Bali is a hugely popular vacation destination for to its glorious beaches, beautiful landscape, and excellent range of excursions, activities, and things to do.
As exciting as it is to travel, it can be a challenge to figure out the ideal times to go to exotic destinations, especially places like Bali which don’t have 4 distinct seasons.
In this guide, we break down the best time to visit Bali based on this tropical island’s weather, surfing, sightseeing, to avoid crowds and even cultural festivals. There’s never really a bad time to plan a Bali vacation for, but this breakdown helps you to plan the best time to visit for your wants and needs as a traveller.
Best Time of Year to Visit Bali
There’s so much to consider when you’re planning a big trip so keep reading to find out more about the best time of year to go to Bali depending on the weather, your budget, crowds, surfing, activities, and the wet and dry seasons.
Eight degrees south of the equator, Bali is home to a tropical climate, which makes it warm and humid all through the year. The Bali seasons consist of the wet season (aka the rainy season) and the dry season.
In terms of temperatures, Bali weather is very consistent all year round. The average high throughout the year never falls lower than 29.6°C, which is in August. The highest average temperature is 34.4°C, which is in April. So, whatever time of year you go, you can expect hot weather in Bali.
The month with the highest average rainy days is January with 27 wet days, and the driest months are July and August, with an average of 4 wet days each.
For Budget Conscious Travellers
The cheapest time to visit Bali is in February, during the wet season. Not only will you save money on flights, but you’ll also save on accommodation and purchases while you’re there.
The wet season is a cost-effective time to travel to Bali because there will be fewer tourists, the shoulder seasons are not only cheaper but have decent weather too.
Christmas and New Year are two of the most expensive times to travel to Bali because it’s a popular destination for Australian’s who are on Christmas break. So, if you want to keep your budget low, avoid this period.
Other peak vacation times are during school holidays. School holidays in North America and Europe typically break from mid-July to early September, mid-February, late October, and during Christmas and Easter, making it a popular time for North Americans and Europeans to visit Asia in general. While Australian’s who frequently visit Bali for holidays have their longest break over Christmas and New Years’. This can be a super expensive time to travel.
To Avoid Crowds
Bali is a popular destination for Australian’s and New Zealanders as Bali isn’t far. It’s common for Australian tourists to go to Bali in December for Christmas, and also for ‘schoolies week’, which is where students who are graduating go on a vacation after their final exams, which usually falls in late November and early December.
Also, the shoulder seasons are the months before and after the Bali high season (April, May, September, and October) and this can be the best time to travel to Bali. You may get a few more rain showers than you’d hoped for, but there will be far fewer crowds. Luckily, rain is not always guaranteed as it’s not uncommon for dry weather to stick around longer than expected.
For Bali Sightseeing & Outdoor Activities
Another hugely popular attraction in Bali is the Sacred Monkey Forest. This forest is the natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed monkey and is an absolute must on your Bali itinerary, but be aware that it can get packed with tourists in the high season.
Visiting Bali wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Mount Batur, an active volcano. The most popular time to visit this top attraction is May – July, before the monsoon winds.
The is a much-loved island of Nusa Penida, one of Bali’s most popular days trips, is just off the coast of Bali and is open to tourists all year. It’s best visited between April and September (but not June – the waves can be really high then and sometimes the harbour will close).
If you love exploring the waters, don’t miss diving in Bali. There’s definitely a best time to go diving, which is as the seasons transition, so in October or April. That’s because the waters will be the calmest. We don’t recommend diving in the monsoon (October-April) season because visibility can be really poor but that doesn’t mean that diving is not still available.
A legendary location for catching waves, you can surf in Bali at all times of the year.
That said, the best time to surf on the east coast of Bali in places such as Uluwatu, Kuta, and Canggu, is between November and early March. The best time to surf on the west coast of Bali, especially for beginners, is May – September because of the off-shore wind.
If you’re a beginner, be aware that Bali beaches are packed with surfers from June until September because it’s the dry season, so it might be best to build your confidence on the board before June and after September.
For Festivals & Events
If you’re planning to go to Bali in March, you really need to be aware of Nyepi, a Balinese ‘Day of Silence’ that falls on 25th March. Visiting at this time can be good or bad, depending on what you like.
It can be a fascinating experience to see Nyepi – the whole island shuts down, shops close, people don’t even light candles in their homes, and there won’t be any cars on the roads, not even in tourist hotspots like Kuta. Even the airport closes! However, if you want an action-packed vacation, visiting during this day might be disappointing as you won’t be able to take part in any outdoor activities or travel.
Some of the most popular events in the province are held in the summer, such as Bali Arts Festival which is in June and Bali Kite festival which is in July. This can be a great time to visit and enjoy these exciting events with both locals and tourists.
Best Season to Visit Bali
Bali has two distinct seasons, the dry season and the wet season, which, you guessed it, means that the dry season is dry and the wet season is wet and rainy!
Bali Dry Season
Bali’s dry season (April – September) is the island’s high season, and you can expect warm weather and low rainfall.
The weather in Bali is always warm but, in this period, you can expect temperatures of around 28°C-32°C and lots of sunshine.
This is the most comfortable of the Bali seasons to see the true beauty of the area and explore. We would say that the dry season is the best time to visit Bali, but be aware that it can still rain in the dry season!
Bali Wet Season
During the wet season, there’s an average of 1,233mm of rain. Seriously! While there’s lots of rain in the wet season, you can still expect warm temperatures and humidity. This is the low season and the average temperature in the rainy season is 27°C.
It doesn’t rain all day every day in the rainy season. In fact, it doesn’t even rain every day, or it may just rain in the morning and evening. But, when it does, it can be absolutely torrential.
The rainy season isn’t necessarily a bad time to visit Bali; it’s cheaper, quieter, and still offers brilliant activities and beaches. As long as you’re prepared for the potential of heavy rain that typically only lasts an hour or two, you should be absolutely fine.
When is the best time to go to Bali?
The best season to go to Bali is definitely the dry season but, more specifically, we think the best month to go to Bali is September.
In September, the weather is warm and the rainfall is low. It’s also just on the edge of the Bali peak season which means airfares, hotel prices, and activity costs have typically dropped.
If you can’t go to Bali in September, other times during the dry season but outside of the main peak times can be good options, such as May. All of these times are great for surfing, and the island will be less crowded.
While we say that September is the best month to visit Bali, it really does depend on your personal preferences, and of course time that works for you.
We hope this travel guide has helped you plan your trip. Have a great time in Bali!