When exactly is the best time to visit Bali? From its beaches, beach parties, and surf credentials to its emerald rice paddies, yoga classes, and unique culture, Bali is a beautiful enigma. Its Hindu shrines, dances, traditions, and even its calendar are like nothing else in Indonesia, rooted in something entirely different and, it seems, ancient.
So, sure, Bali sounds incredible. But with its prolonged wet and dry seasons, as well as certain times of the year that the island gets super busy with tourists, the best time to visit Bali can be hard to figure out. So we’ve put together this monthly guide to the weather and even the best festivals in Bali to help you plan the best trip ever.
When is the Best Time to Visit Bali?
Weather in Bali in January
January is not the best time to visit Bali. Think very warm, with temperatures from 27°C (and upwards), about 80% humidity, and some rainfall. The skies are mainly overcast, and there are only about six hours of sunshine per day. It doesn’t rain all the time, however; you’ll only be subjected to short tropical showers that deliver a lot of rain in one fell swoop. The sea can be pretty rough this time of year, with more trash washing up on the beaches because of it. January (after the Christmas and New Year peak) is seen as a slow month, so accommodation can be much cheaper than usual.
Weather in Bali in February
Much like January, February is a wet month. Expect overcast skies, afternoon downpours, high, humidity and fairly high temperatures (27°C+). Just because it’s the rainy season, however, doesn’t mean it rains 24/7. Sea temperatures are really warm – how does 29°C sound? It’s the warmest the sea gets all year. February is also another cheap month, so we’d say it’s the best time of year to visit Bali if you feel like staying in Ubud, where you can watch a tropical downpour from the safety of a cool cafe.
Weather in Bali in March
Though still considered rainy season, March is much more of a mix when it comes to the weather. Cloudy days with interspersed sunshine mean less rain and more chance of a glorious blue-sky day. By the end of March, in fact, the rainy season is drawing to a close as things start to brighten up. Across the island, the temperature is an average of 27°C. Because it does start to get nicer, weather-wise, tourists begin to visit Bali again from March onwards. It’s a pretty good time to visit Bali – especially if you want to experience Nyepi (more on that later!).
Weather in Bali in April
Temperatures are on the rise; the rainy season is pretty much gone by the time April arrives. While you can get some rain at the start of the month, the chances decrease as the month goes on. Warmer days are here with an average temperature of 28°C across the island of Bali. Sea temperatures are also still pretty warm (about 28°C), which is perfect for bathing, splashing around, and generally just escaping that 80% humidity! The coast is less windy in April, too, meaning beach days are becoming an option again. Particularly over Easter, it gets busy with tourists; it may not be the best time of year to visit Bali if you don’t like crowds.
Weather in Bali in May
Sunshine, beautiful beach weather, hardly any rain at all – it’s no wonder May is one of the best times to visit Bali. Temperatures are climbing ever upwards with an average of 28°C and highs in the early 30s. Very hot, basically. Fun fact: the coldest day ever recorded in May in Bali was 20°C! May is the beginning of the dry season – and the beginning of the surfing season too (head to the Bukit Peninsula for big offshore swells) until September. Humidity will also be lessening from May onward as the dry season continues.
Weather in Bali in June
Still very warm, with temperatures hovering around the 30s, June is an excellent time of year to go to Bali. Days are drenched in sunshine, humidity is at 75% (less than it was, at least), and there’s hardly any chance of rain. Expect clear days with hardly any clouds; June sees ten hours of sunshine per day. Watersports and diving in Bali are good in June, with calmer seas and better visibility as a result. June has awesome weather, but it’s not busy with tourists (yet), and it’ll be cheaper, so for us, it’s possibly the best time to visit Bali.
Weather in Bali in July
Book your accommodation in advance because from mid-July onwards, the summer vacation means this month is prime time for tourists. You can expect pretty much the same weather as June; temperatures are 27 to 30°C, there’s plenty of sunshine, and no rain (though it’s still fairly humid). It feels like the tropical paradise it’s billed as… just with more crowds. Seminyak, Kuta, and Ubud get super busy, and hotel prices are at their peak. The sea temperature is 27°C, so it’s definitely pleasant for a swim, and a great way to cool off on the hottest days. Because it’s still dry season, there are only four days of rain in July!
