When it comes to bucket list destinations, the island of Bali in Indonesia often places high on that list. The island’s culture and landscapes continually capture the imaginations of travelers. It’s not uncommon for a 10 day Bali itinerary to include a mix of beach play, temple visits, cultural activities and relaxation time. There are just so many things to do in Bali!
We have since left the country of Indonesia, but I still can’t help reminiscing about our time there, particularly our two and a half months in Bali. It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with the island. I have always loved the culture and the beauty of Bali, but the influx of tourism in the last decade and a half has really changed the island dramatically. Sometimes for the worse.
Fortunately, spending two and a half months in Bali really allowed me to dive deeper into the culture of Bali. And it’s rekindled my appreciation for the island. For those of you who only have closer to 10 days in Bali, rather than two a half months like me, there are still ways to experience and appreciate Bali on a deeper scale. I’ve put together a family-friendly itinerary for you to experience the many sides of Bali in 10 days.
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Logistics for visiting Bali in 10 days
Before diving into my 10 day Bali itinerary, there are a few logistics to sort out, particularly when it comes to lodging, transport, and activities. Bali is a small island, but it’s surprisingly not that easy to get around. And the many options of lodging in Bali can get overwhelming for someone who’s never visited the island.
Finding lodging for your family
When it comes to lodging, the options for families range from simple homestays to fancy extravagant villas. While in Bali, we stayed at accommodations that were as little as $35 a night (a modest home in Ubud) to as high as $600 a night (a gorgeous villa in southern Bali, complete with an infinity pool, private chef, and private tennis court). The range in quality of lodging is wide.
If you’re looking for lodging options for your 10 days in Bali, booking platforms like Agoda and Booking are helpful. Airbnb is also a great resource, particularly for families, as you’ll likely get more space for your dollars. As always, read the reviews and look for consistent themes to get a feel for the good and bad things about the accommodation. The Bali, Lombok, and West Nusatenggara travel guide is also a helpful resource to give you ideas of where to stay in Bali.
Arranging transport around Bali
When it comes to transport, there are several options for families to get around Bali. Companies like Perama offer shuttle buses between cities and villages. But the majority of travelers to Bali still use private drivers.
Most accommodations will offer airport transfer. Once you get to your first destination, ask around for driver contacts to take you elsewhere around the island. The cost of a car and driver ranges from Rp. 350,000-550,000 (roughly $25-$40 USD), depending on the distance and the driver.
Alternatively, you can choose to rent a car while you’re in Bali. While we have not personally done this, several friends of ours have rented cars during their stay in Bali. This option is particularly helpful for larger families, or for those planning to stay longer than 10 days in Bali.
Car rentals range from Rp. 350,000-500,000 (roughly $25-35 USD) per day. Besides being able to maneuver a car through the narrow streets of Bali, the biggest concern for car rental is finding parking, particularly in cities like Ubud. Within the cities, you can also try doing a scooter rental in Bali.
Booking activities for your 10 day Bali itinerary
Planning all your activities for exploring Bali in 10 days may seem overwhelming. For general Indonesia travel, I recommend Real Indonesia, an Australia-based company that focuses on immersive experiences. For Ubud, specifically, I recommend Bali Adventours, a locally owned travel company that offers a variety of tours around Bali, including a tour through a Bali night market.
A booking platform that’s popular in Asia is Klook. Trip Advisor can also be a helpful resource for finding companies to book activities through. You can also wait until you arrive in Bali before booking your activities. We found our cooking class, painting class, dance class, and Balinese gamelan music class just from walking along the street and keeping our eyes open for signs advertising activities.
The ultimate family-friendly 10 day Bali itinerary
It’s impossible to really immerse yourself in Balinese culture when you only have a short time. But you can definitely get a good introduction! When I was putting together this 10 day Bali itinerary, I really wanted to showcase the parts of Bali that we fell in love with while we were there.
This itinerary is ideal for families with kids ranging from 4-12 years old. But families with older kids or younger kids can adjust this itinerary to their preferences as well.
Day 1: Kick off your 10 day Bali itinerary at the beach in Kuta
Start your Bali visit with a stay in Kuta. It’s arguably one of the most touristy destinations of Bali, but it’s also one of the closest destinations to Ngurah Rai International Airport. Depending on what time you arrive, you can spend your time at the beach.
