We’ve been travelling to Indonesia chasing surf and sunshine for more than ten years now. One island that always drew us back was Bali, we fell in love with it so much so that we decided to move the team out here and we now call the island home for the majority of the year.

Spending our weekends adventuring throughout this incredible island has allowed us to build up a list of absolute must see’s if you ever find yourself on this paradise island for any amount of time.

As part of our new “Best Bits Of” Series, here’s our Best Bits of Bali:

1. Aling Aling Waterfall 

Natures own playground at Aling Aling

A fair trek from the tourist hotspots of Canggu and Kuta, Aling Aling waterfall sits to the far North of the island of Bali ensuring only those willing to make extra effort reach this stunning location. Looming 35 metres from top to bottom the waterfall is unique in it being two towers of water falling next to each other each fed by two different rivers. The location offers a beautiful and tranquil setting to go swimming, partake in some waterfall chute riding as well as get some enviable Instagram shots!!

2. Uluwatu 

Only for the skilled and brave | Photo credit – Micheal McGuiness

Hidden beaches, Hindu temples, famous surf breaks and infamous party’s! We’ve got a whole days itinerary for you here:

Green Bowl Beach – Be prepared for a walk down 300+ steps to reach one of Bali’s most stunning beaches. It’s worth the trek as you’ll be greeted by gorgeous white sands and clear waters, it’s not a big beach but is off the radar of the main tourist crowd for now! Head there at low tide only.

The Luhur Ulawatu Temple – Sitting proudly on the cliff tops of Uluwatu take a visit to the temple to soak up local Balinese culture.  Hang around until the evening for one of the local Kecak Fire Dances.

Surf a famous wave – Ulu’s famous wave is for serious surfers only, on a big day it’s impressive to watch those brave enough to rip this hollow barrel. You can find kinder waves locally if you do some research and hook up with a local school or guide.

Single Fin bar – After hours fun in Uluwatu comes courtesy of the legendary single fin surf bar which overlooks the local breaks. Sunday sessions are the ones to head for where you can catch live music and great deals.

3. Tegalalang Rice Fields

The luscious green landscape of the rice fields

Situated about 20 minutes north of Ubud these unbelievable tiered rice fields are a must see and offer amazing photo opportunities. Luscious green fields span the landscape and offer a challenging workout should you wish to get lost walking the paths that wind their way through.

Team a trip to the rice fields with a night or two in the bustling town of Ubud as well as a trip to the Monkey Forest (see further down).

4. Mount Agung sunrise hike

That incredible view is worth the super early start!

This ones for the early risers!! Setting off on foot at 2:30am will make for a once in a lifetime experience as you hike to the peak of the mountain before the sun begins to show. The ascent to the summit takes a gruelling 5 hours so wear good sturdy shoes and take plenty of water and snacks! Reaching the top of the peak you’ll be 3,142m above sea level and if the weather is clear the views will be phenomenal!

5. Gili Islands

You’ll not tire of the beauty of the Gili Islands

Technically this isn’t Bali but it really is a must if you have enough time. 

The Gili’s are made up of 3 tiny islands – Trawangan, Meno and Air and air famed for their white sands, coral reefs and tranquil car free vibes.

Which Island then? Well to sum each up in a word-  Trawangan is party, Meno is romance, Air is Chill!

Take take a short trip over by boat and stay a few days on these truly paradisiacal islands. 

Check out our photo blog from the Gili’s here.

6. Soak up a Sunset

Another unreal sunset at the beach

Head to any of the beaches on the south coast of the island (our local is Berawa) crack open a coconut and refresh yourself as the sun dips below the horizon and bounces colours across the sky. A proper Insta opportunity!

7. Monkey Forest  – Ubud

One of the residents of the Ubud Monkey Forest

You can find monkeys in a number of spots across Bali but this is the place to go if you want to get close to hundreds of these mischievous animals in an impressive surrounding. Located just a few minutes ride from the centre of Ubud, the forest is also home to a a dense population of huge ancient trees that make for a maze of playful climbing opportunities for the monkeys.

Spend an hour following the paths and steps that wind their way through the deep forest ravines and meeting the monkeys as they swing above your heads and every so often onto your shoulders in search of a free snack!

8. Nusa Penida

The incredible colours of Penida | Photo credit – journeyera.com

Located a 90 minutes boat ride from Sanur (on the east coast of Bali) Nusa Penida is the biggest of the three islands that lie to the south east of Bali.  Here you can bask in the tranquility of an island that hasn’t developed tourism to an aggressive level meaning a lot more space to breath than you’d find on mainland Bali!

Our favourite things to do whilst on this beautiful island are; snorkel with giant Manta’s – scary but incredible, diving in one of the many world class diving spots – you’ll see an amazing array of fish and coral thriving here, and a hike above the “T-Rex” cliff to see the amazing colours of this landscape from above.

We’d love for you to share any adventures you have at these spots with us so be sure to tag us in your Instagram shots! @melonoptics

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