Our Indonesia travel guide aims to point responsible travellers in the right direction when it comes to what we rate & what we don’t as well as all the information you need on food, shopping & people to assist in your quest to discover Indonesia like a local.
Bali holiday for solo travellers
Solo travellers on a small group holiday? Sounds like an oxymoron. But in fact, throwing a bunch of solo travellers together is like gathering peas in a pod – you all just don’t know it yet. After all, the reasons why many people travel independently tend to be along the same lines. Your best friends might be your worst travelling companions. Your partner might like a week at the beach, while you’re a dawn hiker. Or perhaps you just want to travel with no compromises and seek the peace that Bali brings.
You’ll meet people from every background, from retirees and teachers after time out, to backpackers who have been on the move for months. That’s the beauty of it.
All of our small group holidays accept solo travellers, of course – and they’ll often make up more than half of the group. But on these specific departures, the difference is that all the other travellers are guaranteed to have signed up alone. You won’t feel like you’re crashing a couple’s honeymoon or the third wheel on a hard-to-crack clique. And you’ll be joined by around 10 other travellers, so you won’t lose the feel of independent travel. You’ve also got back-up in the shape of a guide who’ll sort any traffic woes or source salts for that touch of Bali belly. Read on to discover why small group holidays for solo travellers are particularly suited to this Indonesian island.
Our Bali Holidays
Why go on a solo traveller
holiday to Bali?
Bali can be a particularly tricky beast for solo travellers. It might be easy to kick back with a cocktail and book by yourself on the tourist beaches of Kuta and see the south of the island by tourist shuttle, but the wider public transport system can scupper indie adventurers.
Public transport in Bali is complicated and time consuming, which leads to a platter of time-warp villages and temples inaccessible (or expensive) for solo visitors.
You’ll soon realise why the Balinese consider their motorbikes as part of the family. Convoluted and unreliable bus routes quickly narrow down your options when it comes to hunting out hiking paths through lesser-visited rice terraces or jungle beaches on the western end of the island. On a small group holiday for solo travellers, however, you’ll get the transport included in the trip – and a set of newfound friends to share any taxi fares with.
Bali is one of the few Indonesian islands where sharing platters – or megibung – are tradition. You might be perfectly happy eating solo, but you won’t necessarily get a chance to understand what dinnertime means to the Balinese. That’s one of the many perks of the small group tour. The guide will take you to the best off-piste restaurants. They might even score you an invitation from a local family keen to share their dinner.
A good guide will steer you away from the more dubious delights Bali has to offer, like kop luwak – or civet coffee – which uses beans harvested from the droppings of the civet. The popularity of the coffee among tourists has helped prop up an animal trade of this unlucky critter. Guides will also encourage you to watch your plastic usage. Indonesian islands are the poster child for the planet’s plastic pollution problem, thanks their poor waste management system.
When travelling solo, you really start to understand why Bali is still considered a spiritual retreat.
A guide will also show you the guest houses and off-road restaurants that TripAdvisor and Google Maps haven’t yet touched. There’s a set itinerary to small group tours, but there’s also often plenty of opportunities to opt out of optional day trips in favour of independent exploration. Your guide will have given you the confidence to go to places you might not have known how to tackle – isolated rainforest hikes, perhaps, or to follow up on a rumour of a truly hidden beach. Travelling in a group can keep costs down through shared transport and rooms shared with a member of the same sex; if you want a bit more me time, you can pay a single supplement to get a room of your own.
If you'd like to chat about Bali or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Top 3 places for solo travellers in Bali
A generations-old way of life remains in Sidemen, a village of rice fields and winding roads piled below Mount Agung. The place is peaceful and the people won’t hesitate to tell you about their day, family, and exactly where you should be going next. A great guide will get you meeting the craftspeople who weave scarves to psychedelic folk patterns.
Mount BaturA drive to Mount Batur (1,717m) takes you along the super scenic crater rim road. Village guides are often the best people for a hike to the summit, as they know every plant and bird on the volcano. It’s usually a 3am start, but worth it to see sunrise tiptoe over the valley. The skies can often be cloudy, but if you’re lucky enough to get clear views, you’ll see straight over the Lombok Strait.
Bali Barat National ParkBali Barat National Park lives by the whims of the weather. Mangrove and monsoon forests rely on the rains, offering the template for some of the greenest hikes in Bali. Pick up a snorkel from your guide and explore Menjangan Island reef and its Day-Glo reef gardens. Or just admire the waters from the beach – Bali Barat National Park is practically in spitting distance of East Java.
More about Bali
The best time to visit Bali depends on whether you’re adverse to a spot of tropical rain in the afternoon or if you prefer a dip in the ocean to cool off during a day at the beach.
As our Bali travel guide sets out to explain, there's plenty of this idyllic Indonesian island to go round with Aussie surfers, cultural adventurers and underwater explorers all finding their own pocket of perfection, just the way they like it.
Discover how to make the most of your time on Bali by checking out our interactive Bali map & highlights guide which features some of the island’s off the beaten track locations including Bali Barat National Park and the rural villages situated north of Ubud, within the central highlands.
Bali holidays offer much more than just beautiful beaches, although they’re a good place to start, and if you’re looking to snorkel over coral reefs, cycle through rice terraces or stay with a family on a volcanic mountain slope, then right here is how you find out how to do just that.
There’s no getting away from it - Bali’s beaches are bountiful which is why this entire page is dedicated to the best beaches for sunsets, surfing and snorkelling.
Find out how to get around Bali, what to pack and where & what to eat as you read advice and tips from our friends in Bali and take the time to travel safely in Bali after checking out our health & safety travel guide containing everything from mosquitoes to metered taxis.
There are no excuses not to travel right in Bali with mass tourism, street kids and dolphin watching tours all big issues that the island needs to address, and fast.