Travelling to Bali is at the top of people’s bucket lists worldwide, and I’m pretty confident that not one of those people dreams of their trip being full of rainy days and sodden sandals. I speak from experience when I say motorbikes and tropical rainstorms – not fun.
So, when is the best time to visit Bali?
Between the dry, rainy, high and low seasons, it can get confusing to know which months are the ideal time to commit to your once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
Don’t worry, I am here to help. I am going to break down the best months for travelling to the island, along with weather guidelines, to assist you in narrowing down when to go to Bali for an adventure in paradise.
Weather in Bali
Thanks to its location below the equator, Bali doesn’t experience a big surge, or drop, in temperatures throughout the year. It does, however, have a dry season and a rainy season.
A good place to start when planning your trip to Bali is to consider the weather and identify what kind of trip you are hoping to have. Are you looking to have the tropical beach getaway of your dreams? Or, are you happy to spend some reflective time indoors, watching rain spatter onto the luscious gardens on a calm getaway?
Through April to October, Bali has what is considered the ‘dry season’. Between these months you can – pretty much – guarantee bright shining sun all day, every day. With high temperatures and climbing UV indexes, it is the perfect time for heat lovers – pack your SPF50! If you are hoping to enjoy long days relaxing on the beach and refreshing in the ocean, the dry season is the best time to visit Bali. It is also the most popular time for tourists.
For the rest of the year, between October and March, the island is drenched with intense tropical downpours. You can see that life for the locals is slower during this period. With less tourists, the businesses are quieter and streets are calmer.
Personally, it is my favourite time of year in Bali – I love rain and tropical storms. The island feels so peaceful when everyone is hiding from the showers.
Despite being called ‘rainy season’ it is very rare for a whole day to be taken up by grey cloudy skies and rain. The island’s humidity soars, plant-life thrives, and you can witness just how swiftly the atmosphere changes as the dark clouds turn into shining sun rays. For those who don’t love the burning sun, and enjoy the soothing sound of rain pitter-pattering on the roof, rainy season is the time for you.
What To Do During Dry Season
The Bali dry season is also the high season for tourism. The island is packed full of adventures and tours, beaches and pool clubs, jungles and cliff sides to be explored.
Here are some of the best things to do in Bali during dry season –
- Spend a day in the sun around your villa/hotel/hostel pool, enjoying the heat and cooling off in the refreshing water
- Head to one of the popular beach clubs where you can tan, snack, drink and relax in luxury with a pool and the ocean just steps away – Finn’s Beach Club (Berawa), KU DE TA (Seminyak), Potato Head (Seminyak), Sundays Beach Club (Uluwatu), COMO Beach Club (Canggu), Tropicola (Seminyak)
- Explore! Venture out on fun tours with an experienced local driver who can take you to Ubud, Uluwatu, Jimbaran, Singaraja, Candidasa for days trips and short staycations
- Have fun with your family and friends at a waterpark – Waterbom (Kuta), Finn’s Splash Water park (Canggu), Taman Segara Madu Water park (Canggu)
- Wander the local markets to find handmade wares from clothing to accessories to home decor – treat yourself or get souvenirs to take home to your loved ones
- Shop til you drop at the mall – Seminyak Square, Beachwalk Shopping Centre (Kuta), Discovery Mall (Kuta), Mal Bali Galeria (Kuta)
- Enjoy cool smoothie bowl creations for a frozen breakfast, lunch or dinner! – Nalu Bowls (Seminyak & Canggu)
- Dine on the sand at sunset over delicious, ultra-fresh seafood in Jimbaran – Menega Cafe, Jimbaran Beach Cafe, Jimbaran Seafood Dinner, Sunset Dinner Beach
- Relax for the day at a beach bar with rentable sunbeds and ice-cold beverages until the sunsets – Seminyak Beach, Berawa Beach, Batu Bolong Beach, Petitenget Beach
- Take a surfing lesson from one of the famous surf schools with friendly professional instructors – Wave House (Canggu), Bali Green Surf School (Seminyak), Odyssey’s Surf School (Kuta), UP2U Surf School Bali (Uluwatu)
What To Do During Rainy Season
The Bali rainy season is the low season for tourism. The streets are more peaceful and accommodation is cheaper, but it is harder to find things to do when a rainstorm comes.
Here is a list of my favourite things to do in Bali during rainy season –
- Have a spa day with your loved ones – escaping the rain doesn’t need to be boring, you can be pampered and buffed to your heart’s content as the rain pours outside
- Take a yoga class – stretch and breathe your way to a zen mood with the rumbling of thunder far off in the background
- Tuck in to a delicious local meal – find a nearby local warung and select from the most delicious dishes that’ll make your taste buds happy. A little sambal will warm you up after getting caught in the rain!
