WHERE TO STAY IN BALI?
If you are not sure which location is right for you, have a look below at our quick summary that we hope will help you.
SEMINYAK – 30 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT
Seminyak has for several years now been the most popular location for visitors to Bali, and many come back year after year. Seminyak (and Kuta/Legian that are just to the South) is the most built up area of Bali, with loads of restaurants, bars, shops all topped off with a huge wide flat beach that stretches all the way up to Echo Beach. The beach is great for walking and surfing but not great for kids or swimming though (except at low tide).
Seminyak is the place for sitting back and enjoying sunset drinks (if your budget allows it) at one of the mega-restaurants on beach such as Ku-De-Ta, Samaya or Potatohead. It is also the place for shopping with loads of great independent clothes and art and craft and furniture shops all along Jalan Petitenget / Jalan Laksmana and Jalan Legian.
For families Seminyak is the place for water parks, paintball, sports and surfing/boogie boarding or catching a film at the cinema, and also for useful services like child-care, indoor play areas and on a more sober note, for the best doctors and hospitals. It is also easy to arrange tours to almost any other attraction in Bali from Seminyak.
The downside of all this popularity of course is traffic and crowds and noise, which can make the centre of Seminyak very busy during the summer and xmas/new year seasons, and also costs, with some of the most expensive/striking places to have a beer being in Seminyak. There are still some laid back warungs with cheap eats/drinks right on the beach, and it is also easier to get out of Seminyak to see great cultural sites such as Tanah Lot temple.
CANGGU AREA – 60 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT
Canggu is a coastal village and 10 km beach on the south coast of Bali, Indonesia. It lies approximately 10 kilometers north of Kuta, and presents a much more relaxing atmosphere of dining, cultural and beach activities and in the past few years has increasingly become a destination in its own right. It is now the cafe culture capital of Bali, with a huge variety of interesting and varies places to shop, eat, drink and increasingly go out as well, particularly around the rapidly expanding Batu Bolong area.
The surfing scene is still strong though, with Batu Bolong one of the best beaches for beginners, and there are still laid back beach side surf bars and BBQs at Echo Beach, but now increasingly people head to the ever increasing variety of beach bars varying from the laid back and local to the mega such as Finns Beach Club and LV8.
However here are still rice field views and open spaces in Canggu. Also the spectacular Tanah Lot temple is close by, as is the equally spectacular Nirmala golf course. For families apart from the beach, there is horse riding, and a great range of indoor and outdoor sports and activities at the Finns Rec Club, including Splash Waterpark, Bounce Trampolining, Strike Bowling and Cubby House kids soft play area.
The downside of Canggu is that the road infrastructure is clearly inadequate for all the development that has happened, and expect to take longer than expected to get around by car, and also there is still regular building works in this area. Also the beach here is great for long walks and surfing, but is not suitable for other activities such as swimming, snorkeling or paddling for small kids.
KUTA – 15 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT
Kuta is a tourist area, administratively an urban village (kelurahan), and the capital of Kuta District, Badung Regency, southern Bali, Indonesia. A former fishing village, it was one of the first towns on Bali to see substantial tourist development, and as a beach resort remains one of Indonesia’s major tourist destinations. It is known internationally for its long sandy beach, varied accommodation, many restaurants and bars, and many renowned surfers who visit from Australia. It is located near Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.
Kuta is now the center of an extensive tourist-oriented urban area that merges into the neighboring towns. Legian, to the north, is the commercial hub of Kuta and the site of many restaurants and entertainment spots. Most of the area’s big beachfront hotels are in the southern section of Tuban.
Legian and Seminyak are northern extensions of Kuta along Jl. Legian and Jl. Basangkasa. They are somewhat quieter suburbs with cottage-style accommodations, where many of the expat crowd live. Also to the north are Petitenget, Berawa, Canggu, and Seseh — new and quieter continuations of Kuta’s beach.
They are easy to reach through Abian Timbul or Denpasar and Kerobokan. Several large hotels are located in this area: the Oberoi Bali, Hard Rock Hotel Bali, the Intan Bali Village, the Legian Bali in Petitenget, the Dewata Beach, and the Bali Sani Suites in Berawa.
