There is no doubt that Bali is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. However, to enjoy the best it has to offer, you really need to do your studying before you decide when you should go.
Also, a background of the significant Balinese events and festivals would be very beneficial as they can affect your planned activities, as well as flights and accommodation availability and prices.
Getting anxious? Don't worry, we will guide you through everything you need to know. Just relax and keep reading!
When is the best time to visit Bali?
Even though Bali is amazing all year long, heavy rainfall and high waves can possibly disturb your plans.
The first thing you need to know about Indonesia; that it doesn't really have a normal winter and summer seasons, as it's approximately 8 degrees south of the equator (which is so close). Thus, the weather is basically tropical, warm and humid all year round with an average temperature of 26-27°C.
However, there are two different seasons which mainly determine the weather conditions, the wet season and the dry season (low season and high season).
Dry season (high season): is the busiest time in Bali. It mainly takes place between April and September, and includes the months of July and August, continuing to Easter Holidays, December, and up until the first week of January. During this period; the weather is generally stable, beaches are gorgeous and clean, and Bali reveal its true colors.
Wet season (low season): During the wet season, taking place from October to March; Bali is usually calmer, the water gets tougher, and the beaches sometimes turn out dirty due to debris washed onto the shore during the months of January and February, and rain gets heavier than ever, however it never really last more than a few hours and the beautiful sunrise again, turning everything back to normal. Moreover, during the wet season, there are significantly fewer tourists, that's why some travelers prefer to visit Bali during this time.
So, probably now you're thinking that the high (peak) season is the way to go. Although this may be true; some visitors prefer to visit Bali in April, May, June, and September. For Many reasons:
During these months, it is still the dry season, however, humidity gets notably less, the vibe is more relaxed, there is much less crowd, sales are active in shops, and accommodation prices drop to 30%-50% lower! Hence, it is basically when you get the best of both worlds.
Take a look at this Climate Chart to get a clearer vision of Bali's weather:
Now, let's move on to the best time to surf in Bali
Water sports activities, especially surfing are tremendously affected by the weather. If you're newly taking classes or you are a practiced surfer seeking the best surfing experience; the perfect month to surf has proven to be July. However, this may change according to each location.
For example; in Kuta, the best time to surf is from March to November, when the trade winds are blowing offshore. While, in Sanur Beach, from November to March would be ideal. For the west coast, it is recommended to surf between the months of April and October. And between middle November and early March on the east coast.
Best beaches to surf during the "Dry Season"
Impossible Beach Located in the beach resort of Pecatu, this beach is the absolute divers' dream. With 180º views of the Indian Ocean and strong waves that makes an amazing surfing experience. Impossible beach is located 30 minutes away from Legian.
Bingin Another stunning beach with extraordinary views over the Indian Ocean, and the big waves that makes it one of the most demanding surfing points by surfers.
Padang Padang locally referred to as Pantai Labuan Sait, the famous surfing beach is located on the north-western coast of the island's Bukit Peninsula, and just a kilometer southwest of the Anantara Bali Uluwatu. Plus, it is where one of the scenes of the famous eat, pray, love movie was shot!
Tukad Balian One more famous surfing spot in Bali is Tukad Balian. That sets as a challenge for surfers, as it's known for powerful long waves that every surfer look forward to conquering.
Uluwatu Uluwatu is basically where the best beaches and majority of surf spots are! Clear blue waters, stunning sunset views and an incredible welcoming vibe, is what this beach presents to its visitors.
Best beaches to surf during the "Wet Season"
Keramas This paradise beach has been attracting a lot of surfers over the years, due to its challenging waves and spectacular views. Keramas is more suitable for professional surfers and has been the host of Pro surfing competitions including ASP and Oakley World Pro Junior.
Nusa Dua Besides being the home to one of the best museums in Bali; Nusa Dua is the kind of beach that can be perfect for any traveler, whether a surfer or not. With so many attractions to visit nearby, and amazing high waves which are generated as a result of its strong current during the rainy season.
Sanur Reef Sanur reef offers some nice wave curls that are most suitable for experienced surfers, along with the soft sands, and the most beautiful sunset view.
Other beaches to surf at during the wet season are Turtle Island, Tanjung Sari, Hyatt Reef, and Ketewel.
And, to get you all set for the Balinese adventure; let's jump to what you should pack in each season for maximum comfort and safety:
What to pack during the "Dry Season"
Jackets and socks: on the dry season, the weather may get really chilly during the night, so make sure to pack a jacket and a pair of socks to keep you warm.
