If you’re asking, “Is January a good time to go to Bali?” you’ll be pleased to hear that Bali is a year-round destination and that any time of year is a good time to visit. The warm weather, beautiful landscapes, fascinating culture, and friendly people bring visitors to the beautiful Indonesian island all year round.
January weather in Bali is hot and often sunny with some rainstorms and warm tropical winds. But January is the peak of the wet season in Bali. So, is January a good time to go to Bali?
Is January a good time to go to Bali?
Yes, the wet season in Bali is still a good time to go. While January is the wettest month of the year, the rain tends to be showery, and the weather is often sunny. So, if you don’t mind some rain, then January in Bali is a great time to visit.
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Why the wet season in Bali is a good time to visit
The wet season in Bali falls from November to April and is the low season. There are fewer tourists and prices fall. This means you’re likely to get a good deal on flights, accommodation, and tours. And you can enjoy the popular sights without the tourist crowds.
The wet season in Bali and the rainy January weather bring lush and beautiful scenery across the island. The waterfalls are flowing, the rice fields are vibrant green and cloudy skies are the perfect setting for dramatic sunsets. The west-facing beaches at Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu are famous for their stunning sunsets.
But the wet season in Bali is not the ideal time of year for a beach holiday. Although there is likely to be enough sunny weather in January to enjoy the beautiful beaches there will be some showers and rainy days.
But there are lots of other fun activities to enjoy if the weather is wet, like spa treatments, temple visits, and hanging out in coffee shops and beach clubs and enjoying the beautiful beach sunsets.
January is the summer holiday season in Australia and winter in the USA, UK and Europe. It’s the perfect time to escape to Bali and enjoy warm weather and an affordable holiday in a tropical island destination.
What to expect from January weather in Bali
January in Bali is typically warm with daytime temperatures averaging 28°C (82°F) and ranging from lows of 25°C (77°F) to highs of 31°C (88°F). While January is the coolest month of the year, the temperatures in Bali vary little throughout the year because of the island’s proximity to the equator.
Bali’s January weather is often sunny with high humidity at this time of year, and it feels very hot, especially in the coastal areas.
January falls at the peak of the wet season in Bali but the weather tends to be stormy with clear mornings and skies clouding over as the day progresses. Rain and storms often come in the afternoon. Occasionally it rains all day, and it is possible for a January or February holiday to be very wet.
In my experience, January weather in Bali is often sunny. In 10 days I had only a few days that were washed out and that was at the peak of the wet season in Bali. Most days were warm and sunny until early afternoon with sporadic storms and showers that cleared later in the day. I did get drenched a couple of times riding on the back of a motorbike, but the weather was so warm that the rain was refreshing and only occasionally a problem.
TIP: Pack an umbrella and wet weather gear if you expect to be riding around Bali on a motorbike. If it’s raining you can always book a taxi car instead.
Can you swim in January in Bali?
January weather in Bali is fine for swimming. Water temperatures are balmy averaging 30°C (86°F). You will probably have plenty of sunny days for swimming and relaxing on the beach but don’t expect perfect beach weather. Instead, dodge the rain showers and enjoy the many other activities that the island has to offer.
What to do in the wet season in Bali
During the wet season in Bali, there are many fun things to do if it’s raining. Here are some suggestions.
- Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment. Bali is famous for its wonderful spa treatments and this is a must-do experience, especially if the January weather in Bali is wet.
- Visit one of Bali’s many sacred temples. Head to popular, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Besakih, Lempuyang or Beratan Temples and immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Watch a traditional Dance performance at Uluwatu Temple.
- Take a yoga class or join the Bali Eat Pray Love tour for a soulful and spiritual experience in Bali
- Enjoy a Balinese cooking class and learn to prepare authentic Balinese dishes like delicious sate chicken with peanut sauce.
- Visit some of the many beautiful waterfalls and temples in Bali.
- Wander through the green rice paddies at Tegalalang or visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jatiluwih Rice Terraces and see some of Bali’s most beautiful Temples.
- Head to Munduk to see the spectacular Banyumala Twin Falls. This tropical gem in the centre of the island is at its best during the wet season in Bali.
