Bali: Which Area of Is Right For You?


Bali is an Indonesian Island located just east of Java. Initially a surfer’s paradise, now it’s a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia. The ancient island is a mix of tourist areas and traditional culture.

There are various ways to experience Bali, and it all depends on what you are looking to experience in your trip.

Each distinct area has its appeal: Would you like to experience the nightlife, a spiritual awakening, the splendor of its forested volcanic mountains, or a more low-key vibe?

If this calls to you, then here are the four areas of Bali—Southern, Central, Eastern, and Western—with highlights of their personalities and beauties for those who decide Bali is their next travel destination. Which area is right for you?

Southern Bali

The southern coast is the tourist mecca of the island. This is the area of the island where you will find the tourist hotels, lively nightlife, and the best bars. There are various cities that will lend themselves to having great offerings for those looking to have the tourist experience.

water falls in the middle of brown rocky mountain


This is one of the more laid-back towns of this region. It has the type of “surfer” vibe you would find in places like Venice Beach, California, and Bondi Beach in Sydney. This is where digital nomads and entrepreneurs choose to live so that they can enjoy artisan beers and organic restaurants.


This is the town that is going to have the major resort hotels, high-end villas, and the hippest beach bars. If you are looking for a modern-day vacation in Southeast Asia, this is the area for you.


This town is dotted with white sand beaches and 5-star resorts. This is a great town for kids because many of the beaches hare have rough seas and black volcanic sand. This is a great place to go for a family vacation.

Uluwatu/Padang Padang

This area is the surfer’s paradise center. These beaches are positioned on the Bukit Peninsula, and the waves here should only be ridden by experienced surfers.

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Nusa Dua

This area is located on the southern-most tip of the island and the beaches here are considered to be the best on Bali. There are 2 distinct areas in this part; the resort area and the town of Tanjung Benoa with its’ local shops and restaurants.

Central Bali

The central region is far more than just the geographical center of the island. The central region is also the cultural, historical, and spiritual center. It is shown in the natural beauty of this region and the ancient traditions that are still carried out to this day.


For decades, this town was a sleepy artist village that was then transformed into its’ own little metropolis. The rice terraces and mountains of this town form the backdrop and base in which to explore the temples, museums, and heart of Bali.

Eastern Bali

This is the section that has a down-to-earth atmosphere. It is far more toned down than, say, southern Bali.


This area is known for its’ scuba diving. There isn’t much else to offer in this area. In the sea, just off the coast, is the wreckage of the USS Liberty. This town is also the perfect jumping-off point for those who are headed to the Gili Islands.


This town is the perfect area for family trips. The beach of this mellow town is surrounded by a picturesque coral reef that keeps the waters calmer and shallower. This creates a perfect place for the kids to play. It is also home to the largest children’s playground and café, Peekaboo.

Western Bali

Western Bali is considered to be the most representative of what “real” Bali is. Most of it is mountains, volcanoes, rice paddies, and tourist-free.

Balian Beach

This is considered to be more of a “secret spot” in Western Bali because not many tourists venture there. This black sand beach offers great surfing and wonderful coves to explore with the kids.


woman in black tank top sitting on brown wooden dock during daytime

This is the rural area of this section of Bali. If you are traveling here, you are going to want to see the UNESCO Heritage Site of Jati Luwih rice terraces, the Tanah Lot Temple, and Mount This is the area that you will want to go to surround yourself with nature and the history of Bali.

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Bali has something to offer for everyone. No matter what type of trip you are looking to take and who is going on the trip, Bali has what you want.

Take the time to do a little bit of research and figure out what is going to work best for you. Taking this time will make your trip to Bali perfect and unforgettable.

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