From freediving to volcano climbing, here are five of the best adventure activities in Bali, Indonesia.
While Bali is best known for its iconic rice paddies, cliffside temples and yoga retreats, this laid-back Indonesian island has its fair share of high-octane experiences.
The lush jungle interior, forested volcanoes and coral reefs of the surrounding seas makes this place rich territory for thrill-seekers.
Don’t Miss These Epic Adventure Activities In Bali!
For the many backpackers that are drawn to Bali, there are plenty of adventure activities to liven up any trip to the island. Here are five of the best.
Scuba diving fans descend on Bali every year to discover its colourful coral reefs and huge tropical fish.
Notable diving sites include the USS Liberty Wreck at Tulamben, a fishing village in the north-eastern coastal region of Amed.
In 1942, a Japanese submarine torpedoed this US army transport ship during the Second World War.
Its remains lie in the shallow waters just off shore, so this atmospheric shipwreck is perfect for inexperienced divers to explore.
Bali has also seen a rise in freediving centres, mostly located around Amed.
This diving style involves holding your breath as there is no breathing equipment used.
While it’s certainly an adventure activity, the key to freediving is relaxation, so many freediving schools are combined with yoga and meditation centres.
Following the training with their highly experienced teachers, even a novice freediver can reach the seven to 30 meters required to get up close to the shipwreck.
Another of the adventure activities in Bali that is gaining popularity is off-road exploration of the jungle landscape by mountain bike and off-road buggy.
The adventure company we visited was in Munduk, a mountain village in central Bali’s scenic highlands.
Locally built off-road vehicles, called Fin Komodos, allow guests to go deep into the normally inaccessible terrain and see hidden parts of the island.
Our guides took as past local clove, cocoa, and coffee plantations, rolling rice fields and the island’s only Buddhist monastery.
Our Fin Komodo was fun to drive and handled the steep, winding and bumpy roads with ease, while the mountain bikes allowed us to speed down smaller trails.
Our trip concluded with a dip in natural hot springs to rest our weary muscles and reflect on an exhilarating day out.
Kitesurfing combines the speed of windsurfing with the smoothness of surfing and the wakeboarding tricks that propel you through the air.
Bali’s winds and surfing conditions are ideal for this sport, in which you ride the waves on a surfboard, attached to a large controllable power kite that harnesses the wind.
Kitesurfing has been practiced in Bali since 1999, when it first emerged on the extreme sports scene.
The main school is in Sanur, a south-eastern seaside town with a long stretch of beach leading to shallow waters.
The Kite Beach area has large waves for experienced kitesurfers, as well as areas of flat water for beginners to train.
Safety is of the utmost importance when learning to kite surf so the teachers will follow you by boat at all times.
Students are taught how to set up and use all the equipment, as well as self-rescue, so you can feel assured as you get your adrenaline rush on the waves.
If you’re keen on a Bali adventure, why not explore the gorgeous green landscape on foot.
You can take a guided trekking tour from popular tourist places like Ubud or go it alone.
While staying in Munduk, our guest house owners had told us about a waterfall in the area, so we put on our hiking shoes and headed out to find it.
There were no signposts, so we just made our way past the rice paddy fields and along narrow muddy paths through the trees, following a simple map someone had drawn for us.
We picked up long branches from the forest floor to use as walking sticks to support us on these rough routes.
Part of the fun of trekking is the risk of getting lost or purposely taking the path that appears less trodden.
Eventually, we found a clearing and a few people splashing around in shallow waters.
We smiled, as we had finally found Munduk waterfall.
We could relax here for a while and take in the beauty of the area before making our way through the Bali countryside and along those iconic rice fields back to our guest house.
If you’re bored of lazing on Bali’s beaches and drinking Bintang beer, you can take a guided tour to climb Mount Batur and watch the sun rise from the summit.
At 1,717 metres high, scaling the island’s second highest peak is accessible even for novice trekkers.
If you’re prepared to get up at 2 am (or stay up from the night before), your driver will take you from wherever you are on the island to the base of Mount Batur.
Your trek begins at 4 am and takes around two hours up rocky trails.
Bring a torch and wear warm clothes, as it will be dark and cool at this time of night.
I wore old trainers, but hiking shoes are better as there are loose stones along the way.
It’s a challenging walk but no ropes or climbing equipment is needed.
Once you reach the top, get your camera ready as the views are astounding.
As the sun peeks over the horizon and the sky takes on different hues, you can see for miles around while the morning mist dissipates.
Truly an inspiring and rewarding moment.
Your guide will serve you breakfast, maybe eggs cooked by the steam of this active volcano.
Before you head back down to the comfort of your bed after this eventful night, you can check out Mount Batur’s noted features.
It has a double caldera – one crater inside another – and Bali’s largest crater-lake.
Bali is a beautiful island that stimulates all the senses, even when you are simply relaxing.
Its slow pace of life is hypnotic, but it’s good to mix it up with some exhilarating experiences like these.
This way, you will get to know the island even better, from the bottom of its plentiful seas to the top of its sacred volcanos.
There are many adventure activities in Bali, so choose one appeals to you and appreciate this special place from another perspective.