The Best Day Trips From Bali, Indonesia

KY243Y Beautiful beach at Gili Trawangan, or simply Gili T, is the largest of the three Gili Islands off Lombok. The island is one of the diving paradise.
KY243Y Beautiful beach at Gili Trawangan, or simply Gili T, is the largest of the three Gili Islands off Lombok. The island is one of the diving paradise. | © Zheng Hui Ng / Alamy
Edira Putri

While Bali offers everything anyone would ever need from a perfect tropical getaway, sometimes a day trip to the nearby attractions can open up a whole new world of excitement and fun. Read our guide to the best day trips from Bali, from a party island to a nearby dragon habitat.

Keen to explore Bali and its surrounding areas? Our 12-day small-group trip will have you swimming in waterfalls, snorkelling with sea turtles and surfing at Batu Bolong.

1. Lombok, for even more laid-back living

Natural Feature

People walking on the serene Selong Belanak beach in Lombok, Indonesia
© Süleyman Coskun / Unsplash
Located to the east of Bali, Lombok is like its more laid-back sister, accessible by boat or plane. It’s just as beautiful too, with idyllic beaches and picturesque highlands, but much less crowded. Even though it has many attractions to explore, from beaches and temples to mountains, tourists can enjoy most of the island’s best in a day. Selong Belanak beach and Rinjani National Park are among the most popular destinations in Lombok.

2. Nusa Penida, for birdwatching and beach strolls

Natural Feature

Bali, Indonesia, Traveler on Tree House at Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida Island
© R.M. Nunes / Getty Images

Anyone who visits this dreamy small island near Bali would never guess at its dark history. It used to be a dungeon in the middle of the ocean, but Nusa Penida is now the exact opposite, a tropical paradise with zero traces of gloom. Nowadays the island is inhabited by various bird species; some endangered, all beautiful. The unique rocky structure blesses visitors with wonderful sights and its surrounding clear, sparkling water makes for dreamy beaches all around the island.

4. Komodo National Park, for chilling with the dragons

Park

Adult Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) in Komodo National Park, Komodo Island, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Asia
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
If you cherish wildlife (or native, small-island scenery), this park on Komodo Island is a noteworthy place to visit. Although the scenery is a treat in itself, the main attraction is the Komodo dragon, the largest species of lizard on the planet. As a Unesco World Heritage Site, the park is well-maintained and as protected as the lizards themselves. Tourists can reach the island via Labuan Bajo airport on Flores, which is only one-and-a-half hour’s flight away from Bali.

5. Menjangan Island, for incredible wildlife on land and under water

Park

A fire coral colony surrounded by small fish, off Menjangan Island, Bali
© Matthew Oldfield Underwater Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Divers and snorkelers, head northwest to find a whole new world of marine biodiversity, from coral reef gardens to various species of tropical fish. For tourists who would prefer to stay warm and dry, Menjangan Island also has many things to offer, including gorgeous beaches, a whole population of sea birds, turtles, even deer. Share the sight of virgin beaches with the muntjac (barking deer), which also happen to love bathing on the idyllic beach. Tourists can reach the island by motorboat, and it takes just about 30 minutes from the northeast end of Bali island.

6. Gili Trawangan, for snorkelling with sea turtles and partying with locals

Natural Feature

A young woman in a magenta bikini snorkels above a large sea turtle in shallow, crystal-clear water
Being known as “Bali’s Party Island”, many tourists ride the boat to the east from Bali to enjoy an all-night rave party. But the small island is actually as lively during the day as it is when the sun goes down. A day trip to Gili Trawangan will reward tourists with sightings of turtles, tropical birds, and wonderful beaches. Snorkeling is also a popular activity to indulge in. Even the trip from Bali itself, which takes about 90 minutes, is a treat, boasting wonderful views of the sea and Bali mainland from an otherwise-unexplored angle. On day seven of our immersive group trip you’ll embark on that very journey via speed boat, before enjoying the island’s pristine beaches, gentle waters and vibrant nightlife and spending the night at the magnificent Hotel Vila Ombak.
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