Padang-Padang beach was one of the first beaches I head right to in Bali. I read it somewhere that it is one of the secretive best beaches in Bali, though it turns out not that secretive anymore, it is still one of the best.
This beautiful beach is surrounded by big rocks and overgrown plants and monkeys. The beach is covered with huge rocks and small caves for exploration and when the tide is high, it is also good for swimming. Just beware of sharp corals and sea urchins.
Where is it
Located close to the Uluwatu temple in the southwest of Bali. If you are heading from Kuta or Ubud, just ride to the west and down the coastal line. -> See Uluwatu Temple Guide
If the crowd is not a problem, come here for the long sandy bays of golden sand. With all year consistent surf break, it is popular for surfers. Non-surfers come here to soak up the vibe and relax on the beach. Currents may be strong but swimming is possible with some care and sticking to the shallow waters.
When is the best time to go
All year round is a good time to go to Padang-Padang beach. If the sun is out, the more reason to get there as soon as possible, be it to surf or just to soak it all in.
Mossy rocks by the Padang-Padang beach. Photo by indrabastari
When to visit Bali depends of course on what you are planning to do there and not too much on the weather. The weather, in general, is pretty stable in Bali, and here are some tips to find the best time to visit Bali. If you are going there for specific reasons or activities or festivals, then you might want to plan around it.
Bali’s has a tropical climate and it is considered to have only two seasons – dry or wet. The dry season is from April to October and the wet season from November to March.
In terms of weather, the best time to go to Bali is from July to August as the temperature is at its coolest at these times and also the driest in terms of rain. But it is also the peak season naturally, thus take note of the tourist crowds and do book in advance.
Also, note that the weather is also changing nowadays and it may differ from the usual schedule that we know about. Therefore, come to Bali with an open mind and heart and don’t let any weather changes affect your trip.
However, it is still possible to travel in the rainy season. It may still rain during the dry season and not rain for a week in the wet season, and it usually comes down in short blasts in the evening or late afternoons. Therefore if you must, traveling in Bali during the wet seasons is still possible if you do most of your sightseeing in the morning and early afternoons and rest in the evenings.
From April to September will be the high season in Bali, as it is purportedly the dry season and also generally the summer holiday season in many parts of the world.
The quieter months are from October to March, and though it is considered the rainy seasons, most of the rains come only in the evening and leave pretty quickly. Therefore, it is still possible to enjoy Bali in this weather if you plan your days earlier and rest in the evening.
Best time to visit Bali
The best months to go to Bali in terms of weather and also the crowd are the shoulder seasons, that is either March or October. At these times, you will have a relatively dry weather yet without the tourist crowds!
Take note also of peak seasons, which are July and August during the summer vacations of the Europeans and mid-December to late January for the Australian school holidays. This is especially obvious in the famous touristy places like Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands.
If you want to visit some of the festivals in Bali, here are some of the popular and interesting festivals to visit that you might want to look out for:
February / March
Bau Nyale Festival – In February or March, hundreds of people will rush to Lombok to catch a glimpse of the first nyale (worm-like fish) at the huge fishing festival.
March / April
Bali Nyepi day – also known as the day of silence, is celebrated every year as the Hindu New Year (Saka new year). The date changes according to Balinese calendar every year but would usually fall between March and April. Bali Spirit Festival – a gathering of world-renowned musicians, yogis and dancers from around the world for a celebration in April.
Bali Arts Festival – Normally around June-July, There will be performances from all remote corners of Indonesia, almost forgotten ritual and village dances, food and offerings, classical palace dance and even contemporary dances from the schools of Denpasar. -> Check out more about Bali Art Festivals.
July / August
Bali Kite Festival – held yearly in July in Padang Galak Area, Sanur Beach, Bali. People from Denpasar villages will make their traditional giant kites and fly them in a competition.
Ubud Writer’s Festival – its mission is simply to create a literary event that encourages free speech among people from all walks of life, race and gender to celebrate the beauty of the written words.
Go no further if you are looking at where to stay in Ubud. Our guide will give you the best accommodation choices ranging from luxury to budget.
With so many things to do in Ubud, staying here is a good idea. Moreover, its central location helps to easily explore the rest of Bali.
