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When I first arrived in Bali, it was never my intention to stay long enough to experience the rainy season. But after totally falling in love with this amazing little island, I decided to make it my home for almost a year. Meaning I’d have to make it through the dreaded wet season.
What I discovered is that rainy season in Bali really isn’t too bad after all. Yes, there was a fair amount of rain. But there were countless beautiful sunny days too. Plus, as it turns out, the island has plenty of fun things to do when it’s pouring with rain outside.
But what about if you’re visiting on vacation? Should you risk going to Bali during rainy reason?
That really depends on what you’re looking for from your trip.
From cheaper prices and fewer crowds, to experiencing the island’s lush natural scenery at its finest, there are plenty of reasons to consider travelling to Bali during wet season. But visiting at this time of year obviously also comes with its downfalls too.
In this article, I’ll take you through the pros and cons of visiting Bali during the rainy season to help you decide if it is worth it for you. I’ve also included my tips for the best things to do during the rainy season in Bali.
When is rainy season in Bali?
Rainy season in Bali runs from November to March each year. The worst of the rain falls in January.
Also known as Monsoon season, Bali’s wet season is still hot and humid, but you can expect sporadic downpours and occasional tropical thunderstorms too.
How much does it rain during wet season in Bali?
During wet season in Bali, the island can get anywhere between 28 – 35cm of rain each month. In January (peak rainy season), you can expect some rain almost every day.
Fortunately, the worst of the rain and thunderstorms in Bali happen at night, while downpours during the day tend not to last very long.
Even during the wet season, there are still plenty of bright and sunny days that are perfect for exploring the island’s beautiful scenery or sunbathing on the beach.
Plus, the weather averages a toasty 30°C all year round – it can actually feel even hotter during the rainy season due to increased humidity – so you won’t need to worry about feeling cold.
Pros of visiting Bali during rainy season
Wet season can actually be a great time to visit the island for many reasons…
Rainy season in Bali is also the low season, which means there are fewer tourists around.
While Bali is never exactly quiet due to the many expats and digital nomads that call the island home, the low season does mean that there are generally fewer people at the popular resorts and major tourist attractions.
During the rainy season, you’ll have the unique opportunity to experience the best of Bali without the huge crowds and long lines at all the best photo spots.
The one exception to this is around the Christmas and New Year period when many Australians flood the tourist resorts of Kuta and Legian for their summer vacations.
Lower demand also means that many hotels, attractions, and tours reduce their prices or offer special discounts in order to attract more visitors.
It’s also the best time to test your haggling skills at the island’s many markets. If you negotiate hard enough, you’ll probably be able to get better deals than during the busy peak periods.
So if you’re looking to save money on your Bali trip, this is the perfect time to visit.
Nature is at its best
Rainy season is the best time to experience Bali’s breathtaking natural scenery, from the stunning valleys to epic waterfalls and so much more.
While Bali’s famous waterfalls become rather depleted during the dry season, increased rainfall in the wet season causes more water to cascade down the cliffs in an incredible display of power. The lush, green foliage surrounding the falls also adds to the spectacular natural phenomenon.
Bali’s jungles and rice paddies really thrive during the rainy season too.
The rice harvest takes place in the terraces around Ubud between April and May, which means that February to April is a great time to see the dense green and yellow rice fields at their finest. Tegalalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are two of the best to visit around this time.
Cons of visiting Bali during rainy season
Of course, there are also some downsides to visiting Bali during the wet season…
The obvious downside of visiting Bali during rainy season is that you’re going to get WET!
You never know when you’re going to get caught in a spontaneous downpour. And even if you do see it coming, you’re probably going to have to head out in the rain at some point anyway.
If you’re really not a fan of the rain, it’s best to avoid rainy season anywhere you visit.
There are more mosquitos
Bali’s rainy season is also mosquito season.
Mosquitos are one of the few bug species that thrive in the rain, rather than avoiding it. They also love moisture and humidity, so the biggest influx usually occurs straight after a big storm.
Mosquitos are a problem all across Bali during rainy season. But you can expect to find the most in the jungle-heavy areas and around the rice terraces.
Unfortunately, Bali’s infrastructure isn’t quite cut out to handle the amount of rain the island has got in recent years.
During particularly bad storms or a heavy few days of rain, flooding and landslides are common in rural lowland areas. On occasion, flooding can also occur in the more touristy coastal areas such as Kuta and Seminyak.
Usually the floods won’t affect hotels and resorts, but they can cause disruptions to the roads and even leak into some older buildings.
Traffic is bad
When the weather gets bad in Bali, so does the traffic.
Due to a mix of poor road conditions, occasional flooding, decreased visibility, and more people on the roads, you may find journey times dramatically increase. Especially if you’re attempting to shelter from the rain by taking a car rather than a bike.
Getting a GoJek/Grab can be challenging
Just as you don’t enjoy being out on the roads in the rain, neither do Grab and GoJek (Bali taxi) drivers.
Bike taxi drivers tend to shelter from the rain during particularly bad downpours, resulting in fewer drivers available to pick you up.