- Swim, snorkel and dive with the Manta Rays near Nusa Penida Island
- Join a perfume workshop and create your own signature scent that includes tropical fragrances from Bali.
- Enjoy a meal, or a coffee at one of Bali’s many great cafes.
- Shop for souvenirs and enjoy the art and craft markets.
- Enjoy a cocktail at one of Bali’s many beach clubs.
- Watch a stunning beach sunset with dramatic cloudy skies of the wet season in Bali. The beaches on the west coast at Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu offer gorgeous beach sunset views.
Festivals in January in Bali
Some of Bali’s most important religious celebrations are held in January. The Galungan and Kuningan festivals take place in the first half of January and are a colourful sight and a lovely way to experience the rich Balinese culture. There are processions through the streets and local people travel to and from the temples wearing traditional clothing.
On the 4th of January, the Galungan holiday is the time when the spirits of the ancestors are near.
The Siwa Ratri Festival celebrates the longest night of the year on the 20th of January in 2024. This festival, dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, calls for meditation for the forgiveness of sins.
The annual Siwat Water Festival celebrates New Year’s Day on 1st January with water fights in Gianyar, Bali.
Chinese New Year celebrations fall in on the 22nd of January in 2024
The Odalan Festival was celebrated throughout Bali in January 2023 and I was lucky enough to be visiting the beautiful Besakih GreatTemple on a festival day. The temple was full of atmosphere as families dressed in colourful sarongs gathered to pray and eat together, enjoying a special day at the temple.
What to pack for January in Bali
- Pack lightweight, quick-drying clothes for the hot, humid January weather in Bali.
- Cool cotton dresses and sandals are perfect for January in Bali.
- Shorts can be worn at the beach and in tourist areas.
- Balinese people dress modestly so covering your shoulders and knees is appreciated and necessary for visiting temples.
- Take a sarong to wear on temple visits. A sarong can double as a beach towel, a skirt, a dress, a scarf, or a sheet.
- Long sleeve shirts and long pants are a good idea for riding a motorbike, temple visits and in more rural areas. You’ll also need to cover up if you plan to visit Muslim islands near Bali like Lombok or Java.
- During the wet season in Bali, a rain jacket and an umbrella are a good idea.
How much does it cost to visit Bali in January?
January in Bali is the cheapest time of year to visit. It’s the off-season and there are fewer tourists, and there’s less need to book ahead. You can allow some flexibility in your planning and be more spontaneous.
I budgeted around US$70 a day for my trip to Bali in January.
I paid from US$20 – $40 a night for comfortable 3 or 4-star accommodation and found that many hotels were offering discounted rates during the wet season in Bali.
A meal in a café or restaurant costs around US$7 and half that in a warung serving local Indonesian dishes.
A taxi from the airport to Ubud takes over an hour and costs around US$23. Grab and Gojek taxis are even less expensive.
In January, return airfares from Australia cost less than US$700 from Sydney to Bali. This is much cheaper than the high season in Bali, in July and August.
Many of the luxury resorts offer good value package deals for holidays in the low season in Bali and this is a great way to save money and cut travel expenses.
What to eat in January in Bali
Indonesian food is tasty and can be spicy. Local restaurants and warungs serve some delicious rice and noodle dishes including:
- Nasi Goreng – fried rice with egg
- Mi Goreng – noodles
- Babi Guling – roast pork
- Gado Gado – vegetables with peanut sauce
- Lamb or chicken sate skewers served with tasty peanut sauce
- Arak – a local Balinese alcoholic spirit
Where to stay in January in Bali
Bali’s west coast has some beautiful surf beaches that are very popular for January in Bali with a large choice of hotels and guesthouses.
Kuta is ideal for young partygoers and offers a beach holiday with a choice of nightclubs if you want to dance the night away and relax on the beach during the day.
Nearby Seminyak is a bit more upmarket and also very popular. With designer shops and restaurants and lovely west-facing surf beaches, Seminyak is the perfect place to watch the sunset at a beach club with a cocktail in your hand.
Canggu is popular with digital nomads who want to escape the busier parts of Bali but still enjoy the beautiful surf beaches on the west coast.
