Bali is the tourism center of Indonesia. It is also the center of logistics, technology and transportation for Eastern Indonesia. It’s also a long established center of cultural and artistic crafts that are easily accessible to visitors. Wicked Diving Bali is located right in the heart of Sanur.
Sanur is ideal for those who want to combine a holiday in Bali with some great diving… Maybe you want to spend some time sightseeing and some diving? If you plan on visiting Wicked Diving Komodo or Wicked Diving Raja Ampat, this is the perfect place to start and finish your trips.
Bali has it all. Bali, being a big island, gives you the opportunity to travel and enjoy some of the best sites in the world while not being in a area which is too isolated from civilization but being in a location which has a great balance between modern amenities and cultural heritage of the island.
Wicked Diving Bali – for those staying and diving in Komodo, it’s only a brief flight away. And for those visiting Raja Ampat – this is the ideal hub for all your international connections.
If you forgot something – Bali is the ideal hub for shopping. With both souvenir markets and malls, this is the place to stock up on supplies, grab that item you forget…or grab that snack you simply “must” have
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Bali depends mainly on the weather and on high and low travel season – which are different factors! These all affect the overall price for accommodation. High season is during the months of July and August, during Easter Holidays, and Christmas / New Year
However, the best time to enjoy great weather around Bali is April, May, June and September, just before and just after high season. It’s still dry season, it’s slightly less humid, and room prices can be as much as 50% cheaper than during high season.
Many shops offer sales and promotions, restaurants are less crowded in those mid-season months, and in general Bali is a bit more relaxed. October is not too bad either, still much less rain than November (usually, check the rainfall chart).
It’s also the best time for water sport activities such as scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, etc. The main critique of Bali is Traffic, and in general the traffic and hustle & bustle on the roads is more bearable.
The tourism boom, which started in the early 1970s, has brought many changes, and has helped pay for improvements in roads, telecommunications, education and health. Though tourism has had some marked adverse environmental and social effects, Bali’s unique culture has proved to be remarkably resilient. Beginning in the 1990s there has been vocal public opposition to some controversial tourist developments, which indicates that Balinese people will play a more active role in the development of their island.
Bali, like most places, has also been affected by global politics. In October 2002, two simultaneous bomb explosions in Kuta – targeting an area frequented by tourists – injured or killed more than 500 people. The island’s vital tourist industry was dealt a severe blow. It had mostly recovered by 2005 when in October of that year more bombs went off, albeit with less loss of life. Still, the bombs caused an immediate sharp drop in tourists and have forced the Balinese to yet again ponder their role in the world’s greater geopolitics.
The national and local governments have taken a fierce stand against terrorism and radicalism in the country since that time. The island has since returned to it’s stereotype of peaceful and tourist friendly.
Dry season is between April and September. Bali receives the most visitors during July and August. Temperatures are pretty steady all year round. During Bali’s dry season beaches are generally clean and Bali shows its pretty side. One can still expect occasional rainfall though and sometimes even the locals are surprised how dry a week during rainy season can be and the other way around. Have a look at the chart below and check out temperatures, no. of days with rainfal etc in Denpasar, which is in the south where the main tourist areas are.
During rainy season which is typically from October to March Bali becomes more quiet. The sea is rougher, the beaches and the sea in the south (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak) can be quite dirty due to debris washed onto the shore during January and February. It’s not happening always, but it can happen and depends on wind contitions and currents.
During rainy season winds are stronger at the coast, the water currents pick up and it can rain in buckets. Although, usually the rain stops after a few hours and the sun shines again. A lot of the times it rains during the night and days are o.k. Very rarely you have a few days when it rains continuously. In 2014 it didn’t rain in Bali till December! And November was as dry as any July or August. Like in all parts of the world, weather becomes more unpredictable.
Central Bali and the Mountains
Bali’s central mountain area is typically cooler and also more rainy than the lower coastal areas. Especially at night temperatures can drop significantly in the highlands near the volcanoes. Gunung Agung is for example 3031m high! Also the region around Ubud is a slightly cooler and expects more rain than the southern areas of Bali (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Denpasar, Sanur, Bukit Pennsula, Pecatu), which makes it rather pleasant.
Bali’s is located very near to the equator, therefore its warm, tropical climate makes it a huge draw for tourists. Average year-round temperature stands at around 26-27°C with a humidity level of about 85-90%. Water temperatures are always pleasant. The two seasons are not clear cut and fully predictable. Christmas and New Year is clearly high / peak season on Bali and tourists come from all over the world to enjoy the beaches, the surfing, diving, the restaurants, the club, the spas and everything else Bali has to offer – although it is technically “rainy season”. One can do everything during wet season but maybe climb the volcanoes and trekking in the highlands.