Weather in Bali in August
Also very dry and very busy with tourists, August is high season. Expect crowds in the south of Bali and full-priced accommodation pretty much everywhere. The weather is amazing though, so we can’t really blame tourists for wanting to come here: the average temperature is 27°C (the average high is 31°C), it’s less humid (70%), the heat is eased off by cool breezes, and the days are clear with just a few clouds. August boasts the highest daily sunshine and the least rainfall, making for one of the best times to visit Bali.
Weather in Bali in September
Things start to change a little bit in September. At the start of the month, there are lots of sunny days and cool breezes, but by the end of the month, it starts to transition to the wet season. There’s less average daily sunshine in September (about nine hours), and a slight increase in rainfall, with reasonably consistent average temperatures across the board of 27°C. With less clouds going on, the beautiful weather makes it an excellent time to go to Bali; the end of summer vacation means that the crowds will have dispersed by now, too!
Weather in Bali in October
After the dry, dry summer months, October brings refreshing rainfall back to Bali. An average of 15 days of rain throughout this month feeds the rivers and the jungles of the island, but there are still many dry days to enjoy the beach. The average temperature is still 27°C, but hotel rooms are cheaper as the low season is beckoned in. There can still be a fair bit of sunshine, with nine hours on average. The wet season may be starting, but that doesn’t mean it’s raining all the time: the sea’s still warm, it’s not super humid, and there are fewer people. What’s not to like?
Weather in Bali in November
The second month of Bali’s wet season it may be, but November still boasts a lot of daily sunshine and an average temperature of 27°C (no surprises there). It’s a quiet time of year to visit Bali, relaxing with almost no crowds. Head to the sanctuaries and yoga classes of Ubud, long abandoned by the tourists of summer. You can still get some good surfing and general lazy days at the beach in November. Trekking is not advised in November due it being wet and very muddy.
Weather in Bali in December
The Christmas holidays mean the tourists are back in Bali; even though it’s wet season, many tourists (particularly Australians), flock to the island over the holiday season and don’t leave till after New Year. To be fair, even though it’s still rainy season, it can be an excellent time of year to discover the beach delights of Bali. Rainstorms don’t last long, and the temperature doesn’t budge much from that 27°C average. It’s all good – except maybe for the crowds!
Festivals in Bali
Spring Festivals in Bali
Nyepi – or Day of Silence – is a Hindu festival marking the Balinese New Year. The night before (called Saka) Nyepi is marked by colorful celebrations, feasting, and merriment (naturally), but Nyepi isn’t called the Day of Silence for nothing. From 6 am, everything shuts down – lights, cars, work, flights. Everything.
The day after the Day of Silence is called Ngembak Geni. It’s less silent; people go and see their family for food and festivities. In Banjar Kaja, people take over the streets for epic water fights and a big tug-of-war.
In April, there’s the Bali Spirit Festival. This is all about yoga and the sort of music you’d associate with yoga, complete with markets, stalls, live music, and workshops. If that sounds like your idea of fun, go for it!
Semapura Festival in Klungkung occurs at the end of April/beginning of May. A cultural carnival, you’ll see everything from art and dancing to food stalls and local businesses selling their wares.
Summer Festivals in Bali
In Karangasem in June, there’s a community-minded festival that goes on. Expect traditional dress and local food and arts. Similarly, the Bali Arts Festival takes place in the middle of the month in Denpasar, showing off everything good about traditional Balinese dancing: Kecak dancing and more heats up in a competition between different village dance groups. There’s also literature, crafts, and other arts.
Bali Kite Festival takes place in July in South Bali and sees huge kites (like, 10-metres huge) soar into the sky. They can be competitively flown by different teams. International teams get involved too, but the festival has its roots in asking the Hindu gods for an abundant harvest.
August 17 marks Indonesia’s Independence Day – expect marching schoolchildren in the streets and that sort of thing. Surf-minded travelers should hit up Padang Beach, where international surf competitions take place in August.