On the other hand, car taxis are in such high demand that it’s either impossible to get one or you’ll end up waiting a long time for one to accept your request and arrive to wherever you are.
You may also struggle to order food delivery through the GoFood and Grab Food apps during storms due to significantly increased demand and fewer drivers around.
Sea conditions are rough
Visiting beautiful Nusa Pedina and the Gili Islands are some of the most popular things to do on a trip to Bali.
However, getting to these small islands is only possible using local ferries and boats – something that can be a little more challenging during monsoon season when sea conditions are particularly rough.
Bali ferries have an unfortunate reputation for still running during stormy sea conditions, resulting in extremely turbulent journeys and even the occasional capsizing boat.
If you get nervous on boats or are easily seasick, it may be better to avoid taking a ferry on a rainy day in Bali.
During particularly bad storms, ferries between the islands may eventually get canceled. These cancellations could either leave you stranded on an island or disrupt your entire trip itinerary.
Tips for visiting Bali during rainy season
If you are visiting Bali during the rainy season, here are some tips to help you get by…
Don’t rely on the weather forecast
One thing I learned after spending almost a year living in Bali is that you really cannot rely on the weather forecast.
It’s almost always wrong.
The weather in Bali is extremely unpredictable. And forecast apps and websites can rarely predict it with any reliable accuracy.
While you can certainly use the forecast as a rough guide for planning your days, you’re better off using your judgment and common sense.
Check the sky before you leave your accommodation in the morning and always be prepared for any type of weather. It can change drastically in a matter of minutes.
Always carry a raincoat
Even if it is sunny when you head out in the morning, make sure to always carry a raincoat or umbrella with you. During Bali’s wet season, you never know when the next rainstorm is going to hit.
If you’re hiring a bike for your trip, leave your raincoat or even a cheap rain mack in your bike so that you have something waterproof with you at all times.
Wear plenty of mosquito repellant
Not only do more mosquitos increase the likelihood of itchy and annoying mosquito bites, but they also bring a higher risk of mosquito-borne illnesses (like dengue fever and malaria).
This is why wearing plenty of mosquito repellant during Bali’s rainy season is essential.
Dusk is when most mosquitos come out, so don’t forget to reapply before you head out each evening.
BONUS BALI TIP: Bring plenty of mosquito repellant and sunscreen with you as these are far more expensive to buy once you’re in Bali.
Pick accommodation with on-site or close-by amenities
When visiting Bali during wet reason, it’s best to stay somewhere that’s close to a range of amenities.
As tempting as it may be to sequester yourself away in a beautiful villa in the middle of nowhere, heavy rain can make it difficult to ride your bike, get taxis, or even have food delivered to your accommodation.
If you’re staying in a hotel or resort, choose somewhere with an onsite restaurant and bar, and maybe even their own spa. If heavy rain prevents you from heading out for a day, you’ll still have something to do and a place to eat and drink.
Or if you’re staying in a private villa or Airbnb, try to find somewhere that’s a short walk to a few cafes and restaurants, or at least a shop. Even better if you’re close to some fun indoor activities too.
Visit the islands at the start or middle of your trip
Whatever you do, don’t book any ferry or boat journeys for the final few days of your trip.
It’s not uncommon for all ferries from the Nusa Islands or Gili Islands to Bali to be canceled for a full day during particularly large storms. On rare occasions, they’ve even been canceled for two or three days in a row.
A friend of mine got stuck on the Gili Islands over the Christmas holidays due to a very bad storm.
The last thing you want is to be stranded on an island the day before your flight back home from Bali Airport. No one wants to end their trip on such a stressful note.
Best things to do in Bali during rainy season
So what is there to do in Bali when it rains? After spending an entire rainy season on the island, these are some of my top recommendations…
Spend a day at the mall
Rainy days in Bali are the ideal time to get some shopping done.
Not only is it easy to spend several hours wandering around the many international and local stores, filling your suitcase with goodies and gifts, but there are plenty of other things to do in the malls too.
You can head to a restaurant for lunch, play games at the arcade, and even watch a movie at the on-site cinema.
Watch a movie in comfort at a premiere cinema
Talking of the cinema, watching a movie is another fun activity for when it’s raining in Bali.
Cinema XXI is Bali’s leading English-language cinema chain, showing the latest international releases at their five locations around Kuta and Denpasar (mainly within the malls).
As well as their standard ‘deluxe screens’, you can upgrade your cinema experience to one of the ‘premiere screens’ for just a few ££ more.
The premiere screens feature comfy reclining leather armchairs for the ultimate movie-watching experience. You can even get food and drinks delivered directly to your seat.
Cosy up in a cute cafe with a good book or game
Whether you’re in Canggu, Ubud, or Amed, Bali has countless beautiful cafes and cosy coffee shops that are perfect for curling up on a grey and drizzly day.
Grab a coffee and listen to the sound of rain pouring down outside as you get lost in the pages of your favourite book.