Hats: because let's face it, we are still in Bali. Even though humidity decrease during the dry season; the sun is still as strong and rising as ever.
Lots of sunscreens: never ever spend time outdoors without applying a protective sunscreen! As you can easily get burned.
Wetsuit: if you are willing to go surfing, the water may be surprisingly cool during this season.
Coral reef boots: a lot of the beaches in Bali are spread with sharp coral reefs that may cause harm to your bare feet.
What to pack during the "Wet Season"
Light comfortable clothes: Avoid wearing tight clothes that will make you sweaty and hot, and always pack light clothes with breathable fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen to get you over the humid weather in Bali.
Disposable rain jackets: heavy rainfall is unexpected and can happen at any time making it very hard on you. But don't worry, as this type of rain jackets are widely available and you can purchase them easily from the local markets or from individual sellers. An umbrella is also a must!
Average temperature and rainfall in Bali
Due to the fact that the Balinese culture is mainly shaped by the Hindu religion; if you intend to visit a temple, a sacred ceremony, or walk around the local stores; make sure you are dressing modestly, particularly covering the shoulder and breast areas.
That doesn't mean you cannot dress comfortably; but only try to limit bikinis, shorts and tank tops to the beach and touristic areas. Always carry around a scarf to use as a cover-up in such cases.
Holidays that may affect your trip to Bali
Indonesia, and more specifically "Bali" is a colorful festive island that is bursting out of joyful festivals and ceremonies all year round. So you may set your plans according to what you would like to experience or what you prefer to avoid.
While all the world is literally freezing during that time of the year; Bali maintains its warm weather and welcoming vibe, and that's one of the reasons why Christmas is a very busy time in Bali. Moreover, it is when a lot of Westerners usually take their holidays. So, expect a lot of crowds!
Ramadan and Eid
Due to the fact that Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, Ramadan and Eid rituals and habits are widely seen throughout the country. While many Muslim Indonesians are fasting during the day; maybe eating, drinking, or smoking in public can be interpreted as a disrespectful behavior. Also, note that many cafes and restaurants may be closed during that time of the day.
Moreover, you may take into consideration that right before and during Eid, accommodations and flights may get fully booked by Muslim Indonesians celebrating this holy feast.
Always take notes of the Australian school holidays. Based on the fact that Australians makes up most of Indonesia visitors; flights and accommodations may be running out during their school holidays.
Balinese festivals according to each season
Wet Season Festivals
The Balinese New Year (or Silence Day) is a one of a kind experience that you can only live in Bali. The day starts with performing joyful street parades and parties, then 24 hours of silence follows, in which you literally do and say nothing. Even Bali International Airport shuts off all operations for the entire day. With the exception of emergency services.
The Melasti Ritual (OghoOgho)
A Hindu Purification ceremony that takes places right before the Balinese New year (Nyepi), and it involves cleaning and purifying temples to get ready for the Nyepi rituals.
Raden Ayu Kartini is a Balinese woman from Java who was a pioneer in the area of education and women rights movement in Indonesia. In this day; Indonesian women unite to pay respect and homage as a way of honoring her efforts and memory.
Bali Spirit Festival
Is a celebration of yoga, dance, and music that is held annually in Bali. Over the years; the festival attracted an enormous number of local and international fans.
Bali Arts Festival
The biggest Balinese culture festival, when visitors get to enjoy all the traditional arts' performances from almost everywhere in Bali. The festival usually takes place on the second Saturday of June until July.
Bali Kite Festival
One of the most unusual festivals that you may come across! A huge number of participants gather around to compete with their handmade customized kites. The kites have different shapes, colors, and sizes, as they represent each of the competing villages. The bigger, the better. Although don't be surprised to find bloodthirsty vampires, a green goblin on a tricycle and a gun-toting grandma kites' shapes.
Indonesia Independence Day
The 17th of August marks the independence of Indonesia from the Dutch colony on the year 1949. Various joyful celebrations and activities are held throughout the day all over the country gathering Indonesian of all ages, including historical tours, historical films, parades, flag raising ceremonies, sack races, neighborhood games, cooking competitions, palm tree climbing, eating contests and many other fascinating gestures.
Nusa Dua Festival
A fusion of art, music, culture, and sports where you will find a variety of art exhibitions, cultural performances and sporting events held over a number of days on Peninsula Island.
