The 7 Best Bali Adventure Tours For Adrenaline Junkies

best Bali adventure tours
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So, you’re looking for the best Bali adventure tours? You must be ready to crank up the adrenaline and get the heart a-thumping. Well, we’ve got some good news for you: The legendary Isle of the Gods is just about perfect for doing that…

Yep, from frothing surf breaks that crash triple overhead and whiz into barrels to wild zipline courses through the jungles to hardcore trekking trails up disconcertingly active volcanos, this much-loved corner of Indonesia has plenty up its sleeve for travelers who prefer the more adventurous side of life.

This guide lists seven of the finest Bali adventure tours out there. They are the ones that have left us gasping with joy on the summit of mountains or salt-washed after epic surf sessions down in Canggu. There’s also some exciting whitewater rafting thrown in for good measure, along with gnarly rides on high-octane quad bikes, and oodles more…

Bali Quad Bike and White Water Rafting

Ubud rice paddies
Photo by Joseph Richard Francis

Prepare to get muddy on this no-holes-barred trip through the jungles and inland of south-central Bali. This hot pick among the best Bali adventure tours starts with a private pickup from your hotel. That’s available from anywhere along the main south-coast resort strip (Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu), and at a surcharge from the surf areas of the Bukit Peninsula. The transfer is about two hours, taking you north to the cultural hub of Ubud.

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But you’re not here to see the art or listen to gamelan music. You’re here to hit the hinterland trails. The mode of transport? A purring, roaring, petrol-fueled ATV quad bike. The course is nothing to be sniffed at. It’s a loop around the famous Ubud rice terraces outside of the town that includes whole sections that are virtually submerged in water, along with mud- and rock-covered tracks by the side of roaring waterfalls.

That’s also just part one. The second chapter of this epic Bali adventure tour comes in the form of whitewater rafting down the Ayung River. It’s got some sections that are pretty hairy, especially during the wet season months (November-March), when there’s altogether more H2O flowing down from the Balinese highlands.

Each activity takes about two hours in all but the whole day lasts about 10 hours. There’s also an Indonesian buffet lunch thrown in for good measure. All equipment and safety gear is included in the cost of the tour. 

Trekking Activity: Bali Mount Batur Sunrise Climbing Tours

Mount Batur
Photo by Juan Cruz Mountford/Unsplash

Scaling the tops of one of the Isle of the God’s smoking volcanoes is unquestionably one of the most epic things you can do in this corner of Indonesia. It means ditching the hotel poolside and the wave-splashed beaches for a hardcore trek into the highlands, through snake-ridden jungles and humid forests. Tempted? Thought you might be…

That’s where this trek package with Sunrise Climbing Tours comes in. It will whisk you out to the very north of the island, where the conical shape of Mount Batur looms over the crater lakes and the Bali Sea. You’ll need to start super early to make sure you get to the top for when the sun peaks over the horizon to the east. That’s the special moment here, as you get to see muscular Mount Rinjani of Lombok silhouetted against the ochre rays of the of first light.

The trek to the top of Mount Batur typically takes between four and six hours. The terrain is a mix of marked trail, packed mud, and scree. Breakfast is also included but is after you’ve reached the top and descended, so you might want to bring along some snacks to power on through.

Lempuyang Temple with Blue Lagoon Snorkeling

Photo by Farano Gunawan/Unsplash

This guided tour of the eastern portion of Bali combines adventure with a touch of culture. Your first pitstop in the morning is the incredible Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang. A vast temple complex that rarely fails to get the jaw dropping, it’s a majestic combo of carved gatehouses and Hindu friezes, all ceremoniously placed around the shrines of Mount Lempuyang. (Tip: The entrance to the temple is one of Bali’s most iconic Insta spots!).

From there, you’ll head down to the coast, where the port town of Padangbai awaits. But you’re not going to hop on a boat to the Gilis. Nope, you’re heading to the north side of the marina where the famous Tanjung Jepun, or Blue Lagoon, is on the menu. It’s one of the top-quality snorkeling spots on the Isle of the Gods, with clusters of multicolored reefs filled with Nemo fish and zebrafish and more.

In all, the tour to Lempuyang Temple and the Blue Lagoon takes about eight hours. All guests get a pickup at their hotel in the morning, so long as they’re staying in Sanur, Seminyak, Canggu, Kuta, or Denpasar. All snorkeling gear is included in the price, as are boat transfers to the best snorkel locations.

Half-Day Electric Bike Tour of Ubud

Ubud terraces
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One of the more relaxing options on this list of the best Bali adventure tours still offers to pluck you away from the spa or the poolside. It’s a half-day outing that gets you into the saddle of an e-bike for a cycle through the lush, green surrounds of Ubud.