Sanur on Bali’s east coast has protected beaches and is popular with families and people looking for a quieter beach holiday away from the party scene on the west coast.
Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali and has a palace, beautiful temples, traditional dance, art galleries and yoga. It’s a great central location for exploring the island.
Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsula has some of the best surf in Bali and some dramatic coastal scenery.
Nusa Dua is known for its exclusive luxury resorts with some of the best beaches in Bali. The golden sands of Nusa Dua are perfect for a relaxing beach holiday. Nusa Dua is a resort suburb in a tourist enclave with security guards to keep the local riff-raff out. It provides a sanitised version of Bali ideal for families and romantic couples.
Can’t decide between Ubud and the beach for your holiday in Bali? This comparison with Ubud vs Kuta has all the information you need to help you choose which will be best for your Bali vacation.
Travel Tips for January in Bali
- January weather in Bali is hot so book a hotel with air conditioning and a pool to cool down after a busy day of sightseeing.
- Cover your shoulders and knees when visiting Balinese temples. A sarong and sash must be worn at the temples in Bali.
- Take an umbrella and pack wet weather gear if you plan to ride a motorbike in case you get caught in the rain.
- Don’t drink tap water, drink bottled water instead.
- Don’t flush your toilet paper. Use the bins provided. The sewerage systems can’t handle it.
Reasons to avoid January in Bali
January is usually the wettest month of the year in Bali. You can expect some rain, storms and high humidity.
January weather in Bali is not perfect so it’s not the best time of year for a beach holiday. But even in the dry season in Bali, there can be rainy days.
The wet season in Bali is stormy and seas can be rough at this time of year. The beaches are often full of rubbish washed up from the ocean.
The rough seas make ferry crossings uncomfortable and more dangerous. So be prepared for some seasickness if you’re making a ferry crossing during stormy January weather in Bali. Double-check the safety of the boat you’re on as safety standards are not the same as in Western countries.
Strong ocean currents make snorkelling and diving less safe, and the water visibility is lower at this time of year.
Travel by motorbike is uncomfortable in the wet weather and can be more dangerous, especially if the roads are flooded during downpours.
During the low season in Bali, it can be harder to get around the island. Shuttle bus services don’t run unless they have a minimum number of bookings. But Taxis are relatively inexpensive if there are no buses.
Perhaps consider travelling to Bali during the shoulder season months of April, May or June. Bali in June is a great time to go with warm weather and less rain.
TIP: If you’re looking for the best weather for a beach holiday in January, why not consider visiting Thailand instead? Find out more about Bali vs Thailand and how these popular Southeast Asian destinations compare.
What is the best time of the year to visit Bali?
The dry season in Bali is the most popular time of the year to visit and the months of June, July and August are perfect for a beach holiday. The weather is warm and dry, and the water is calmer at this time of year with good visibility for snorkelling and diving.
What is the cheapest month to go to Bali?
October to March are the cheapest months and the low season in Bali. There are fewer tourists and accommodation prices are at their lowest. The months of January and February have the most rain and the wet season in Bali is the least popular time to visit.
What is the most expensive month to visit Bali?
July and August are the most expensive months to visit Bali with airfares and accommodation costs at their highest. They are also the busiest months in Bali and coincide with the summer holiday period in Europe. The weather in July and August is warm and dry and perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.
What are the hottest months in Bali?
May is Bali’s hottest month and the weather is typically dry and sunny with average temperatures between 27°C – 32°C (81°F – 90°F). It’s the perfect time for a beach holiday in Bali. It’s also a good time for diving and snorkelling and the conditions are perfect for hiking in the mountains.
Final thoughts – Is Bali good in January?
Yes, January is a great time to go to Bali if you don’t mind some rain and stormy weather. It’s the cheapest time to visit and there are fewer tourists. While the weather for Bali in January is not ideal for a beach holiday, the island has so much more to offer. There are beautiful temples, waterfalls, spas, yoga, and cooking classes. And hanging out in cafes and beach clubs is also fun if the Bali weather in January isn’t perfect.
I loved visiting in January and would happily go back to Bali in the wet season.