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The best time to visit Bali for a holiday – and how to swerve the wet season

From coastal towns to central mountain ranges, heres a holidaymakers’ guide to the Balinese weather seasons

Natalie Wilson
Friday 23 June 2023 16:02 BST
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Bali’s climate is defined by high humidity and temperatures
Bali’s climate is defined by high humidity and temperatures (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The picture of blissful shores, buzzing markets and welcoming locals, Bali is a bucket-list destination for tourists longing to indulge in a new culture and the Great Outdoors – but the tropical climate has been known to put a (literal) dampner on dream holidays.

Bali boasts consistently warm temperatures and gentle conditions thanks to its position near the equator, with average annual temperatures that range from 29C to 32C. From the lush jungles of Ubud to the golden beaches of Kuta, tourism hubs greet visitors with clear seas and skies during the seven-month dry season but sunshine, rainfall, temperatures and humidity (especially in the wet season) all vary depending on the time of year.

Climate variations in Bali’s dynamic landscape mean the mountainous interior and idyllic coastline often see different levels of rainfall and humidity, and travellers should plan accordingly as they embark on hiking, beach and backpacking holidays to one of Indonesia’s most popular islands.

Read more on Bali travel:

Wet Season

Street vendors in Kuta shelter from a downpour (Getty Images)

When is it? November to March

Bali’s wet season takes place during the transitional period from winter into spring and lasts around five months. Sporadic showers come in short but heavy spells and the tropical rain storms are at their worst in December and January, bringing with them muggy, humid weather conditions and low visibility across Bali’s mist-covered landscapes – serious obstacles to days soaking in the sun on white sands and boat trips to coral reefs.

Dry Season

Bali’s white sands sparkle under clear blue skies during dry season (Getty Images)

When is it? April to October

Clear skies, lower humidity and temperatures in the mid-30s from April to October are what make Bali’s comfortable dry season so popular with globetrotters. The sunny conditions bring great visibility and a gentle breeze ideal for watersports including windsurfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Predictably, the inviting weather forecasts attract millions of international tourists each year, with Bali’s huge backpacking scene a staple of the Indonesian islands.

Best time to go

Central Bali

Bali’s cooler central mountain ranges are at their best in August, the driest month for a long-haul holiday and the height of summer. Interior towns such as Ubud, Bedugul and Bangli tend to see the island’s most rainfall during the wet season so hikes through rice fields to waterfalls, ornate temples and vantage points to watch spectacular sunsets are ill-advised between November and March as mosquitos take over the dense jungle, and humidity is at its most intense.

Coastal Bali

Unsurprisingly, tourism peaks during the intersection of the dry season and the UK summer holidays from May to August – temples and beaches can host hundreds while the weather is at its most settled. To avoid crowds at popular Bali coastal holiday destinations such as Kuta, Legian and Canggu, take a trip during the shoulder season months of April and October for a calmer stay, and to save on accommodation and flights. Bali’s sandy shoreline typically boasts hotter temperatures than its interior and temperatures rarely dip below 29C in summer.

Early risers can beat the peak of midday temperatures with a sunrise beach trip (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

January

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 6 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 382mm

Relative humidity: 81 per cent

February

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 5 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 286mm

Relative humidity: 81 per cent

March

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 6 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 236mm

Relative humidity: 81 per cent

April

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 144mm

Relative humidity: 81 per cent

May

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 73mm

Relative humidity: 80 per cent

June

Average temperature: 30C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 53mm

Relative humidity: 79 per cent

July

Average temperature: 29C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 37mm

Relative humidity: 78 per cent

August

Average temperature: 29C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 16mm

Relative humidity: 78 per cent

September

Average temperature: 30C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 53mm

Relative humidity: 79 per cent

October

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 7 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 77mm

Relative humidity: 80 per cent

November

Average temperature: 32C

Hours of sunshine per day: 6 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 119mm

Relative humidity: 80 per cent

December

Average temperature: 31C

Hours of sunshine per day: 6 hours

Average monthly rainfall: 326mm

Relative humidity: 82 per cent

Read more of our best Bali hotel reviews

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