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Best Time to Visit Bali | When to Go & Visitor Tips

Best Time to Visit Bali | When to Go & Visitor Tips

Thinking of going to Bali sooner than later? That sounds like a plan! Find out the best time to visit Bali for incredible tropical weather, cheap prices, and fewer crowds in this quick travel guide.

You’ll learn about the natural beauty and charm of this Indonesian island and what makes it special along with tips on when to visit for the best experience. 

See the best time to visit Bali, the cheapest time to go, the least busy time of year here, and the worst time to go right here in our guide. We’ll share tips to make the most of your trip (and a few pointers first-time travelers need to enjoy their Bali stay).

Go ahead and get in a Bali state of mind – let’s talk about the best time to visit and why this tropical island deserves a spot on your travel itinerary! 

Why You Should Visit Bali

Huge waves on a gorgeous beach during the best time to visit Bali

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Bali, the “Island of the Gods,” is actually a beautiful cluster of islands near the equator on the Bali Sea and Indian Ocean.

Known for the incredible tropical scenery and warm, moderate climate year-round, this is a favorite destination for international travelers seeking a sunny getaway on distant shores. 

Bali is the kind of place truly worth writing home about. The natural beauty here draws more than 6 million visitors from around the world each year.

Soft, white-sand beaches, lush greenery all around, tranquil lakes and rushing waterfalls, majestic mountains, volcanoes, and deep canyons make up the stunning Bali landscape. 

The jungle-like rainforests of Bali are filled with wildlife and tropical plants. Spot Sumatran tigers, black apes, orangutans, monkeys, komodo dragons, toucans, parrots, and more in the rainforests here. 

Giant terraces of rice paddies during the best time to visit Bali

Monika Vlageryte/Shutterstock

You’ll see towering Banyan, tamarind, acacia, coconut palm, and fiery red flame trees throughout the island. Dense vines, bamboo, and lush undergrowth make the rainforests the ideal home for Balinese long-tailed macaque monkeys, who dwell there in the thousands. 

Most people don’t realize that Bali’s volcanoes are both active and sacred. The two volcanoes (Mount Agung, the highest peak and most sacred place on the island, and Mount Batur) are relatively active – enough to warrant a little research on current volcanic activity before heading there.

Mount Batur is less active, though it has erupted as recently as the year 2000. This Indonesian province is also home to architectural marvels in the form of ancient Balinese Hindu temples and ruins.

These long-standing landmarks boggle the mind with their unique designs that seem to reach up to the gods. For a photographer or anyone interested in “collecting” distinctive experiences and sights, Bali is one of the top destinations. 

Monkey sitting at the sacred monkey forest during the best time to go to Bali

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Bali is unique because it’s equal parts “party island” and serene getaway. People come here to join in the revelry day and night (and Bali is known for its active nightlife and club scene).

But the many beaches, religious temples, and quiet cluster of islands just off the coast make it a favorite spot for those seeking calm and relaxation. When you’re ready to head off the beaches and find things to do around the island, there are tons of options.

Here’s a look at just a few of the most popular activities and sights for tourists.

  • Mount Agung & Mount Batur: Volcanoes with hiking trails for adventurous visitors
  • West Bali National Park: Snorkeling, scuba diving, forests, and mangroves
  • Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary: Ancient temples and 1,000+ monkeys
  • Goa Gajah: 11th century cave sanctuary you enter through a carved “demon’s mouth”
  • Tirta Gangga: Former royal palace with swimming pools and temples
  • Bali Bird Park: Over 1,000 birds housed in an enclosed aviary
  • Temples and ruins: Over 20,000 temples and ruins dot the landscape

Venturing out into the cities, towns, and villages here is part of the trip and where you’ll find many of the attractions. Bali locals are exceedingly friendly and many speak English.

All-inclusive resorts in Bali present a great alternative for travelers who prefer to stick close to home base on trips. You’ll have restaurants, pools, bars, and plenty of fun activities available to you if you choose to stay in a resort.

Don’t miss the opportunity to try some Balinese dishes while you’re there!

Lawar (roasted pork or chicken, coconut, garlic, chili pepper), bebek betutu (stuffed duck roasted in coconut tree bark and banana leaves), and sate lilit (spicy minced meat satay on skewers) are delicious regional foods that will delight the palate.

Can you see why Bali is such a great place to visit? You get the mysterious allure of visiting a distant land where the language, landscape, and ancient architecture seems worlds away from home.

But you’ll also feel welcomed by the friendly locals and the familiarity of the white-sand beaches and coconut palms (much like you’ll find in tropical locales all over the world). Next up: Take a look at the best time to visit Bali!

