Bali makes an excellent destination for vacationers year-round. However, each season has unique draws and drawbacks. We’re going over exactly what to expect in each season to help you determine the best time to visit Bali for YOU!
Bali technically sits below the equator in the southern hemisphere (exactly 8° south of the equator if you want to get precise). Which means the seasons are opposite those of the Northern Hemisphere.
However, Bali has a warm, tropical climate all year round. This means they don’t experience the same changing of the seasons like you would see in say New Zealand.
Temperatures in Bali don’t fluctuate much throughout the year. The two distinct seasons in Bali are simply the rainy season and the dry season. Otherwise known as the busy tourism season, and the even busier tourism season.
This may sound pretty straight forward… you want to visit during the dry season right?? Well, we think the answer is just a bit more complicated than that.
There are pros and cons to visiting during both seasons and as with any destination, the weather is never as predictable as we’d like it to be.
So this begs the question…
When is the best time of year to visit Bali?
In short, you’ll have the best chance of comfortable weather during the peak of the dry season, June – August. We’d recommend to avoid visiting during the December holidays as not only is this peak rainy season, but crowds are also heavy.
Our personal pick would be to visit Bali during the shoulder months, May, June or September, to avoid the rain and the crowds. But more on that later…
Truthfully, as with all questions of this nature, there is no correct answer. Bali makes an excellent destination for vacationers and digital nomads all year round. Each season has its own unique draws (and drawbacks too).
But fear not…
We’re going to go over the pros and cons of visiting Bali during each season to help you decide which time of year is ideal for YOU.
Answer these questions to get started:
- Do you mind a bit of rain?
- Are you easily bothered by crowds?
- Are you negatively affected by high humidity?
- Do you prefer to spend your time outdoors hiking and cycling?
- Are you into water sports such as scuba diving or surfing?
Thinking about your answers to these questions is going to help you start to determine when to visit Bali.
Jump to the section you are looking for, or just scroll down the page.
- Our experience in Bali
- Bali geography overview
- Weather in Bali
- Dry season in Bali
- Rainy season in Bali
- What to pack for Bali
Overall BEST time to visit Bali
Want a quick recommendation? Jump down to see our personal advice for the best time to visit Bali. Plus, we’ll share what times of year we’d avoid visiting!
Be sure to download our complete packing list for Southeast Asia! It’s packed with good suggestions and insider tips to help plan your Mexico vacation. And it’s completely FREE, so why not!?
Our experience in Bali
We’ve visited Bali for multiple month stretches during the the spring, summer & fall months
When: August (2015), mid-August – mid-November (2018), June – August (2019), March – April (2023)
- The rainy season was prolonged a bit further into April than usual in 2023, but the sun still came out daily
- It was noticeably more humid in March than in April
- Observing Neyepi (the Balinese day of silence) in Bali was an interesting experience as no one was allowed to leave the home and we couldn’t turn on the lights after dark (around 6:30 p.m.)
Would we recommend visiting Bali in spring?
Mostly, yes. As long as you don’t mind a bit of rain and humidity, visiting during the shoulder season means less crowds than in summertime. Most activities are enjoyable year round in Bali.
- We experienced pretty dry, warm weather in the summer months with lots of sunshine
- The ocean temperatures are warmer in the winter and spring than in the summertime
- We were able to go scuba diving in Amed with just a shorty wetsuit
- The popular tourist hubs like Canggu and Ubud are very busy during the summer and traffic can be quite chaotic
Would we recommend visiting Bali in the summer?
Yes! The weather in Bali is at its best during the summer months of the northern hemisphere. Even though the summer draws more crowds (mostly vacationers from Australia who are fleeing the winter down under), it’s worth it to experience the best weather possible.
- October is known as one of the last months of the dry season, with humidity building until the rainy season begins (typically November – April).
- Personally, we didn’t notice the humidity getting much worse during our stay from August through November, and we don’t remember any rain during this period.
- We had great weather, clear skies, and beachy temperatures during our stay.
- We did leave Bali in mid-November (for a trip to New Zealand), so we missed the rainy season.
- It seemed that the fall crowds of foreigners were mainly digital nomads and expats, rather than people on vacation, which you’ll see more of in the summer months.
Would we recommend visiting Bali in the fall?
Yes, we’d recommend early fall. If possible, try to visit between September and early to mid-November so you can avoid the rainy season.
Bali geography overview
Bali is a small island in Southeast Asia between the Indian and the Pacific oceans. As one of the 17,000+ islands that make up the nation of Indonesia, Bali is commonly the most recognized and easily the most visited by tourists.
The volcanic island is made up of peaks, some of which rise over 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 ft high!). And some are still active. In fact, recent eruptions in the past few years have been known to cause flight delays and cancelations due to ash in the air.
Bali’s volcanic nature, combined with the mountain peaks that bring rain, contribute to it’s lush greenery and exceptional fertility. Rice is the most common crop grown on Bali and you’ll see evidence everywhere you go with terracing rice fields making beautiful backdrops in your photos.
