Bali, surprisingly so much more than just Bingtang and bogans. I never had this place on my ‘must visit list.’ I figured I could just go to the Gold Coast for a weekend if I wanted to be around drunk Australians. And then, I went to Europe and met a bunch of people who looked at Bali as a golden land of paradise. As the Europeans usually know what’s best, I decided to follow their advice and check it out for myself. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.
Yes, there are parts of Bali that resemble Cavill Avenue during schoolies, but this island has so much more to offer.
Our guide to Bali highlights all the best spots to check out for yoga and healthy food
I spend 2 months on the island and did not have time to see it all. My intention was to spend more time chilling, down-ward-dogging and eating than it was seeing every beautiful spot on the island.
My itinerary looked like this:
- 6 nights in Canggu
- 1 month in Ubud
- 1 week traveling beach side to Bingin and Nusa Lembongon
- 2 weeks back in Ubud
A quick tip on where NOT to go in Bali:
Don’t got to Kuta. Just don’t. There’s nothing good about it unless you’re an 18 year old who’s passionate about shots and cheap beer.
Where TO go in Bali:
Canggu – For yoga, surfing, quiet time and great healthy food. This quaint little town has a popular surf break and a relaxed vibe. It's about a 40 minute drive from the airport and is the perfect place to go when you first arrive.
Where to stay in Canggu:
Desa Seni is a gorgeous eco yoga retreat that have daily classes and beautiful accommodation. It’s not too far from the beach but it’s best to get yourself a scooter to get around town easily. My other tip would be anywhere on Echo beach. It’s close to everything and there are some beautiful guest houses and villas.
Where to eat in Canggu:
There’s a lot of healthy options for food in Canggu. My top picks are:
- Crate - beautiful smoothie bowls and breakfast options
- Samadhi - a humble café with loads of raw organic food as well as a yoga studio with daily classes. Best raw zucchini pasta I've ever had!
- Betel Nut - healthy salads and breakfast options. These guys open late and are good for dinner.
- Avocado Cafe - delicious smoothies and Jamu!
- Deus - More than just a bike shop! These guys have a great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu as well as being a good place to enjoy a night out.
Where to Yoga in Canggu:
Desa Seni and Samadhi are my top pics. There’s also a lot of guest houses offering daily yoga classes as you head towards Echo Beach.
Bingin beach- for surfing, chill time, yoga and spectacular sunsets.
Where to stay on Bingin Beach:
There are a number of villas located along the cliff side on Binging Beach. There’s cheaper options that are literally on the beach (try Swamis Surf and Stay and Kelly’s Warung) but for a mid range tranquil option ‘The Temple’ is a gorgeous spot on the cliff side with beach access, daily yoga and a restaurant.
Where to eat on Bingin Beach:
- The Cashew Tree - This place might not be right on the beach but they do a mean salad bowl! They also have live music once a week on Thursdays.
- Kellys Warung - Right on the beach, these guys have great smoothies, bliss balls and dragon (pitaya) fruit bowls. Swamis - Mostly organic food right on the water.
- The Temple - These guys do breakfast and lunch, but you need to book in advance for dinner.
- Sea Food - If fresh seafood is your thing then every night the locals set up a restaurant literally on the beach serving the fish that they have caught that day. It’s as fresh as it gets.
Where to practice Yoga on Binging Beach:
There are two great places on Binging Beach - The Temple Lodge and Mu. Both are walking distance, albeit up stairs (hello thigh muscles), to the beach. The other studios in town will require you to have some transport and let’s be honest, you came here to chill, not rush around in traffic to yoga classes.
Nusa Lembongan – for snorkelling, seaweed farms, and the feeling like you are on your own little quiet island (which you are)
Nusa Lembongan can be a little pricy compared to the rest of Bali. This can be put down to the fact that it’s an island. Your options are isolated. It’s important to keep this in mind if you plan on visiting.
Where to stay:
There are a number of bungalows, ranging from the very high end, to the very basic. The further north you go up Lembongan beach, the cheaper it gets for a bungalow on the water. Tigerlillys is a yoga/eco hotel in the centre of town. It might not be right on the beach, but it’s a lovely tranquil setting to rest your head. They also do the best food in town. Win win.
Where to eat on Nusa Lembongan:
I was a little disappointed with the food here. It’s way to over priced, and not overly orientated to the health conscious crowd. There were a few places that warrant a mention, but I wouldn’t recommend coming to this island for the food.
- Tigerlillys- when it comes to breakfast these guys are hands down the best option. Slightly more expensive, but well worth it.
- Bali Echo Deli - They have some nice lunch options
Where to practice yoga on Nusa Lembongan:
Serenity Yoga - these guys also offer SUP Yoga as well as underwater scuba yoga (whatever that means) The Yoga Shack - beautiful shalas in the centre of town.
Ubud – for yoga, meditation, the most amazing food you’ll ever eat, rice patty strolls and a general eat pray love experience. I spent a lot of time in this amazing place. There's so much to see and do (read: eat) that I wrote an entire guide about it. Check out my 'Ultimate Guide to Ubud'
Where to stay in Ubud:
There’s more accommodation here than people. Everything from bungalows, resorts and homestays. Check out The Shift and The Yoga Barn, both have organic plant based restaurants, daily yoga classes and gorgeous surroundings.
Where to Eat in Ubud:
I loved eating in Ubud so much that I wrote a guide all about it. You can see the extensive details in my ‘Top 5 places to Eat in Ubud’ article.
- Seeds of Life - the best raw food you’ll ever put in your mouth. Like seriously.
- Alchemy - for breakfast lunch and dinner. These guys know what’s good.
- Soma- Organic goodness surrounded by fairy lights and live music.
- Dayu's Warung - Healthy local dishes made by a local health loving babe, Dayu.
Where to practice Yoga in Ubud:
Ubud is pretty much the yoga capital of Bali. There’s the full yoga smorgasbord, from the small studios amongst the rice fields to the bigger studios with hourly classes.
- Radiantly Alive - great variety of teachers with a personal community feel. Be sure to try Daniel, Noga and Caseys classes. The Yoga Barn-
- The Yoga Barn- wide variety of classes, the space is huge and they are always very busy so you need to be at the classes very very early. Check out Bex and Emily’s classes.
- Intuitive Flow - gorgeous studio in the rice patties with knowledgeable, inspiring teachers.
- Taksu - This place doubles as a restaurant and stunning hang out spot. Right in the centre of town. A blissful getaway from the hustle and bustle.
What you need to know about traveling to Bali:
- Private drivers are the way to go. Always haggle. If you need a driver I recommend Widi Antarra (affectionately known as Tom). He's an awesome human who will tell you everything you need to know about his home town. He also runs the best vegan ice cream shop on the island.. total win win situation.
- They put palm sugar in everything, even some of the healthy places do it. Always check and ask for your super food smoothie without sugar if you’re sweet enough.
- Bottled water is one of the biggest contributors to land waste in Bali, and as they burn their rubbish, it ends up in your lungs as well as killing the environment. The problem is the tap water isn’t the best thing for the belly. The solution? Pack your own water bottle. Most cafes and hotels have large filtered water bottles that you can re-fill from. It’s usually a small cost, but much better for your health and the environments then continually buying plastic bottles.
Check out my in-depth guides on:
The Ubud Guide
Have you got a favourite spot in Bali that didn’t make our list?