You can make your Bali vacation whatever you want it to be — a tour of the island’s many temples, a spiritual journey to learn more about Hinduism, a yoga retreat, a luxury hotel immersion, a hiking adventure, or a stop on a longer trip around Indonesia. You might even want to visit Bali specifically for one of the many festivals or spiritual celebrations hosted each year.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the tourist seasons:
High Season: June to August and November to December
Shoulder Seasons: April to May and September
Low Season: January to March and October
Below, we’ve mapped out the best times to go to Bali, depending on how you want to spend your vacation.
Best Times to Visit Bali for Smaller Crowds
October, January, and February are Bali’s true off-season. All three months can be humid and rainy (January sees the most rainfall), which means you won’t find crowds in search of perfect beach weather and diving conditions. And because you’ll also be avoiding the biggest holiday months (November and December), you’ll find the island to be calm and populated by locals and expats.
While the rain brings mosquitoes and may take activities like diving and surfing off the table, it’s not a deal-breaker if you’re in Bali to tour temples, do yoga, and find pure relaxation. In fact, you might find that the peaceful rain in the Ubud forest adds to the overall serenity of your experience. The jungle and rice paddies thrive in this season — and the magnificent green color and sprouting vegetation are worth seeing.
Best Times to Visit Bali for Good Weather
Sunseekers should time their trip with Bali’s dry season, which runs from April to August. During this period, humidity and rain decrease, creating ideal conditions for visiting beaches, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Best Times to Visit Bali for Lower Prices
The busiest and most expensive time in Bali is during the dry season, with hotel prices peaking between June and September. Tourism also sees a boost during the holidays, so you can expect higher hotel prices in November and December.
The most affordable time to visit Bali is in October, January, February, or March, the rainy-season months that fall outside of the festive season. Hotel prices during this time tend to be lower due to the lack of demand, making it possible to score ocean-view rooms or multi-bedroom villas for a fraction of the price you would pay during the dry season.
Best Months for Hiking in Bali
If you’re traveling to Bali specifically to hike, visiting between April and October is ideal, as the rainy season can cause trails to be muddy and slippery. For those planning to do some waterfall hikes, the best time to visit Bali is in April, May, and June, when the cascades are strong following the wet season, and the days are more likely to be sunny. Hikers who rent motorbikes will also have an easier time zipping around the island during the dry season since the roads can become treacherous in the rain.
Best Time to Hike Mount Batur
Mount Batur is perhaps the most iconic Bali hike. Typically, you’ll book through a tour company that will pick you up from your hotel at about 2 a.m. for the 1,717-meter (5,633-foot) trek. You’ll summit the active volcano as the sun rises, and depending on your guide, you may even be treated to eggs boiled in the volcanic steam at the top of Mount Batur. The two-hour hike to the summit is best done between May and September to ensure dry weather and clear views.
Best Times to Visit Bali for Festivals
One of the most iconic annual events in Bali is the Bali Arts Festival, which occurs in June and July. Indonesian Independence Day (or Hari Merdeka) falls on August 17 and is commemorated with parades and outdoor celebrations. Meanwhile, Galungan, which is a 10-day holiday celebrating the triumph of good over evil (dharma over adharma), happens in November. Keep in mind that if you’re traveling for a Hindu celebration, Balinese Hindus often celebrate different holidays than Hindus in India. Galungan, for example, is a feast that isn’t observed in India, but is extremely important in Bali. Nyepi, a day of fasting before the New Year, typically takes place in March (and it’s akin to Navreh or Ugadi in India, which happens in April).
Best Months to Visit the Beach in Bali
May to September is the best time to visit Bali for a classic beach vacation.
Worst Times to Visit Bali
Of course, those looking for a quintessential Bali vacation with plenty of sunshine and outdoor activities will want to avoid the rainy season (especially during the wettest months, December and January). At this time of year, it’s common to experience choppy seas, muddy trails, and afternoon storms, which can quite literally put a damper on your plans. However, travelers looking to spend their days practicing yoga, visiting temples, or enjoying cultural experiences indoors may prefer the quieter atmosphere.
Due to higher levels of precipitation, mosquitoes can be particularly prolific in the rainy season and the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses (like dengue fever) increases accordingly. If you do plan to visit during the wet season, wear bug repellant — especially when hiking in the jungle. Some locals also drink lemongrass tea, which is believed to be a natural repellent.