The best time to visit Bali: Find the perfect season for you
What’s the best time to visit Bali for great weather?
Bali’s two seasons – wet season and dry season – offer markedly different conditions, but with Bali so close to the equator, both offer high average temperatures. If you come to Bali in the dry season, expect sunny days and blue skies, low humidity, and cool evening breezes. It’s a great time for outdoor activities like trekking, climbing Mount Batur, diving and surfing, or just for enjoying the sunshine.
In the rainy season, you can expect higher temperatures, high humidity and occasional tropical downpours. These aren’t likely to spoil your plans: rainstorms are usually short affairs that punctuate a hot day, although longer periods of drizzle can also occur. High water levels make this a great time for canyoning and river rafting, while a warm ocean attracts surfers. It’s also a good time for indulging yourself with spa treatments or rejuvenating with a spot of yoga. (More information on Bali weather here.)
What’s the best time to visit Bali to avoid the crowds?
Great weather tends to draw great crowds. The peak of the tourist season is July and August, into September, when the weather is warm and dry. If you want to combine the best of the dry weather with fewer fellow tourists, try the shoulder seasons. April, May and June still offer a good chance of long sunny days and low humidity, but are less crowded. You could also take your chances in October and early November, the start of the quieter wet season. This early part of the wet season often features dry, mostly sunny days.
While wet season is usually relatively quiet, the exception is around the Christmas season in December and January when there is a surge in tourist traffic. Expect celebrations in the street and a festival atmosphere at this buzzing time of year. Easter too tends to be very popular, along with Chinese New Year and the Australian school holidays.
However, bear in mind that even in the quietest of seasons, Bali is a small, crowded island. With an official permanent population of 5 million, plus a significant unofficial population on top of that, Bali is always busy. Particularly in the popular southwest corner of the island, you should always expect a lively buzz … and long travel times. Set off early – before the 8am rush hour starts – if you want to beat the traffic.
There is one exception to this you should know about: Balinese New Year or Nyepi Day is a day of silence. On this day, everyone is expected to stay indoors, and no light or candles should be used. It’s preceded by a series of cleansing ceremonies and followed by processions of characters meant to scare away evil spirits. The next Nyepi Day falls on March 7 2019.
What’s the best time to visit Bali for cheap deals?
It’s no surprise that high season is July to September, and around Christmas/New Year. In these periods, expect to pay higher prices, and expect the best hotels and villas to sell out quickly. If you plan to visit in peak season, be sure to book well ahead. Outside of these times, and especially in the wet season, you can expect to find better deals on flights and accommodation. February typically offers the best prices. It’s also much easier to get a table at the best restaurants and beach clubs.
So, what’s the best time to visit Bali for me?
It really depends what you’re looking for. If you need reliable weather and a peak party atmosphere, your best bet is July to September. If you want the lowest prices, fewer crowds, and don’t mind ducking a few rainstorms (and getting some great photo opportunities of stormy skies), take a chance with the wet season. If you want a good chance of sunny, dry weather without the hordes, think about booking for the shoulder seasons – April/May, or October/November. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a great holiday.