High season is officially over and as the crowd eases, and the island settles back into a more relaxed pace, it’s the perfect time to think about a Bali vacation. Especially with the chance to get excellent deals on last-minute flights and find great savings on Elite Havens Luxury Villas.
Wondering what to expect in Bali in November? Well, along with quieter beaches, and less crowded cultural attractions and restaurants, you will find warmer weather. The wet season is on its way, so you may also see some dramatic skies and experience a brief shower or two in the afternoon or evenings. But a little rain won’t dampen your spirits, it’s just a gentle reminder that you are in the tropics. And after months of dry weather, November showers provide a breath of fresh air. The island’s sub-tropical rain forests also come to life, and everything glimmers and shines, making it a wonderful time to get out and explore with a private driver.
The Elite Concierge will be delighted to help you plan a day trip to the north to visit stunning waterfalls or to snorkel and dive into Bali’s best coral reefs. There are also exciting cultural events that will give you a fantastic insight into traditional life, plus vibrant markets to visit, and fun water parks to keep the kids happy. And of course, a range of stunning, fully staffed pool villas to create your own luxury home away from home while visiting the island.
Here are our top 9 suggestions for things to do in Bali in November:
1. Makepung Buffalo Racing
Looking for a slightly off-the-beaten-path Bali adventure, and a unique insight into local rural culture? How about traditional buffalo racing? Taking place on various circuits in the Jembrana Regency in western Bali, farmers-turned-jockeys ride on a wooden plough pulled by two ornately decorated buffalos. Action-packed races are not just about speed, but also style and agility, and the atmosphere is thick with excitement as all the community turns out to cheer their local teams. There are also ‘best-dressed buffalo’ fashion shows, as well as art and cultural performances. Racing dates vary, but the Elite Concierge will be happy to organise a day trip for you – it’s an experience you will never forget.
2. Celebrate Tumpek Wayang
The Balinese calendar is filled with sacred Hindu Tumpek days – in which different subjects or objects are blessed. There’s Tumpek Kuningan which celebrates ancestral spirits, Tumpek Landep for blessings tools and precious metals, and Tumpek Udu for plants. Tumpek Wayang, which falls on November 25, 2023, honours the art of shadow puppetry and the Lord of Puppeteers – Sanghyang Iswara. On this special day, puppeteers will perform purification rites on themselves, and their puppets (wayang kulit) followed by sacred puppet shows right across the island. Your villa staff will know the best places to go to see a show.
3. Pemuteran Bay Festival
Taking place from 16- 18 November 2023, this community-based festival combines culture with conservation, with three days of food, music and cultural performances, as well as fascinating bio-rock and reef gardening workshops. Set in the north of Bali, Pemuteran is one of the world’s most inspiring coral reef restoration projects. Ancient reefs blown apart by dynamite fishing in the 90s have been rejuvenated by a revolutionary technology called Bio Rock, which uses electric currents to stimulate the growth of coral. Snorkelers and divers can explore close to fifty large structures shaped in the form of a caterpillar, whale, igloo, dome, flower and a goddess, all covered in a profusion of brightly coloured coral.
4. Dive and Snorkel
Bali’s north-east coast is also home to beautiful reefs inhabited by sea horses, giant trevally, schools of barracuda, clown frog fish, turtles and a diverse range of hard and soft coral. Day trips are easily organised from the south of Bali. Dive on the coral-encrusted Liberty shipwreck in Tulamban, or check out Shark Junction for a serious adrenaline surge. At nearby Amed, both divers and snorkelers will find much to explore in a series of sheltered coves. There’s a Japanese wreck nestled in a pretty coral garden just a few meters off the beach. While the shallow waters of Jemaluk Bay host a plethora of tropical fish, who make their home in the pastel-hued corals.
5. Enjoy a Balinese dance performance
The cool of the evening is the ideal time to enjoy a classical dance performance at GWK Cultural Park, or at one of the beautiful palaces or temples in Ubud. Elaborate performances blend storytelling, religion and art with intricate choreography and rousing music performed by a Gamelan orchestra, promising a night filled with Bali magic and mysticism.
6. Keep cool at a water park
Travelling as a family? We all know that happy kids mean happy parents, and with dozens of waterslides and rides set in lush, landscaped gardens, kids will have a great day splashing around at Waterbom. Toddlers can play to their heart’s content in the fully supervised Funtastic Zone. Bigger kids can find their thrills on serious adrenaline-inducing rides with fitting names such as Climax, Fast ‘n’Fierce and Smashdown. There are also more gentle options for the whole family, like floating in tubes down the Lazy River and lounging around a cabana enjoying the beautiful setting and tropical Bali vibe.
7. Visit Bali’s most scenic waterfalls
Bali has numerous waterfalls and November is a good time to combine waterfall visits with other island attractions – from highly Instagramable Bali swings, to ornate Hindu temples rising from the jungle, dramatic terraced rice paddies and serene water palaces. Set within an extraordinarily picturesque canyon in the north of the island, Gitgit Waterfall is easily reached via a jungle path. Smaller, but just as pretty, and barely visited is nearby Colek Pamor Waterfall. Also in the north of the island, Tirta Buana is reached via a steep but short trail and features a stunning cascade flowing into a cool natural pool ideal for plunging into on a hot day. There are several other beautiful waterfalls closer to Ubud.
8. Discover Denpasar’s traditional markets
How about an authentic Balinese shopping experience? Rise in the cool of the early morning and head to Denpasar’s traditional markets for a colourful immersion in Bali life. The largest and busiest market in Denpasar, Badung Market is a feast for the senses, and a chance to scoop up some bargains. Shop for exotic fruits, sample spices, and browse fabrics and batik clothing. Just across the river is Kumasari Art Market – a treasure trove for arts, crafts, textiles, wooden sculptures and traditional paintings. Practice your haggling skills, shop for souvenirs, and try local snacks like nasi goreng (fried bananas) sate lilit (minced fish sate.)
9. Rest and relax
Warm weather is highly conducive to lounging – think afternoon siestas – and a luxury villa makes the ultimate retreat. So, if it’s been a busy year, and you are yearning for a relaxing holiday, why not make this your moment to get away? With your own private swimming pool, and air-conditioned living rooms and bedrooms, it’s easy to keep cool, and some of our villas also enjoy lovely outlooks and a fresh breeze from the ocean or rice fields. If you feel too lazy to head out for a meal, your private chef will be happy to prepare food to your preference. Whether you fancy a salad or sushi poolside, a Mediterranean lunch in the dining room, or an Indonesian-themed dinner under a starry sky. We can also bring the spa to you so you can enjoy a soothing massage, manicure or traditional scrub without having to step foot outside the villa.
Sound like heaven? Get in touch now and start planning your Bali get away by booking one of our luxurious havens.