woods bali cafe

Ultimate 3-Day Bali Itinerary: Experience the Best in Limited Time

Updated 25 Dec 2023

Buckle up, adventurers! Get ready to embark on a whirlwind tour of Bali, the “Island of the Gods.” In just three days, we’ll be weaving through lush rice terraces, splashing under waterfalls, riding the waves, and sipping coffee with a view. Let’s dive into the ultimate 3-day Bali itinerary that promises to unwrap the best of this Indonesian paradise.

If you’re torn between Ubud and Canggu, check out our article Should I Go to Ubud or Canggu First? for guidance.

Day 1: Ubud Unveiled

Our Bali escapade kicks off in Ubud, the cultural heart of the island.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The Tegalalang Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a mesmerizing spectacle. Imagine waking up to the symphony of rustling leaves and the soft hum of nature. As the sun bathes the terraced landscapes in a golden glow, you find yourself standing at the edge of a rice field, the lush greenery stretching as far as the eye can see. Each step unveils a new perspective, a snapshot-worthy moment.

Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)

Elephant Cave

Let’s time travel to the 11th century at Goa Gajah, where ancient history unfolds in the form of Hindu and Buddhist carvings. Elephant Cave? Yes, please! Because who wouldn’t want to explore a cave with a name that cool? After your visual feast at Tegalalang, it’s time to delve into Bali’s rich historical tapestry. Goa Gajah, or the Elephant Cave, transports you back in time, offering a glimpse into the island’s ancient mysteries.

The cave, adorned with mysterious carvings and statues, whispers tales of a bygone era. It’s not just a cave; it’s a sanctuary of stories etched in stone. The cool, musty air adds an extra layer of intrigue as you explore the hidden nooks and crannies. Goa Gajah is not merely an archaeological site; it’s a portal to Bali’s spiritual and artistic roots.

Tegenungan Waterfall

Tegenungan Waterfall

Ready for a splash? Trek through the jungle to Tegenungan Waterfall, a natural masterpiece waiting to refresh your soul. Pro tip: Wear your swimsuit under your adventurous attire for an impromptu dip. As the Balinese sun climbs higher in the sky, the call of Tegenungan Waterfall beckons. A short trek through the lush jungle leads you to this hidden gem. The sound of rushing water grows louder, signaling your approach to nature’s very own water playground.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Monkeying around is strongly encouraged at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Meet the locals (yes, monkeys count as locals here) and explore ancient temples surrounded by a playful troupe of furry friends. Just remember, they’re in charge!

Amidst ancient temple ruins, the monkeys reign supreme. They swing from vines, chase each other through moss-covered stones, and occasionally, cast curious glances at the human visitors. It’s a delicate dance of coexistence. Remember, you’re stepping into their world, and respect is the currency for interaction. Offer a banana, strike up a conversation in monkey language, and you might find yourself in the middle of a primate party.

Jalan Raya Ubud

The Heart of Bali’s Culture

Stroll down Jalan Raya Ubud for a taste of local life. Dive into art galleries, snag some traditional snacks at warungs (local eateries), and let the vibrant energy of the street fuel your day. Exiting the forest, you find yourself on Jalan Raya Ubud, the bustling artery of the town. It’s a sensory overload – the aroma of incense, the vibrant hues of handwoven textiles, and the melodic chatter of locals going about their day. Ubud’s main street is a microcosm of Balinese life, a tapestry of tradition and modernity woven together.

Ubud Traditional Spa

Luxurious Resorts and Spas

Time to unwind! Head to Ubud Traditional Spa and let the Balinese magic work its wonders. Imagine aromatic oils, skilled hands, and a state of bliss – the perfect prelude to a night of sound sleep. As the day draws to a close, and the sun begins its descent, it’s time to transition from the vibrant streets of Ubud to the soothing ambiance of Ubud Traditional Spa. Nestled in the heart of this cultural hub, the spa is a sanctuary for weary travelers seeking rejuvenation.