Kuta Beach is often frequented by hawkers selling trinkets or massages. You don’t have to feel obligated to buy. Just a simple, “tidak, terima kasih” will be sufficient. The beach is generally safe, but avoid bringing valuables in case they get stolen.
While in Kuta, you can visit nearby Tanah Lot to the north. It’s a Hindu temple on the western coast of Bali in the middle of the sea, and is accessible at low tide. Alternatively, you can end the first day of your 10 day Bali itinerary with an evening at Uluwatu Temple in southern Bali. Each night, the temple has a performance of the famous kecak dance, where men dance and chant in a percussive and rhythmic style.
Day 2: Spend a day at Waterbom
The next day, treat your kids to a visit to a water park! Waterbom is Bali’s most famous water park. There are over 12 slides, and they are all clean and well-maintained.
Admission to Waterbom is quite pricey, at Rp. 535,000 (roughly $37.50 USD) for adults, and Rp. 385,000 (roughly $27 USD) for kids. Local residents receive a discounted rate if they show their KTP (Indonesian ID card). You will need to pay extra for food and drinks. The money is loaded on a wrist band that you use to pay throughout the park, and can be topped up at any time. The park is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
Day 3: Drive to Ubud
After starting your 10 days in Bali on the coast, head inland by spending a few days in Ubud. The drive from Kuta to Ubud only takes about an hour and a half. So you can drive in to the city in the morning and spend the rest of the day doing Ubud activities.
One activity I recommend is to visit the Saraswati Temple, located on Jalan Ubud Raya near Ubud Palace. My family and I call it the “Starbucks temple” because there’s a Starbucks located right next to it! Saraswati Temple is framed by two ponds with lotus plants, and is a beautiful spot for a picture.
Afterward, walk along Jalan Kajeng, right in front of the Starbucks, and head to the Juwuk Manis rice fields. There is a loop trail that leads to traditional rice fields, as well as a cafe called Sweet Orange Cafe. This is a great spot to enjoy dinner, among the rice paddies! The Juwuk Manis trail loops back towards Jalan Ubud Raya and drops you off a couple hundred meters west of Saraswati Temple.
Day 4: Have a village experience at Taman Anyar
No visit to Bali would be complete without a village tour! As I mentioned before, it’s impossible to fully experience the culture of Bali in 10 days, but you can certainly get a glimpse by doing a visit to Taman Anyar.
Taman Anyar is run by a Balinese family who opens their home to travelers. Visitors can learn about life in a traditional Balinese home, complete with making offerings, plowing a rice field, and cooking traditional Balinese food. We visited Taman Anyar during a Bali day tour while we were in Ubud, and really enjoyed the immersive experience.
Day 5: Explore Ubud
On the fifth day of your 10 day Bali itinerary, spend some time exploring the city of Ubud. In the early morning, around 6 am, take a stroll through Ubud market to see the local produce vendors (they pack up around 8 am, to be replaced by artisan vendors).
In the afternoon, take a class at Pondok Pekak library and learning center. This community center offers classes in Balinese painting, gamelan music, wood carving, offering making, and cooking. Classes cost around Rp. 300,000 (roughly $21 USD) per person.
End your day with a dance performance at Ubud Royal Palace. Every night, a dance and gamelan group presents traditional Balinese music and dance performances for Rp. 100,000 (roughly $7 USD) per person, starting at 7:30 pm. The seating is first come first served, so be sure to arrive at the palace at least 30 minutes before to get a good seat. You can buy your tickets from vendor in front of the palace or all throughout Jalan Ubud Raya.
Day 6: Drive to Amed
After spending a few days in Ubud, continue your 10 days in Bali northeast. In the morning, stop at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, about 30 minutes north of Ubud, to see traditional rice terraces. You may want to bring about Rp. 20,000-50,000 ($1.40-3.50 USD) for donation to the rice farmers. The best time to visit the rice terraces is around 7am, when there aren’t that many tourists.
Afterward, continue north an hour to Danau Batur, a lake at the base of Mount Batur. There are some nice Bali hot springs around the area where you can spend an afternoon relaxing. The one we visited was Toya Devasya, which offers 7 hot springs pools, as well as restaurants and a gorgeous lake view.
In the late afternoon, continue on to the beach town of Amed. This small village has a much more relaxed pace than the western beach towns of Kuta, Canggu, and even Seminyak. From Toya Devasya, the drive is about an hour and a half.
