The best 10-day Bali itinerary

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 14.02.2024

Known as the jewel of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali offers everyone from divers and budget backpackers to high-end honeymooners a huge range of experiences. So, if you’re hoping to maximise your time in this diverse Indonesian province, it’s important to plan your trip carefully. With that in mind — and to save you the effort — here’s our suggestion for the best 10-day Bali itinerary.

The best 10-day Bali itinerary

Encompassing a host of Bali’s top attractions and experiences, this 10-day Bali itinerary takes in some of the province’s best beaches, and most beautiful temples. 

Bali’s natural wonders feature too, among them Kelingking Beach's iconic T-Rex rock formation, and Angel's Billabong. 

Add to that immersive cultural experiences, sensational underwater landscapes, and top rice terrace treks, and it’s plain to see why this might just be the best 10-day Bali itinerary.

nusa-penida-indnesia-shutterstock_1411931918

Kelingking Beach, Nusa penida, Bali © Shutterstock — part of the best 10-day Bali itinerary

Day 1-2: Enjoy the atmosphere in Canggu

After arriving in Ngurah Rai International Airport, transfer to Canggu and check into your hotel, guest house or villa.

With a great mix of wild beaches, stylish boutique hotels, organic cafés and paddy field scenery, Canggu is a draw for Bali’s creative, leisured crowd.

Once a lesser-visited bolt-hole for surfers, Echo Beach and Batu Bolong Beach are now buzzier hubs.  

Come nightfall, Canggu has plenty of places to eat, drink and make merry. Take your pick from hipster-ish spots in town, to lower-key options offered by some of the smaller beach shacks.

Bali coast near Canggu © Shutterstock

Bali coast near Canggu © Shutterstock

Day 3-4: Explore the beaches of Nusa Penida 

Next up, head down to Sanur to board a speedboat to Nusa Penida, where some truly beautiful beaches await.

Take Kelingking Beach, for example. When it comes to breath-taking views, this place is hard to beat. Here a unique rock formation that resembles a T-Rex delivers an unforgettable view of an impossibly turquoise ocean.

More natural wonders await at Broken Beach and Angel's Billabong in the form of incredible rock formations. 

Meanwhile, snorkellers and divers will want to head to Crystal Bay. Known for its clear waters – visibility can be 40m – this attracts pelagic mola mola (AKA sunfish) from late July to October.

For more mind-blowing views of the Indian Ocean, venture to eastern Penida. For example, picturesque Atuh Beach is spectacular at sunrise when the orange glow peeks beneath a natural arch that juts up from the sea.

Then there the magic of the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu) viewpoints. A 10-minute descent down a steep staircase takes you to the first viewpoint. Keep going to reach the second viewpoint before spotting the legendary Rumah Pohon (Tree House) perched high above a truly stunning scene.

Love beaches? Discover the best beaches in Bali.

Broken beach in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Broken beach in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Day 5-6: Visit the cultural heart of Bali in Ubud

Blessed with a huge bounty of temples, museums and craft studios, Ubud is also one of Asia’s leading yoga centres. As such, it's the perfect place to a experience a variety of cultural activities.

Aside from visiting said museums and temples, you could watch one of the nightly Balinese dance performances, explore the local market, or see batik artists and craftspeople at work.  

In good news for lovers of the great outdoors, Ubud is set among lush rice paddies, with the Tegalalang rice fields famed for their distinct terraces. 

Culture vultures won’t want to miss visiting Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), an enchanting archaeological site that’s located just outside Ubud. 

Thought to have been a hermitage for eleventh-century Hindu priests, besides the cave itself, there’s a traditional bathing pool here and several ancient stone relics.

Top tips for optional extras: while in Ubed, you could take a cooking class, or visit a yoga retreat. Love yoga? Browse our customisable Bali Yoga Retreat trip.

The entrance to the elephant cave "Goa Gajah" on the Indonesian island of Bali © Shutterstock

Entrance to Goa Gajah/Elephant Cave, Bali © Shutterstock

Day 7-8: Soak in the view in Amed

The 15km coastline from Culik to Aas in the east of Bali is known as Amed, with the quiet, eponymous fishing village of Amed being a beautiful base for relaxing and enjoying excellent dive sites. 

Snorkellers will also love this coastline’s impressive easy-access reefs, such as Pyramid Reef, which is just offshore at Congkang. 

In addition, Amed’s famed Japanese Shipwreck dive site is also an option for non-divers, with parts of it visible from the surface through amazingly clear waters.

If you're fit and fancy adding some adventure to your trip, consider climbing Mount Agung, Bali's highest volcano. It's a challenging hike, though, as detailed in our guide to Mount Agung.

View of Agung volcano from the ocean,  Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Awe-inspiring Amed, Bali, with Agung volcano in the background © Shutterstock

Day 9-10: Stroll through green rice fields in Sidemen

To round off your 10-day Bali itinerary in refreshing style, transfer to Sidemen. Sitting in a landscape of rice terraces and coconut groves, with the Unda River surging beneath Mount Agung's mighty profile, the village makes a glorious base for a few days. 

With a growing number of scenic places to stay, the main activity around here is relaxation and relishing the sight of the ricefields.  

To explore the villages and temples of Sidemen Valley, guesthouses can supply a basic sketch map. Alternatively, you could engage the services of a local guide to make the most of your trek. 

Then, to cool off in stunning style, swim in the Unda River beneath the iconic yellow suspension bridge, or go white-water rafting just outside the village. 

Back in town, Sidemen is a great place to take a cooking or yoga class, with stacks of excellent craft shops along the southern end of the main road.

Bali rice terraces

Round off the best 10-day Bali itinerary trekking iconic ricefields © Shutterstock

From the breath-taking the beaches of Nusa Penida, to trekking Sidemen’s iconic rice terraces, this 10-day Bali itinerary packs in plenty of picturesque scenery, unforgettable cultural experiences, and opportunities to unwind.

For more inspiration, read our Bali travel tips, and discover the best things to do in Bali. 

Want more information to help you plan? Read The Rough Guide to Bali and Lombok

Not keen on planning? Browse our customisable itineraries, or talk to our local experts.

Header image: Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati Temple in Ubud, Bali island, Indonesia © Pelikh Alexey/Shutterstock

Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 14.02.2024

Ties is a true world explorer - whether it be for work or leisure! As Content Manager at RoughGuides, and the owner of Dutch travel platform Reis-Expert.nl, Ties is constantly on the move, always looking for new destinations to discover.

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