5 Adventure Activities in Bali you Have to Try
Guest Post by Grace from Extreme Nomads,
From salty souls in search of waves, spiritual seekers, to adventurous digital nomads, Bali is one of the most loved destinations of travelers passing through Southeast Asia. Which, in fairness, is no big surprise, Bali’s got style that knocks the socks off most other places. The island has so many things to do and adventure activities and is packed with quirky cafes, authentic markets, mouthwatering local restaurants (vegans eat your heart out), and beach bars blasting out catchy electro beats.
But all of that pales in comparison to Bali’s natural beauty; Insanely green rice paddies stretch as far as the eye can see, the horizon is filled with the outline of volcanic mountains, and every evening you’re treated to a sunset you can practically roast a marshmallow on.
It’s hard not to love Bali. But there’s a whole other side to Bali that far fewer know about: The island is an adventure traveller’s dream.
Without doubt, we think the best way to experience Bali is in the great outdoors; and with mountains to climb, waves to surf, and trails to bike, there’s no better place to harness your inner adventurer and embrace the extreme nomad lifestyle.
Top 5 adventure activities in Bali
Bali is covered in gorgeous mountains, jungle, and mangrove forest- all of which offer their own unique hiking and trekking opportunities.
But the biggest, baddest, and ballsiest of them all – You can hike up an active volcano. At sunrise.
Measuring in just over 3,000 meters, the active volcano Mount Angur is Bali’s highest peak. Up until quite recently, hiking Mount Angur was one of the more popular adventure activities you could do in Bali; but since its eruption at the end of 2017, decidedly less people are making the trip to the top.
These days, the best (and safest) volcano hike you can do takes you up Mount Batur. At 1,717 meters it’s a much easier-going route, too. The best time to hike is very early in the morning or late in the afternoon- so you can take your pick between catching the sunrise or sunset. Either way, looking out over the paddy fields, jungles, and villages while the colours of the sun blaze in the background is a sight you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Mountain biking through the jungle
Cycling is easily one of the coolest ways of experiencing a new place: Not only can you save yourself some moola on transport, you’ll also get to see the sights in a level of detail that you’d miss if you were in a car or a bus (extra brownie points for the fact that cycling will help you burn off all that Nasi Goreng you’ve been chowing down on).
Bali has tracks and trails to suit every level of cyclist, from cross country tracks through the rice paddies to hairraising trails down the mountainside. In fact, Bali has some of the best downhill mountain biking tracks in Southeast Asia.
Bali Bike Park is the crew to get in touch with for bike rentals and jungle tours. They have tours in their repertoire that take you riding through the hills in remote parts of the island, past hidden temples, and through bamboo forests to arrive at pristine beaches (far, far away from the crowded touristy ones). They also have a full range of Polygon bikes and ION protective gear available to rent- sorted!
Visiting Bali without going surfing at least once is sacrilege. No seriously, it is. Surfing is one of the most popular adventure activities in Bali.
Surfing is so closely connected to modern Balinese culture that it’s hard to separate the two; and with somewhere in the realm of a gazillion surf clubs on the island, you’ve got no excuse not to pick up a board and try your luck on the waves.
The waves at Uluwatu and Padang Padang have earned themselves a stellar rep in the surf community. Having hosted international events from the likes of Ripcurl and the World Surf League, it’s no surprise that the world’s top surfers say Bali has waves to beat them all.
But you don’t have to be the next Kelly Slater to have a good time out there: There are tons of easy-going beach breaks with gentle, rolling waves that are perfect for beginners to learn on. Kuta is a good place to start.
Once you’re feeling a little more confident, the waves at Canggu should be next on your list. Top off your session with a cold coconut at one of the (many) beachside cafes and you’ve got yourself a golden afternoon.
Stand-up paddle boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding (or SUPing as it’s commonly called) is easily one of the fastest growing sports in the world right now. Why?Well for one, it’s super easy to get started with. Literally, just pick up your paddle, plop your board in the water, and do your darndest to stand up on it (the trick is to keep your eye on the horizon!).
Once you’ve got the hang of the balancing act, the water is yours to explore. See the shore from a totally different perspective, check out some of the harder-to-reach parts of the coastline, and jump off your board into the cool blue water away from the crowds on the beach.
SUP boards are available to rent at a lot of the surf schools, and most places will offer you a quick crash course when you rent a board. Sanur Beach is one of the top spots for SUPing on the island; you’ll even find SUP yoga classes there- novel and fun!
Wakeboarding at a cable park
Even if you’ve never so much as stepped on any sort of board before, wakeboarding- like SUPing- is an easy one to pick up. Head to the cable park in the morning and by lunchtime you’ll be ripping around the course like nobody’s business.
Plus, it’s the best way to keep cool when the Indo sun is burning down on you. Bali’s very own wake park has been up and running for about three years now, and though it’s still pretty fresh on the scene it’s already garnered a reputation as one of the best wake parks in the region.
Kitted out with a mix of kickers and sliders, Bali Wake Park is just as fun for beginners as it is for the pros.
Read More: My pick of the 5 best Bali yoga retreats
Author: Grace is a freelance writer, kitesurfer, semi professional wine drinker (at least, that’s her excuse), and full-time traveler. Currently based in Thailand, she’s the co-director of Extreme Nomads, the sports & outdoors destination guide for active digital nomads.