Day 7: Experience Amed snorkeling
A stay in Amed is a great way to incorporate some snorkeling in Bali into your 10 day Bali itinerary. There are several places to snorkel around the coasts of Amed. The spots we visited were the Japanese shipwreck and Lipah Beach.
The Japanese shipwreck is on the eastern side of the village. You can access the shipwreck from the shore through the Kawi Karma Beach Cottages and Restaurants, but you will need to pay a small fee. The fee includes one drink and use of the bathrooms.
Lipah Beach, located on the western side of the village, has free access to the beach in front of Di Lipah Warung. After a day of snorkeling, you can have dinner at any of the beachside restaurants.
Day 8: Drive to Padang Bai
The next day, continue your journey south east. Start your morning with a visit to Pura Lempuyang (also known as Lempuyang Temple), a Balinese Hindu temple with the famous Gates of Heaven, located about an hour’s drive from Amed.
Entrance to the temple is free, but they do ask for a donation. Rp. 50,000 for a family of four would be sufficient. If you want to take a reflection picture with the iconic temple gates, please be sure to get there at 6am, right at sunrise. Otherwise, you will be waiting for three hours or more to take a turn for a photo.
After visiting Lempuyang Temple, head to nearby Taman Tirta Gangga. Often mistaken for a temple (it’s not), Tirta Gangga is a nice place to include as part of your 10 day Bali itinerary. In actuality, Tirta Gangga is a water palace with beautiful fountains and ponds. There are also pools for swimming. Entrance to Tirta Gangga costs Rp. 30,000 (roughly $2.10 USD) per person, and the swimming pool costs an additional Rp. 10,000 (roughly $.70 USD) per person.
In the afternoon, drive to Padang Bai, which is about an hour and a half away from Tirta Gangga. Padang Bai is a port town on the eastern coast of Bali. It’s often used as a gateway to neighboring Lombok island, or the nearby Gili Islands.
A unique and relaxing place to stay in Padang Bai is Bloo Lagoon Eco Village. This family-friendly Bali eco stay offers families a tranquil setting amidst gorgeous views of the surrounding ocean and lagoon. Bloo Lagoon also has a nice restaurant, if you’re looking for dining options with a view.
Day 9: Snorkel at Blue Lagoon
Building in snorkeling time into your 10 day Bali itinerary is an absolute must. One of Padang Bali’s main attractions is the Blue Lagoon, a popular snorkeling spot in the area.
You can snorkel from the shore at Blue Lagoon, but the waves can be quite rough. It may not be ideal if you have young kids. Alternatively, you can visit Blue Lagoon as part of a boat tour. The tour will drop you off further into the water, beyond the breaks. You’ll have a better chance of seeing coral than if you were coming in from the shore.
Day 10: End your 10 day Bali itinerary back in Denpasar
Depending on your return flight’s departure time, you can either stay at Padang Bai in the morning or head immediately back to Denpasar. Padang Bai is about an hour and a half’s drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
On the way into Denpasar from Padang Bai, you’ll pass by Pura Goa Lawah (the Bat Cave Temple) and Candidasa (a beach resort town). You can make a quick stop in either of these places if you have some time to spare.
Alternative options for your 10 day Bali itinerary
The itinerary above isn’t the only itinerary you can do for your visit to Bali. If you aren’t in the mood to brave the rowdy tourist crowds, you can skip Kuta altogether and drive directly to Ubud. You can use the extra time in Amed or Padang Bai. Alternatively, you can use the extra day to take a trip out to Lombok or the Gili Islands. There are plenty of fun things to do in Lombok with kids.
If you have a little more time to spend in Indonesia, consider visiting another island such as Flores, Java, or Sumatra. The island of Flores is a jumping off point for exploring Komodo National Park. Families can take either a one day or multi day Komodo tour. The island of Java is home to the historic city of Yogyakarta, a great place to learn about the non-Balinese side of Indonesian culture. And for nature lovers, the island of Sumatra offers national parks where you can take an orangutan tour and see these impressive creatures in the wild.
However you choose to spend your 10 days in Bali, make sure you take advantage of all that Bali and Indonesia has to offer. Indonesia is a fascinating country, and the island of Bali offers travelers a great mix of culture and nature to enjoy.
Have you visited Bali before? Share your suggestions for what to include in a 10 day Bali itinerary in the comments below!
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