Since Bali is so close to the equator, the daylight hours are pretty consistent year round. The longest day of the year is 12.5 hours and the shortest day of the year is 11.5 hours. This makes the sunrise and sunset pretty consistent around 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily.
Weather in Bali
As we mentioned above, Bali predominantly has two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. Being in a tropical climate, humidity and precipitation are the only patterns that really change with the season. Daytime temperatures hover between mid-70s to mid-80s (°F) throughout the year.
At just about 3,500 sq. miles (5,632 km² to be exact), the island is fairly small and weather doesn’t vary much from coast to coast. However, the volcanic peaks that make up the center of the island will have consistently cooler temperatures and more rainfall than the lower coastal areas.
Stats on Bali weather & seasons:
- Warmest month in Bali: April
- Coldest month in Bali: August
- Rainiest month in Bali: January
- Driest month in Bali: August
- Most crowded months in Bali: April, June – August & December
- Least crowded months in Bali: September – November & January – February
Dry Season in Bali
Temptation to escape the winter months in the southern hemisphere, combined with little rain and lower humidity in Bali makes the dry season a very crowded time to visit. The is particularly true for the winter months of June – August.
Accommodation can also be hard to come by with so many tourists on holiday, so it’s a good idea to book in advance if you plan to visit during Bali during this time of year.
Dry season months at a glance
April: The island tends to see the warmest temps during April. The Easter holiday week is a busy time in Bali, but the rest of the month tends to see more “shoulder season” traffic.
- Average daily temp: 77-94° F (25-34° C)
May: Moving into the “shoulder season” for tourism, May is still very hot but humidity is going down.
- Average daily temp: 75-92° F (24-33° C)
June: The first month of the winter in the Southern hemisphere, and temperatures continue to drop. June is on the edge of “shoulder season” and peak tourism near the end of the month.
- Average daily temp: 72-89° F (22-32° C)
July: Tourism spikes during the month of July and prices for accommodation may jump as much as 50%. You should book accommodation early if you plan to visit during July as places tend to book up quickly.
- Average daily temp: 73-87° F (23-31° C)
August: Bali typically has coolest temperatures of the year during the month of August. The peak of tourism runs through August and accommodation prices stay as high as they were in July. Indonesian Independence Day is celebrated on Aug 17th.
- Average daily temp: 72-85° F (22-29° C)
September: Tourism drops off just a bit after August as September is the first month of the typical “shoulder season” in Bali.
- Average daily temp: 73-89° F (23-32° C)
October: Temperatures are beginning to rise, but it’s still fairly dry with less humidity. Crowds are slightly thinner during this month.
- Average daily temp: 75-93° F (24-34° C)
Best places to visit during dry season in Bali
- Amed: the popular diving region on Bali’s east coast, home to the famous USAT Liberty Shipwreck. Just a 2 hour drive from Denpasar.
- Off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Sideman: a 45 min drive from Ubud, beautiful laidback countryside filled with rolling hills and rice terraces
- Get away to the nearby islands such as Nusa Penida, Lombok (which includes the famous Gili Islands), or Flores.
Best things to do during dry season in Bali
- The weather during dry season is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, sailing, etc.
- Try a new water sport such as surfing or diving
- Hike Mount Batur at sunrise
- Do a bike tour of the Balinese country-side with Ring a Bike Tour (and be sure to tell Ring that Two Wandering Soles sent you!)
- Bali Arts Festival (2nd Saturday of June – mid-July)
- Bali Kites Festival (Jul-Aug)
Related Reading: 30 Amazing Things to Do in Bali You Can’t Miss
Pros of visiting Bali during the dry season
- Very little rain
- Humidity is bearable
- Mosquitoes/insects aren’t as big of a concern
- Lots of festivals and events happening
Cons of visiting Bali during the dry season
- Peak tourism season (particularly July/Aug)
- Hotel prices spike in July/Aug
- Traffic gets pretty crazy in Bali (all the time) but especially so in the major tourism areas such as Kuta and North Kuta during the high season. More tourists on the roads mean a higher chance for accidents from people driving in unfamiliar territory.
- Major tourist attractions such as temples and parks will be very crowded
What to pack for Bali during the dry season
- Good hiking/walking shoes (we recommend Chacos sandals as they are perfect for hiking, and lighter than hiking boots)
- Reef safe sunscreen
- Optional: Surfboard or diving gear
Rainy Season in Bali
During the rainy season in Bali, the weather is more inconsistent. Downpours can span for days, or dissipate after just an hour.
Temperatures are at their highest during this time of year in Bali and with the frequent precipitation comes high humidity as well. Insects, as we know, love humidity, so be prepared to fight off swarms of mosquitos!
Bali is pretty full of tourists all year round, however, this is technically “low season” for tourism because of the rain and humidity. Even during the rainy season though, you’re likely to get sunshine in between showers.