Luxury (from 250 USD)
COMO Shambhala Estate, Ubud
Nestled in a private location deep in the tropical greenery, with just 15 minutes drive from Ubud, this hotel offers the best luxurious retreat in nature for two. Each room features wooden furniture and flowing white adornments against a backdrop of greenery, with relaxing outdoor terraces and open bathrooms. This place is almost like in a dream. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com * Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
Villas inspired by the ancient Hanging Garden, you will find this place simply out of this world. Overlooking the Ayung River, the villas come with private infinity pool with a superbly beautiful view of the surrounding greens, perfect for a couple. The rooms are well designed with a hint of Balinese interior with lots of wood and soft plushes. There are also a 5-star facilities of spa and dining options. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com * Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
A popular boutique hotel located on the hillside in Ubud. It is far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city but yet close enough to the tourist attractions around. Its villas are nestled within beautiful gardens with private terraces overlooking the valley. The breakfasts are well loved and the free daily yoga classes are highly rated. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com * Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
Tucked away in Ubud, just 15 minutes walk to the famous Monkey Forest, this affordable villa features eclectic designs with a common theme true to its name. There are trees and greens surrounding the pool and the individual villas. The high ceiling with wood interior is definitely a unique experience itself. Recommended for couple who appreciate unique designs and experiences. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com * Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
Nusa Dua is one of Bali’s most exclusive regions, but don’t let that put you off. Among the many luxurious accommodations, private beaches and fancy restaurants, there are still many things to do. Here also lies Bali’s classic culture and unrelenting friendliness. Nusa Dua, or ‘two islands’ as it translates to in Bahasa Indonesia, is home to some of Bali’s best.
Nusa Dua is all about spending your time in total comfort. The resort enclave has three gates: Main Gate, North Gate and South Gate. Some resorts have private beaches for their visitors; however, other areas are easily accessible to general public. This fishing village also offers a range of water sports facilities as well as many mid-range and budget hotels that were difficult to find in Nusa Dua.
Nusa Dua, located in Bali Island, enjoys a tropical climate. The rainy season here lasts from October to March. The best time to visit Nusa Dua is period from May to August when the weather remains pleasant and cool, just perfect for exploring tourist attraction or enjoying adventurous activities.
Nusa Dua Accommodation
Nusa Dua is often referred to as Bali’s ‘gated community’, as it is full of pricey and luxurious hotels. This can feel pretty exclusive, and there are some incredible options if you’re happy to splash out.
If you’re on a bit more of a budget, don’t panic! You can find some lovely, cheaper places to stay in this region. For even more budHouse of D16 * is a lovely little hostel in Nusa Dua, and Clamonic House * is perfect for travelers on a budget.
Alternatively, stay in nearby Tanjung Benoa and take a day trip to Nusa Dua. There are much cheaper options for accommodation here, such as Sari B&B.
Geger Beach – locally known as Pantai Geger. This beach lies in Sawangan area, about 3 km from Nusa Dua. It is a public beach, considered safe for swimming. You can also enjoy some delicious snacks at the beach side warungs at this beach. his white sand beach is fringed with palm trees and offers lots of comfy deckchairs to relax on. There are several small cafes here, so you can eat while keeping your toes in the sand. You have to pay a small entry fee (around 3,000 – 5, 000 IDR), but this feels totally acceptable once you see how clean and well-kept the beach is.
Mengiat Beach is one of the quieter beaches, so you can expect to have some space to yourself. Unlike some of the other beaches in Bali, you’ll pretty much be left to it by locals selling their wares. While it can sometimes be nice to have people randomly pop up and offer you a foot massage, it’s also quite nice to drift off in your own little bubble of relaxation.
Water Blow Rock Formation – located north of Grand Hyatt Hotel. This site is worth watching for the rock formation and the giant splash formed due to the collision of water waves with rock walls. From a distance, splashing water appears like milky white foam sliding down from the top of the rock.
If you’re after an afternoon of culture, Museum Pasifika is a great place to visit. This museum is pretty spread out and has over 600 pieces to enjoy. It documents various pieces of history, art and culture from all over the world. There is a beautiful mixture of sculptures, paintings and artefacts on display, and entry costs 100, 00 IDR.
Water-Sports – while many of the beaches here are pretty much designed for lazy days, there are also opportunities for the thrill-seekers among you. If you’ve ever wanted to try out kite-surfing, or fancy yourself whizzing around on a jet ski, now is your chance! Head to the nearest beach and see what’s on offer, or book through your accommodation for great rates. There are many companies in Nusa Dua that offer equipment on rent for water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, etc. There are some excellent surfing sites here that remain crowded during ideal weather conditions. Tourists can enjoy sports like tennis, gym and squash in some of the five-star hotels and resorts.
