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4 Types of Tours in Bali that Every Tourist Should Consider

4 Types of Tours in Bali that Every Tourist Should Consider

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Are you curious about what kinds of tours Bali has to offer? I have a list of the four types I think you should consider below!

Between your interests, how you travel, and who you’re traveling with, finding a good tour becomes a hassle – especially if it’s your first time here! We get it. We’ve traveled to Bali extensively over the years and know how much there is on offer.

This article will simplify that process by breaking down the types of tours into four sections. We go over who they are best for, why you should consider them, and our favorites for each category. So keep reading as we go over the four types of tours every tourist should consider!

Overview of the Types of Tours Available in Bali 

Bailey-and-Daniel-at-the-gate-to-Lempuyang-temple-with-the-mountain-in-the distance on the instagram tour bali through get your guide
Exploring Bali on this Instagram tour
Rafts float down the river on a White water rafting tour in Bali
Whitewater rafting is so much fun

Adventure Tours

Cue the Indiana Jones music because Bali has some awesome adventure tours! While you won’t be running from boulders or battling ancient evils, there are still plenty of epic moments to be had. I love how these experiences get my body moving, my heart racing, and stick me smack-dab in the middle of Bali’s beautiful and diverse nature. Sunrise hikes, whitewater rafting, ATV adventures, and more – Bali is an adventure lovers’ paradise.

Sightseeing Tours

Though it may be small in size, Bali is loaded with incredible places to see. If your inner Indian Jones prefers ancient temples, beautiful vistas, and experiencing unique culture, then a sightseeing tour ticks all the boxes. I appreciate how laid back these tours are, making them accessible for everyone and give you the chance to learn about local Balinese culture from a guide. I recommend everyone takes at least one of these on a trip here because you get to see and learn so much!

Bailey poses for a photo on Padang Beach in Uluwatu, Bali
Padang Beach
A plate of food that we cooked during our cooking class in Bali
We made traditional food during this cooking class!

Snorkeling/Island Tours

When it comes to underwater experiences, Bali offers plenty of opportunities for you to dive right in. I love getting in the water here because I never know what I’m going to see! Manta rays, turtles, alien-looking fish, the list goes on. What’s even better is that they provide everything you need and there’s no experience required. If you want to see some amazing aquatic life and escape the island heat for a day, I recommend a snorkeling tour!  

Food Tours

A food tour in Bali is more than just eating or cooking a delicious local meal, it’s a full-on cultural experience. If you’re worried about crazy or exotic food (like bugs) don’t worry, there is nothing of the sort! We loved taking food tours in Bali because they left us with some of the strongest memories of the country and a full tummy. Combine that with the world-renowned hospitality of Balinese people and you have a recipe for one of the best tours you can sign up for!

Adventure Tours in Bali

Bailey on an ATV tour poses for a photo in front of a waterfall in Bali
ATVs and waterfalls!
Tukad Cepung Waterfall in Bali
Tukad Cepung Waterfall in Bali

Why book an adventure tour in Bali? 

Because of Bali’s incredible nature and thriving tourism, there is no shortage of “let’s do something crazy and awesome” experiences. If you’re like me and up for a challenge or a natural adrenaline seeker this is the place to be! 

Besides wanting to have epic experiences, most adventure activities in Bali require you to be part of a tour so there’s no way to do them on your own. It’s okay though because Bali is incredibly cheap. Doing an activity like any of the ones I’ve listed below would cost you twice as much elsewhere as they do in Bali.   

Who would most enjoy adventure tours?

If you’re the kind of person who translates “vacation” as “I want to climb mountains, explore jungles, and have an adrenaline rush” I think a Bali adventure tour is right for you!

If you want to sign up for one, I suggest packing some good shoes or boots and more than just flip-flops (save those for the island tours). Seriously though, these are the most physically demanding and exciting of any other tours listed here! You’ll want the appropriate footwear. 

Because of this, I recommend anyone who wants to participate be at a moderate fitness level. Traveling with your family? Just about all of these are suitable for older kids and I wouldn’t label any of them as dangerous. 

What are our favorite adventure tours in Bali?

Whitewater rafting and ATV tours

Daniel rides an ATV through the rice fields of Bali on a tour
Cruising the rice fields!
Daniel and Bailey on an ATV tour in front of a waterfall in Bali
So much fun!

