The idea of exploring Bali typically conjures up images of snorkelling, shopping, and visiting the many remarkable temples. If you are one of those adventurous travellers, seeking the unusual and hidden things to do in Bali, read on! In reality, there exists a wide array of unconventional experiences to be had and we are going to expose them here. In their variety and eccentricity, these activities are just about as colourful as Bali itself in its spread of flowers, endless offerings, and diversely patterned sarongs. Experience Bali in ways you might never have imagined and be prepared to be amazed, transformed, inspired, and in some cases, maybe even a little scared!
Things to do in Bali
1 – Swim with Sharks
Swimming with sharks is a life-changing way to experience the majesty of an ocean creature largely demonized by popular media. Fishermen turned conservationists now contribute to the Bali Sharks Conservation Nursery in Serangan. Whereas once the sharks were killed, the fisherman now benefit more by contributing to the Bali Sharks Conservation Nursery, making this an incredible success story to be a part of.
Here you will have a rare opportunity to swim with over a dozen black tip reef sharks, while also supporting and encouraging local conservation efforts. Book here to experience the sweet side of sharks!
2 – Embark on a Bali food safari
Go on safari, not to see wild animals but to taste wild foods! Food in Bali is exotic, diverse, and unforgettably delectable. Take a mysterious, unique, and sublime journey to carefully selected locations on in your chosen region of either Ubud, Seminyak, or Jimbaran. A varied display of flavours in spectacular locations will dazzle your tastebuds and nourish your soul. Book your gastronomic adventure here.
This unique Food Safari is one of those things to do in Bali that should not be missed.
3 – Picnic in the jungle with your loved one
This is not your typical picnicking spot…imagine sitting along the river banks on cosy cushions with your very own butler delivering a gourmet meal, as meandering vines dangle above the briskly flowing waters. Saturate your senses with exoticism and bring culinary decadence to the serenity of nature by booking here.
Discover more romantic things to do in Bali, here.
4 – Make your own beauty Product – Workshop
Balinese woman have radiant, youthful skin and gleaming, thick hair. Want to learn their secrets and make your own natural beauty products? Here is your chance with a special opportunity to learn about making natural, plant-based face creams, scrubs, and beauty masks. Your finished products will have a personalised power as you will actually gather the herbs yourself first. You will also learn massage techniques, Balinese healing secrets, and even get a one hour facial massage! One of women’s favourite things to do in Bali. Find out more about the homemade beauty workshop, here.
5 – Kayak at the lake in Mount Batur
The power of paddling a holy lake surrounded by holy mountains is difficult to word until you experience it for yourself. This kayak tour is one of its kind, and proceeds go to education and community projects. Surrounded by the high walls of the crater rim, contemplate the grandeur and travel back in time on the placid waters. Allow your imagination to roam, for here in a silent and sacred place, the magnitude of an ancient eruption tickles your imagination. If you’re looking for something more challenging, how about a hike up the Mount Batur just in time for the stunning lava sunset.
6 – Romantic Cave dining
Experience shoreline caves in the most romantic of ways in Bali’s southern peninsula. On a private and secluded beach and by candlelight, a four-course meal and 20 red roses await you amidst the gentle sound of ocean waves meeting the sand. You may choose to walk the 120 steps to sea level, or get picked up by a vintage Land Cruiser. Either way, you are sure to have an evening made by style, seduction, and decadence, with courses aptly named like “Truly, Madly, Deeply” or “Sweet Love Symphony”. Of course, we have not forgotten the champagne! Surprise your loved one with an unforgettable and magical night.
If you’d like to compare other romantic dinner options in Bali – check out our last article featuring 18 Mindblowing Romantic Dinners in Bali 😍
7 – Capture some of the coolest shots ever taken with a one-of-its-kind Photography Tour
With a vibrant culture, intricate architecture, and lush ecosystem, Bali is one of the most photogenic environments on the planet. The Balinese people are generally happy to be photographed, however, there is an art to relating in a way that illuminates the spiritual essence of a people and place beyond a snapshot. To take a workshop with David Metclaf is a life changing experience that will enable you not only to take breathtaking images of Bali, but allow bless you with skills that will transform all of your travels and journeys through life.
A spokesperson for the Indigenous Dayak people of Kalimantan, long term resident of Indonesia, and author of three cultural photography books, David teaching will transform your perception. Turn a holiday into an immersive cultural and artistic experience and enrich your ability to capture moments otherwise unseen by way of visits to Mount Agung at sunrise, ancient temples, rice terraces, and unique windows into traditional Balinese life. Book a or photography tour.
8 – Take part on a spiritual journey to the Mystic Carvers
Visits to healers and other spiritual advisors are common things to do in Bali, but a journey to the Mystic Carvers is a very unique and rare experience. Meet two Balinese Brahmin Brothers belonging to a high caste lineage. For generations they have chiselled mystic figures in bone, working only on auspicious days of the ancient Balinese calendar. The Rerajahan are powerful, esoteric Balinese symbols used to protect people and places, bring power, enhance love, facilitate relationships, studies, career, arts and creativity. They are especially powerful when a mantra is carved into them. To visit these unique artisans and have your own personal Talisman, specific to your needs and intentions, specially crafted for you.