Overall Best Time to Visit Bali

Spectacular view of the rice fields in Ubud during the best time to visit Bali

Christophe Faugere/Shutterstock

  • April-June is the best time to visit overall
  • Ideal weather; little rain and warm temps
  • Avoid peak crowds by going in April-May

The overall best time to visit Bali is anytime between April to June. This is the shoulder season before Bali’s high summer season when the most tourists and visitors arrive – especially in July and August.

It’s also the start of Bali’s dry season (April-October) when the island receives little rainfall or severe weather. Temperatures in the 80s and 90s are the norm and it’s a little less humid if you go during April-June.

Take advantage of extra savings by booking in the early part of the high season (April, May, and early June), when hotel prices drop 30-50%. 

The crowds are growing, but not yet at their peak in April-June. By the time July and August roll around, Bali is in full swing with the highest number of visitors arriving (and higher rates/booked-up hotels as a result). 

If you really want the ideal Bali experience, go during May. This is typically the hottest month in Bali with average temperatures around 82°F.

It’s dry, sunny, and breezy in the evenings to keep things comfortable whether you’re on the beach, climbing mountains, or exploring the rainforest. Fewer visitors during May means easier booking and lower prices on flights and hotels, too. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Bali

Tegenungan Waterfall pictured during the cheapest time to visit Bali

Cocos.Bounty/Shutterstock

  • January-February, April, October-November are the cheapest times to visit
  • Cheapest dates mostly during rainy season (November-March)
  • Fewer tourists, cooler temps, and amazing deals

Travel sites often disagree on the cheapest time to visit Bali. All things considered, it’s cheapest to fly to Bali and book a hotel or resort room in mid-January-February, April, and October-November.

Avoiding the holiday crowds in December and early January, March, and the height of peak season (July-August) means cheaper rates for a Bali visit. 

Visiting during January-February will make your trip a lot rainier, but slightly cooler temperatures around 78F can make it worthwhile for those who want to beat the heat and get amazing deals. The seas are a bit rougher this time of year and you may see a lot of debris washed up on the shores at this time

If clear water, warm weather, and less rainfall is better for your stay, go in April. It’s one of the cheaper months to visit Bali, though it’s not quite as cheap as January-February and October-November.

You’ll run into more visitors at this time, but nothing like the height of peak season in July and August. Visiting in October and November puts you back into the rainy season with temperatures in the low 80s.

Strong winds, increased rainfall (though less than January and February), and rougher seas should be kept in mind. You’ll get some of the cheapest rates of the year on flights during October, and it’s less rainy than November. 

Least Busy Time to Visit Bali

Gorgeous Pacific ocean pictured during the least busy time to visit Bali

Wonderful Nature/Shutterstock

  • January-June see the fewest tourists in Bali
  • Cheaper prices on flights and hotels
  • Best weather in spring and early summer

The least busy time to visit Bali is from mid-January to June. After the holiday crowds thin out in mid-January, Bali is calmer and more serene with fewer tourists arriving until peak season really picks up in July.

Mid-January to June has generally mild weather (though January-March is quite rainy). For the best weather while the crowds are low, visit during mid-to-late March, April, or May.

Crowds begin to thicken in June as Bali enters the summer high season, but things don’t really take off until July and August. By visiting in the first half of the year, you’ll deal with fewer tourists and reduced rates on flights and hotels as a result. 

This is a great time of year to find package deals and discounts on stays at all-inclusive resorts. Since it’s Bali’s low season, the hotels and tourist attractions drop their prices to entice visitors to come.

You’ll get the best experience – few crowds, lower prices, and good weather – by visiting from mid-March to late May. The tradeoff for visiting in the earlier part of the year is the rainy season and less ideal weather.

The sea is rough with debris on the shores until March, when the currents begin to shift. Rainfall is an almost-daily occurrence from January-March, though the rains here are usually brief showers with sunshine afterward. 

Worst Time to Visit Bali

A myriad of youths sitting on inflatable bags during the worst time to visit Bali

AsiaTravel/Shutterstock

  • July-August and December are the worst times to go
  • Peak tourism months with heavy crowding 
  • Rates increase as tourists arrive in droves

Knowing the best time to visit Bali is important, but so is knowing the worst time to go. That’s July-August and December, which are Bali’s busiest months for tourism.

In July and August (during the dry season), summer tourists flock to the island for a taste of the tropical. In December, holiday tourists arrive in throngs and drive prices up on flights and hotels. 

July and August are the heart of Bali’s peak summer season. With kids out of school and excellent, dry weather on the island, it quickly gets crowded here. You’ll have trouble booking hotels and resorts last-minute at this time of year.