- Head to the mall – much like escaping the heat, you can also escape the rain in one of the huge shopping malls – Seminyak Square, Beachwalk Shopping Centre (Kuta), Discovery Mall (Kuta), Mal Bali Galeria (Kuta)
- Watch a movie at the cinema – catch up on the latest releases and pick at some popcorn until the rain dies down – Cinema XXI (Beachwalk, Kuta), Galeria Cinema XXI (Mal Galeria, Kuta), Cinema XXI Premiere (Level 21, Kuta)
- Relax for the day around your accommodation – this is perfect if you are staying in a private villa, but even to explore your hotel and take advantage of the on-site amenities is a great way to pass some rainy time
- Read your favourite book by the pool – this is one of my go-tos. Let the world stop for a moment and get lost in your book
- Get cuddly at the cat cafe – there are a few spots around the island where you can get cosy with a feline friend. What’s better than escaping the cool rain with a purring furball to comfort you? – The Odd Cat Cafe (Kerobokan), Cat Cafe Sanur, Al-cat-raz Cat Cafe (Sanur), Cat Cafe Ubud
I want to make your decision of when to go to Bali as easy as possible, so I have broken down the weather for each month on the island as well as the must-know calendar highlights. From high-high’s, to not very low-low’s you can see the average temperatures, humidity and also consider costs and the amount of tourists. Here we go!
Visiting Bali in January – The Wettest Month
Weather in January
Right in the midst of the rainy season, January is known to be the wettest month on the island. It is also the coldest, with temperatures dropping to 26℃ – basically summer in the UK. The weather in Bali during January is unpredictable with rain storms starting before you even noticed the clouds have turned grey.
If you are travelling around by motorbike be sure to have a rain jacket on hand at all times! It is very common for big streets to flood briefly during a heavy rain shower, keep this in mind for any long trips during the month.
What’s Going on in January
The number of tourists visiting Bali at the start of January is slightly high as many people come to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the island. Along with the increase in visitors comes price inflation for accommodation and flights. Considered a ‘mini-high season’ if you want to travel to Bali in January, wait until the end of the month, or booking in advance is highly recommended!
Visiting Bali in February – Cheapest Time to Visit Bali
Weather in February
A very humid and mildly wet month, February doesn’t attract very many tourists. If you are looking to spend a peaceful escape away from crowds, this could be a great month for you. With an average of 15 days rain you can hide away in your accommodation with a cool breeze, and explore the island on the dry days.
What’s Going on in February
The best spots for surfing during February are around Nusa Dua where the waves can reach up to 10 ft high – not for the beginner! Due to the minimal amount of tourists stopping by, you can find amazing deals on accommodation, tours and attractions throughout the island. It is by far one of the cheapest times to visit Bali.
Visiting Bali in March – Here Comes the Sun
Weather in March
Bringing the rainy season to a close, March offers a more sunny and bright outlook. The temperatures start to creep up and the rainy days begin to lessen. You can spend some warmer afternoons enjoying the beach, and cool evenings watching beautiful sunsets. There will still be the occasional rain shower, but noticeably less often and not as heavy.
What’s Going on in March
With March comes one of the most famous and strict of the Balinese ceremonies – Nyepi or Silent Day. Always in March – but never on the same date – Nyepi is a time of meditation, silence and fasting for the local Hindu’s. The island falls into complete stillness, as no electricity, sound or light is allowed to be used. You are not allowed to leave your residence, even the international airport closes for the day! Everyone on the island is expected to respect the rules of the holiday that are enforced by the local Pecalang or security patrol.
I highly recommend visiting Bali in March, not only is the weather better, you get to experience one of the most unique holy days in the world.
Visiting Bali in April – No More April Showers
Weather in April
April promises sunshine and more predictable weather as the dry season begins. The drop in humidity and return of the famous Bali heat surprisingly doesn’t have the tourists immediately queueing for flights. The island is still peaceful and calm, ideal for those looking to get a good deal on accommodation.
What’s Going on in April
As the dry season starts, the best surfing beaches transfer over to the West coast of the island. The Uluwatu breaks are a professional surfers dream, while Kuta and Seminyak are perfect for beginners. Answering the age old question when to go to Bali surfing – anytime from April through to October is the best time for surfers. Make sure to pack your sunscreen, with highs up to 33℃, you never know what the April sun will bring.
April is also the month where creatives and planners come together to create the Ubud Food Festival. A three-day event where you can chomp your way around endless stalls and workshops learning about different cuisines and traditional ways to make your favourites dishes.
Visiting Bali in May – One of the Hottest Months
Weather in May
With the rainy season truly behind us, May honours the island with some of the hottest days of the year. Cool rain is a thing of the past as is humidity allowing the full wrath of Bali heat to strike. If you enjoy the heat, it is the perfect time to enjoy the calm quiet beaches before the throngs of tourists arrive in the following months.
What’s Going on in May
This is the time when expats and locals will be getting their air-conditioners serviced ready for long hot stints through the night. Goodbye measuring rainfall, hello UV index. From here we are in for a hot summer!
Visiting Bali in June – The Month of Arts
Weather in June
Very similar to May, June continues with high temperatures, low humidity and a very low chance of rain – although not completely zero. As with all countries around the world, weather is getting more and more unpredictable, so never discount the chance of the odd tropical shower here and there.