What we loved most about this specific ATV and whitewater rafting tour was that from start to finish, it had us exploring stunning places while doing adrenaline-pumping activities. If you’re looking for a wild ride, this tour will have you racing down rivers on rafts and chasing waterfalls on ATVs through canyons, rice fields, and jungles.

This tour made the cut as one of our favorites for many reasons, but one of the biggest is because of how much you get out of it. Hotel pick-up, a welcome drink, lunch, 2 hours of rafting, and 90 minutes of ATVing, all in some of the most beautiful nature we’ve seen in Bali.

What we also really liked is that it doesn’t take too long (6 hours) and it’s suitable for families, couples, and solo travelers. The guides were also great at spotting wildlife and teaching us all about the areas we went through!

Waterfall tours

Bailey and Daniel at the Tukad waterfall on the instagram tour bali
Tukad is such a pretty waterfall!
Tegenungan Waterfall in Bali
Tegenungan Waterfall in Bali

Bali has lots of waterfalls so the fact that this waterfall tour takes you to the best of the best is why we recommend it to our fellow nature lovers. The fact that it also has 2,000+ 5-star reviews you can read here doesn’t hurt!

If you like a good walk through the jungle and being rewarded with stunning waterfalls, this is one you’ll want to make time for. What makes this experience stand out is that it’s a private tour and can be personalized. It makes the day so much more enjoyable knowing that you have your own guide and don’t have to work around a set schedule or wait around for other people. 

I also like that these waterfalls require a bit of a trek to reach and give you the chance to spot wildlife on the way like monkeys! Lunch and admission to all waterfalls are also included for a stress-free day with no hidden costs. 

Mount Batur Sunrise Hike

Views from the summit of Mt. Batur in bali
Views from the summit of Mt. Batur in Bali

Even though this sunrise tour has you up well before dawn, I’m a huge fan of it because you get some of the best views in Bali that few are willing to go out of their way to experience. If hiking up an active volcano to see the sunrise sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to you, it’s because it is!

Besides being a private tour with a nature guide, I love that you get to eat a homemade breakfast at the crater of an active volcano. Watching the sunrise and enjoying a cup of coffee is a 10/10 experience!

Besides bringing your own hiking boots, I appreciate that this tour provides everything you need like flashlights and trekking poles. You even get to go to a hot spring (if you choose) and soak your aching muscles after you climb back down!

Sightseeing Tours in Bali

Bailey and Daniel sit on a swing at Lempuyang temple during the Bali instagram tour
What a view!
Bailey admires the view at Karang Boma Cliff in Uluwatu, Bali
The views at Karang Boma Cliff

Why book a sightseeing tour in Bali?

Walking through ancient temples as locals carry out age-old traditions, taking in scenic vistas and rice fields, and engaging in local culture. These are just a few of the reasons I love sightseeing tours in Bali! 

But getting around to each of these bucket list sights can be a pain in the butt on your own. I recommend sightseeing tours because of how easy they make the process and having a guide to educate you on the local culture makes the experience even better. Trust me, you learn more with a guide and it’s a lot less stressful when you don’t have to navigate the nightmare traffic here. 

Who would most enjoy sightseeing tours?

I think everyone would enjoy a sightseeing tour. They show you the most beautiful spots on the island at a laid-back pace suitable for any type of traveler. 

Sightseeing tours in Bali aren’t just about taking pretty pictures (although you will definitely do that), but also about getting to know the culture. So if you find that knowing about the unique history of a country enhances your experience, you won’t want to miss out on an opportunity like this. 

These tours are also a great option if you’re limited on time, but still want to experience everything Bali is known for. They are easy to book on short notice and some even pick up from the airport!

What are our favorite sightseeing tours in Bali?

Temple Tours

The stunning cliffs to the ocean at Uluwatu temple in Bali
The views from Uluwatu Temple
The famous Kecak Dance in Uluwatu, Bali
The famous Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple

We love this private tour of Uluwatu Temple because it takes you to one of our favorite temples in Bali to watch a traditional Kecak fire dance by a beautiful ocean cliff backdrop. If you love a good sunset, beautiful temples, and cultural experiences, this is one you won’t want to miss.

When it comes to temples in Bali, Uluwatu is one of the best with dramatic views of the ocean and a mind-blowing sunset. And considering there are very few places you can watch a traditional Kecak fire dance in Bali, this is easily the best place to see one. 