Fall Festivals in Bali
Lovina Festival in the village of Kalibukbuk (North Bali) is a time to see a traditional Balinese marching band and the gebogan parade: towers of fruits and flowers – offerings for the gods – balanced on the heads of ladies on their way to the shrines. It takes place in September.
In October, get ready for the Nusa Dua Fiesta. At this lively happening, you’ll get to soak up interesting exhibits of art, culture, sport, and music, all the while tucking into some tasty food and partaking in some drinks.
In West Bali, various paddy fields are turned into racecourses to make way for the Makepung Buffalo Races. Skilled riders compete on carriages (sort of like modified, traditional plows) pulled by two buffalos – all of them decked out in brightly colored regalia; the finals of this veritable Grand Prix occur in November.
Winter Festivals in Bali
Chinese New Year is a big deal in Bali, when Balinese people of Chinese descent take to the streets with lion dancing and wushu performances (think sword fighting and somersaults). Go for the festivities, stay for the delicious, delicious snacks. It occurs in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar.
One thing we haven’t mentioned yet is Galungan. Galungan, in essence, celebrates the victory of dharma (truth) over adharma (evil). This huge, multi-day festival is, after Nyepi, the biggest of deals here. Streets are decorated with penjor – huge, ornately decorated bamboo poles with offerings tied to the ends of them. People visit their families, sacrifice pigs and chickens, feast, and pray for the spirits of ancestors who come to Earth on the day of Galungun itself.
Ten days after Galungan is Kalingan, marking the day when the spirits of ancestors return to the afterlife. Many of the days before Galungan, and between Galungan and Kalingan, are named specifically and are associated with a particular part of the festival. Penyekeban, for example, is a day of cooking up bananas for offerings and occurs three days before Galungan.
Why didn’t we mention it before? Because this festival is based on the wild 210-day pakuwon – or Balinese calendar. That means that Galungan often occurs twice a year, and often in very, very different months! In 2019, it was on July 24, while in 2020, it’s on February 19 and September 16!
When is the Best Season to Visit Bali?
Wet Season: Late December – April: This is the low season for Bali. That’s because it can get very wet! During these months you can expect frequent rain showers, though it doesn’t last all day so it can still be a good time to visit Bali. Bali is still warm and the beaches and sunsets are still incredible.
Dry Season: May – Early December: The dry season is high season in Bali, but if you arrive earlier in the dry season (May and June) you’ll still be able to find fewer crowds and cheaper prices. August and September are prime time high season and you may even have a had time finding decent accommodation if you don’t book well in advance. August is when we love to visit Bali as there is hardly any rain and the weather is pretty comfortable.
When is the Best Time to Visit Bali for Honeymoon?
The best time to visit Bali for a honeymoon would have to be during the dry season. You don’t want it to rain on your honeymoon, of course! So you’ll have to travel in the high season between June and early December!
When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Bali
The cheapest time to visit Bali is during their wet season. Rates will be slashed and many businesses will be begging for your business. Also, you’ll find fewer crowds, though as mentioned above you’ll likely be battling some rain so bring a rain jacket!
When is the Best Time to Visit the Nusa Islands?
The Nusa Islands deal with the same climate as Bali. They are only a few hour ferry ride away from Bali so expect the same wet and dry season.
Plan and Pack for Bali
Travel Water Bottle
Plastic pollution is a problem in Malaysia so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps here is perfectly safe to drink. We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well.
However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.
A cover-up is one of those beach vacation clothes you should always travel within your luggage. When packing for a day at the beach, make sure you don’t forget one. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays.
Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit, so this is where the cover-up is essential. Most of my cover-ups come from Pitusa.
If you’re wondering what travel necessities to bring to Malaysia then good walking shoes should be your top concern.
No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a tote is unnecessary.
However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet is a great option for those on short trips or live close to the beach. They also travel well as they can fold flat and lie in your luggage. For family beach goers I recommend a large yet durable beach tote like this one.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Malaysia. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
Remember that Malaysia uses the Type G adaptor. Make sure you find a good universal adapter like the one I have to keep you charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land.
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