And when you do nab a vacant room, you’ll pay 30-50% more for it during this time. December – especially the middle and end of the month – see another wave of tourists arrive, this time for the holidays. Crowds hang around until early January, after the new year.

December is the 2nd rainiest month in Bali (only January sees more rainy days), so it’s really one of the worst times to visit. This is especially true if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors during your stay. 

If you can avoid it, don’t visit Bali during July, August, or December. You’re better off staying in late March, April, or May for great weather, moderate prices, and fewer crowds. 

More Things to Consider

Cool view of the outside of the Pura Taman Saraswati Template in Ubud during the best time to visit Bali

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Now you know the best time to visit Bali – and the worst. What other Bali info should you bone up on before you book your stay? Glad you asked – here are helpful travel tips to make the most of your stay on the Island of the Gods. 

  •  Bali is actually 4 islands. While the main island is by far the largest and most developed, Bali is also made up of the smaller islands Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. This cluster of 3 smaller islands (a 20-minute boat ride from Sanur port) is relatively untouched by modern tourism. Each of the smaller islands of Bali makes a great destination for those seeking a more secluded getaway. 
  • Know where to go for nightlife. If you’re planning to experience the party side of Bali and hit the clubs and bars during your stay, know that Kuta, Seminyak, and Legian are the hotspots. These regions are home to the most resorts, clubs, and bars for the after-dark crowd who wants to party ’til the sun comes up. 
  • Uncover the calm and serene spots. If you’re not about that nightlife life, opt to visit Nusa Dua, Sanur, or Ubud. These areas are filled with natural beauty and aren’t as bustling with activity as the tourist hotspots. Perfect for romantic getaways, serene retreats, and avoiding big crowds, anyone seeking a relaxing vacay will enjoy the natural beauty and landscapes found in Nusa Dua, Ubud, and Sanur. 
  • Spend some time on the beaches. The soft, white sand beaches are one of the most-enjoyed parts of Bali. The best beaches to visit are Sanur Beach (less crowded with calmer vibes), Seminyak Beach (very popular with tourists with tons of restaurants and shops), and Pasir Putih Beach (Bali’s best “secret” beach). 
  • Many locals speak English. Visiting a foreign country when you don’t speak the language can be challenging, but in Bali, many of the locals have adopted English as one of the unofficial languages. You may not run into a lot of fluency, but it’s helpful that many of the locals will be able to communicate with you effectively if you’re not planning to learn Bahasa Indonesian or Basa Balinese (the 2 official languages) before your visit. 
  • Don’t drink the tap water. Bali’s tap water has resulted in the dreaded “Bali Belly” for many an unsuspecting tourist. Bacteria in the water here is unfamiliar to your gut microbiome and can promptly lead to traveler’s diarrhea, cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Nothing ruins the beauty of Bali like being sick, so avoid the tap and drink bottled water only.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Bali?

Monkey in a tree pictured during the best time to visit Bali, Indonesia

Anikin Dmitrii/Shutterstock

Since we’ve covered a lot of info in this guide, it’s helpful to sum it all up to keep it fresh in your mind. Overall, the best time to visit Bali is April-June. These 3 months make up the spring/summer shoulder season just before the high season.

It’s also dry season in Bali at this time of year, so the weather will be picture-perfect for your stay. Prices can be 30-50% cheaper than peak months July and August!

The Cheapest Time to Go

But if you’re really seeking the best deals, the cheapest time to visit Bali is during January-February, April, and October-November. Flights and hotel rooms are at their most affordable (often discounted 50% or more) during these months of the year in between the high seasons.

The weather is extremely rainy in January and February, pretty perfect in April, and slightly rainy in October and November. 

The Least Busy Time to Go

If getting away from the throngs of tourists is your idea of the ideal vacation, the best time to visit Bali is from January to June. Mid-March through May see the best weather while the crowds are low, so plan your visit during spring to have the best overall experience.

The Worst Time to Go

Just don’t plan to visit Bali during July, August, or December – these are the worst months to go because it gets so crowded.

July and August have great weather, but you’ll be competing with hundreds of thousands of tourists for hotel rooms and flights, and prices rise as a result. December is slightly cooler, pretty rainy, and has rougher seas with murkier water. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re going when the weather is ideal, the prices hit rock-bottom, or the tourists are far and few between, you’re going to fall in love with Bali.

You can plan your trip to take you into the flurry of activity of high season with the best weather and everything bustling around you. Or you can go for the alluring calm and serenity you’ll find on the relaxing beaches, dense rainforests, and ancient temples and ruins. 

That’s what’s uniquely magnetic about Bali – it is what you want it to be. And armed with the info from this guide, you can plan your trip to meet all your vacation goals while avoiding the stuff you don’t want.