Bali: an island overview
Bali is one of those glorious destinations that is generally great to visit at any time of the year. One of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands, Bali is just eight degrees south of the equator, with a tropical, hot and humid climate much of the time. The island is small – just 95 miles wide and 70 miles long – and the temperature is fairly consistent, averaging at about 30°C throughout the year.
Should I avoid rainy season?
Of course, there are slight weather patterns. Rainy season is officially October to March, when you can encounter tropical rains that are heavy but brief. The rains don’t tend to last all day and during these months it’s possible to enjoy a row of sunny days with bright blue skies. Dry season is April to September when the humidity is low and average rainfall decreases, although showers do also occur during these months.
When are the busiest times?
Therefore, when choosing the best time to visit Bali, the consistently good weather means that this is not so much the deciding factor. Instead, you might want to time your trip to avoid peak season, which is July to August, Christmas and Easter, when families descend on Bali during the school holidays. As Bali is so small it can easily feel very crowded. Expect to wait around two hours in long queues on arrival at immigration at Denpasar airport; any road journey can quickly become a bore with heavy traffic filling narrow roads.
Supposing I can't avoid peak season?
If you are in Bali during peak season, however, there are plenty of low-key destinations to avoid the crowds. For example, head up the west coast to Balian, an understated village favoured by surfers and best known for its beautiful black volcanic sandy beaches. For those feeling more adventurous, it’s a short flight to Labuan Bajo, the launching point for the magnificent Komodo National Park. August is a great time to go diving here.
The verdict: the best time to go
But really, low season is what any traveller should aim for. Visit Bali in April, May, September or October and the island can be appreciated at its best. Lovely hotels and villas can be snapped up at reduced rates, and of course airfares are much cheaper. And having fewer people around means you get the island to yourself – with less crowded beaches, temples and the roads. Easy to get a sunbed at a beach club or a turmeric latte at a Canggu brunch shack; easy to get a spot on that Eat Pray Love-style yoga mat.
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