Volcano hikes, whitewater rapids, bike trails—adventure-seekers have no shortage of things to do in Bali. Whether you’re looking for an off-road safari or a chance to rappel, climb, and swim through jungle canyons, there are plenty of local tour operators who can show you the ropes, picking you up right at your Bali hotel for an easy start to your island adventure. Take on rushing rivers in a raft, set out before sunrise to trek to spectacular viewpoints, and stay active while you embark on outings designed to satisfy your inner thrill seeker with our guide to Bali’s best adventure tours:
Stretch your legs and get your heart rate rising with a morning trek to the summit of Mount Batur. Learn about the geology of this still-active caldera as you soak in the pre-dawn quiet of the jungle, and have your camera ready to snap postcard-worthy shots of the island from your above-the-clouds vantage point. Depart early enough to catch the sunrise from the top, and reward your efforts on the trail with a soak in natural hot springs. First-class tour operators like Bali Adventours and baliKU Tours & Travel can lead you along, whether you’re interested in hiking with a group or tackling the trail with just your crew on a private outing.
For a real thrill ride, leave the beaches behind and head to the wild, freshwater rapids of the Ayung River. Bali Adventure Tours lets you pick from a range of whitewater experiences, whether you want to paddle through calm eddies and churning Class III rapids in a raft or up the adrenaline ante in a kayak. After plummeting down narrow chutes and maneuvering your way through stretches of roiling waves, you can warm up with a hot shower and refuel over lunch. Or, if you’re really feeling ambitious, book in with the pros at Activities Bali to add on a zipline experience and go after that stomach-dropping sensation at new heights.
Take to the skies in a high-flying chopper for a chance to see Bali’s lush landscapes from above. There’s a real backcountry excitement to boarding a helicopter, hearing the rotors thrum into action and watching the ground drop away as you take off. On a private volcano helicopter tour with Bali Adventure Tours you’ll hover over rice paddies, river valleys, and the rainforests of Taro on your way to the active caldera of Mount Batur. Spot the villages and lake within the caldera, and imagine the impressive eruptions that took place here as recently as 1926 before touching back down.
Okay, okay, it may be cliché—but riding horseback down the beach seems about as romantic as tropical island adventures come. Climb into the saddle and set off down black sand beaches on a trusty, gentle steed, splashing through shallow waves as you take in views of waterfront temples and feel the sea breeze. True Bali Experience pairs you with beautiful, tame horses at their beachfront stables, making for an outing that riders of any skill or experience level can enjoy.
Earn your next plate of satay by setting off to explore Bali’s lush landscapes on two wheels. Hop on a bike and pedal behind a guide with Friends in Bali to seek out off-the-beaten-path cultural sites, like a coffee plantation, a local school, and a temple complex used by Balinese priests. Or, fly down trails that crisscross rice paddies and rural trails with Bali Sobek to get a glimpse of traditional life in Bali’s smaller villages.
If you want to cover more ground but are happy to let someone else handle the driving, an off-road safari is the perfect way to discover Bali’s dense jungles, scenic rice fields and farthest-flung beaches. The pros at Waka Hotels & Resorts will whisk you off in a 4-wheel drive vehicle to elevated peaks, terraced rice paddies and an ancient quarry, stopping off to visit quiet temples and a lunch near a bamboo forest. With EXO Travel, a private Land Rover Defender is your vehicle for the day as you charge through the muddy trails around Mount Batukaru on your way to hot springs and exotic gardens.
If you and your crew are looking to really satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie, a canyoning outing with Adventure & Spirit is the ticket. Discover caves, rivers and waterfalls as you explore the wet and wild playground of Bali’s jungle terrain on an introductory outing in Kerenkali, challenge yourself as you wade through rivers and rappel down tumbling cascades in Anahata Canyon, or really test your limits in Aling Gorges, where the natural obstacle course includes plenty of swimming, sliding, and climbing in volcanic crevasses filled with freshwater.
Of course, Bali has plenty of things to do for those with milder (or spicier, as it were) tastes as well. If a culinary adventure is more up your alley, Traveling Spoon runs private cooking classes, letting you roll up your sleeves for a hands-on lesson in preparing typical dishes and using Balinese ingredients. And with baliKU Tours & Travel, you can explore a market with a local guide before learning to whip up Indonesian specialties like peanut sauce-smothered gado-gado and flavor-packed lawar with coconut and minced herbs.