Bali Jetpacks is a fantastic company, offering a range of fun water activities, ranging from donut-rides (perfect for families with young kids) and water jet-packs for those after something a real adrenaline rush! This company take safety very seriously, and will make sure you have an amazing time, whatever you get up to… Snorkelling is the perfect mid-point for anyone who wants to do something more exciting than sunbathing, without going too wild. The reef around Nusa Dua is studded with turtles, brightly-colored schools of fish and striking coral.
Get Your Golf On – as you’d expect from a 5-star region, Nusa Dua is home to some incredible golf courses. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, head here for an afternoon of high-quality fun. Bali National Golf Course is any golfers dream – stunning greens, a challenging course and wonderful customer service. Make a day of it and enjoy the on-site café.
Private Beach at Nusa Dua, Bali. Photo by sektordua
Rainy day activities
Bali is the land of sunshine, but, just in case it rains (or you fancy a break from the beach!), there’s still plenty to do.
Hit Bali Collection for some retail therapy and enjoy the mix of chain stores and restaurants. This isn’t a local mall or market, so expect to pay similar prices to back home. Nike, Billabong and Quiksilver have outlet stores here, and there are also some lovely places to pick up souvenirs or local crafts.
Spa – Enjoy some pampering with selection of choices for spa, one of the latest in Nusa Dua, SPA Healthland, incorporates “medical-spa” concept which involves preventing illness and improve well-being. There is also the popular Zahra Spa. Try out a traditional Balinese massage, pamper yourself with a mani/ pedi or indulge in a full package, complete with delicious food and a range of calming treatments to soothe your soul. The Laguna also offers wonderful spa treatments.
What and where to eat
While this region is seen as Bali’s crème de la crème, there are also dining options for those on more of a budget. For anyone after something a bit cheaper and cheerful, make a stop at Secret Café and sample some delicious Indonesia food. Those craving the comforts of home should take the time to visit Nusa Dua Pizza – it does what it says on the tin, and very well! Warungs along the Jalan Srikandi in Bualu village offer authentic Balinese food at much cheaper prices. Benoa Cafe, Bumbu Bali, Café Bagus, and Kacak Bali are some of the reasonably priced restaurants in Tanjung Benoa area.
If you do fancy going all-out, head to Kayuputi at The St. Regis – this place knows how to do fine-dining, so go with an empty stomach and dress up. Table8 has to get a mention, partially for their stunning interior, but mainly for their incredible menu. Banyubiru at The Laguna Resort is the perfect place for a romantic meal out. For some fresh seafood and wine, go to Kendi Kuning Restaurant which is located in between Tanjong Benoa and Nusa Dua.
How to get there
Nusa Dua is down in the south-west of Bali and is easily-reachable from Denpasar Airport. It’s a very well-known region, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting there. It takes about half an hour from the airport and will cost around 150, 000 IDR. From the airport, you have options of either hiring a prepaid taxi or a metred taxi. A pre-paid taxi fare costs between Rp 90,000 and 115,000. Metred taxis are cheaper than a prepaid taxi but they don’t enter the main airport area and you’ll have to walk a few hundred metre distance to avail this option. If you are coming from Denpasar, you can use the public transport dark-blue bemos that depart from Tegal bemo station at Denpasar or a taxi. Bemos are not allowed to enter the Nusa Dua area, and you’ll have to either walk the distance (about 2 km) or hire a taxi from the entry gate.
Many people head to Nusa Dua for the day from nearby Tanjung Benoa. Benoa is lovely and has a certain charm to it, but the beaches here sadly aren’t very nice for swimming or sunbathing on. A quick twenty-minute drive to Nusa Dua will soon have you dipping in and out of turquoise waters and enjoying the quiet, resort-front beaches.
White sand beach at Nusa Dua, Bali. Photo by skyseeker
How to get around
Metered taxis are freely available to get around in Nusa Dua and Tenjung Benoa areas. Another option is the public bemos that regularly ply around two resort areas. Rented bicycles and cars, available at many hotels, can also be used to explore the area.
Where to go nearby
Denpasar – the administrative capital of Bali. Puputan Square, Bali Museum, Taman Budaya Cultural Center, Pasar Badung and Pasar Kumbasari are some of the best sites to explore in Denpasar.
Kuta– located about 11 km from Nusa Dua and famous for its magnificent sandy beaches and dynamic nightlife. Surfing, shopping, eating, and partying are some of the favourite activities to enjoy while in Kuta.
Serangan or Turtle Island – a turtle conservation island where you can see hatching of turtle eggs in traditional houses.