Discover more here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
9 – BBQ and camping on Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is a small island, lying just a short boat trip off the coast of Bali, but like a window in time. With few tourists, ancient traditions unfold everywhere, and the beaches are secluded, glimmering treasures. From start to end, this adventure is an utter oasis. You shall begin with a dip in a natural pool overlooking the Indian Ocean and spend the day basking in the beauty of white sand and emerald waters, gloriously slipping into sunset without a care in the world as you will spend the night camping on sheltered Atuh beach. Complete with a campfire and innumerable stars, this is guaranteed to be a night you will not soon forget. Book your overnight secluded beach adventure here.
10 – Night fire rafting & starlit dinner
Balinese jungles come alive with unseen sound and moonlit wonder at night. Night fire rafting evokes a mystical atmosphere with a true air of adventure. On this outing, you will even see a traditional Balinese dance at the riverside. After the journey, a starlit dinner awaits in the rice terraces and accompanied by a special type of Balinese dance. Book your starlit journey on the river here.
11 – Trash walk with the Green School’s Founder
A special way to enrich your trip to Bali (and improve your Karma) is to offer an act of service and deepen your engagement with the local community. The Green School provides a natural, holistic and student-centered education in one of the most impressive and enchanting bamboo structures on Earth. A tour of the school, with their vortex electricity producing machine, permaculture gardens, filtered river water, mud pit, composting stations, and classrooms without walls will open your eyes to unimagined educational possibilities. A lesser known activity is to join the founder John Hardy on one of his trash walks where he welcomes volunteers to meander through rice paddies with him and ‘spear’ trash with an arrowed piece of bamboo. It is both fulfilling and educational to give back to Bali for all the beauties she bestows upon us. Trash walks are usually on Saturdays, but check ahead of time by connecting with the Facebook community here. You might also stop for lunch in the famed tree house at John Hardy’s eco-lifestyle boutique hotel Bamboo Indah. If you find yourself so inspired by the bamboo structures that you would like to learn how about joining techniques, and perhaps one day even make your own bamboo house, explore a variety of workshops here.
12 – Book a Hen’s bus party with your friends
A hen’s party, otherwise known as a bachelorette or stagette party, is the ultimate opportunity to let loose and party before entering a bond of marriage. This is one of the best things to do in Bali with your friends. All is organised, including a luxurious villa with a pool, party buses, personal servers, and full use of a high-end spa. All that is left for you to do is indulge, relax, and celebrate an upcoming union in decadence! To relish in your last moments of single life with ultimate style. Find more information about those infamous Hen’s parties, here.
13 – Discover canyoning in Bali’s jungle
A family oriented discovery of canyoning, this journey allows you to experience wild canyons in an adventurous and safe way. Explore volcanic rock covered in vegetation, brave small leaps, slip down natural water slides, and embark on humble rappels. After all the action, you will end up in a natural and warm spring basin, the perfect thing to do in Bali to soothe your muscles and appreciate the Balinese jungle. Book here to discover the wonders of canyon exploring.
14 – Rainforest Horse–riding in Munduk
Perched at high altitude, the mystical Lake Tamblingan is is one of two twin lakes that formed in a large caldera of the extinct Bedugul volcano. In a traditional area in Bali’s central highlands, you will discover water temples and wild rainforests by way of horseback. Birds, monkeys, and colourful wildlife await in this untamed non-touristy side of Bali. You will even enjoy a ride aboard a traditional Balinese boat. To gallop through tropical rainforests and the hillsides surrounding volcanic lake book here!
15 – Paragliding above Uluwatu’s coast
Always wanted to experience soaring like a bird? Why not try paragliding in a place rich in ecological and cultural treasures that is Bali! Experience a bird’s eye view of temples, jungle, and breathtaking coastline with unparalleled photographic opportunities. Book your paraglide ride here!
16 – Volkswagen Safari and Ayung river rafting
Cruising the island of Bali in a vintage VW safari car feels like a glamorous form of time travel! This classic convertible is a unique and exciting way to explore meandering gorges of dense, tropical jungle and witness traditional life unfolding in the serene setting of terraced rice paddies. Pump up the adrenaline a notch and combine your VW adventure with rafting through the Ayung river. Surrounded by stunning waterfalls and lush foliage, rafting over rapids, immersed in laughter and refreshing splashes of cool water is a wonderful way to round off your adventure! More information here.
17 – Become a “Sea Walker” in Sanur’s tranquil underwater world
Many visitors experience the oceans of Bali through diving, snorkelling, or surfing, but not many walk the sea as an astronaut might walk the moon! Equipped with a helmet that looks ‘other-worldly’ you will experience the wonder of the underwater realm without the cumbersome respiratory gear involved in diving or snorkelling. It is a unique experience and makes for memorable pictures, both of you and the marine world! Book yourself into an aqua ‘spacesuit’ here.
