Bali Hotels › When To Go
Updated: July 10, 2023
My Favorite Hotels in Bali
When to Go to Bali
- April to October is the best time to visit Bali, when there is little rain, low humidity, and lots of sun.
- Bali is a good year-round destination . There is a wet season but it can still be a fine time to visit Bali.
- If you want to save money the best months are February, March, April (but not around Easter), October, and November.
- Surfing is possible year-round but the best months are from April to early October.
- The best months for a Bali honeymoon are May, June, and September.
- The best months for diving are April to June (good), September to November (best).
- Swimming is good all year, but driest from May to September.
- Nightlife is good all year round, but driest for outdoor events from May to September.
When is the Best Time to Visit Bali?
The best time to visit Bali, Indonesia, depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowd levels. Bali has a tropical climate with two main seasons: the dry season and the wet season.
The dry season runs from April to October, with July and August being the most popular months to visit. During this time, the weather is typically sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from 75°F (24°C) to 88°F (31°C). The humidity is lower, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities such as sightseeing, beach visits, and water sports. The dry season is an excellent time to explore Bali’s landscapes, cultural sites, and participate in various festivals.
The wet season runs from November to March, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring between December to February. Although the wet season is characterized by higher humidity and more frequent rainfall, the rain is often intermittent, and there are still plenty of sunny periods. The wet season is generally less crowded (though the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years sees a spike in foreign visitors), which means lower prices for accommodations and fewer tourists at popular attractions. However, some outdoor activities may be limited due to weather conditions.
The shoulder seasons, which occur between the wet and dry seasons (April, May, and September to mid-December), can also be a good time to visit Bali. During these months, the weather is generally pleasant, and tourist numbers are lower than during the peak season. Prices for accommodations and activities may be more affordable, and there is still plenty of opportunity for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
- Best Time for Good Weather in Bali: April to October. During the dry season, the weather is often perfect: warm, without being too hot, and not nearly as rainy and humid as the wet season (November to March), when showers and storms may sometimes affect travel plans.
- Best Time for Beaches, Swimming, and Suntanning in Bali: April to October. Days are warm and sunny, humidity is low, and occasional rain falls in the late afternoon or overnight. But you can get good beach weather any month of the year.
- Best Time for Sightseeing in Bali: May, June, September, and October. The dry season (April to October) is ideal, but the island’s many attractions get particularly busy around Easter and from mid-July to the end of August. Also, research the optimal times to witness and attend ceremonies and festivals (see later).
- Best Time to Visit Southern Bali: May, June, September, and October. These months are the dry season without the peak times of July and August and the Australian school holidays around Easter.
- Best Time to Visit Ubud: April to October. Be prepared for large crowds and cool days in July and August, might need a jacket after dark.
- Best Time to Visit the East Coast of Bali: March to November. In the rain shadow of the Agung volcano, the east coast (especially around Amed) receives far less rain than Kuta, Sanur, or Ubud.
- Best Time to Visit the North Coast of Bali: March to November. Around tourist areas like Lovina, it rains considerably less than along the southern beaches – and this coast never gets busy.
- Best Time for Saving Money in Bali: February to April (except for two weeks around Easter), October, and November. These are outside the peak travel times, and hotels and resorts are often considerably cheaper. There is no off-season when things close down.
- Best Time for Avoiding Crowds in Bali: Same months listed above for Saving Money. While it may rain for several hours on most days during the wet season (November to March), crowd numbers will be lower, hotels cheaper, and activities easier to arrange.
- Best Time for Cultural Experience in Bali: Dependant on dates and not the weather. Religious or cultural event dates will usually change yearly according to the shorter lunar or Balinese calendars (see later).
- Best Time for a Romantic Holiday or Wedding in Bali: May, June, September, and October. This factors in the best possible weather and avoids peak times of Easter, July, and August.
- Best Time for Outdoor Activities in Bali: May to September. Prime time for hiking, mountain-biking but it can get surprisingly chilly in the highlands (including Ubud), especially after dark. Water sports are great any time of the year, although more enjoyable when driest (May to September).
- Best Time for White-Water Rafting in Bali: February to April. Water levels are generally highest in February, March, and April, and crowd numbers are lowest.
- Best Time for Diving in Bali: September to November. Diving is decent anytime during the dry season (April to October) but is particularly good in November. Dive centers arrange trips to various places according to the weather around the island.
- Best Time for Surfing in Bali: West Coast – April to October, ideal waves at Kuta, Seminyak, and Padang Padang beaches. East Coast – November to March at Nusa Lembongan and Sanur beaches. Note: July and August are peak times for everything on the island.
|Kuta||April to September||West|
|Airport Left||April to September||West|
|Airport Right||April to September||West|
|Balangan||April to September||West|
|Bingin||April to September||West|
|Canggu||April to September||West|
|Impossibles||April to September||West|
|Padang Padang||April to September||West|
|Uluwatu||April to September||West|
|Sanur||November to March||East|
|Nusa Dua||November to March||East|
|Serangan||November to March||East|
|Green Balls||November to March||East|
|Keramas||November to March||East|
Bali Travel Seasons
- High Season (July, August, and mid-December to late January): Visits to Bali are especially popular in two phases: (1) July and August, as Europeans flock in large numbers; and (2) when Australian schools close for about six weeks before and after Christmas. During these months, streets along the southern beaches and in Ubud are packed, hotels and resorts must be booked months in advance, and flights will be more expensive.
