There is no bad time to visit Bali. That being said, some months are better than others as it pertains to issues like rain, cost, etc. We’ll cover everything you need to know about Bali’s seasonal differences to ensure you get everything out of your Indonesian vacation.
Regarding weather, the best time of year to visit Bali ranges from Spring to Fall (April/May to September/October). There is minimal rain throughout the island during these months. If your aim is to minimize costs, visit Bali during the opposite months. The rainy season is normally associated with lower costs.
However, the reality of the situation is that there is no bad time to visit Bali (unless you visit during an earthquake or a volcanic eruption – but those are exceedingly rare, even in the Ring of Fire). The rainy season isn’t comprised of daily torrential downpours and the dry season isn’t comprised of clear skies every day. C’est la vie.
As mentioned above, visit during the months that fall between April and October if you want to spend your days at the beach and avoid the rain. During the dry season, you can expect temperatures to float around the 80s (Fahrenheit, that is). As compared to its counterparts across Southeast Asia, these temperatures are considered heavenly. Thailand and Vietnam enter the high 90s on a frequent basis.
You can avoid rainfall during these months, but you can also avoid extreme levels of humidity. If you’re after the perfect Instagram picture, this makes a serious difference for those with curly hair.
However, there are certainly drawbacks to visiting during the summer months. For example, this duration represents Bali’s peak tourism season. When more people visit the island, hotel rates have a tendency to increase in price. The increase in cost isn’t tremendous. When one considers the traditionally low prices of Bali, you shouldn’t worry about breaking the bank.
This price difference can normally be offset by booking your accommodations well in advance. If you are aiming to visit a small, luxury resort that is normally fully booked months ahead of time, this will impact prices substantially more.
The rainy season occurs during winter months. Some say that Bali experiences an unbearable amount of rain – an amount that could only be described as monsoon-levels. This wasn’t my personal experience. However, I was staying in Ubud, so the rain falling amongst the rice terraces was actually really charming and welcomed during my afternoon naps.
I recognize that rain is likely not preferred for those who want to spend their limited vacation days at the beach. It should be noted that it doesn’t rain all day. Most days, the rain is limited to an afternoon shower. As long as you pack a rain parka/poncho and drive on your scooter extra carefully, it’s not imposing.
The unfortunate aspect of the rainy season has much more to do with the humidity. The temperatures don’t really change from the dry season to the rainy season. As such, the humidity can turn your rain poncho into a sweatsuit. It’s unenjoyable and since many restaurants and establishments don’t offer air-conditioning, there is no escape outside your hotel room.
Other websites will mention an increased number of mosquitoes, but this hasn’t been the case for many years. As dengue fever is a semi-real fear, the Balinese and Indonesia governments have recognized mosquitoes as a threat to tourism. They have sprayed mosquito repellent in these areas for many years and the numbers have dwindled considerably. If you’re worried, just bring DEET.
The best part of this dry season is the low cost. As fewer tourists visit during these months, the harder-to-book accommodations suddenly free up their availability. For example, during my stay in Ubud during the rainy season, I was able to book a 3 bedroom villa with a gorgeous temple-view at a low cost of $650 (for the entire month).
If you want to visit Bali during a religious Hindu season, you could show up any day of the week, any week of the year. Several decades back, the Hindu island of Bali wanted to increase the number of religious ceremonies to prevent the island from changing their official religion to Islam (like the rest of Indonesia).
If the citizens were attending a Hindu service 3 times a week, the belief was that they would be too preoccupied to learn about a different religion. This tradition has stood the test of time. Today, these ceremonies now attract a significant amount of tourism (and also, the dollars associated with said tourism).
No matter when you visit Bali, you can encounter any number of religious ceremonies. But if religion isn’t your cup of tea and you favor spirituality instead (this fits the bill for A LOT of tourists in Bali), then try to aim your trip to align with the famous ‘Bali Spirit Festival’. Yoga-types from all across the world flock to Bali during March to participate in this week of fun events.
There is one religious event that you may wish to avoid. Although many tourists think this event is quite quirky and fun – some even choose to participate themselves. The name of this Balinese Hindu holiday is ‘Nyepi’. It normally occurs in late March.
What makes Nyepi so special you might ask? It’s widely revered as the Balinese day of silence. During this one day in March, all Balinese people refuse to speak to pay tribute to ancestors. This can be quite confusing if you weren’t aware of the holiday. You might even mistake these people for rude if you didn’t know any better.
Different months constitute different water visibility levels for divers in Bali. During the rainy season, the visibility at many popular diving sites is reduced. The rain is believed to wash excess sediments, particles, dirt, and more into the ocean. This can make it less enjoyable and colorful while diving, but it certainly doesn’t impact the liveliness of the fish.
During the rainy season, boat trips may be significantly less enjoyable – especially if you have a tendency to get nauseous at sea. Popular day trips from Bali include islands like Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno, Lombok, and Nusa Penida. You must take a boat to reach these popular tourist spots.
These boat trips take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours. If the water is rocky, this may take a bit longer. You can guarantee it will be less fun than a bright and sunny day when everyone is drinking Bintang on the top of the boat and listening to music. It’s important to factor when planning out your week as boats and ferries will refuse to set sail if the water is too rocky.
All in all, there is no bad time to visit Bali. Different seasons offer different benefits and drawbacks. In summation, if you want to visit during the dry season, go in the summer. If you want to save a pretty penny, go in the wintertime. But remember – the dry season isn’t always dry and the rainy season isn’t always rainy.
One thing that remains consistent – Balinese hospitality and friendliness will always be warm and welcoming. Even if it’s raining, you can count on the kindness of the culture that surrounds you. You will love Bali any time of year.
What is the cheapest time to go to Bali?
The cheapest months of the year to visit Bali range from October to March. During these months, rainy season acts as a hindrance to high tourism numbers. You will likely find reduced rates at hotels and you will also find cheaper flights. Other prices like food prices remain constant.
What is the rainy season in Bali?
The rainy season occurs from the months of October to March. While it is obviously likely that rain can occur at any time of the year, these months constitute a higher number of days with rain. The rain isn’t a torrential downpour like a monsoon. Instead, you can expect afternoon showers for a few hours every day.