I also love that for a little extra, you can sit on the beach and enjoy a seafood dinner afterward. This is a great time for you to talk with your guide and ask any questions about Balinese culture you have!

Water Palace Tours

The-beautiful-Ulun-Danu-Temple-in-Bali-Indonesia
Ulun Danu temple is stunning
Bailey poses for a photo overlook the Tanah Lot Temple in Bali
Tanah Lot temple is so pretty

This private temple tour makes it into our best sightseeing tours list because we love that it takes you to fewer places to spend more time. If you enjoy going at a slower pace and digging into each stop, this is a great option for you. 

Right off the bat, I like that this tour offers an all-inclusive option so you don’t have to worry about anything all day. Each temple you go to is stunning, but personally, I think the water temple is my favorite of the bunch!

Exploring temples and rice fields with a private guide means you get the inside scoop on life and culture in Bali. And ending the day watching the sunset at a temple by the beach is something you’ll talk about for years to come!

Instagram/Photography Tours

Bailey at the gate to Lempuyang temple with the mountain in the distance on the instagram tour bali
Lempuyang temple
Bailey over the jungle on the jungle swing during the Bali Instagram tour
Don’t look down!

This Bali Instagram Tour has been one of our favorite experiences because of how much you get to see and the incredible guide that was with us all day. If you want to get some amazing pictures to share of Bali’s most iconic sites this tour was made for you!

As I mentioned above, our guide was incredible and made our day perfect. You can read our full review of the Instagram tour and see some of the photos we got. Or don’t just take our word for it – check the hundreds of positive reviews and you’ll see others say the same thing! The guides take truly remarkable photos for you to remember your trip.

The tour was also organized perfectly so we never spent too much time waiting in line at any of the stops. What makes this even better is that it’s all-inclusive, so you don’t have to pay for anything extra! 

Ubud Tours

A monkey eats food at Monkey Forest Ubud, Bali
The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud
Bailey poses for a photo at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali
Tegalalang Rice Terrace!

What makes this Ubud sightseeing tour one of the best is the fact that it takes you to see the Sacred Monkey Forest which is just as magical as you think it would be. If you want to see why Ubud is one of the most visited areas in Bali this tour will show you.

I also think this tour has the MOST 5-star reviews I’ve ever seen on a tour website – having almost 10,000 positive reviews is unheard of and should be another vote of confidence that you’re going to have an incredible time!

What I love about this all-inclusive tour is that it has a little bit of everything, temples, waterfalls, rice terraces, culture, and even more. And since everything is relatively close together you get to spend less time in the car and more time exploring each of the amazing stops! Make sure to read up on our guide to visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest for tips before you go.

It also includes the iconic (although slightly scary) jungle swing which has you soaring hundreds of feet over the jungle. All of this is accompanied by absolutely incredible guides who ensure you have everything you need for the day. 

Related Read: For more tour choices like this one, check out the best tours in Ubud that made us fall in love with Bali!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Snorkeling/Island Tours in Bali

Bailey enjoys a drink at a cliffiside restaurant on tour to Nusa Penida, Bali
Our lunch stop on Nusa Penida
A monkey at Kelingking Cliff on Nusa Penida, Bali
A monkey at Kelingking Cliff on Nusa Penida, Bali

Why book a snorkeling tour in Bali?

Getting out on the water and snorkeling makes our list of the best things to do in Bali. It’s a fantastic way to beat the heat, see colorful aquatic wildlife, and take in the beauty of the island from the Bali Sea.

What I love about snorkeling tours in Bali is that you get a world-class experience for half the price. Seriously, you see some amazing stuff snorkeling here and it doesn’t break the bank! On top of that, every tour we have below is all-inclusive. So not only are they inexpensive, but come with everything you need for a great day!  

Who would most enjoy snorkeling tours?

I think anyone who appreciates wildlife, likes a little adventure, and isn’t afraid of the water will love a snorkeling tour. As long as you know how to swim you’re good to go! The guides are fantastic and interactive which makes learning about Bali’s unique underwater ecosystem engaging and fun. This is especially nice for families with kids!

If you have any worries about your level of physical fitness keeping you from participating I’m here to tell you that it shouldn’t be a problem. These tours aren’t intense and you can take them at your own pace. Of course, I always recommend communicating with guides beforehand for the best experience.  