- Shoulder Season (April to June and September to mid-December): This includes part of the dry season but before the wet season. The weather should be great most of the time but without the crowds. Still plenty of nightlife, religious ceremonies, and cultural events. Look for special deals on hotels if booked early. (Note: it is peak time again for two weeks around Easter.)
- Low Season (February and March): Crowds drop markedly in major tourist areas. It’s the wet season, so it’s the cheapest months for hotel rates and discounted flights. (Note: it is peak time again for two weeks around Easter.)
When to Visit Bali for Good Weather
Only a few degrees south of the equator, Bali is tropical, not monsoonal (like Singapore and India), and cyclones are almost unheard of. November to March is the wet season when it is slightly hotter and significantly more humid. Of course, the dry season (April to October) is much more pleasant. However, it may still rain during the “dry” and not rain for a week in the “wet” – and rain often only falls in short bursts, usually late afternoon or overnight.
The mountainous landscape ensures that weather is often localized. Ubud may get some light flooding while tourists in Sanur sunbathe. On the far east coast, Amed, in the rain shadow of Agung volcano, may only receive three inches of rain a year (not enough to grow anything.) While the central volcanic regions may receive 70 inches. The weather shouldn’t affect your travel plans, but the peak seasons probably will. (See earlier.)
Bali Temperature by Month (high in celsius)
Bali Rain by Month (mm)
- January Weather in Bali: The rainiest month of the year. Rain usually comes in the late afternoon or through the night, but expect some rainy days. The sun often returns shortly after. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 350mm. Days with Rain: 18)
- February Weather in Bali: Almost as rainy as January with the same bursts of rain followed by sun. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 310mm. Days with Rain: 18)
- March Weather in Bali: Still wet but typically plenty of sunshine for hitting the beach. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Rainfall: 210mm. Days with Rain: 20)
- April Weather in Bali: Start of the dry season, drier than previous months and decreased humidity but still expect some rain. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Rainfall: 90mm. Days with Rain: 12)
- May Weather in Bali: This is now entering the driest period of the year with an average of nine hours of sunshine per day. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 75mm. Days with Rain: 8)
- June Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun, and humidity drops. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 70mm. Days with Rain: 5)
- July Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with ten hours of sunshine a day. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 60mm. Days with Rain: 3)
- August Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun (10 hours a day.) Also the year’s lowest sea temperature of 27°C. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Rainfall: 30mm. Days with Rain: 3)
- September Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 40mm. Days with Rain: 3)
- October Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun though the odd downpour becomes more common. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Rainfall: 60mm. Days with Rain: 8)
- November Weather in Bali: Getting rainier and seven hours of sun a day for hitting the beach and sitting by the pool. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 110mm. Days with Rain: 10)
- December Weather in Bali: One of the rainier months but rain storms are usually short lived and most days will still see seven hours of sun. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 290mm. Days with Rain: 16)
Bali Holidays, Events, and Festivals by Month
Confusingly, the Balinese people and government use three separate calendars – all different from the Western Gregorian year of 365/366 days:
- Balinese Calendar – Many religious and cultural festivals are based on Bali’s unique 210-day Wuku calendar. Two major festivals with moveable dates that work in tandem during this 210-day cycle are Galungan, with brightly decorated streets celebrating the triumph of good over evil with ten days of temple ceremonies, culminating in a day of prayers called Kuningan.
- Lunar Calendar – Many temple ceremonies follow the moon’s cycles with months of only 29 or 30 days. This calendar dictates Nyepi’s exact date in March or April (see below).
- Islamic Calendar – Some public holidays and most Islamic events throughout Indonesia use the Islamic Calendar of 354/355 days. This rarely affects Bali, but some government offices and banks will close on public holidays.
Find up-to-date event information on these websites
- Bali Plus – Useful little magazine now mostly digital.
- Bali.com – Loads of information with a focus on musical events.
- The Bali Bible – Very helpful, especially for expats and families.
- Bali Travel Hub – Goldmine of detailed information about just about everything.
Bali in January
- New Year’s Day (1st) – Everything is open, but don’t be surprised to see some tourists still wandering the streets of the southern beaches from the previous night.
- Chinese New Year (changeable, January/February) – Known as Imlek, Bali is a favorite holiday destination for Chinese New Year, where it’s celebrated at a few temples, mostly in Denpasar and Singaraja.
Bali in February
- Denpasar Anniversary (27th) – Competitions, parades, and displays around Puputan Square celebrate the (often gruesome) history of the island’s capital. Only in Denpasar.
