Normally, if you were to ask me when the best time to visit Bali, Indonesia is, my answer would be something along the lines of “Now. Yesterday. Whenever you can. ASAP. Always.” But, I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say that you didn’t click on this post for one sentence saying “What, you’re not packed yet?!”. On that note, let’s get to the goods...
In all reality, there really isn’t a bad time to visit Bali. It’s a country that’s filled with just about every kind of nature, every animal, some of the best food, and the greatest people. Also, speaking as somebody who lives in Canada, I’ll never say no to a climate where it doesn’t snow. That being said, while the climate there is lovely, sometimes the weather may not be ideal, and sometimes the crowds may be a bit less than inviting. If these are both things that you take into consideration while planning your trip, and Bali is on your bucket list (if it isn’t, then that’s a whole other topic), then I’m glad you clicked on my article!
One of the main things to consider when planning any trip is what kind of weather the destination will be going through at the time you want to go. As far as Bali goes, if you’re wanting to visit during a time when it isn’t hot… good luck. Seeing as it rests only eight degrees south of the equator, it isn’t often at all that Balinese people see a cold day. In fact, the average temperature there is around 82F (that’s 28C for my fellow metric-system users). So, be prepared for balmy weather regardless of when you go. While general temperature may not be of much choice to you, dear reader, the type of weather is.
Indonesia, like pretty much any other country in the world, goes through periods of dry spells and rainy spells. Their timeline is actually pretty similar to the Northern Hemisphere’s, with May to September being their dry season, and October-April being their rainy season. Many people choose to travel during Bali’s dry season, not only because it makes sense to a lot of people to use their valued summer vacation as best as they can, but also because, and let’s be honest, the idea of being rained on for your entire tropical trip isn’t exactly the most appealing thought. But what the people with these fears don’t necessarily realize is that, at least for Bali, the rainy season doesn’t guarantee that every day is going to be rainy. In fact, many of the days during the rainy season are actually still sunny and dry, there’s just an increased chance of rain (kind of like how it doesn’t snow every day in the winter)! So, if you don’t have a summer vacation and your only available travel time is over the winter holidays, don’t fear, because the weather will (almost definitely) still be wonderful for you!
Regardless of if there is or isn’t rain while you’re in Indonesia, there are still so many things to do. If it’s hot, of course take advantage of all the natural beauty Bali has to offer, but don’t forget to stay cool. Luckily, Bali is one of the many islands that make up Indonesia, which means that everywhere you look, there’s water! Make sure that you experience these crystal-clear waters by going swimming, relaxing on the beach, go snorkeling, or even take it a step further and go under the water by scuba diving! You also can’t forget the vast forests that Bali offers. While it may be a bit muggier in the forests, the trees will provide the perfect cover from the sun. And who knows what kinds of amazing wildlife you’ll see up in the trees!
If there ever is a day that your outdoor plans do get rained out, there’s no need to worry. Every country has its own unique culture, and Indonesia isn’t any different! You could easily spend an entire day learning about Bali’s beautiful and vibrant history by visiting their museums and art galleries, or even by experiencing one of their live traditional dance shows! Indonesia may have only recently become an independent country (less than 75 years ago), but their history extends so much further than that. And, of course, one of the best ways to get immersed in a country’s culture is through their food! One of my former bosses was born and raised in Bali, and I’ll never forget when he cooked dinner for my coworkers and myself. This meal alone put Indonesian food in one of my Top Three for cuisines, and what better way to learn to cook your favourites than by the people who have grown up learning the intricacies and tradition behind the meal? So many locals in Bali have organized cooking classes that are open for travelers to join, so I highly recommend taking one of these on a rainy day, or even on a sunny day!
Finally, just like there are dry seasons and rainy seasons, there are also seasons where tourism is at its peak. One of the biggest ‘high seasons’ coincides with school breaks, which means that June to August and December to January are when many people choose to experience the world we live in. And honestly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping your travel schedule within these months! But, if you do have a schedule that’s a bit more flexible, then you might want to consider going outside of these times. The main reason why many people prefer to travel during the off season is because that means that there will be significantly less crowds than in the on season. For me, the driving factor is the money! Traveling during non-peak tourist seasons can be so much cheaper! Most resorts and airlines actually increase their prices during the busy season, because they know that people will still pay it. You can usually get much better deals if you go between September-November, or February-May.
Finally, you might even be more likely to have better service if you go when it isn’t busy. If you’ve ever worked in retail or been a customer during, say, Black Friday, you know that tensions can run high during a busy time, and sometimes the service is impacted by this. This isn’t anybody’s fault, it’s just that people get stressed and it’s human nature to not always be in their best spirits when in a distressing situation! Anyways, this can work the same way for locals during tourist season, so if you want the people you encounter to be calm and not quite as overwhelmed, then going during the off season is an excellent option.
At the end of the day, I stand by my original statement. There is never a bad time to travel to Bali. But, if I had to choose my ideal time to go, I would probably say around September-November. It’s just at the end of the dry season, so the weather would be in that ideal middle-stage (Balinese autumn, anyone?!), and it’s the off-season, so expenses would be much less, well, expensive! With all of that being said, I leave you with one final question…
What, you’re not packed yet?!