If you’re looking for adventure activities in Bali, you’re in luck. Home to world-renowned surf, luscious jungle terrain, and raging rivers, it is the perfect landscape for getting in a hearty dose of adrenaline-fueled fun.
And there are countless ways to set your inner daredevil loose in this Indonesian hotspot. Are you brave enough to climb an active volcano? Could you handle free-falling down a 39ft waterfall? Or how does whizzing from one clifftop to another on a zip wire sound? Well, Bali has all this and more.
But where to begin? Luckily, we’ve whittled it down to 7 of the best adventure activities to be found on the island. And while this by no means covers every heart-thumping option there is, we think it’s a pretty good start.
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White water rafting
White water rafting is one of the top adventure activities period. But white water rafting in Bali definitely takes it up a notch. Although there are several rivers in Bali, only three of them are deemed safe enough for this activity.
First up there is Ayung River. This is the longest river on the island, stretching a whopping 75 kilometers, from the northern mountain ranges to Badung Strait at Sanur. For anyone staying in the popular Ubud area of Bali, this is a top choice as it’s only around a 20-minute journey from the center. And if you’re a beginner it’s the perfect place to start, as it has a rapid class grade of II-III.
However, if you’re craving a little more thrill, the Telaga Waja River may be a better bet. With rapids reaching a level IV class grade, you can be sure to get the heart racing in this one. Located on the east side of Bali, away from the more touristy areas, it’s not quite as convenient to get to. But don’t worry, as many tour operators offer a pickup service.
And lastly, we have one for the hardcore adrenaline junkies. Melangit River offers 37 drops along the route, with the highest being around three meters. Situated in the Banjarangkan district, roughly an hour from the capital, Denpasar, this is an 8 kilometer stretch of twists and turns through a majestic rainforest setting.
Climb Mount Batur
Adventure activities in Bali don’t come much more daring than this one. For what could get the heart racing more than climbing an active volcano? Okay, so Mount Batur hasn’t erupted in 21 years but still.
However, due to high daytime temperatures, treks only run around sunrise. So, if you’re a daredevil and a morning person, this one is most definitely for you. You can expect to start your journey around 4am and reach the summit just in time to see the extraordinary sunrise. This two-hour trek is not for the faint-hearted. However, for those that can manage the steep climb, the views of Lake Batur steeped in that orange glow make it every bit worth the effort.
There are many tour operators available offering a range of services. Some include breakfast, as well as stops to nearby hot springs and coffee plantations. So, best to shop around to find the right tour for you.
While snorkeling and scuba diving are pretty well-known vacation activities, you may not know so much about sea walking. Okay, so no prizes for guessing what this activity entails. Yep, it’s exactly as it sounds, walking in the sea.
But just how is it done, you ask? Well, unlike scuba diving, which requires quite a few pieces of apparatus, sea diving only requires one – a specially designed helmet that lets you breathe normally. This piece of headgear leaves you free of any bulky dive gear, allowing you to explore the underwater landscape in a much more comfortable manner.
So, if your swimming skills are not the best but you’ve always craved a trip to the bottom of the sea, then this adventure activity has your name on it. Here are just a couple of the best areas to try out a bit of sea walking:
Nusa Dua Beach: Offering calm, clear waters, the conditions are perfect here to trek amongst the fishes. The recommended tour operator, Bali Seawalker, can be found at the prestigious Grand Mirage Resort at the tip of the beach.
Sanur Beach: Home to numerous tropical fish and exotic marine life, there should be plenty to catch your eye around here. It also boasts clean, white sand for a little post sea walking sunbathing session.
For the ultimate George of the Jungle experience, ziplining is simply a must for adventure activities in Bali. With a wealth of rich, luscious jungle, as well as vast seascapes, and rice paddy mazes, there’s no shortage of exotic scenery options to whizz past.
If dangling over crashing waves is your idea of fun, the Abyss Zipline is for you. Located in nearby Nusa Ceningan Island, you will zoom from one clifftop to another for the ultimate thrill. Or if gliding through the forest takes your fancy, a stop at Ubud is in order. This hilly jungle landscape is home to several tour operators waiting to offer the perfect zipline experience. Some even offer a ride on a jungle swing, a dip in a hidden pool and a Balinese black coffee tasting as well.
Slide down Kroya Waterfall
What’s a vacation in Bali without taking in a waterfall or two? However, Kroya Waterfall makes it on to the list for something a little more unique. Adventure activities in Bali don’t come much more magical than the chance to slide down this dazzling natural wonder.
Located in the far north of the island, it forms part of the Aling Aling Waterfalls. While it’s not as big as some of the others, freefalling for 39ft will certainly feel like quite the journey. But with guides to help and supply you with life vests, it is also a very safe way to get in that adrenaline rush. Or you can challenge yourself even more with a cliff jump into the waters below, where you can then cool off with a refreshing swim.
And be sure to check out Aling Aling Waterfall itself. This 90ft booming fall is considered sacred by locals. So, while there’s no swimming or waterslides allowed here, it’s the perfect spot to get the heart rate down after your Kroya adventures.
Another top adventure activity in Bali is quad biking. What better way to get that adrenaline rush than to get behind the wheel of one of these bad boys? Embark on a journey through a wide range of terrains, including beaches, rice paddies, and bamboo forests. And be sure to have your camera ready for the exquisite Balinese structures you may pass along the way.
There are various guided tours to choose from all over the island, from Bali Quad Bike Adventures in Denpasar to Bali Quad Discovery Tours in Ubud. Most include hotel pick-up, as well as lunch options. And for those that aim to go full throttle, you may want to opt for one that includes a shower option, as you’re likely to have a fair bit of mud to scrub off.
So, if you’re a nature lover and an adventure seeker, this activity is most definitely for you.
And last but not least, we simply couldn’t talk about adventure activities in Bali without mentioning this one. Home to some of the most powerful waves in the world, Bali is truly a surfer’s paradise.
The best swells on the island can be found in the Bukit Peninsula. Padang Padang beach is home to Indonesia’s longest running surfing competition, Rip Curl Cup. The waves here can reach heights of up to 12ft, making it a popular spot for hardcore surfers. Uluwatu Beach is another popular place to take to the surfboard. Here you can ride the Indian Ocean waves while admiring the clifftop ancient Hindu temple, Uluwatu Temple.
However, if you’re looking for adventure in Bali but not quite ready for such epic waves, Kuta Beach has you covered. With numerous surf schools around and one of the few beaches that has surf breaks over a sandy bottom, it is the perfect spot to try your hand at the sport in a less risky environment.
With great weather and an ideal water temperature year-round, surfing is the perfect way to capture a few thrills on your Bali vacation.
Bali adventure activities summary
Well, it’s fair to say there are lots of adventure activities in Bali sure to satisfy the thrill-seeker. However, this list barely scratches the surface. There are plenty more opportunities for a bit of hair-raising fun. You can swim with sharks in one of the many dive sites. You can also try your hand at flyboarding in the turquoise waters of Nusa Dua. Or maybe a bit of bungee jumping is more up your street. The options are truly endless in this immense landscape. So, if a selection of heart-pounding pursuits is what you’re craving this vacation, Bali awaits.
If you’re looking for adventure activities elsewhere in Indonesia, check out what Jakarta has in store also.