The ultimate solo travel guide to Bali: Everything you need to know

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Solo travel in Bali is like catching a perfect wave – easy when you know how. Indonesia’s most popular island is practically set up for solo travelers, with surf, sun and yoga all providing chilled out diversions for adventure lovers. Inland, there’s space for reflection, too, in the island’s tiered temples, rice terraces and brooding volcanic landscapes. 

Finding a community in Bali is also easy for solo travelers, with buoyant expat hubs, especially around surfer-heavy Canggu and the cultural capital Ubud. And there’s also a transient digital nomad scene to tap into, with co-working spaces providing easy access to a crew of new like-minded friends.   

Joining a group solo travel adventure with Flash Pack can help lend that extra layer of comfort and security, so you can settle in and slow down, free from the hassle of having to arrange everything yourself. Here’s what you need to know before taking a solo trip to the “Island of the Gods.”

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Bali travel facts

Once a relatively quiet island, Bali has grown in popularity over the years, with 80% of its economy related to tourism. This is partly thanks to its volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches and spiritual notions, but also to its dual season climate: wet and dry. The island hosts more than 20,000 temples, earning it the nickname of the “Island of the Gods”. It’s positioned right in the middle of the Coral Triangle, the world’s richest waters for coral and underwater life, making it a great scuba diving destination. Back on land, the Subak System Unesco World Heritage Sites include the Pakerisan valley, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces and Taman Ayun Temple.

Is Bali good for solo travel?

As a solo travel destination, Bali is considered to be safe. If you’re thinking about tying in some remote working while you’re there, Canggu on the south coast is a popular hub for digital nomads, filled with co-working spaces, cool bars and beachside hangouts for when the working day is done. It’s also super laid back and easy to get around. Traveling on a Flash Pack solo trip to Bali as part of a group of travelers can give you the option of company, if and when you’d like it.

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Best places to visit in Bali

The south coast is all about catching waves around Uluwatu and staying in cliff-edge hotels, simple sandy beaches around Sanur, and uncovering cool bars, restaurants and coffee shops in Canggu. But you’d be missing out on a lot if you didn’t visit Bali’s interior. It’s here the landscape provides space for scenic hikes to waterfalls and volcanic trekking. Go to the mountain lake resort of Bedugul to see water temples and sloping rice terraces. Ubud, meanwhile, is the centrepoint for local crafts, yoga retreats and The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. On Flash Pack’s Spiritual Bali solo trip, you’ll also get to hike the mighty Mount Batur at sunrise, weaving through local villages en route to the summit.

Where to stay as a solo traveler in Bali

Centrally located Ubud is one of the best places to base yourself for ease of access to the rest of the island. But Canggu in the south is great for digital nomads who want to work remotely by the beach, with surfing and yoga classes on tap. What are the hotels like in Bali? Well, you can find luxury ones for less, set in dramatic locations amid firefly-lit rice paddies or close to lapping waves on the coast. In Seminyak and Sanur, studios and private pool villas are widely available. On a group solo trip to Bali with Flash Pack you’ll typically share a room with another like-minded solo traveler, meaning you swerve the single supplement. Still want your own private room? That’s no problem, either.

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How to get to Bali

The best way to get to Bali is by flying (what with it being an island). Bali Ngurah Rai – more commonly known as Denpasar – is the only international airport. You can reach it direct or with a stopover flight from most major hubs across the world. There’s also a popular ferry route from Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, to Bali, but be prepared to buckle in for the 23-hour journey. There’s a much shorter ferry crossing (around 30 minutes) from Ketapang, on the neighboring island of Java, to Gilimanuk in western Bali if you’re island-hopping.

How to get around Bali

If you choose to travel solo in Bali, there are shuttle buses that will take you to the main points of interest like Kuta, Ubud and Lovina. Boats will also get you to the popular Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok. But typically, most people use cars, mopeds or bicycles to get around. You can rent your own scooters on a daily basis (though you’ll need to have an international driving licence). The traffic can be a little overwhelming and difficult to navigate at times, so another option is hiring a car or scooter with a driver – usually reasonably priced. Or, you can cut out all the stress of the roads and traffic by joining Flash Pack’s group trip for solo travelers, where all internal travel is arranged for you.

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Best time to visit Bali

Bali has a tropical climate, given its proximity to the equator, so expect year-round temperatures averaging 31°C. The wet season is between October and April and the climate becomes a little humid. During dry season, you’ll likely experience a nice cool breeze come evening. July, August and December are the peak months and it’s best to visit during time if you’re interested in festivals and parties. Otherwise, people tend to find May, June and September to be the most pleasant months, when the the weather is fairly settled, warm and sunny, but there are fewer crowds.

Bali travel itineraries

Solo travel in Bali is ideal for nature lovers. The surrounding waters are the richest in the world for coral and marine life. On land, the scenery is peaceful, with sites and a life centered around spirituality. Because of this, it’s the perfect destination to take life at a slower pace – and that’s exactly what a trip with Flash Pack offers. On the Spiritual Bali adventure, you’ll meet over a meal with a local family in the remote village of Pinge in the south, visit the floating temple of Pura Ulun Danu and hike down to Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall. Immerse yourself with spiritual bathing in Ubud, trek up the sacred mountain of Mount Batur and fill your days with local dishes, all before finishing your adventure on the Gili Islands.

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What to pack for solo travel in Bali

It can get hot so pack options that are lightweight and easy to carry for a solo trip to Bali. Sunscreen and mosquito repellent are must-haves, too, along with a sarong, which doubles as a towel and a cover up for the temples. A waterproof dry bag can be useful for keeping your valuables safe around the beaches. Otherwise, just opt for clothing that’s loose and light fitting. Have a backpack to make traveling easier on bikes. You’ll want a camera to capture some of the beautiful scenery, too.

Solo travel advice for Bali

Slow down: Bali’s considered safe for solo travel and a lot of the experience here comes from immersion rather than ticking off a list of sites to see. There’s plenty of waterfalls and temples with pools you can swim in, so leave enough time to settle in to each destination and go at a pace that feels good. Bali can have a reputation of being inundated with tourists but you can still find plenty of peaceful spots, both along the coast and in the rural hinterland.

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Is it safe to travel solo in Bali

Thousands of visitors experience solo travel to Bali every year and most trips are trouble-free. However, do check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK), the Department of State Travel Advisories (US) or your country’s local government guidelines for the latest advice before traveling. Once there, follow local advice and be aware of your surroundings, and possessions, at all times.

Generally speaking, Bali is considered a safe place for solo travelers, with relatively low crime rates, but travelling solo as part of a group can give extra peace of mind to ensure there’s support from others around if needed.

Ready for your next adventure? Try group solo travel to Bali with Flash Pack – designed exclusively for people in their 30s and 40s, seeking the independence of solo travel within the safety of a group.

A cool 98% of Flashpackers arrive solo to join our group adventures. So, you’ll be in good company – whether a first time solo traveler or a seasoned pro looking for like-minded new friends.

Images: Flash Pack


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