With the added benefit of a motor attached to your ride, you should find it a cinch to get from A to B. That opens up some lovely parts of the Ubud countryside, including the legendary, UNESCO-listed Tegalalang Rice Terrace. A stop there will mean compulsory photos on swings over the lush paddies.  It also means you get to visit all the quaint villages that line the narrow roads on the way, where batik fabric workshops and craftspeople ply their trade in little shops.

All guests on the half-day cycle tour get a pickup from a hotel within the Ubud area. Bikes are provided, as is safety equipment. You’ll cycle the whole way in the company of an expert guide, who will spin tales of Balinese history as you go.

The Best of Bali’s Waterfalls

Photo by Filippo Cesarini/Unsplash

Bali is a haven for waterfall lovers. There are more cataracts dotting the jungles and the forests here than you can shake a shortboard at. Sadly, they can be tricky to get to some of the time, and only the locals really know where the best of them resides. That’s why a tour is a cracking idea. It will reveal the famous waterfalls but also more hidden spots.

It can be a hefty journey from Kuta and the other south-coast towns to the main waterfall area on the island – we’re talking a transfer of three hours on occasion. Still, it’s a pleasant drive, taking you deep into the green hills and around some rustic villages in the lesser-known regencies. Then, it’s time to hit the waterfalls themselves, which typically include:

  • Tibumana Waterfall – A stunning, ribbon-like waterfall that’s hidden in a secret pocket of jungle in the Bangli region. Definitely one for the photography buffs!
  • Tukad Cepung – Looking more like a cenote out of the Yucatan, this waterfall cascades through an amazing opening in a cave. It’s really something else!
  • Tegenungan Waterfall – Tegenungan Waterfall is a big, roaring waterfall, and one of the most-visited on the Isle of the Gods. It’s included in most waterfall tours.

Full Day Canggu Bali Surf Lesson with Transport Service

A surfer in Bali
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No trip to Bali could possibly be complete without at least trying to catch a wave. This island is famed all over the globe as one of the world’s surf meccas. It’s got all sorts of breaks, from heavy left-hand points that challenge even the pros to soft beach breaks that are perfect for learning on. The area of Canggu is perfect for all levels of surfer. It’s got a great mix of reef breaks and beach waves to suit beginners and intermediates alike.

That’s why we love this full day’s tour of Canggu. It’s a great choice if you’ve never even held a surfboard before. But it could also be fun if you’re an improving surfer with some good knowledge of the swell. Everything’s included, from rash vests to boardshorts (no need for a wetsuit here!) to the surfboards themselves. Lessons last approximately three hours and take place under the tutelage of an expert surf instructor.

The only downside? This tour doesn’t include a pickup or drop off at your hotel. Instead, there’s a designated meeting point on Jalan Pantai Sentosa in Canggu itself. You can use local taxis, Gojek, Uber, or Grab to get there in the morning before you start.

Exclusive Volcano Sky Tour

Bali volcano
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You might need to be a traveler of the jet setter variety to be able to add this sky tour to the itinerary. Packages can cost upwards of $1,200 per person for just a few hours. But that’s because they involve lifting off from the Isle of the Gods to see the great, sulfur-belching peaks of the north from a helicopter.

Yep, it’s all very Jurassic Park. You’ll whiz across the tops of the jungles that cover the distance between Denpasar (the capital) and the wilder part of the island beyond Ubud. Soon, the outline of big Mount Batur should come into view. The chopper will run loops around the top of it, so you can see the lava scree and the ancient craters, along with the gorgeous vistas of the Bali Sea and Lake Batur below.

A sky tour of the volcanos isn’t your only option, either. There are other helicopter excursions that can take you to witness the amazing Uluwatu Temple from above, and others that go all the way to the Gili Islands and even Lombok for some more far-flung adventuring.

The best Bali adventure tours – our conclusion

There are oodles of contenders when it comes to the best Bali adventure tours. From epic hikes to sun-kissed volcano summits to mud-spattering drives on ATVs through the rice paddies, you can get up to all sorts on this fun-filled island. of course, our list of seven is really just scratching the surface, but it does offer a good snapshot of the sort of things that could get the adrenaline pumping on your holiday this year!

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Joe has been a freelance travel writer for over nine years. His writing and roaming have taken him from the colonial towns of Mexico to the chowks of Mumbai to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. When he's not putting together the next epic blog on the best Greek islands or ski fields in France, you can usually find him surfing or hiking – his two top hobbies.