary is the Gili Island, which I don’t want to left out of this trip. I can get 2 full days for it if I fly from Denpasar to Lombok but about the way back I’m not really sure how to do. Do you have any knowledge in this department? How does it work to move from one of the gili islands to lombok to get a fly back to Denpasar? Or which are the options to move fast from Denpasar to get to the Gili Islands? Thank you so much so far!

  • Hi,
    I really enjoy reading your blog! All your posts are very inspiring!
    I’m going to stay 4 weeks on Bali with my best friend in July and August. We want to see the most beautiful and maybe hidden places as well as the must-sees, although they may be crowded. Since we are going backpacking and traveling the whole island, I made up a route based on your 3-weeks route:

    Canggu (2 nights)
    Ubud
    Sanur (1 night)
    The Nusas
    Padang Bai (1 night)
    Amed
    The Gili’s (maybe on each 1 night?)
    Mount Batur
    Munduk
    (Ubud)
    Denpasar (flight to Bangkok)

    Is this a realistic plan? Would you change the order, add or remove something? Is there still time to relax and maybe stay at one place some days longer than planned?

    Furthermore, I wanted to ask whether you would recommend to pre-book all the hostels, homestays, etc. in this most crowded period. Or is there a possibility to arrive, search, find and smile? ;)

    Looking forward to hearing from you!
    Regards,
    Milla

    • Hi!
      What a great trip!
      You don’t have to stay in Sanur (unless you like to have a beach day) You can easily get a transfer from Ubud to the harbour to go to the Nusa’s.
      We would suggest to pick one of the Gili islands and maybe do a day trip from there to the other ones. They are super close-by.
      We personally like Gili Air the most. Go to Gili Trawangan if you like to party a lot.

      Since you will be travelling in high season it is best to book your accommodations at least 2 days in advance (especially the Nusa’s since there is less available)

      Hope you’ll have a wonderful time!

  • I loved your blog articles by the way. Great Insights!

    Well, I am solo travelling to BALI in JUNE (Total 8 days except two days of TO & FRO journey)
    After seeing your blog, I decided not to hop on many places and experience BALI in a better way.

    So My itenery would be

    1) 3 days in UBUD (Hostel Stay)
    a) Local outskirts and town travel – 1 day
    b) Munduk from UBUD – 1 day
    Travel & come back to UBUD Hostel in a day
    c) Any Valcano Trip from UBUD – 1 DAY
    Ex: Mount Batur – Is it worth? Please suggest any alternative!
    d) Best Water falls Tour – 1 Day
    Planning to cover Lovina & Bedugal ( Tukad Cepung , Tumpak Sewu water falls & a Temple)
    is it possible to cover in a day?
    Should I have to come back to UBUD or stay nearby Hostel ?

    DO I need a guide/driver for all these days? I know driving by the way!

    2) 3 days in GIlli Air (Hostel Stay)
    Planning to see all 3 islands a day each
    Not sure whether I need 3 days here? Please suggest!

    3) 2 days in Semniyak & Canggu (Hostel Stay)
    Planning to stay & relax in Canggu Hostel and visit Semniyak
    Please suggest!

    Note: I dont know Swimming & Surfing :-)

    Please feel free to change the itenery if you have a better suggestion!
    First time I am going SOLO, so not sure whether I get bored?

    Hoping for best :-) Thanks in Advance!

    • Hi!
      So good to hear you’re planning a trip to Bali :)
      Mount Batur is definitely a good option for a Vulcano trip.
      Tumpak Sewu waterfall is on Java so that isn’t an option ;) Maybe you mean the Sekumpul Waterfall? Cause that one is stunning.
      You don’t need a guide for all this. We do suggest to hire a driver in Munduk area because of the potential rainy afternoons and windy roads.
      If you’re driving by yourself this will most likely be on a motorbike since it’s not common for tourist to drive a car on the island.

      You can contact our friend and driver Yande. He can help you with everything, for a good price: https://www.facebook.com/balifriendtours/

      And yes, it is best to stay in Canggu your last 2 days and do a day trip to Seminyak.

      Enjoy!

  • Eduarda Lomba

    Hello :) I loved this post. I have some doubts about the islands. What are the best islands between Gilli and Nusas to visit? For 15 days in May what do they advise? Thank you :)

    • Thank you so much! Although we really love Gili Air, we would recommend the Nusas. It just has everything, from adventure to great beaches and it’s much closer to Bali.
      Have fun!

