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How to get around Bali

Find out how to get around Bali, including getting to and from your hotel, the choice of transport options available and costs.

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Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach – Image courtesy of idrivebalitours.com


Bali Travel Options

Bali offers a choice of transport options to get around and experience the island including the following…

Getting to & from your hotel

Ngurah Rai Airport is located 13km southwest of Denpasar and 2.5km south of Kuta.

Most hotels will offer pre-arranged transport for arriving guests for a price that is generally more than the cost of an airport taxi.

Alternatively, you have the choice of a fixed-price fare from the taxi monopoly inside the airport terminal or catching a metered taxi once you exit the terminal. If you have a surfboard, you may be charged extra, depending on its size.

The prepaid taxi fare in the airport terminal is more than you would pay for a metered taxi.

Taxi fares: From the airport expect to pay around Rp50,000 to Kuta (about AUD$5/USD$4/GBR£3/EUR€3), Rp85,000 to Seminyak (AUD$9/USD$6/GBR£4/EUR€5) and Rp250,000 to Ubud (AUD$25/USD$20/GBR£13/EUR€16).

Hire cars are also available at the airport.

Getting around Bali

It takes just three hours to travel the length and breadth of Bali by car. With the exception of the coastal area to the northwest of Denpasar it is possibly to circumnavigate Bali by road. The island is also crisscrossed by hundreds of small roads. While public transport in Bali is good, journeys can take a long time.

About the roads – Road conditions on the main roads are generally good. Conditions on the smaller roads are often determined by the prevailing weather conditions: good in the dry season; poor in the wet season when heavy downpours erode the surface leaving potholes and debris. At anytime you can expect delays with local traffic and slow moving trucks.

Avoid driving at night or at dusk. Many bicycles, carts and vehicles do not have proper lights, and street lighting is limited.

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road.

By taxi – Metered taxis are the most convenient way of getting round southern Bali (but not Ubud). You can usually flag one down on the street. Taxis are fairly cheap: Kuta to Seminyak is about Rp50,000.

Costs start from the initial fee of Rp5,000 for the first 2km and thereafter up Rp5,000 per kilometer. If you want to make any stops allow about Rp20,000 per hour waiting.

To rent a taxi for the day, its best to agree on a price ahead of time and let the driver know what you expect from him. Allow Rp450,000 for a full day.

Blue Bird Taxi (tel. 0361/701111), which uses blue vehicles with a light on the roof bearing a stylised bluebird, is generally regarded by expats as the best taxi company in Bali. Look for 'Blue Bird' over the windscreen and the phone number. Drivers speak reasonable English and use the meter at all times.

Other taxi companies include Komotra Taxi (tel. 0361/499449), Ngurah Rai Taxi (tel. 0361/724724), Wahana Taxi (tel. 0361/244555) and Golden Bird Bali (tel. 0361/702000).

By private car & driver – The best way of getting around Bali and seeing the sights is by hiring a car and a driver. Having a local driver takes the stress out of navigating unfamiliar back roads and can be useful as the driver can help with translations as once you leave the main areas few people speak any English.

A car and driver can be hired for a day or longer through any of the car rental agencies. Your hotel may also have its own cars and drivers.

Drivers on overnight stays will find their own accommodation at little cost. You will be expected to pay for the driver’s food and accommodation, but the cost of the car, insurance and petrol should be included in the price. Expect to pay about Rp400,000 to Rp600,000 a day, which is open to negotiation.

Before hiring a car and driver make sure to agree all costs in advance, and all the relevant paperwork and insurance is valid. It helps that the driver is knowledgeable about the island and speaks good English.

It’s a good idea to buy the driver lunch (they'll want to eat elsewhere, so give them around Rp20,000) and offer snacks and drinks if you’re also having one. Many drivers find ways to make your day memorable in unexpected ways. Tip accordingly.

By hire car – Hire cars are readily available through the major chains, including Avis (tel. 1800/656545 or 0361/282635; www.avis.com) and Hertz (tel. 0361/768375; www.hertz.com) as well as local companies, including Bali Car Hire (www.balicarhire.com) and PT.Amerthadana Car Rental (http://www.amerthadana.com/)

To rent a car in Bali you are supposed to have an International Driving License (IDP), which you can obtain from your national motoring organisation, or a locally issued tourist driving license together with a copy of your passport.

However, most rental businesses will rent you a car with a copy of your home national driver's license. Before you drive away, ensure that the car has a STNK (vehicle registration certificate) and a copy of any insurance policies.

You can obtain a one-month tourist license for Rp150,000 at the Foreign License Service, Jl. Gunung Sanghiang, Denpasar (tel. 0361/422323). You will need to show a copy of your passport and your home national driver's license.

Expect to pay between US$18 to US$45 a day at a local car hire agency, and from US$50 to US$75 at the bigger international agencies. Prices will either be in rupiah or U.S. dollars. These prices should include some insurance but always check what insurance you are getting before agreeing to a price.

Warning: Always ensure that you have the car documentation with you as well as your IDP or tourist driver's license. The police carry out regular spot checks and you'll be fined for any infringements, such as not wearing a seatbelt while driving or as a passenger. Not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle is also an infringement.

It’s best to remain calm during all dealings with the police; do not argue with them and do not offer them a bribe. A standard fine should be about Rp50,000 (AUD$5/USD$4/EUR€3), although it can be more if you argue.

By motorcycle & scooter – The easiest, cheapest and fastest way to get around Bali is by motorcycle or scooter. However, think carefully before renting a motorbike: it is very dangerous, with daily accidents, some fatal.

There are plenty of local companies that will hire you a motorcycle or scooter if you have a driving license. Expect to pay about US$5 a day for a basic 110-125CC scooter, less if you are hiring long term. Motorcycles cost up to US$35. Many have racks for surfboards at no extra cost.

Before you leave, make sure that everything is working: brakes, indicators, and wheels; and that you have the right insurance and vehicle registration documents, which you need to carry with you at all times. All motorcyclists must wear helmets and these should be supplied at the time of rental for no extra charge.

If you don’t have an International Driving License (IDP) endorsed for motorcycles you will have to get a local license. The police will fine you for riding without a proper licence, and your motorcycle can be impounded. Also, if you have an accident without a licence your insurance company might refuse coverage.

To get a local motorcycle licence in Bali (valid for a year), go to the Poltabes Denpasar, (northwest of Kerobokan on the way to Denpasar). Bring your passport, a photocopy of your passport (just the page with your photo on it) and a passport-size photo.

Avoid the jostling permit seekers in the main hall and seek out one of the uniformed officials who will assist you to take the required written test (in English, with the answers provided on a sample test). Cost – Rp250,000.


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Latest update Bali honeymoon destination: 12 October, 2019


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