If you get seasick (I sure do) I would pack medication with you just in case the water gets choppy. Luckily, just about every boat you take out onto the water is a speedboat so you don’t rock as much, but I had to warn you nonetheless!

What are our favorite snorkeling and island tours in Bali?

Nusa Penida Snorkeling Tours

Bailey on our boat at Nusa Penida about to go snorkeling
About to go snorkeling – we saw four turtles!
Bailet at Kelingking Cliff on a tour to Nusa Penida, Bali
Kelingking Cliff is stunning!

What we love about this private snorkeling tour (besides the fact that it’s private) is that it takes you to several spots around the tropical island of Nusa Penida. You get to snorkel at not one, but three different unique locations and even have the chance of rubbing shoulders with Manta Rays!

It’s easy to make this one of our top snorkeling tours with how many great locations you get to go to, and since it’s an all-day tour, you get plenty of time at each. It’s also not just all snorkeling, but combines some light island adventure as well!

This may seem like a small thing, but the fact that the boat has free Wifi is great for anyone who doesn’t want to snorkel with their group. They also have another diver who comes with you to get underwater photos so you have some epic shots to take back home!

Blue Lagoon Snorkeling Tours

Bailey snorkeling at Blue Lagoon while surrounded by colorful fish
Bailey snorkeling at Blue Lagoon while surrounded by colorful fish

This Blue Lagoon snorkeling tour makes a splash as one of the best snorkeling tours for beginners and includes the option to upgrade for an ATV adventure, canyon hike, or waterfall trip. Even if you’ve been snorkeling before, Bali’s accessible Blue Lagoon will wow you with natural wonder!  

One of the reasons this is an easy snorkeling tour pick is because of its incredible location. The Blue Lagoon has brilliant blue water and stunning white sand beaches that I absolutely love to lounge on. 

This also isn’t an all-day tour and has options for other activities which is really nice if you have people in your group who don’t want to spend all day in the water. I also have to point out that you can see clown fish here (Finding Nemo!) which are some of Bali’s most adorable underwater residents!

Scuba Diving Tours

Two people scuba diving in Bali
A school of fish while scuba diving in Bali (1)
So many fish!

Okay, so this scuba certification course isn’t technically snorkeling, but it’s such a great opportunity to get certified we had to include it. If you’ve always wanted to scuba dive, but haven’t had the opportunity, Bali is the perfect place to do it.

As a fellow diver, I love that this tour also includes four dives on top of your certification course so you can experience Bali’s amazing deep-water aquatic life. It’s also incredibly affordable and operated by world-class certified instructors!

It takes place on the island of Nusa Lembongan, a tropical getaway that’s perfect for learning to dive. The cherry on top though is with your fancy new certification you get to meet turtles, manta rays, and other fun fish up close!

Food Tours in Bali

Bailey grinds down ingredients during a cooking class in Bali
Working hard
Daniel-learns-to-cook-in-Bali
So many flavors to mix!

Why book a food tour in Bali?

Food is one of those things people remember long after their vacation is over. Where they were, who they were with, how they felt – it’s a time stamp! And Bali has some amazing foodie experiences to be discovered.

The culture behind Bali’s food is wonderful and it’s an amazing way to not only eat some delicious meals but meet locals and have a unique cultural experience. They are also a great way to learn how to make traditional meals yourself!

Who would most enjoy food tours?

I mean, find me someone who wouldn’t enjoy a food tour and I’d be a little shocked! Really though, the people who get the most out of these tours are the ones who like to try new things and experience a depper level of culture. You don’t eat anything crazy, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you’re traveling with your family, younger ones should be just fine unless they are incredibly picky eaters. That being said, Balinese people love seafood, so if you enjoy freshly caught meals I think you’ll enjoy what we have picked out for you!

Cooking Classes

Bailey wraps food in banana leaves during a cooking class in Bali
Learning to cook with banana leaves!
Bailey trys some fruit during a market tour on a cooking class in Bali
Trying fruit at the market!

I love this cooking class because you get to prepare and eat all kinds of delicious traditional Balinese food. If you’re a hands-on person and want to take back some fantastic recipes and memories, this is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Most cooking classes only have you prepare one to two dishes, but this one has you making three unique meals – yum! I’m also not the best cook, but because of the expert helpers and great instructions, I was able to make everything with no problems.