Choose from an array of traditional Balinese spa treatments, each designed to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit. The Balinese massage, with its rhythmic strokes and use of essential oils, is a popular choice. Alternatively, opt for a traditional boreh body scrub to invigorate your senses. As you emerge from the spa, you’re not just refreshed – you’re renewed. The glow of tranquility accompanies you into the evening, setting the stage for the adventures that await on Day 2.

For more travel insights and tips for your Bali journey, check out our article on Ubud, Seminyak, or Nusa Dua?.

Day 2: Culture to Coast

With a rested spirit and a sense of rejuvenation, Day 2 unfolds with a blend of cultural exploration and coastal delights.

Campuhan Ridge Walk

bukit campuhan ubud

Lace-up those hiking boots! The Campuhan Ridge Walk promises breathtaking views of lush valleys and the Wos River. Enjoy the fresh air, serene atmosphere, and the captivating beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Campuhan Ridge Walk is a scenic trek that meanders through the picturesque landscapes surrounding Ubud, becomes your canvas for the day. As you lace up your hiking boots, the anticipation of what lies ahead adds an extra skip to your step.

The trail unfolds before you, revealing panoramic views of verdant valleys and the meandering Wos River. The gentle rustle of leaves and the distant sounds of nature create a symphony that accompanies your ascent. This isn’t just a walk; it’s a communion with Bali’s natural wonders, a chance to breathe in the essence of the island.

Ubud Traditional Art Market

Christmas Shopping at Ubud Market

Descending from the ridge, your cultural journey continues at the Ubud Traditional Art Market. It’s a treasure trove of artistic expressions, a kaleidoscope of colors and textures that tell the stories of Bali’s creative spirit. The market is a living canvas where local artisans showcase their talents, and every piece has a narrative waiting to be discovered.

From intricate wood carvings that breathe life into mythical creatures to vibrant textiles that echo the island’s rich cultural heritage, the market is a feast for the senses. Engage with the artisans, learn about the techniques passed down through generations, and find that perfect piece that encapsulates the essence of your Bali adventure.

Seminyak: Beach, luxury, and trendy cafes

potato head beach club bali

Bid farewell to Ubud and set your compass southward toward the coastal haven of Seminyak. The transition from cultural immersion to beachside luxury is seamless. Seminyak welcomes you with its golden sands, azure waters, and a cosmopolitan vibe that’s impossible to resist.

Seminyak isn’t just a beach; it’s a lifestyle. The streets are lined with upscale boutiques, offering everything from designer clothing to locally crafted treasures. Whether you’re in the mood for a beachfront massage, a dip in the pool of a luxurious resort, or a laid-back afternoon of people-watching at a trendy café, Seminyak caters to every whim.

Surf’s up in Canggu!

Canggu Surf

Rent a surfboard, sign up for a lesson with one of the experienced instructors, and paddle out into the turquoise embrace of the Indian Ocean. The thrill of riding a wave, the taste of salt on your lips, and the adrenaline rush as you ride towards the shore create memories that linger long after the sun sets.

Discover the full spectrum of activities in Canggu by exploring our guide on The Best Things to do in Canggu.

Day 3: Beyond the Horizon

With the dawn of a new day, Day 3 unfolds, promising to take you beyond the familiar and into the mystical realms of Bali’s spiritual and scenic wonders.

Pura Besakih

Pura Besakih

Brace yourself for the “Mother Temple” – Pura Besakih. Intricate carvings, spiritual vibes, and panoramic views await as you explore this sacred site nestled on the slopes of Mount Agung.
The journey begins early as you set course for Pura Besakih, the “Mother Temple” of Bali. Nestled on the slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak, Pura Besakih is not just a temple; it’s a complex of temples that collectively form the largest and holiest pilgrimage site on the island.

The panoramic views from Pura Besakih are nothing short of breathtaking. The temple complex stands as a guardian, overlooking the lush landscapes below and the towering silhouette of Mount Agung. It’s a moment of introspection, a connection with the divine, and an acknowledgment of the profound spirituality woven into the fabric of Bali.

Mount Batur View Coffee Shops

mount batur view

After the spiritual immersion at Pura Besakih, the journey continues to a quaint coffee shop with a view. Mount Batur View Coffee Shop is perched on the edge of Kintamani, offering not just a caffeine fix but a front-row seat to one of Bali’s most iconic landscapes.

