Bali weather: When is the best time to visit?
Dry or rainy season – when is the best weather?
One thing we frequently get asked about is the weather. Rest assured that Bali enjoys a warm, tropical climate all year round, due to being located only 8 degrees south of the equator. Temperatures are quite stable at 27-30C throughout the year. However, there are two very distinct seasons – the wet season and the dry season. Both have advantages for the tourist – the wet season may be rainier and not ideal conditions for sunning yourself on the beach, but it’s still hot, it’s less crowded and there are bargains to be had. The dry season offers the most pleasant weather and the sea is calm – but this is also the most popular time for tourists. It can be crowded and you may find prices at their peak.
Another thing to bear in mind is the unpredictability of the weather. The amount of rain varies enormously each year, and is particularly dependent on natural phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. 2017 for example was a heavy wet season due to the eruption of Mount Agung. By contrast, 2018 has been dry until mid January with the exception of 2 unseasonal weeks of rain in August, which some have linked to the earthquakes in Lombok.
Bali in the dry season: full of sun and fun?
Bali’s dry season stretches from May to September. This time of year sees warm, sunny days, and cool evening breezes, with less of Bali’s famed humidity. This is the perfect time for surfing, diving, hiking, and any number of outdoor activities. The peak of the dry season, from July to August, is a great time to come to Bali – there is a pleasant breeze and the weather isn’t too humid. However, bear in mind that this season is also very popular with tourists, which means bigger crowds and higher prices.
To get the most out of the dry season, schedule your days to avoid the traffic. If you’re going on a day trip, set off before the rush hour, which is around 8-9.30, and come back after the evening rush hour of 5-7 pm. If you really want to avoid being stuck in traffic, try exploring the less hectic parts such as the North of the island. Oh, and one more very important thing to note about the dry season – make sure you bring a good sunscreen! Even if you think you don’t burn, you will if you’re not careful, even on a cloudy day. The sun here is tropical.
Bali weather in May
May is a hot month in Bali, and the weather is consistently sunny and dry. It’s not yet peak season, so this is an excellent time to visit.
Bali weather in June
June is a month of reliable sunshine and cool breezes, with beaches a little less crowded than the peak season of July to September.
Bali weather in July
Mid-July is the beginning of peak season in Bali. There is little rain, and average high temperatures cool to a pleasing 30C.
Bali weather in August
August is the most popular time to visit Bali. Temperatures are pleasant, with an average high of 30C, and ten hours of sunshine a day. There is usually a gentle breeze and it’s no longer humid.
Bali weather in September
September heralds the official end of the dry season. This is a very popular time to visit, with plenty of sunshine, low humidity level and clear skies.
Bali in the rainy season: wet but peaceful?
Bali’s rainy season lasts from October to April. On average, there is higher rainfall at this time of year and the sea is rougher. It’s also characterised by the hottest temperatures of the year, and high humidity. On the plus side, expect a less crowded Bali, and if you surf, there’s no need for a wet suit – but do be prepared for long commutes on the east side of the island.
On a typical wet day, it will rain heavily for a short period before the sun comes out again. While sometimes it rains for longer – and generally not so heavily – Bali’s rainy season is a long way away from the intensity of India’s monsoon season. It’s unlikely that it will put much of a dint in your holiday plans. However, beach lovers should note that the rainy season can mean that the coastline gets littered with washed up debris.
If you decide to visit in the rainy season, be aware that it brings with a raised risk of diseases such as dengue fever. While the chance of this affecting you is low, keep yourself safe with good travel insurance, and think about bringing mosquito repellent, probiotics and diarrhoea tablets – though local pharmacies are also well stocked. Flooding and slippery road conditions can also be an issue – keep this in mind if you plan to ride a motorbike.
Bali weather in October
October is the official beginning of the wet season but rainfall averages remain low. Temperatures are close to peak, with an average high of 34C. If you want to take a gamble on the wet season, this is the month to do it: there is a good chance you won’t see much rain.
Bali weather in November
November is also a good option to consider. The wet season picks up pace here, particularly towards the end of the month. However, you can expect a good few sunny days, and some years see very little rain. Average temperature highs are 33C.
Bali weather in December
The wet season begins in earnest in December. You can expect a high chance of showers, but you can also expect long sunny periods and temperature highs of around 33C. Sea conditions worsen in December, and beach conditions are likely to be windy on the south coast. There might be some minor flooding in the streets.
Bali weather in January
January is peak wet season. You can expect tropical downpours this month, but these will punctuate hot sunny days with average temperature highs of around 33C.
Bali weather in February
In February, the rain is still significant but has slowed a little. Hot days broken by intense rainfall are likely.
Bali weather in March
In March, there is a high chance of afternoon rain showers, with the average temperature highs rising to 34C and humidity notably high.
Bali weather in April
Like October, April is a shoulder month. Rainfall slows considerably and sunny days predominate. This is another month where you might choose to gamble with the weather – especially in the second half of the month when there is less rain and more sun. If you love hot weather, April has plenty, with average temperature highs of around 34C.
More on ‘The Best Time to Visit Bali’ here.