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Bali: winning over wet weather

Planning on visiting Bali during the wet season? We tell you what to expect, the pros and cons of visiting during this time and show you the best things to do whenever the Balinese skies turn grey.

Planning on visiting Bali during the wet season? We tell you what to expect, the pros and cons of visiting during the rainy months and show you the best things to do whenever the Balinese skies turn grey

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Some of the major questions we get asked about Bali when it’s rainy include:

When is the Bali wet season?

Rainy season in Bali is typically between October to March – with December to February being the rainiest months.

The island has microclimates – it’s often sunny in one town while pouring in the next town over. Because of this, weather reports aren’t especially helpful. During Bali’s wet season, expect that it will likely rain heavily once a day, typically in the afternoon. One big advantage to this downpour is that it brings down the temperature of the day considerably.

Because of the standard time of rain in the wet season, it’s smart to organise tours in the morning. This means they have less chance of being washed out plus the bonus of an afternoon backup if the rain does come early.

What’s Bali like during the rainy season?

The wet season in Bali can be a nuisance if you’ve flocked to this tropical paradise in search of nonstop sunshine. Though storms can sometimes last a few days, the rain that rolls through typically lasts only for a few hours in the afternoon and is followed by sunshine.

If you get a chance to visit Bali, you should take it no matter if its rainy or dry season. There’s no reason for rain to deter you from seeing this incredible island of stunning nature and vibrant culture. Really, there is never a bad time to be in Bali.

Life continues as usual for Balinese people and it’s rare that attractions close. Many people even welcome the rain because it offers a temporary respite from the tropical heat.

What benefits are there to visiting Bali in its rainy months?

The best time to visit Bali depends on the type of traveller you are. Many visitors are happy to trade a few days of rain if it means a less crowded beach or temple.

While it’s not a great idea to hike the volcanoes and trek through the wilderness when it rains, there are still plenty of other activities to do that will keep you entertained for your entire trip. Some benefits of visiting during the wetter months include:

Fewer tourists

Some travellers aren’t as intrepid as you and only come to Bali during the dry season. This means that attractions and beaches that would usually be crowded are there for just you to enjoy.

Cheaper prices

Thanks to the lack of tourists, you can enjoy discounted hotel and activity prices throughout the island.

Lush jungles

When the rain pours, the forest flourishes. The landscape in Bali turns into an array of emerald greens and colourful blooms.

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What can I do in Bali when it rains?

Although we often think of Bali’s beautiful beaches, the island has plenty of other attractions to enjoy when it’s raining. Some suggestions to fill up your itinerary:

Food tours and cooking lessons

Balinese fare is fragrant, spicy and delicious. Try your hand at cooking up some mie or nasi goreng, nasi campur, gado gado, or your favourite Indonesian dish at one of the many Balinese cooking classes offered throughout the island.

Spa treatments

One of the appeals of sunshine and beaches is the relaxation aspect, but there are other ways to wind down inside.

Escape the rain by heading to the nearest spa and treating yourself to a massage, facial, manicure and/or pedicure. The traditional Balinese style massage will have you forgetting all about the storm that awaits outside – and the smell of outside rain complements the essential oils nicely.

Yoga and wellness retreats

The health and wellness movement has made its way to Bali, an island now seen as a well-being mecca for those in search of clarity and a long lifespan. Take a yoga class or check into a wellness retreat to learn meditation, yoga and other techniques that lead to optimal health.

Underwater adventures

Why not head to the sea as soon as the rain starts pouring – you were already planning to get wet anyways, right? Go scuba diving, catch a wave in the surf, go for swim or take a freediving course. Sometimes, the rain can affect the visibility and wave conditions, but not always.

Tour Balinese art galleries and temples

Balinese culture is animated and welcoming, and it’s easy to learn about the local culture as an outsider. Take a stroll through some of the Balinese art galleries, which are renowned for their sculpting and woodwork. Alternatively, you can visit a handful of the hundreds of temples throughout the island. Most locals are happy to explain the nuances behind their culture when asked, so it’s an easy way to make friends as well.

Theatre and dance performances

Picture technicolour costumes with gold-laden headpieces adorning dancers moving to the beat of Balinese instruments. Balinese dance and theatre performances are an exciting way to gain insight into the colourful culture that revolves around gods and demons. Many dances mix theatrical elements within their routines, making it easy for everyone to follow along.

Curl up with a book

Many people go on holiday to relax — you might be one of them? Rain is the perfect excuse to open a book, kick back in a hammock and watch the rain show outside

What should I watch out for during Bali’s rainy season?

As well as the obvious downside of inclement weather, there are a few other considerations when booking flights to Bali during rainy season. Some of the biggest factors include:

Flooded roads and trails

The biggest thing to consider during Bali’s wet season is that road conditions tend to worsen after a long stretch of rain. You’ll want to plan your routes carefully and be sure to pack a poncho if you’re motorbiking around the island. It pays to stay somewhere more central in the rainy season, where you can walk to restaurants and attractions, just in case the roads flood. Dirt trails and steps also get quite slippery.

Ocean conditions

Big storms can wash debris from land to sea and might be a swimming hazard. Currents and waves also tend to pick up during storms, so be sure to check the conditions thoroughly before heading out into the water for a swim, surf, snorkel, or dive. If the sea is too rough, boats may refuse to shuttle back and forth. Don’t book an important flight or travel plan too close to a boat ferry ride – delays are common, so you’ll want extra time in between plans just in case.

Underwater visibility can also be affected, which can ruin a big scuba diving trip you’ve been dreaming of for years.

scuba diving in Bali

Polluted beaches

Unfortunately, the rain and ocean currents wash plastic trash and other debris onto the beaches around Kuta during the wet season. Cleaner beaches can be found up north or on the islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Dua and Nusa Penida, where the beaches are less exposed to the seasonal pollution.

Plastic on beaches

Mosquitoes

Stagnant water is often a breeding ground for mosquitoes procreating their blood-sucking heathen-babies. Pack extra bug repellent and bring lightweight, long-sleeved clothes to layer during dawn and dusk.