The magical island province of Bali is a unique mix of sandy (white and black) beaches, active volcanoes, multi-chrome rain forests and stunning landscapes. It is exceptionally well endowed in terms of natural resources. For example, Bali has the privilege of being in the Coral Triangle – an area with the highest marine biodiversity in the world. The number of coral species found here are seven times more than that of the entire Caribbean. It is also home to some of the best known surf breaks in the world, and a top spot in any serious surfer’s bucket list. Add to that the distinctive culture, the delightful cuisine and a premier hospitality industry, it is no wonder that Bali is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Bali is essentially one of the 880 named islands comprising of the nation of Indonesia, but there are a lot of factors that make it significantly different from the others. Before it became an administrative province of Indonesia, Bali was divided into at least ten separate kingdoms, whose history and culture is still visible all over the Balinese landscape. Contrary to any other island in the majority Muslim Indonesia, Bali is a pocket dominated by the Hindu religion, which traveled to the far east from India from as far back as the 1st Century BC. All these factors make Balinese culture extremely idiosyncratic, and a delight to explore.
While there is something for everybody in Bali throughout the year, the best time to visit Bali depends upon what you would like to do there. The best way to start planning is to look at how the climate behaves in Bali throughout the year.
Weather in Bali
Bali lies only 8 degrees south of the earth’s equator, which means that the climate here is fairly even throughout the year. The temperature moves between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius but the mercury dips significantly as you move to higher altitudes. Rain can be a real spoilsport here, and the west monsoons are active between October and April. The months between December and March can be especially wet. Rain is also famously temperamental in Bali, which means that sometimes it can pour continuously for days without respite. The humidity is the lowest from June to September, and rainfall is virtually absent at this time of the year.
Geographically, the Bukit Peninsula witnesses drastically less rainfall as compared to the rest of Bali even during the monsoon months. On the other hand, rain is ever present in the interior mountainous regions of Bali.
Best Season To Visit Bali
Traditionally, July and August is the peak tourist season on the island. This is when Bali encounters the highest number of tourist population. While on one hand the weather is at its steadiest and the waters most conducive, on the other hand the beaches might feel overcrowded and the rates for food and accommodation skyrocket during this time. Bali also witnesses a high tourist influx during the Christmas/New Year week, despite the slightly less predictable weather conditions.
March to October is considered to be off season in Bali, but it is also around this time that you get the cheapest lodging and boarding rates. The downside is that you will have to deal with the constant rainfall and fluctuating weather conditions.
Planning to visit Bali for your Honeymoon? Checkout our Bali Honeymoon Guide.
Best Time to Surf in Bali
Although there are fantastic surf breaks around Bali throughout the year, certain spots behave better during certain brackets of the calendar. It is generally understood that April to October is the best time to surf on the west coast while November to March is the best time to surf on the east coast which remains drier than the rest of the island due to mountain cover. The Bukit Peninsula in the south of Bali is a world class surf spot which remains comparatively dry even during peak monsoon. It is best to consult the Bali Tide Charts while planning a surfing trip to Bali.
Best Time for Diving in Bali
The water temperature averages at around 29 degrees Celsius throughout the year in Bali, which makes it perfect for a dive even during the winter months. The best time for deep sea diving is said to be between May and November. Manta Rays can be spotted around April and May, while the famous Mola Mola or Oceanic Sunfish can be seen between August and October. The high monsoon season between December and February is considered unsafe for diving in the northern and eastern coasts, but you can indulge in various other adventure and water sports available in Bali.
Popular Festivals in Bali
The best time to visit Bali can also coincide with some of the island’s vibrant cultural extravaganzas. For example, the island’s residents take the New Year’s Eve celebrations quite seriously, and the island is lit up with magnificent displays of fireworks, dance and music.
Another unique and exciting event is the Negara Bull races which are organized between July and October every year.
Being a predominantly Hindu island, festivals like Holi and Thaipusam are observed with pomp and vigor. The Hindu New Year is celebrated here as Nyepi or the Day of Silence. All public businesses and beaches remain closed for 24 hours during this time. Even the International Airport takes a holiday. The Indonesian Independence Day falls on the 17th of August and is widely celebrated across Bali.
At the end of the day, there is always something exciting happening in Bali, and the best time to visit totally depends on you. The only thing that you can be sure about is that each time would be an experience you would never forget! Here’s our recommendations for best things to do in Bali.
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