Located amongst the chain of Indonesian islands, Bali is an intriguing country filled with natural beauty and amazing sights. It’s recently been on the radar of photographers, influencers and outdoor enthusiasts, and it’s no surprise why. From the lush, dense rice fields in Ubud to the iconic “Stairway to Heaven” temple featuring views of the amazing Gunung Agung mountain, Bali has something for everyone. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and get the most out of your experience.
- Travel Insurance: Not required, but highly recommended
- Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
- Must-See Landmark: The Monkey Forest, Ubud
- Must-Try Food: Nasi goreng (fried rice)
- Most Common Language: Indonesian, Balinese
- Weather: Daytime temps between mid-80s to low-90s, with rain from October to April
- Emergency Services Telephone Number: 112
Travel Insurance is Strongly Suggested
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bali has chosen to require a negative COVID-19 antigen test conducted one day before departure, or a PCR test conducted no more than two days before departure.
For now, travel insurance is not a requirement for international visitors, but it's highly recommended. Part of the allure of Bali is the opportunity for adventurefrom trekking through Ubud’s rice fields to scaling the cliffside in Nusa Penida to get the perfect picture of Dinosaur Island. Likewise, motorbikes are the most common type of transportation and an efficient way of getting from one place to another. But these adventures come with additional risks, which is why purchasing a travel insurance plan provides you with coverage for expenses that may be incurred in the event of an accident or illness while abroad.
Travelers to Bali may also want to consider purchasing adventure sports coverage . With stunning shorelines and beautiful beaches, Bali is the perfect destination to experience thrilling activities such as paragliding, jet skiing, kayaking, or skydiving. With adventure sports coverage, you can participate in all of these activities (and more!) with peace of mind knowing that you’re covered for the unexpected.
COVID-19 in Bali
Bali has certainly felt the impact of COVID-19. Not only has the island recorded more than 34,000 infections, but the island’s economy, which greatly depends on tourism, has suffered due to the pandemic. As vaccines become more readily available (both for its citizens and for tourists abroad), Indonesia is drawing up a plan that could allow for tourists to return to Bali within the next few months, provided that they can present proof of vaccination and return a negative test on arrival.
Visas and documentation
Arrival regulations and visa requirements differ depending on your home country. If you’re planning on traveling to Bali, be sure to check with your local government agencies to learn what you will need in order to enter the country.
If you’re a digital nomad, you might be in luck. The country’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister is talking about establishing a new long-term visa that would allow digital nomads and other foreign tourists the opportunity to stay in the country for up to five years.
Health & safety
Tap water is not always safe to drink in Bali, but fresh bottled drinking water is readily available. The country is generally quite safe, although petty theft and tourist scams can occur.
Be sure to not bring any non-prescribed drugs or firearms into Bali. Indonesia has incredibly strict laws in regards to smuggling firearms and drugs, and convictions may result in a large fine or even imprisonment.
Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before your trip. Here are the common vaccination requirements. Experts expect that the COVID-19 vaccine will also be required once it’s more widely available.
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese encephalitis
- Yellow fever
Get the Most out of your Bali vacation
Common words and phrases in Balinese
- Yes: iya [ee-yah]
- No: tidak [tee-dok]
- Thank You: terima kasih [teh-ree-mah kah-see]
- Hello: halo [hah-loh]
- Good morning:selamat pagi [seh-lah-mat pah-gee]
- Goodbye: selamat tinggal [lah-gon]
- Ubud: Located in the middle of the island, Ubud is known as the artsy hub of Bali. The town is most known for its rainforest and rice paddies, the iconic Monkey Forest, and a number of famous Hindu temples and shrines. Yoga fanatics will delight in the number of yoga studios and cafes tucked within its streets.
- Canggu: Known as the beachy, resort area of Bali, Canggu is known for its cute cafes, high-end resorts, and bustling nightlife. Canggu also has a large digital nomad presence, so expect a number of trendy co-working and co-living hubs.
- Nusa Penida: Off the southeast coast of mainland Bali, Nusa Penida is an exotic island known for rainforested hills and clear water. Travelers love to visit the lookout point for the infamous “Dinosaur Island” picture, along with swimming and kayaking.
- Uluwatu: Originally discovered as a surfing destination, Uluwatu is on the south-western tip of Bali and a bit more off-the-beaten-path. Here, you’ll find famous temples, insane viewpoints from the tops of cliffs, and a number of beautiful beaches.
- Mount Batur: This active volcano is a popular spot for sunrise treks. Visitors often opt to leave in the middle of the night in order to summit the mountain before sunrise. Expect the hike to take about two hours, and make sure to bring plenty of snacks and water.