  • Hi there, i really enjoyed your blog. We have 10 days in Bali, i really want to see UBUD and experience some zen. My bf wants to dive. do you think we can do a bit of Nus and Gili? I want to see Turtles. :)

  • Hello we are planning to go bali this November for 8 days. is it good time to visit ? Will it be crowded ??
    We wanted to cover most of the area in Bali and Gili . What is best iternary for us

    • November is Bali’s low season so it won’t be that crowded. 8 days is too short to do Bali and Gili but if you really want you should do:
      1 – Seminyak
      2 – Uluwatu
      3 – Gili
      4 – Gili
      5 – Ubud
      6 – Ubud
      7 – Munduk
      8 – Kuta (fly out)

  • Eszter Tamas

    Hello, thank you for these great tips, what a well structured blog!
    Do you perhaps have an itinerary for 2 weeks for a couple with a small baby? :) Something more relaxed, easy things to do? As a start, we have booked a nice resort in Ubud for 6 nights to explore that area bit more, but we would like to see some other areas as well and not quite sure which ones would be suitable.

    Thank you much for the tip in advance!
    Eszter

  • Do you ever worry about getting Malaria? How do you avoid it when going to places like Indonesia?

    • Hi, well, we never worry but we always go to the doctor for advice before heading to certain parts. Some parts in Indonesia require Malaria tablets like the main island of Flores. Bali doesn’t.

  • I’m going to Bali this year and I’m planning to do a similar route. It sounds amazing! I have a question: was the luggage a problem when going on a boat? I don’t want to bother anyone with my suitcase on boat so I was wondering if it is very common to take your suitcase on boat (from Bali to Gili Air)?

  • Hey Guys ,
    Such a great blog.
    I am planning to go to Bali in March end. Is it a good time to be there or it will be too rainy?

  • I am in love with your blog!! So amazing, full of detail and beauty. I am also so in love with your outfits and clothes! Where did you shop for most of these? XX Emma

  • I am going to bali on my honeymoon in march first week for 6 days and 7 night. my stay will be in kuta an ubud. can you suggest me best itinerary.

  • Hi Guys,

    We were in Bali in October for the first time and LOVED it. Already plotting when we can get back and see more of it. Next time we’d really like to get to the Nusa islands and Gili Air, but question- do you think they can be done without renting a motorbike?

    • Hi guys!
      So great to hear you loved Bali!
      The only islands we would recommend to drive a motorbike are Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan. There are good roads and it isn’t that busy so very safe to drive.
      Nusa Penida, on the other hand, is very dangerous to drive by yourself. So we would recommend you to hire a driver there. The best option is to contact our Bali friend Yande (https://www.facebook.com/balifriendtours/) he offers good prices for great quality :)
      Don’t worry about Gili Air because there are no motorized scooters allowed, the only way to get around is by foot or bicycle.

      Have a great trip!

  • Do you reccomend learning some of the language or is it pretty easy getting by with just knowing how to speak english ?

    I only ask because I am so shocking at trying to learn new languages

  • Amazing information in there, thanks for all these useful tips :) I wondered if you consider doing a ‘live and work guide’ as well? Seeing you live there now :)) Places to rent long-term, supermarkets etc. I think it would be good to know for those of us who are moving there soon. Thank you!

  • Sam Pradinuk

    HI there,

    May I ask why you recommend avoiding the Gilli Islands? This was highly recommended to me though that was 4 years ago. My GF and I are heading there in November.

    Thank you!

  • Hoi Hannah, Nick,

    Wij zijn onze Bali reis aan het voorbereiden en hebben super veel aan jullie blogs!
    Dank daarvoor.
    Maar help me out :) waar ligt Kuta precies?
    Op jullie kaartje onder het vliegveld, maar google geeft aan daarboven?

    Dankjewel alvast.

  • Did you make all this trip just by motorbikes? How many languages did you have on the motorbike?
    Thank you

  • Hello – where is the last scene? :)

  • Emma Ashdown

    Hi thanks for your reply, I can’t reply to it for some reason so I am doing a new comment. Where would you recommend for us out of the locations you’ve been to? For nice beaches, snorkelling, waterfalls, nice food, not too touristy etc. but nice bars and restaurants, We are really open to other locations than those I mentioned!! Thanks so much for your help. Emma x

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Hi! Canggu is very nice but touristy, definitely the best of the 3 you named. Avoid Gili T by the way!