As you sip on a cup of locally grown coffee, the majesty of Mount Batur unfolds before you. The volcano, with its gently smoking crater, rises against the backdrop of Lake Batur. It’s a moment of serenity, punctuated by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the cool breeze that sweeps across the mountainous terrain.

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

The road meanders towards the west, leading you to the iconic Tanah Lot Temple. As you approach the coast, the silhouette of the temple atop a rocky outcrop comes into view. Tanah Lot, translated as “Land in the Sea,” is a visual masterpiece, a testament to Bali’s architectural prowess.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the magic of sunset at Tanah Lot unfolds. The temple stands silhouetted against a canvas of oranges and purples, and the crashing waves provide a rhythmic soundtrack. It’s a moment frozen in time, a culmination of your Bali journey as you bid farewell to the day’s last rays.

Woods Pererenan – Jazzy Night

Woods Jazz Cafe

As the stars emerge in the night sky, the journey concludes at Woods Pererenan, a trendy restaurant and bar that embodies the essence of Bali’s evolving nightlife. The atmosphere is charged with the sounds of jazz, a lively backdrop to an evening of culinary delights and sophisticated revelry.

Woods Pererenan is more than a venue; it’s an experience. The menu, a fusion of Mediterranean flavors, tantalizes the taste buds with every bite.
The stage comes alive with the smooth sounds of jazz, a genre that transcends cultural boundaries. Local and international artists create a symphony that fills the air, inviting you to dance, laugh, and savor the final moments of your Balinese adventure. It’s a night of celebration, a crescendo to the melody of the past three days, and a testament to Bali’s ability to seamlessly blend tradition with modernity.

As you raise a glass to the unforgettable moments, the laughter, the cultural immersions, and the breathtaking landscapes, Woods Pererenan becomes the stage for the grand finale. The night unfolds with a rhythm that mirrors the heartbeat of Bali, vibrant and alive.

Additional Tips

Before you embark on your Bali adventure, a few practical tips can enhance your experience:

  • Transportation: Consider renting a scooter or bicycle to navigate easily and explore at your own pace. Taxi and ride-hailing apps like Grab and Gojek are also readily available. For hassle-free adventures and local insights, check out our article on Hiring a Driver in Bali.
  • Accommodation: Choose your accommodation based on your preferences and budget. Ubud offers a variety of traditional guesthouses and boutique hotels, while Seminyak and Canggu cater to luxury travelers with beachfront villas and resorts. If you’re a solo female traveler seeking the best places to stay in Bali, explore our guide on Best Places to Stay in Bali for Solo Female Travelers.
  • Packing: Pack light, comfortable clothing suitable for the tropical climate. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat.
  • Currency: The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the local currency. ATMs are widely available, and most places accept credit cards.
  • Cultural Etiquette: Dress modestly when visiting temples, and be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself against unforeseen events.

This 3-day itinerary offers a glimpse into the diverse experiences Bali has to offer. From breathtaking landscapes and ancient temples to vibrant culture and trendy nightlife, Bali promises an unforgettable adventure for every traveler.

Additionally, here are some optional activities you can consider depending on your interests and time:

  • Hiking: Mount Batur sunrise hike for stunning views and volcanic landscapes.
  • Snorkeling or Diving: Explore the underwater world around Nusa Islands or Menjangan Island.
  • Cooking Class: Learn to prepare traditional Balinese dishes with a local chef.
  • Yoga or Meditation: Find inner peace and relaxation at one of the many yoga studios or meditation centers.
  • White Water Rafting: Experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Ayung River.
  • Elephant Safari Park: Interact with rescued elephants at this ethical sanctuary.
  • Waterbom Bali: Enjoy a day of fun and excitement at this popular water park.

No matter how you choose to spend your time, Bali is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. After experiencing Canggu’s charm, dive into a 10-day Bali adventure! Explore hidden gems and plan your perfect itinerary with our guide Bali Itinerary 10 Days.

rifka arianti

rifka arianti

Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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