Bali was named the No. 1 Destination for 2017 by Travellers Choice, Trip Advisor and its not hard to see why. The island is a luscious green heaven, a food lovers paradise, a photographers dream, and the perfect destination for a romantic couples trip or fun trip with friends. Having lived in Bali for some time I have hundreds of reasons why I think you should add the island to your bucketlist, but I have narrowed it down to my Top 14 reasons to visit Bali in 2017.
Obviously one of the reasons is our We Are Travel Girls Bali Retreats happening this October and November, read on to see the other 13 then start booking your flights!
1. THE FOOD
I plan most of my trips around food, so food has to be near the top of the list! The food in Bali is incredible, and if you are a vegan or vegetarian you will be very happy here as there are plenty of amazing options. From healthy food to rich indulgent food in incredible restaurants there is something for everyone. Some of my favourite cafes include The Spicy Coconut, Nook, Sea Circus, Sprout and Cinta which serves the best pancakes overlooking the rice terraces. For the evening try Mamasan, La Laguna and Da Maria.
2. STUNNING BEACHES
The beaches in Bali are beautiful, but you do need to know where to find the good ones. Many visitors to the island will be disappointed to find black sand and a lot of trash littering the beaches, especially in Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu. If you are looking for white sand and turquoise waters head South to Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Bingin Beach where you will find the beaches you have been dreaming about!
And if you want to come to secret beach, a beach that locals don’t share the name of with anyone on social media you will have to come on our We Are Travel Girls Bali Retreat and we will take you there!
Bali is home to many waterfalls and you will find that some are more crowded than others. Finding the quieter ones will require a little more research and probably to travel a little further around the island. But the popular touristy ones such as Tegenungan waterfall are popular for a reason and are well worth a visit. Arrive early morning to avoid the crowds and be patient if you want to get a tourist free shot of you in the waterfall.
4. THE SWINGS
Swings on cliff tops, hanging from palm trees and even over the ocean are becoming increasingly popular around the world and Bali is no exception. There are some of the most epic swings to be found on the island at the Bali Chocolate Factory, Munduk Moding Plantation and at Zen Hideaway. Head out to the Gili Islands and you will find some of the prettiest overwater swings – get ready to queue to take your photo in one of them though!
5. CEREMONIES & RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
Bali is a religious country and the Balinese people practice Balinese Hinduism or Agama Hindu Dharma, which originated in Java and is a blend of Shivaism and Buddhism. The theological foundation for the religion originates from Indian philosophy, but the indigenous beliefs form the backbone of the rituals that are practiced in the country daily. Everywhere you go you will find offerings on temples and on the pavements and roads, and if you time your visit right you may be able to see some of the larger ceremonies.
6. THE TEMPLES
Since the Balinese are a religious country they have plenty of temples to go to worship and many of these are extremely beautiful and set in unusual locations, such as in the ocean! Make it a large part of your itinerary to explore as many temples as you can whilst visiting the island, but remember to be respectful and adhere to the dress code requirements of each.
7. THE WILDLIFE
Balinese wildlife is all around you, from the street dogs to the monkeys in the famous Monkey Forest Ubud. You will likely find lizards lurking around your pool, come across the occasional small snake and hear the sounds of tropical birds when you wander in the forests. The wildlife extends to the oceans, where you can swim with giant manta rays in various locations around the island.
8. MOUNTAINS & HIKING
The most popular hike in Bali is up to Mount Batur for sunrise. Mount Batur is an active volcano, that you can ascend through the night hiking for around 2hrs to the summit where you will wait to watch the sunrising. We will be taking you to do this hike and one in a lifetime experience if you join us on our Bali Retreats later this year! There are other beautiful hikes to be found, such as the stunning Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud, an easy trail best enjoyed at dawn or dusk.
9. THE SURROUNDING ISLANDS
Bali is within close proximity to Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida and also the Gili Islands. On these islands you can find some of Indonesia’s most stunning beaches, incredible diving with manta rays, epic views and also fun parties. If you are on the island of Bali it is recommended that you tag on a few days at least to get out to the islands.
10. THE SURFING
Bali is well known as a surfers paradise and offers waves suitable for all skill levels. If you are a newbie there are some beginner waves in Canggu and Seminyak and south around Jimbaran, and you can arrange lessons and rent boards cheaply on the beaches. If you are more experienced there are some serious waves to be found in Uluwatu, but the huge reef and intense waves mean you should only surf here if you know what you are doing!
When you come to Bali pack light and leave plenty of space for shopping. There are some gorgeous boutiques to be found in Seminyak and Canggu, as well as some cheaper options and bargaining opportunities to be found at the local markets. My personal favourite Bali boutique is Sancerre, owned by my friend and designer Sarah.
12. THE BEACH CLUBS
Bali beach clubs are a great place to spend your Sunday or any day of the week really! The most popular are Potato Head in Seminyak, Finns in Canggu and Sundays Beach Club in Uluwatu. Check out the day pass options, or snag a day bed if you want to splash out – but be warned compared to the prices of everything else in Bali these are on the higher end.
13. EPIC HOTELS
If you are visiting Bali, then of course you will want to stay in one of its fabulous hotels but there are so many to choose from! Some offer infinity pools over the rainforest, others over the ocean, you can stay in treehouses, and rainforest huts, tented camps or a luxurious villa. For my favourites check out this article 9 Epic Places To Stay In Bali.
14. THE WE ARE TRAVEL GIRLS BALI RETREAT
Of course, the main reason that you should come to Bali is to join me and We Are Travel Girls co-founder Vanessa Rivers at our Bali Retreats in October and November this year. We will be showing you all this island has to offer, sharing our favourite hidden gems with you and 12 other travel loving women. We will be staying in a luxury villa and teaching workshops on blogging, digital marketing, photography. Book your spot now > Bali Retreat Booking
Have you visited Bali? What are your favourite places and things to do on the island? Read Next > 9 Must Do Activities In Ubud