What to do in Wicked Diving Bali
There are literally hundreds of activities one can do around Bali.
A trip to the Kintamani volcano will take you to one of Bali’s most famous attractions and you will get a fabulous look at the countryside of Bali and its unique culture. Would recommend to get a guide/driver for the drive up to Kintamani due to various reasons – the steep slopes going up, the regular police roadblocks looking out for foreigners without valid motorbike license (SIM – Surat Ijin Mengemudi) or any other traffic offences. Be prepared to be charged for admission to access the tourist attractions, even going up to Kintamani – some kind of a toll fare.
On your way to the volcano, you can stop to see traditional Barong and Kris dance at Batubulan village.
As you pass through Celuk village, you can visit a gold and silver smith, and there are woodcarvers at Mas or Kemenuh villages.
On the way up, you can see the mysterious 11th century elephant caves temple (Goa Gajah) and drive up to the village of Tampak Siring to see Gunung Kawi temple. You can also check out Tirta Empul – one of the major water temples in Bali. Such a refreshing experience. Pay for admission at the ticketing counter and if necessary, they will provide sarung/sash to enter the holy grounds. The village of Seribatu has a lovely the spice garden where you can stop and enjoy lunch or continue on to Kintamani. Along the way back you will also see some beautiful terraced rice fields and can explore the Ubud monkey forest.
Heading first to Pacung, stopping at the Candi Kuning markets. These are wonderful for spices and pashminas in particular. The stalls are predominately run by Muslims and there are many Muslim food stalls around.
Have bought different things from these markets, gold threaded checked fabrics for outdoor tablecloths. Beautiful pashminas. Lovely spices and cashews (to eat in Bali). Also in these markets are western built toilets. Crackers bar and loos. Can have a drink at the bar (with your cashews) or a meal there at the top deck restaurant. It takes about 1 1/4 hours to get here from Kuta. Moving on another 15 minutes you arrive to Lake Bratan and it is usually very misty. It is cooler in these parts of Bali as you have entered the mountain area.There is a magnificent looking temple on the lake and you are walking around through beautiful gardens.
Just up the main road on the opposite side to the lake is a place called The Strawberry stop. Has the most yummy strawberry pancakes and milkshakes. It also has beautiful gardens of which the tables and chairs are in and you can enjoy your food as well as the gardens and backdrops. If you travel up the road further….maybe another 10 minutes or so, there are monkeys on the side of the road. There is a little lady there that sells you bananas to feed them.
The views over the cliff are stunning. If you keep going, you drive through the mountains and when you come out the other side you are not too far from Singaraja and Lovina……..but this makes it much too far for a day trip. So turn around after the monkeys and head back.
Take notice on the way up to this area, there are often things you will see on the side of the road and beautiful scenery. Located on one of the many winding turns is the ruins of a large mountain resort, set amongst what is now sprawling, overgrown gardens. According to locals, this place was built “a long time ago”, complete with ballrooms and set on a cliff. It got to the opening stage….complete with beds, however the owners went broke and it never opened.
Most drivers know this place, and as it is now abandoned, you may stop and wander up the driveway past the chain and have a look. Beware of slippery moss and puddles which may have formed during rains. There are unfettered views from the hotel rooms which are definitely worthwhile. It is strangely peaceful and quiet up there, however, you may leave feeling a little melancholy at the grandness of a vision that never came true and the reality of what it is now.
This is an easy day trip.
Pura Ulun Danu temple.
Beautiful sights, nicely maintained. Pura Ulun Danu was said as the most photographed temple in Bali. Free and easy walk through the temple surroundings, but might be a bit crowded.
Do a day trip Up to Candidasa, stop at Goa Lawah (the bat caves) on the way then pull into Padang bai and have a look. Have a snorkel at Blue Lagoon. You can use your own gear or hire theirs. Allow maybe an hour. Have lunch at Candidasa at Vincent’s, Balissa or even Le 48 which is getting very good reviews. A stretch of your legs after lunch along the beach or down the laneways and then if time allows on to Tirtagangga Water Palace. This is another 10 to 15 minuites on. This will be a long day but doable..