The beach has been notable since the early 1970s. Kuta beach is also known as Sunset Beach, as opposed to the Sunrise Beach, another name for Sanur Beach. Luxury resorts, restaurants, and clubs are located along the beach.
JIMBARAN – 15 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT
Jimbaran is a fishing village and tourist resort in Bali, Indonesia. Located south of Ngurah Rai International Airport, the beach has seafood restaurants and luxury hotels, including the five-star Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran, Kayumanis Private Estate & Spa, Intercontinental Hotel Bali, AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, Four Seasons and Jimbaran Puri Bali and the casual dining restaurant Cuca. Lately, Jimbaran is developing more affordable accommodations.
Tourism in Jimbaran has increased in recent years which has boosted the local economy. In 2005 the Bali bombings occurred when suicide bombers struck at two popular warungs (restaurants) along the beach. However, the tourism industry has since recovered. Dinners select the live seafood that they wish to eat, and it is immediately prepared, generally grilled over a fire of coconut husks rather than charcoal.
NUSA DUA – 30 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT
Nusa Dua is a resort area built in the 1970s in the southern part of Bali, Indonesia. Known as an enclave of large five-star resorts, it covers 350 hectares of land and encloses more than 20 resorts. Nusa Dua means two islands (nusa ‘island’, dua ‘two’), because there are two islands in the bay of Bali Tourism Development Corporation area. On the southern side lies Peninsula Island, and on the northern side lies Nusa Dharma Island, which is smaller but shadier, and which contains the Pura/Temple Nusa Dharma.
Geger Beach is located in Sawangan, about 3 kilometers from the southern area of Nusa Dua. The sea there is calm, which allows farmers to grow seaweed in the area, as well as being an attractive place for tourists to swim.
Water Blow is located in the Indonesia Tourism & Development Corporation (ITDC) district where large waves of sea water from the Indian Ocean continually crash against jagged limestone edges of a cliff. The water blow is the outcome of the narrowing crag below the cliff face that channels a surge of water up to 30 meters high from its base following strong currents. This phenomenon results in giant, irregular splashes of wave that can reach several meters high. The area provides a 240-degree lookout of dramatic seascape that is bordered by guardrails.
Immediately north of the Nusa Dua enclave is the peninsula of Tanjung Benoa, which includes cheaper hotels as well as Benoa village. A multi-denominational area, it includes a mosque and Chinese and Hindu temples close to each other.
Benoa Port, also located there, was previously used for yachts and small ships. In December 2012, it became the Benoa Cruise International Terminal’s turnaround port, serving as both embarkation and debarkation point for cruise passengers.
ULUWATU, PECATU – 55 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT
Uluwatu is a region on the south-western tip of the Bukit Peninsula of Bali, Indonesia. It is home to the Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple. The name Uluwatu comes from ulu, meaning ‘lands end’, and watu, meaning ‘rock’.
Uluwatu was “discovered” as a surfing destination in 1972, due to the making of Morning of the Earth, a 1971 classic surf film by Alby Falzon and David Elfick. The original goal of the film was to show waves around Kuta. After a few days of shooting around Kuta beach, they found Uluwatu. To get to Uluwatu requires descending down the temple and emerging through the two rocks at the base of the cave, at the beach of Uluwatu. At the time, there were no roads leading to the beach, which meant that surfers had to bring all the supplies they would need. Steve Cooney surfed the first wave in Uluwatu history, capturing it on film for Morning of the Earth at age 15. After the film’s release on 25 February 1972, Uluwatu received immediate attention from surfers across the globe. Today Uluwatu is one of the most popular surf destinations in all of Bali, with surfers visiting from all over the world and with the advancement in video technology there has been some incredible aerial footage showcasing Uluwatu’s beauty from the air.
The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is one of nine directional temples of Bali, found 70 metres (230 ft) up at the top of the rock at the southwest most point of the peninsula. Locals on the island believe that Gods have blessed the surfers who surf the Uluwatu wave, because of how divine and perfect the waves there are. The temple is believed to protect Bali against evil.