Bali in March
- Singaraja Anniversary (30th) – Commemorates the founding of Bali’s second city along the north coast. Often ignored by visitors but bustling with colonial history. There are plenty of activities, almost entirely for Balinese people, but tourists are welcome.
- Nyepi (changeable, March or April) – Day of Silence and the start of the Balinese Hindu New Year. All of Bali shuts down – even the airport. Everyone, including tourists, are required by law to stay in their homes and hotels for 24 hours as evil spirits hover over the island, find it empty, assume it is “abandoned,” and then move on. Hotel staff will prepare meals for guests, but anyone seen wandering the streets may be arrested. While this may seem inconvenient, the days before and after are packed with loud and colorful festivities.
Bali in April
- Purnama Kedasa (30th) (changeable, after Nyepi) – The frequent full-moon celebrations are particularly vibrant and extensive after Nyepi (see above). Thousands arrive with abundant offerings at major temples like those at Besakih and Batur.
- Gianyar Festival (changeable, mid-April) – Displays of art, music, and food in the regional capital only a short drive from Ubud. Lasts for up to 10 days.
- Waisak (changeable, April/May) – Also known as Vesak, the holiest day of the year celebrated by Buddhists and many other Balinese honoring the birth of Buddha. Visits to temples. A national public holiday (when government offices and banks will close).
Bali in May
- Bali Spirit Festival (changeable, early May) – Four or five days with performances and workshops of yoga, dance, music, and so much more in the spiritual heartland of Ubud. Lots of fun for families. Book early and stay a while.
Bali in June
- Bali Arts Festival (changeable, mid-June to mid-July) – Huge month-long cultural event in the island’s capital, Denpasar. Plenty of art, music, dance, and a parade or two. Easy side-trip by taxi from the southern beaches.
- Bali Blues Festival (changeable) – Several days of live bands across interesting locations, mostly around the southern beaches and Denpasar.
- Ubud Food Festival (changeable, late June) – Chefs, foodies, and writers descend on Ubud for four days of tasting, cooking, and feasting. Showcasing cuisines across Indonesia during the day and live music at night. (May be held on different dates.)
Bali in July
- Makepung (Negara) Bull Races (the month of July, and November) – Now a major tourist attraction on the far west coast. Farmers become jockeys and race on brightly-decorated chariots along various tracks throughout the area. Usually every Sunday in July, with finals in November. Ask a local for more information about dates and locations. Can be part of a day trip from the southern beaches or Ubud.
- Bali Kite Festival – Mainly July and August, but often lasts until October. The location can change, most recently in Sanur. Lessons and serious competitions among passionate locals.
- Bali International Choir Festival (changeable, late July) – Five days of performances, competitions, and workshops.
- Tenganan Perang Pandan (changeable) – Traditional historical “war” reenactment. In the ancient Bali Aga village of Tenganan (near Candidasa) in eastern Bali.
Bali in August
- Sanur Village Festival (changeable) – Five days of culture, arts, and music celebrating Bali’s history and heritage. Also, water sports, yoga, and triathlon. With more side events added each year, it is loads of fun.
- Indonesian Independence Day (17th) – School parades and red-and-white flags adorn some streets, but low-key compared to other parts of Indonesia, Most obvious in the capital, Denpasar. A public holiday so government offices and banks close.
- Ubud Village Jazz Festival (changeable) – Two days of toe-tapping fun featuring Indonesian and international performers. Also, workshops for fans.
Bali in September
- Persona Nusa Dua Fiesta (changeable, September/October) – Up to seven days of music, dance, sports, arts, and crafts celebrating the best of Bali and Indonesia. Lots of food – even competitions in cocktail-making for bartenders.
- Lovina Festival (changeable) – Not to be outdone by festivals in other tourist regions, Lovina (more specifically, the village of Kalibukbuk) hosts three days of arts, crafts, and live music – even bull races. As much for locals as tourists and much more authentic.
- Bali International Film Festival (changeable) – Known as Balinale, a celebrated gathering of filmmakers and enthusiasts with a diverse range of films and documentaries.
Bali in October
- Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (changeable, late October) – Long-established and internationally-renowned, with many visiting speakers, discussions about global issues, workshops, and book launches. Popular and enlightening four days across Ubud.
- Kuta Karnival (changeable) Balinese cultural displays, movies, and food stalls. Sand sculptures and kite-flying for the young ones.
Bali in November
- Legian Beach Festival (changeable) – All sorts of displays and stalls selling locally-made products, as well as traditional music and dance performances for a week or so. Popular and extensive.
Bali in December
- Christmas Day (25th) – National public holiday, but everything stays open on Bali (except government offices and banks). Plenty of activities and events offered by hotels and shops throughout December.
- New Year’s Eve (31st) – Like Christmas Day, everything stays open because it’s peak tourism season. Major hotels and resorts normally offer special events for guests and the public.