Take a wander down the main road Jalan Tamblingan stopping at anything that takes your fancy in the way of shops, Hardy’s etc. Look at the Bonsai gardens at the back of Bonsai cafe. Walk to the left of Bonsai and go along the beach until you find Benno’s. Enjoy a yummy lunch or drink on the beach. Jenis is there double shop 28 and 29, fixed price. Keep walking and when you get down a little further, you will find near Sindhu beach hotel, cross the road and you will find Tootsies Bar and cafe (another option for lunch) and behind is her fixed price shop.Or you can hire a bike and cycle along the whole beach path both directions. When you have come back from cycling, have a massage from Jeffrey and “her” friends under the trees next to Benno’s. About 50 or 60 000rp. She says there are too many made’s so she goes by her sons name.
a favourite day trip is to the Bukit area stopping first at the beautiful Padang Padang beach. The beach and water here are fantastic and the shorebreak is usually calm so it’s a great place to swim. There are several warungs so you can eat and drink. The walk back up the stairs can be a killer, so don’t go in the middle of the day. From Padang continue on to the famous surf spot of Uluwatu where you will see world-class waves and lots of talented surfers. Head down the cliff, past all the warungs and go down a steep set of concrete stairs (be careful there is no railing) into the cave where surfers have to paddle out of to get to the break. This is a great place to take photos. Head back up the stairs and choose a warung to sit at, order a fresh fruit juice, banana pancake, jaffle or nasi goreng and enjoy the incredible view of one of the most spectacular coastlines on the island. You can make this a half-day or full day tour.
Itinerary, coming in from the south (Legian area for example) is… ARMA for your first stop so you get your art dose. Swing by the Monkey Forest, leave if you don’t like it. Don’t shop on Monkey Forest Rd, it’s very touristic. Go to Sari Organics or Indus for an early lunch, then head via Bentuyung/Junjungan to Handicraft Highway for a shop/look/stroll. Your driver can meet you up the road or shadow you. Head up past the Tegallalang to stop in at Dewa’s cafe for coffee. Which is just at the intersection to Sebatu. Nice view, simple place, without hawkers.
Go up to Sebatu, spend some time at the temple then back onto the Tegallalang road (afternoon photos) and back into Ubud. You could stop again for another shop if see something interesting (you will!). Get your driver to drop you off at the Post Office and wander around the older back streets of Ubud, Jalan Jembawan area. Walk to whatever dance you’ve chosen to go to (there’s about 9 a night, info from the Tourist Info Centre but your driver for sure will know if he’s a professional). You can buy tickets at the door and they are great. Or your driver can choose and buy them for you. Finished by 9 and back home after a snack somewhere.
Denpasar (A shopping trip)
DENPASAR for the day….
local department stores and cheap shopping; It is not where a lot of tourists go and is about half an hour away but well worth the trip. Take a driver for a half day (300 000 approx) or a full day (500 000 approx). He will store your packages in the car.
Ramayana department store……
Tiara Dewata department store…
Robinsons department store……
Mataharis department store.
There are markets in Denpasar also (bargain hard)
Another memorable day is a day to Nusa Lembongan with snorkelling on the reef, a buffet lunch, banana boat ride a visit to the seaweed drying area and down into an underground limestone house (not great for claustrophobics) then cocktails and dancing on the way back.
West Bali National Park
Some published maps show the national park as extending a great deal further, but in reality the park is encircled by forest that comes under the jurisdiction of the provincial forestry department.
West Bali The south coast
The road from Seririt to the south coast commands some breathtakingly lovely views as it crosses through the mountains, rice-growing valleys and small hilltop villages of Bali’s central spine.
Where to Stay
If you want great local culture and to really experience the “real” Bali, you should consider Ubud. Ubud also has the best local fare and adventure sports. You might want to split your stay to half Petitenget (surfing beach and gorgeous sunsets as it faces West) and half Ubud. Nusa Dua faces South and is just filled with older tourist hotels at 5-star prices. No local food at all and traffic anywhere going North is really bad right now due to construction. Only exception is Mulia Resort which has amazing food.
The primary gateway to Indonesia was the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport of Jakarta (also known as Cengkareng CKG), but there are increasingly more international airlines that offer direct flights to Bali. From Jakarta, Garuda Indonesia and Sempati Air have around a dozen departure times to Bali. Internationally, Garuda also has direct flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, and a number of Australian cities; as well as flights from Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and other European cities.
Qantas Airlines of Australia provides direct flights from a number of Australian cities as well as a number of European cities (e.g. London). Air New Zealand will also take you from Auckland to Bali. KLM of the Netherlands is one of the first international airlines to have an international flight to Bali, and it will take you from many cities in Europe, notably Amsterdam, to Bali. Lauda Air, Lufthansa Airlines and Air France can also assist you to escape from Europe.
From Asia, direct flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong are readily available from Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines.