Natalya DeSena Photography: Bali, Indonesia - What to See and What to Do

I’m a Maine based wedding photographer so I have free time during the winter to travel. As you can imagine, not a lot of couples get married in New England during the winter months. In the long run I’d love to travel to warmer locations to photograph destination weddings, but in the meantime I’ll take advantage of my down time to travel.

Brett and I recently spent three weeks in Bali, Indonesia and it’s officially one of my favorite places in the world. I love everything about it - the culture, the food, the lush greenery, the massive cliffs, the craftsmanship coming out of the markets in UBUD, the people, the street dogs, the fact that everyone drives around on scooters. Everything about it was magical.

Brett and I booked an amazing Airbnb in Uluwatu for the first 11 days. We wanted to get to know the area, especially because it’s famous for the surfing and beautiful beaches. The onsite manager at our Airbnb was extremely helpful. She organized our driver from Denpasar, rented us a scooter, and gave us tips about the area. She even brought us her favorite Balinese dish one day for lunch. I highly recommend staying here.

There’s a lot of Australian influence in Uluwatu since it’s a destination spot for Aussies. I really loved this about the area since I lived on Bondi Beach for a handful of months after college. The restaurants are incredible. Our favorites (food wise) were The Loft, Suka Espresso, and Yeye’s. Our favorite places to go for sunset were Ulu Cliffhouse and SingleFin. Green Bowl and Nyang Nyang were my favorite beaches since they had cascading cliffs and really cool caves.

We spent one full day swimming with Manta Rays at Manta Point off of Nusa Penida. This was an incredible day of snorkeling and free diving. The reefs around the area are healthy and there were plenty of fish and turtles. We also went to UBUD and did a bike tour of the rice fields. This was one of my favorite ways to see the countryside and I highly recommend doing this tour if you ever go to Bali. I also recommend spending at least a couple days in UBUD to visit the markets and hike Mount Batur. Towards the end of our trip we stayed in another Airbnb down the road from our first one. It was a bit cheaper and I was able to walk to The Yoga Searcher for my daily yoga classes. It was also closer to the shops and restaurants. My favorite shop in Ulu was The Find. Lots of scrunches, cute dresses, rompers, and jewelry.

It was one of the greatest trips I’ve ever been on, so great that we’re thinking of going again next winter!

Hope you enjoy the photos below.