18 – Cruise in Style on a Single or Multi-Day VW Kombi trip
There is something very special about traveling in a VW bus, they are soulful vehicles, full of a character that can’t help but elicit smiles! If a day trip suits you best, you can indulge in both self-pampering and spirituality while being transported in the most classy wheels around. You will visit two top notch spas where a wide array of treatments are available and visit a Balinese priest for a spiritual healing and meditation session with enduring qualities to take home with you. Bring the day to a magical close with a sunset cocktail at one of the best bars in South-east Asia.
If overnighting in a Kombi is more your style, we’ve got just the ticket! On a 4-days, 3-nights extravaganza of an adventure you will set the tone with a blessing and water purification, followed by visiting ancient temples, a water palace, and the charming fishing village of Amed, known for it’s fabulous snorkelling. You will also contemplate powerful waterfalls, see dolphins, immerse in hot springs, try original Balinese coffee overlooking the rice terraces, experience local village life, and even have a barbecue with a local family. On the last day you will catch some waves, sample dishes at the largest seafood market of Bali, and end your trip with a sunset over the glorious cliffs of Uluwatu!
To book an adventure of a lifetime, contact email@example.com.
19 – Glamping – “Glamourous Camping” in Luxurious Tents
Glamping is literally ‘glamor’ and ‘camping’ combined into the best of both worlds in glamorous camping! Experience the charm of a Teepee decorated with natural wood and bamboo, and surrounded by ferns, palms, nocturnal sounds, birdsong in the morning. There is no tv or air conditioning but a comfortable bed is dressed with a mosquito net and a homey feel. Each home away from home at Sandat Glamping Tents has a private plunge pool and a terrace overlooking the forest. Adorned with driftwood, hand painted furniture, white shells, and pear chandeliers, you will hardly notice you are actually in a tent! Start experiencing luxury things to do in Bali by booking your safari tent here.
20 – Kusamba traditional salt mining
Bali’s cultural landscape is rapidly changing, however, the near vanishing practice of traditional salt mining is still alive in Kusamba Village. A practice dating back one thousand years, Kusamba may well be the last generation of salt miners living in modest huts on the beach and harvesting the top layer of crystalized sea water in a process you will learn the depths of. Located on the Eastern shore bordering the Lombak Strait, cool water mixes with tropical warmth creating a salt with a distinctive texture and subtle flavour. For a unique experience that will help preserve this vanishing practice, more information here.
21 – 3 Day trekking trip in North Bali and Ijen in East Java
This trip is truly an immersion into a typical adventuring in Bali and beyond, one definitely designed for wander-lusters and thrill seekers! The journey begins at a secret garden, so secret that most locals don’t even know about it! Next you will jump off the towering and impressive Kembar waterfall. On your second day, you will tackle the climb up Ijen Crater, where at the peak you will behold the famed “blue fire”…intrigued yet? After some adrenaline pumping adventure, you will spend your last day exploring the magnificent underwater world of Menjangan Island, part of a National Park. To challenge yourself and experience a memorable adventure book this 3 -Days unique adventure here.
22 – Get the Shivers at The Ghost Palace Hotel
If you are brave and interested in the metaphysical, you might consider a spooky stop on the way to Bedugul lake. The Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel and Resort, is otherwise known as “The Ghost Palace Hotel” for a reason. A crumbling ruin abandoned over 10 years ago, it is said to be haunted by workers who died there. Legend has it that in wandering the grounds you are likely to see apparitions of labourers crushed in the building phase, or cursed competitors forever wandering the in-between realms. Although the Hotel never officially opened, someone or something certainly seems to be dwelling there!
23 – Visit Trunyan’s open air cemetery
Isolated, mysterious, and just a wee bit creepy, the village of Trunyan has a unique funeral ritual that has been preserved for over 8 centuries. Rather than following the traditional Hindu ritual of cremation, the people of this remote village on the Eastern shore of Kintamani’s lake Batur, leave their deceased in the open air to decay beneath a sacred tree. Strangely, there is no stench, which the locals attribute to the near 1000-year-old tree beneath which the bodies decay.
24 – Helicopter Wedding Proposal 😍
The sense of reverence and beauty of Bali may very well inspire you to declare your utmost devotion to your loved one, and what better way to do so than by helicopter! The Uluwatu coastline is one of jagged seaside cliffs, providing a dramatic atmosphere for a marriage proposal displayed on the Earth below.
A hidden bottle of champagne awaits to celebrate in an aerial and loving exploration of a special place, where land meets the Indian Ocean, perfect scenery from which to contemplate all the potentials of your union! To shape on of the most important question you may ever ask a person into a majestic and romantic expedition, book here your Helicopter Wedding Proposal.
25 – Try Wakeboarding at Bali’s only Wake Park
A fusion of water skiing, snowboarding, and surfing, wakeboarding is tons of fun, particularly in Bali’s Wake Park, where professional instructors can guide you and teach you some cool tricks! There is also a lovely pool and bar so the whole family can relax and enjoy the refreshing atmosphere, which is very tranquil as compared to the hustle and bustle of nearby Kuta. Book here for an exciting and refreshing day of learning a new sport!
Bali is of course home to a rich culture as well as fantastic shopping and snorkelling, but with unique experiences like these you will take home magical memories of an adventure like no other!
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Written by Joia Holman