One of my favourite all-day restaurants – Milk and Madu Beach Road in Canggu – also has a small selection of games to choose from, including the hilarious ‘Blank in Bali’ (the Bali version of Cards Against Humanity).
Take a Balinese Cooking Class
For a more authentic Balinese experience, try taking a local cooking class.
In a cooking class, you’ll first head to a local market to pick up fresh ingredients, then visit a family home or local farm to prepare some authentic Balinese dishes.
At the end of the cooking class, you’ll get to enjoy your delicious home-cooked feast with your fellow chefs before being transferred back to your hotel.
Check out these Balinese cooking classes:
Make your own jewelry
For those who enjoy learning new skills and getting crafty, a jewelry-making class is a great way to spend a day in Bali during raining season.
In a jewelry-making class in Ubud, a local specialist will teach you the ancient Balinese art of silver jewelry making. You’ll then have the opportunity to try the art form for yourself and transform 5 grams of silver into a beautiful pair of earrings, a ring, or a pendant.
Plus, you’ll get to take home a unique and personalised memento of your time in Bali
Get pampered at the spa
One of the best things to do in Bali no matter what the weather is to treat yourself to some pampering at one of the island’s many luxurious day spas.
Spa and beauty treatments in Bali are extremely affordable, so it’s not unreasonable to go for multiple treatments during your trip.
You could go for a traditional Balinese massage, a relaxing facial, and a full mani-pedi, all for way less than you’d pay for one massage in the UK or US.
Go on a yoga retreat
Taking a yoga class at a beautiful yoga shala is another must-have Bali experience that’s perfect for a rainy day. Most yoga studios in Bali are semi-open, so you’ll be sheltered from the weather while still being able to hear the relaxing sound of the rain outside.
And if you’re staying in Bali for a while, why not head on a full yoga retreat to really refine your practice? Yoga retreats and teacher training courses are popular year-round activities in Bali.
Take on an escape room
An escape room is a fun indoor activity that’s perfect for killing a couple of hours when it’s pouring outside.
Pandora Experience is Bali’s top escape room, with multiple immersive adventures to choose from. In each game, you have 2 hours to solve a variety of challenges and puzzles in order to find your way through the different rooms and escape.
As someone who’s done many escape rooms all over the world, I can tell you that Pandora Experience was one of the most unique and exciting games I’ve done in a long time!
Not only is it longer than many other escape rooms (which are usually 1 hour), but it’s also far more interactive – ours included climbing, crawling, and wading through water.
Have some competitive fun at Finns Recreation Club
Finns Rec Club in Canggu is one of the best places to be in Bali during a prolonged tropical downpour. Especially for families with excitable little ones to keep entertained.
The huge recreation and entertainment complex has a variety of fun, indoor activities for adults and kids of all ages, including bowling alleys, axe throwing, tennis courts, VR games, a trampoline center, and more.
You can even drop the kids off at the Cubby House Kids Club for an hour while you head to the Body Temple Spa for a little pampering.
Finns Rec Club also has an on-site sports bar and multiple restaurants to choose from, so you can easily stick around for an entire day if you need to.
Learn about Indonesian culture at a Devdan Show
Experience the vibrant cultures of Indonesia through the “Devdan – Treasure of the Archipelago” show at Nusa Dua Theatre.
With an entertaining mix of traditional dances, costumes, acrobatics, music, and special effects, the exciting 45-minute show celebrates the unique heritage of each of the archipelago’s islands, from Sumatra and Java to Kalimantan, Bali, and Papua.
Plus, the theatre is completely indoors and you can add on transport to and from your hotel. Perfect for some rainy evening entertainment.
Go surfing on Bali’s east coast
It may not sound like the obvious wet season activity, but surfing is a year-round sport in Bali.
You may want to avoid the water during a full-blown tropical thunderstorm. But many surfers enjoy being on the water during light drizzle or on a cloudy day – the waves are good and there’s less chance of getting sunburnt.
During the wet season in Bali, the tides and winds favour the east coast. So if you do plan to go surfing during these months, your best bet is to head to Nusa Dua or Sanur in the east.
Should you visit Bali during rainy reason?
If you’re looking for a sunny beach holiday or to spend the majority of your trip lounging around the pool, then Bali during rainy season may not be for you. But if you’re looking for adventure, stunning, nature, good food, and a little pampering, it can be a great time to visit!
You should also avoid Bali in wet season if you only have a few days. You’ll be disappointed if you have to spend your entire trip hiding away indoors from a big tropical storm.
However, if you have a couple of weeks to spend in Bali, you really shouldn’t let rainy season put you off. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll still have lots of beautiful sunny days to enjoy the island. And if you do have to spend a few days inside getting pampered at the spa or shopping at the mall, so be it.
The key thing to remember about visiting Bali in rainy season is that you need to be flexible with your itinerary and plans.
Spontaneous storms or heavy rain may prevent you from jumping on a boat over to Nusa Penida or riding your bike to the waterfalls of Ubud on the day that you originally planned. But not to worry, it’s easy to reschedule and you can easily find another way to spend your day instead.
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