    Hi we are a couple 31 and 32. We are looking for great food, beautiful beaches, chilled out vibe and not too touristy but still with nice restaurants and bars to go to…snorkelling, waterfalls, yoga. We are going to Bali for two weeks and want to go to Ubud and Gilis but can’t decide on the 3rd destination. What do you think? We’ve looked at Seminyak, Canggu, Sanur, but we are put off by travelling all the way from the UK if the beaches aren’t that nice! What do you think? I love your blog :-) I must say that I am a bit scared to hire a moped though.

  • Hi we are a couple 31 and 32. We are looking for great food, beautiful beaches, chilled out vibe and not too touristy but still with nice restaurants and bars to go to…snorkelling, waterfalls, yoga. We are going to Bali for two weeks and want to go to Ubud and Gilis but can’t decide on the 3rd destination. What do you think? We’ve looked at Seminyak, Canggu, Sanur, but we are put off by travelling all the way from the UK if the beaches aren’t that nice! What do you think? I love your blog :-) I must say that I am a bit scared to hire a moped though.

  • Hi

    I am really in doubt whether I should spend 5 days on the Gili’s or on the Nusa’s Island. What would you recommend? And which one of the three Island of the Nusa would you recommend? I don’t think we would like to travel too much around. We are looking for great beaches, diving and delicious food.

  • Amazing itinerary and tips.
    My boyfriend & I will be traveling to Bali beginning of June. We’re only staying 2 weeks though.
    What would you recommend we skip from your itinerary?
    Thanks a lot!!
    Julie xx

  • Bill Rhoden

    where are the best swimming beaches on the Gili islands. I would like to stay on Air for 3 days but not sure about swimming access.

  • Wonderful guide and fab itinerary, thanks. If I wanted to slow it down a little more for example staying 3 or 4 days or more in each place, what would you suggest? I’m thinking Day 1 To 4 in Canggu then to Mudak Days 5 and 6 then Ubed via Waterfalls Tour Days 7 to 12 then Sanur Day 13 To 21. This would meam skipping Gill Air and the Nesu islands. We are 60, fit, scuba divers, interested in culture, history, and nature.

    • Thank you very much Diego!
      We think your itinerary looks very good like you suggested. The only thing we would change is your days in Sanur. Sanur is (in our opinion) very touristy and the beaches aren’t the best. Maybe it’s nice to spend 3 days at Sanur and 5 days at Nusa Lembongan? It’s a very laidback island and there is lots to see. It would be the best to explore this island with a motorbike since the roads are good and not that busy at all. You could also drive over the yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan which is just as pretty. It’s all short distances and these two islands are very close to Bali so it won’t take long from Sanur.

      Here is a link to our full article about Nusa Lembongan :)
      https://saltinourhair.com/bali/nusa-lembongan-guide/

      Hope you’ll have a wonderful trip!

  • Where did you take the first picture under the map? It’s beautiful!

  • Brent Busch

    We are travelling to Bali in May with another couple and have a couple of questions. Should we exchange money into the local currency before we travel and if so, how much should we carry for everyday use? Is it safe to rent scooters for travel in and around the island?

    • Hi Brent,

      No just get your money out of the ATM’s :-) don’t visit exchange shops, they don’t have a good reputation there. Motorbikes are safe to rent!

  • You guys are AMAZING! We first saw you on Kinging It! We’ve been following Craig & Aimee’s adventures for a long time :)
    Thanks for all the Bali advice, it has made our planning so much easier!
    Safe travels.

  • Love your 3 week itineraries! Currently travelling S.E Asia with exactly 3 weeks in each country and they’ve been so handy!!!

  • Hi! Thanks for all the great info, I am planning a vacation for March/April. Do you think it would be a good time to go to Bali then?

    Melissa

    • Hi Melissa!
      Great to hear you’re planning a holiday to Bali!
      March is the end of rainy season. March can be great, April a bit better.
      The weather varies depending on what part of Bali you are on at any given time.
      At the worst, you can have a few hours of heavy rain on any given day in March, but generally not prolonged periods of heavy rain.

  • Very nice guide. I will definitely visit Bali on my next vacation.

  • Great guide. I wish I had known about some of these places before I went to Bali last summer LOL :)
    Next time I visit Bali, I might use this guide.

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