Affordable Adventure in Bali – Best Extreme Sports in Indonesia

in Trip Locations

In her bestselling book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert painted a picture of Bali as little more than a sweet place to fall in love. While this might have been the writer’s experience, it doesn’t tell the whole story of this Indonesian island. While Gilbert was seeing little more than the bedroom, she was missing out on the unique experiences Bali offers. While she might not have met her match, she’d have made some great memories tackling the tropical region’s affordable adventurous activities.

Bali’s island location means many of its best adrenalin sports happen on or near the water. If you really want to get the blood pumping, then grab a board and hang ten at Kuta. The offshore winds make the waves powerful, but don’t let that scare you. It won’t be long before a local is offering to rent you a board, and teach you how to use it. They expect you to haggle on the fee though, so never accept their first quote!

If riding waves sounds a little too intense, perhaps scuba diving or snorkeling is more your speed. The clear waters of Nusa Lembongan are great for both, and scuba divers are also well catered for at Amed, Gili Selang, and Bali National Park. And if all those fish and coral reefs are starting to look the same, make sure you grab your scuba gear and head to Tulamben. The shipwrecked USAT Liberty is a stunning sight.

While splashing about in the water is lovely, you’ll get a better view of the island from the air. While Bali has several helicopter tours these are very expensive (many cost $1000!) and quite cruisy. You’ll get more thrills for your dollar when you parasail. For around $20US you’ll soar 100 feet above your speedboat and Bali’s waters. You can try your hand at parasailing at Nusa Dui, Tanjung Benoa, and a few other Bali beaches.

Walking around Bali’s jungles doesn’t sound like an extreme activity, but the monkeys at Mandala Wisata Wanera Wana provide the added spice. The Balinese Macaques are very cute, and it’s impossible to resist them as they greet you enthusiastically looking for treats. But these adorable critters are very naughty and prone to mood swings, so it’s worth keeping your wits about you. They might attack you, or steal your wallet! There is a small entrance fee of around $1.50, but this helps the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation maintain the park and run educational programs.

For a hiking experience minus the monkeys grab your best walking shoes and head for Bali’s summits. There are challenging trails around Mount Batur, Mount Agung, and Mount Batukaru. You’ll probably want to stay off the peaks during the wet season though. The relentless rain coupled with the high humidity can make the six-hour hikes very unpleasant. You’ll enjoy the best trekking conditions between April and October.

A Balinese Macaque monkey

A Balinese Macaque monkey

We’ve all heard of horse riding, but what about camel riding? Bali offers the unique chance to saddle up one of these humped animals. These beasts can be pretty smelly, but the experience will give you one of your quirkiest vacation snaps for as little as $20.

So why spend your time lazing around Bali’s day spas and eating too much padang? You’ll make more heart racing memories, and likely return home with more Balinese rupees in your pocket, if you get active in on the Indonesian island.

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