Travel guide: How to get the most out of a five-day visit to Bali

Seminyak Beach.
Bali's Seminyak Beach. Photo credit: Getty Images

Abundant tropical scenery, breathtaking Hindu temples and traditional dances both majestic and fierce are all part of the magic that has tourists racing back to Bali in the post-COVID-19 travel era.

And if you venture away from the island's tourist traps, it's still possible - even on a short trip - to spend hours exploring waterfalls or just experiencing something new. 

Here's Newshub Travel's guide to getting the most out of a five-day visit.

Day one

5pm - Drop your bags at your hotel and make your way out for a drink.

To soak up the atmosphere, try Desa Potato Head in Seminyak. There, you can enjoy a Bintang while taking in the stunning Bali sunset.

If you're not into the beach club vibe, Seminyak's streets are lined with bars and restaurants that cater to everyone's taste.

7pm - Jump in a Bluebird taxi and head to Warung Made, one of Seminyak's many dining options. Warung Made is an Indonesian restaurant that features many iconic dishes including  nasi goreng - fried rice with meat and vegetables (it might sound too simple but, trust me, you won't be disappointed).

For more Western-catered options, try the popular Kynd Community vegan cafe. Yes, they even have vegan "Big Macs".

Day two

8am - Kickstart the day with some breakfast at the Brunch Club. This is easily one of the best foodie spots in Bali, with three venues in the tourist hotspots of Legian, Canggu and Pererenan. It's popular for its delicious food, coffee and great prices. 

However, keep in mind its popularity. Try and go early if you can to avoid the late morning rush.

There are plenty of options for everyone on the menu including its famous "porncakes", fresh croissants and the beloved smashed avocado.

Midday - Head down to Uluwatu, about an hour from Legian. There you'll find stunning white sand beaches and breathtaking clifftop views.

3pm - Uluwatu Temple tour. An afternoon stop at this stunning temple on the coast of southwest Bali will overwhelm you with picturesque views of the vast Indian Ocean.

5:30pm - After you've finished your tour, wander to the temple's auditorium to watch the Kecak and Fire Dance. You can buy tickets for the performance in advance for about NZ$15. 

7pm - For a memorable dining experience, head back to Jimbaran and try the famous Rock Bar. I recommend eating outside, looking out at the ocean and enjoying the Bali night sky.

Rock Bar.
Photo credit: Supplied

Day three

10am - Waterfall time! There are heaps of stunning waterfalls in Bali but I recommend Tukad Cepung in Tembuku.

2pm - After you've ventured down the steep terrain to experience the breathtaking views of Tukad Cepung, take a walk back up for a bite to eat at the warungs located above the waterfall.

5pm - I highly suggest taking a cooking class while in Bali to learn about traditional flavours, where the ingredients originate from and how they're used in modern cuisine. In Seminyak, Nia Bali Seminyak Cooking Class comes highly recommended. 

Day four

9am - After a quick breakfast, head for Samsara Living Museum for an authentic Bali experience. The drive is a decent one - about two hours from Seminyak - is a must-do.

The Samsara Living Museum, nestled in the soothing jungle forest of Bali's Karangasem district, teaches guests about the most sacred of Balinese culture; from the stages of life, traditional ceremonies, rituals and the beliefs and values of Hindus.

5pm - Get rid of any soreness from yesterday's waterfall walk and the commute to and from Samsara and experience a famous Bali massage at Seminyak's Spring Spa Bali, or one of the plentiful other parlours scattered throughout the area.

Day five

9am - From early morning, the Seminyak Flea Market is an exciting hustle and bustle as tourists rush around trying to find the best merchandise Bali has to offer, from football jerseys to handbags. It's the perfect place to get some goodies to take home with you.

1pm - Flying out late but had to check out of your resort at 10am? Novotel Bali Ngurah Rai Airport will sort you out.

The almost five-star hotel, which is attached to the airport's international terminal, offers day rooms and is the perfect place to relax and refresh before the nine-hour flight back to New Zealand.

Novotel Bali Airport has a pool, restaurant and bar - everything you need to make the most of the last hours of your holiday.

For more information about some of the above locations, visit Newshub's Best Bali places to explore off the beaten path.

Newshub travelled to Bali as a guest of Wonderful Indonesia and Air New Zealand.