With its palm-fringed beaches and endless world-class surf breaks, Bali isn’t the sort of place where you really need an itinerary. But for those willing to try something new, there’s far more to this island paradise than meets the eye. Embarking on a guided day tour can open your eyes to a new side of Bali—sunrise volcano hikes, spiritual exploration, and foodie-focused forays can spice up your holiday. And even if you can’t resist the lure of a day on the beach, a guided day trip to the island’s best strips of sand is the ideal way to elevate your beach game to the next level. Here’s our guide to the best Bali day trips:
1. Sunrise Volcano Hike
While heading out on a tour starting at 2 o’clock in the morning may not sound like a great holiday plan, the reward is definitely worth the effort, especially on a private sunrise volcano hike by Bali Adventours. Follow a guide to the cloud-piercing peak of Mt. Batur to catch the first rays of light as they creep over the horizon. While the sky picks up hues of gold and pink, enjoy a tasty breakfast cooked over one of the volcano’s steam vents, and then rest your tired muscles in natural hot springs. If you’re still feeling groggy, a hot cup of kopi luwak coffee is the perfect way to perk you up before the morning ends.
2. Local Farming & Agriculture Experience with Lunch
Dive into Bali’s rural side as you head to a small village and lend a hand to local farmers with Smailing Tour. Drop into an elementary school to chat with children about life in their community, uncover old-school techniques for cultivating rice and irrigating the land, and use water buffalo-powered implements to break up Bali’s rich and fertile soil. Cap off your agrarian adventure with a refreshing coconut treat, and swing through a nearby village for an up-close look at the terraced rice fields that define Bali’s rolling hills.
3. Private Landscape Photography Tour with Lunch
Verdant rice fields, waterfront temples, volcanic backdrops and seaside villages beckon photographers to capture Bali’s vivid colors and vibrant scenes. With a professional photographer from Bali Adventours to lead you between camera-friendly sights, get the timing just right to grab sunset-hued shots of Tanah Lot’s wave-washed temple, postcard-perfect compositions of Lake Beratan’s mirror-like waters, and early morning images of fisherman headed out to sea from Sanur Beach.
4. VW Safari Tour with Horseback Ride & Whitewater Rafting
With rugged volcanoes, thick jungles, rushing river valleys and sparkling beaches, Bali is the ideal place to switch up traditional transportation methods. Head out with True Bali Experience to explore the island’s backroads in an eclectic VW Safari, trot down crescents of golden sand on horseback and tackle whitewater rapids in an inflatable raft. Reach off-the-beaten path farms, snap shots from stunning lookouts and enjoy a buffet-style lunch sure to keep up your energy up throughout the day.
5. Balinese Cooking Lesson in Indonesian Kitchen
Freshly fried nasi and mie goring, grilled chicken on lemongrass skewers with spicy-sweet satay sauce and heaping plates of gado gado are hard to beat when you’re looking for something to eat around Bali’s night markets and street food stalls. Learn to make these Indonesian classics on a day tour with EXO Travel that pairs you up with a local chef. Visit produce-packed markets, uncover secret spices and cooking methods in the kitchen, and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a day-ending feast.
6. Private East of Bali Secret-Beaches Tour
Scouting out new strips of sand is one of the most popular things to do in Bali, but finding that perfect beach could take a lifetime of holidays. Skip the leg work and team up with a local to get off the beaten path and pin down the best beaches on this private excursion. From quaint fishing villages where you can learn how salt is made the old-fashioned way to remote spots hemmed in by dramatic black rocks, you’re sure to find your ideal beach getaway on this day trip with Smailing Tour.
7. A Spiritual Journey Experience
With strong ties to ancestral traditions and Hindu practices, the island’s spiritual side is hard to miss, especially in the delicate and colorful daily offerings that send up wisps of fragrant incense from outside nearly every house, business, and Bali accommodation. Discover your spiritual side with Smailing Tour as you join temple guardians and Balinese shamans for cave meditations, yoga sessions and guided chanting. Explore waterfalls and centuries-old temples, learn about chakra points and traditional healing methods and take part in a waterfall purification ceremony sure to leave your body and soul feeling refreshed.
8. Bali Hai Lembongan Island Reef Cruise
Well-seasoned Bali-goers know that it’s worth going further afield to find some of the best beaches, just a short cruise away off the coast of Lembongan. This sleepy sister island is the ideal place to spend a day on the water, especially if it’s on Bali Hai Cruises’ luxury catamaran. Enjoy the air-conditioned cabin during your buffet-style lunch, take slippery rides on the boat’s massive waterslide, explore marine life aboard the semi-submersible submarine, or get up close and personal with schools of tropical fish on a snorkeling adventure.