Dry Season Festivals
Bali Film festival (Balinale)
The festival presents new and upcoming Indonesian films, and works as the main gate for promoting the growth and recognition of Indonesian Cinema and the surrounding region, by inviting international filmmakers with possible co-productions or development projects that could be set somewhere among Indonesia and its 17,000 islands.
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival
Leading its way to one of the world's most celebrated literary and artistic events. Through bringing together the world's top talented artists, authors, thinkers, and performers, to exchange and discuss experiences and cultures, and share inspiration.
Hari Raya Galungan (17th) Galungan
Labeling the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies; in the Hindu religion, Galungan is a Balinese holiday that marks the time when the ancestral spirits visited the Earth and celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma.
Hari Raya Kuningan
Takes place exactly ten days after Galungan, stating the end of the holly religious ceremony. And what is believed is the time when the spirits left the earth.
To sum up
» There are two seasons in Bali, wet season and dry season
» The wet season is from October to March
» The dry season starts between April and September and includes the months of July and August, continuing to Easter Holidays, December, and up until the first week of January
» Best months to visit are April, May, June, and September while the dry season advantages is still on, and prices are way down
» The best time to surf is generally July, however it differs according to each location:
Kuta from March to November Sanur Beach, from November to March West coast between the months of April and October. East coast between middle November and the beginning of March.
Ergo, it's fair to say that Bali is just fantastically gorgeous in all its seasons, whether it's dry, wet, sunny, or rainy; there is always something fun to do and a spectacular adventure to experience.
And here's a glimpse of what we are talking about:
Fun things to do when it's raining in Bali
Raining like buckets outside? Just hit the malls! Bali is positively the best place to shop, from top brands fashion to antiques, jewelry, home décor, and souvenirs. In Bali, there's something for everyone.
Probably one of the most fun things you can do! Learning to cook the Balinese way will be one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life. Usually, a cooking class will include an early morning visit to fish or farm market, to hand pick the ingredients you'll be cooking with, and then heading to the kitchen to start the yummy cooking!
High tea is a tower that presents finger foods, cakes, and different kinds of pastries accompanied with a delicious cup of tea. Check out the Métis Le Jardin High Tea, and Caramel Patisserie in Ubud.
Love theatre? Say no more, as Bali offers a wide range of folklore theatre that is too interesting to watch, presented in a modern setting with dramatic lights and sounds.
Apart from the outstanding nature, Bali is also blessed with a wide range of amazing museums and temples, most of them are centered in Ubud. Indulge into art and take a look at the "Blanco Renaissance Museum" in Ubud.
Well, hello? How can a visit to Bali be completed without a relaxing yoga time? Bali is greatly known as a health and wellbeing destination, where there is a huge variety of yoga classes for every skill level and for different needs. Classical Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Power, Pranayama, Restorative, Iyengar, Yin, and Anusara are a few examples.
Get a photo session in a traditional attire
There are some companies offering this super entertaining experience, starting from pick up and drop off, to getting you ready for your session with makeup, hair, and a full traditional Balinese attire.
Go to a spa
What's more perfect than Bali for a spa retreat? Just relax, clear your mind, and massage that stress away.
Bali's neighboring islands and the best time to visit them
Along the side of Bali there are many equally stunning islands, that certainly worth a visit.
Another piece of heaven on the Indonesian land. Lombok is blessed astonishing clear turquoise waters, soft sand, amazing food, and a pleasant homey vibe like nowhere else.
Just like Bali, the weather in Lombok is quite beautiful all year long. However, visitors usually prefer to come during the dry season, starting from May to October, when the weather is usually sunny. On the other hand, the weather during the wet season is less humid and rainfall is relatively less.
The Gili Islands
A group of three tiny blisses, located near the coast of northwest Lombok Island (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno).
The best time to Gili hopping is the dry season, as during this period the water visibility is the clearest and sea conditions are stable.
With a calm paced vibe, Lembongan is rapidly becoming Bali's most popular attractions, due to its spectacular nature, peaceful ambiance, and the amazing surrounding scenery.
Similar to Lombok and Bali; the best time to visit Nusa Lembongan is actually according to you. Whether you prefer sunshine, or you seek less crowd. For example, if some fun in the sun is your goal; try to go between the months of May and September. However, if you would like to avoid the crowds and don't mind occasional rainfall; November to March would be the best time for you.
Wandering between Bali, Lembongan, and the Gili Islands has never been easier! In baliferry, we are always keen to provide you with the best quality of ferries in the region, with the most affordable prices.