What’s Going on in June
As schools begin closing up for summer holidays in the Western world, high season starts in Bali. An influx of tourists to the island starts in June and leads on throughout the summer months into September. During this time you can expect to see more people on the beaches, busier restaurants and more crowded roads. June is also when prices for accommodation starts to creep up as the demand intensifies.
It isn’t all negative though, with the swarms of tourists comes better festivals, more restaurant deals, bigger events and more live music gigs!
Let’s not forget that June is when the Bali Arts Festival is held. You can learn more about the Balinese culture through dance performances, traditional barong dancing and creative showcases.
Visiting Bali in July – The Best Month to Visit
Weather in July
The weather in Bali in July is the best throughout the year. You are guaranteed shining sun every day, all day. Humidity remains low and chances of rain are miniscule, in July Bali is at peak condition!
What’s Going on in July
July is the busiest high season month with tourists from all over the world flying in to experience the stunning beaches, tropical jungles and beautiful landscapes. With the crowds comes longer travelling times and fewer ‘peaceful’ spots but it is also the best month to visit Bali. Everything is in full swing from bars to restaurants, tourist attractions to hotels, you can’t go wrong no matter what kind of holiday you are looking to have!
Kite flying is a competitive sport on the island, with young children – and adults – taking part in competitions where the winner is the one who wraps their string around the other kite first. So it goes without saying that the Bali Kite Festival is one of the biggest highlights of the year. Through July you will see thousands of kites taking to the sky, and being transported around the island ready for war!
Visiting Bali in August – Mid High Season
Weather in August
The weather in August is very similar to July with clear skies, bright sun and close to no chance of rain! A summer island dream. Temperatures will soar up to 29℃, just slightly lower than the 30℃ that can be reached in July.
What’s Going on in August
If you thought that July was busy, wait till you see August.. Families, friends and tour groups from every corner of the world venture each inch of the island to take in every drop of paradise they can get. If you want to escape the crowds then I recommend heading up to the very North of the island. Surrounded by luscious jungles and black sand beaches, you can catch a moment of peace.
August 17th hails as Independence Day for Indonesia. A public holiday that is celebrated nation-wide, you will see thousands of flags decorating homes, offices and buildings across the island. Locals hold street parties to celebrate their independence, and enjoy some quality time with their families.
Visiting Bali in September – After the Crowds
Weather in September
Not much changes weatherwise from August to September. Bali is still a sunny tropical getaway where you can enjoy bright blue skies and moderate humidity. The waves are great for surfing, sunsets are magical each night and the evenings are cool enough to enjoy a night of dancing and eating with your loved ones.
What’s Going on in September
September is when the Bali high season begins to come to an end. Tourists are heading home, and fewer are stopping by for the vacation of their dreams. The atmosphere of the island is still on a high after a successful busy season where businesses thrived and locals had steady jobs. It is a great time to visit Bali to catch the summer feeling before the rain begins.
Visiting Bali in October – Here Comes the Rain
Weather in October
We are about to come back full circle into the rainy season with October bringing wetter days. Not quite into the throws of the big storms, it is still a good time to visit Bali since the crowds are gone, but don’t expect endless sunshine.
What’s Going on in October
October is the best time to visit Ubud as it hosts a whole range of festivals and events. The Bali Vegan Festival and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival use the cultural centre of the island as its home. Filled with tasty snacks, interesting workshops, lectures and celebrations, it lures people from around the island to its luscious landscape.
Visiting Bali in November – A Quiet Month
Weather in November
The weather in Bali in November is wet in true rainy season style. Although you don’t need to worry about showers every day, it’s smart to always be prepared with a raincoat just in case – a sunny morning doesn’t mean a dry day.. Humidity charges back up into the 80%s making it one of the stickiest month’s on the island. Don’t be packing any puffer-jackets.
What’s Going on in November
November is a quiet month in terms of visitors. There aren’t many tourists and no big festivals, but you can feel the build up to December where we get another mini-high season over Christmas.
Visiting Bali in December – Mini-High Season
Weather in December
Bali in December is not for the sun-seekers. With mostly grey days, the peaks of sun are greatly appreciated for some much needed Vitamin D. In the prime of the Bali rainy season there is an average of 13 wet days throughout the month, not bad if you are looking for a Christmas getaway.
What’s Going on in December
If you thought Bali is quiet over the holidays, you are sadly mistaken. Bali in December reaches another peak of incoming tourists who are looking to celebrate Christmas and New Years in the tropics. I suggest booking far in advance for flights and accommodation as the prices jump to great heights for the special end-of-year celebrations.
As a self-proclaimed Bali lover, I worship the island all times of year – through low season Bali to high season Bali, every drop of rain and every bead of sweat, I can’t stop falling in love with the tropical paradise.
For a family wanting to take a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, July is the best time to go to Bali.
For a surfer looking to catch some incredible waves, April is when you can battle with your board for some memorable surfing moments.
And, for the digital nomad wanting to spend some time on the island grinding away on their laptop, it’s never a bad time to visit bali.