Rainy season months at a glance
November: You may be tempted to beat the rising November heat by swimming, surfing or diving in Bali. However, it’s a good thing to keep in mind that the sea is usually roughest during November.
- Average daily temp: 74-91° F (23-33° C)
December: Bali is typically most crowded over the Christmas/New Years holidays. Prices will spike over the holidays as foreigners come to celebrate while on vacation. Accommodation over the holidays will be pricy and fill up fast. However, the rest of the month is relatively less crowded.
- Average daily temp: 74-91° F (23-33° C)
January: The least crowded month in Bali, but also the month with the most rainfall. January typically sees very few days without at least a drizzle. That being said, even during rainy season, the skies dry out every once in a while.
- Average daily temp: 74-91° F (23-33° C)
February: Between low and “shoulder season,” February is still quite hot and humid. However, with the frequent precipitation you’re likely to see slightly less tourists.
- Average daily temp: 76-92° F (24-33° C)
March: Crowds start building as it’s spring break in the northern hemisphere and people are starting to filter in for the dry season. Nyepi, the Balinese New Year, falls in March. It is important to be aware of this date because the Balinese Hindu people celebrate this day with a day of silence. For a full 24 hours, everyone (even tourists) is expected to remain indoors and no noise is permitted. Beaches and businesses are closed down for the day, including the international airport. So this will definitely affect your trip if you are planning to visit Bali in March.
- Average daily temp: 75-93° F (24-34° C)
Best places to visit during rainy season in Bali
- Major tourist attractions such as temples as they will be less crowded:
- Tannah Lot Temple – be sure to visit during low tide so you can walk out to the entrance of the temple and be blessed with the spring water that flows from the temple and is considered holy.
- Uluwatu Temple – Watch out for the moneys here! They are everywhere and very sneaky. Make sure you have your bags zipped and close to your body at all times. Put sunglasses and anything loose into your bags while here, or those moneys may just try to rob you. If you are holding a phone or camera, make sure you keep a good grip on it and hold it close to your body when not in use.
- Ubud Monkey Forest – one of the most popular attractions in Ubud is a good place to visit during low season, particularly if you go while it’s drizzling out. (See our note about watching out for monkeys above as they are prone to swipping here as well.)
- Visit Waterfalls
- Sekumpul Waterfall – Often referred to as the most beautiful waterfall in Bali, we tend to agree!
- Banyumala Twin Falls – This stunning waterfall doesn’t always have enough water flow, so it’d best to visit during rainy season to ensure an epic view.
Best things to do during rainy season in Bali
- Try a cooking class
- Devdan Dance and Music Show
- Balinese massage, or go full-out and pamper yourself with a spa day!
- Craft-making workshop (such as a Batik class or soap carving workshop)
- Take a yoga class (we recommend The Practice in Canggu or Yoga Barn in Ubud)
- Nusa Dua Festival (Oct-Nov)
- Mekepung Buffalo races (held in Negara during the fall)
Pros of visiting Bali during the rainy season
- High humidity/high temps deter some tourists from visiting during this time, so Bali tends to be less crowded.
- Typical tourist attractions such as temples and beaches will be less crowded than in busy season.
- Traffic on the roads won’t be quite as busy as the typical hustle and bustle of high season.
- Bali’s weather is still fairly sunny, even during the rainy season you’ll usually see sunny skies for at least part of the day.
Cons of visiting Bali during the rainy season
- Higher chance of rain – as often as daily in January
- High temperatures and high humidity
- Decreased visibility at dive sites due to weather
What to pack for Bali during the rainy season
- bug repellant (solids are the way to go)
- rain gear
- rubber flip flops
- light, loose fitting, breathable clothing
In our opinion…
In our opinion, the best time to visit Bali would be during the “shoulder season” months of May, June or September. Here are our primary reasons for choosing this time:
- Room prices are not at peak rates (usually 30-50% lower)
- Weather is dry and less humid than peak of rainy season
- Not too crowded
- Good sea conditions for diving/surfing/snorkeling
- Reasonable airfare can be found (Hint: Use these hacks for booking cheap flights!)
- Promotional sales in shops on the island
We’d recommend to avoid visiting during the December holidays as not only is this peak rainy season, but crowds are also heavy.
What to pack for your trip to Bali
We know it can be overwhelming packing for a trip to a new destination. That’s why we spent hours creating this super helpful PDF just for you.
In this free SE Asia packing list PDF download, we’ve provided packing checklists for everything from clothing and toiletries (for both women and men!) to what shoes to pack and extra medicines you may want to have on-hand just in case.
Plus, we’re sharing tons of packing hacks and tips for traveling in SE Asia that you won’t find anywhere else!
Are you planning a trip to Indonesia?
We have TONS of resources on travel in Indonesia and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate Indonesia Travel Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.
- Amazing Things to Do in Bali You Can’t Miss
- How Much to Budget for 1 Week in Bali
- Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Amed, Bali
- Epic Things to Do in East Java + Perfect Itinerary
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