If you take the morning tour, you get to go to a local market and select ingredients for the food you make which is so much fun. One of the other highlights of the day was interacting with locals as we bought fresh vegetables with our guide and learned fun new local phrases!

Evening Dinner Tour

BBQ restaurant at Jimbaran Beach
Our BBQ restaurant at Jimbaran Beach
BBQ fish at Jimbaran Beach seafood BBQ 
Dinner is served!

This evening dinner tour combines three of my favorite things – culture, sunsets, and beachside dinner! If you want a perfect evening in Bali accompanied by fire dancing and a delicious traditional seafood meal, you’ll love what this experience has to offer.

Uluwatu Temple is one of the prettiest in all of Bali, so the fact that you get to watch a traditional Kecak fire dance here is a treat. What’s even better is that it all happens while the sun is setting over the ocean and the views are absolutely stunning!

Of course, this wouldn’t be a food tour without amazing food and the feast you have on the beach is nothing short of incredible. Top it off with a private ride back to your hotel and that’s what I call a perfect night!

Where to Stay in Bali

Abipraya hotel in Bali with views of the pool and the rice fields
Abipraya Hotel in Ubud.

Bali is full of stunning hotels – so many, in fact, that it can be hard to choose. The first step is deciding on which area suits you best and then selecting a hotel afterward.

There are three areas of Bali that we personally love and recommend to all of our friends. You can read about them below as well as our top hotel choice in each area!

Canggu

This is Bali’s trendiest area! This is where Dan and I stay whenever we are in Bali for an extended amount of time because of the lifestyle here. There are beautiful cafes on every corner, amazing restaurants and bars, and boutique shopping. It’s also close to the beach and has a great nightlife. This is the area where most expats base themselves in Bali, which creates the buzzing atmosphere that Canggu is known for.

Chesa Canggu is a boutique hotel within walking distance of Canggu’s best restaurants, bars, and beaches. Each room faces the outdoor pool and has a private bathroom, free WiFi, a TV, and a safety deposit box. Chesa has an onsite bar and restaurant and offers free parking for guests. The beds are super comfortable, and the staff always go out of their way to help you. Trust us, you won’t regret staying here!

Prices start as low as $124 USD per night and you can book online here.

Uluwatu

This is the perfect place to stay if you want a relaxing beach holiday! Uluwatu is a lot quieter than Canggu with a lot less traffic. The beaches here are amazing and some of the most beautiful on the island. There are also plenty of cafes, restaurants, and beach clubs here. We also love the closer proximity to the airport, making for a convenient stay if you’re only in Bali for a short time.

Anantara Uluwatu is a fantastic option for those looking to treat themselves during their stay in Uluwatu. It’s located right on the beach, so you’re guaranteed some amazing views. There are multiple restaurants and bars, an outdoor infinity pool, a spa, and a fitness center. Plus, each room comes with your own hot tub! The employees are super helpful, and the hotel has onsite activities like dance classes, ceramic-making, and yoga.

Prices range from $320 to $1,500 USD, and you can check rates and availability online here.

Ubud

Not a beach person? Then Ubud is for you! It is located inland, surrounded by lush jungle. The area is still quite trendy with plenty of cafes and restaurants, although the nightlife is a lot more limited. Ubud is where you can easily find nearby waterfalls, go whitewater rafting, ATVing, and all the other fun adventurous activities.

We stayed at Abipraya, which was super quiet and nestled into a tropical garden, about 10 minutes’ walk from the main town. The location was ideal for us and we loved the big swimming pool overlooking the rice fields, as well as the open and airy feel that the rooms had.

Prices start at around $50 USD per night, which includes breakfast, so it was a really good budget option. Book Abipraya here!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali
Thanks for reading!

I hope our guide on the different types of tours in Bali has been helpful as you plan your trip. There are so many different types of tours here that you’re sure to find one (or more!) calling your name. You may even decide to go a little out of your comfort zone to try something new. Let us know if you have any questions and which type of tour suits your travel style.

For more help planning a Bali getaway, check out our other blogs on Bali. We love coming here and have lots of travel inspiration and tips for you!

BEST Things to do in Ubud, Bali

BEST Things to do in Canggu, Bali

BEST Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali