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Learn all about Bali's dry season, including its when it is, how long it lasts,  what activities are best, and what the weather is like in terms of rainfall, temperature, humidity and more. 

As a tropical island close to the equator, Bali has two distinct seasons: the dry season from May to October and the wet season from November to April. Bali’s dry season is characterised by clear, sunny days and cooler nights with lower humidity and minimal rain. Dry season temperatures typically range from 20°C to 31°C, making this an ideal time to enjoy Bali’s many outdoor activities like beaches, surfing, snorkelling, diving, bike rides, hiking and sightseeing.

However, the perfect dry season conditions make this the most popular vacation period in Bali. To navigate this peak tourist time successfully, planning well in advance and securing your bookings early is wise. While prices are highest during the dry season, especially between June and August, remember that May, September and October attract fewer visitors, and discounted airfares and accommodation are often available.

When dressing for Bali’s dry season, it’s essential to wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the tropical climate and with respect to Bali’s majority Hindu religion. It’s best to prioritise modestly designed, loose, breathable clothing made from cotton and linen.  As evenings are cooler during the dry season, it’s worth taking a wrap or light jacket, especially for dining outdoors. Although little rain is expected, packing a small umbrella or light rain jacket is advisable because it does still rain in the dry season, sometimes for days at a time. Swimwear, a hat, sunglasses and sun protection are advisable for fully enjoying those delightful sunny days at the beach or under a refreshing waterfall. Lastly, pack comfortable and breathable footwear, like sandals, flip-flops, and lightweight walking shoes for exploring the island. Good hiking shoes are essential if you plan to trek the volcanoes. With these preparations in mind, visitors can fully embrace the unique charm of Bali’s dry season without compromising on style or comfort.

What is Bali’s Dry Season?

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Bali’s dry season describes the period when the island experiences the least rainfall. As an island with a tropical climate and weather, Bali experiences only two seasons, a dry and a wet, which are influenced by the El Niño and La Niña climate patterns. The dry season usually lasts from May to October, with the wet season extending from November to April. These seasons largely define and determine Bali’s weather and climate. Bali’s dry season is the most popular time for travellers due to its pleasantly warm temperatures, long sunlight hours, and lower humidity levels. The dry season is a prime time to enjoy Bali’s many outdoor activities, beach and water sports, cultural festivals and vibrant nightlife. Early planning and booking of airfares, accommodation and tours will alleviate disappointments, especially in July and August, the peak tourist months.

 

When is the Dry Season in Bali? (May to October)

The dry season in Bali occurs between May and October. August is the driest month of the year, receiving between 15 to 40mm of rain. Bali’s favourable dry, sunny weather, with temperatures typically ranging from 20°C to 31°C and lower humidity levels between 75-80%, make these months extremely popular for all outdoor activities. As July and August are the busiest visitor months due to school holidays and winter in Australia and New Zealand and the peak holiday season for European and American travellers, it’s wise to plan all your holiday travel, accommodation and daily activities early, before they sell out.

 

Is the Dry Season a Good Time to Visit Bali?

Yes, weather-wise, the dry season is a good time to visit Bali. The island turns into a sunny tropical paradise in the dry season. Travellers to Bali can be assured of consistently clear and sunny days, with lower humidity and little to no rain to dampen your holiday. Bali’s dry season is perfect for the many cultural festivals and all outdoor and beach activities. The seas are calm, the waters are clear, the waterfalls are refreshing and walking around the lush rice fields or hiking volcanoes is comfortable and breathtaking. Bali’s nightlife also pulsates amid the dry season’s cooler evening temperatures.

What are the Advantages of Visiting Bali during the Dry Season?

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The main advantages of visiting Bali during the dry season (May to October) include consistently sunny days, minimal rain and a wide range of available activities like swimming, snorkelling and hiking. 

The dry season weather is perfect for enjoying Bali's beautiful beaches and engaging in activities like swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and diving in the clear seas. It's also an excellent time for strolling through Bali's stunning rice fields and picnicking amidst lush rainforest and waterfall surroundings, with lower humidity ensuring comfortable hiking and walking. Additionally, visitors can partake in various cultural and art festivals and experience the vibrant nightlife in places like Kuta, Seminyak, and Sanur, as Bali is most popular and liveliest during the dry season from May to October.

 

What are the Disadvantages of Visiting Bali during the Dry Season?

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The main disadvantage of visiting Bali during the dry season is that it is peak tourist time, when Bali is busiest and more pricey. Bali becomes quite crowded during the dry season months of May to October. July and August are the busiest months because of school holidays and winter in Australia and New Zealand, and it’s the primary holiday season for Europeans and Americans. May, September and October are less crowded.

During most of Bali’s dry season, airfare, accommodation and tour activity prices are at a premium. Beaches and outdoor leisure areas can become overcrowded, and the traffic around the popular tourist areas such as Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Ubud become heavily congested, making travel times longer. Plan and book any essential activities or accommodations early to avoid missing out. Also, weigh the advantages and disadvantages to ensure you gain the most from your ideal holiday.

 

Do Bali’s Dry Months Change Over Time?

Yes, Bali's Dry Season Months sometimes vary slightly across years, due to the influence of El Niño and La Niña weather patterns which shorten or lengthn the dry season. El Niño is a weather patten which makes conditions drier and hotter, while La Niña conditions produce more rainfall and sometimes intense storms. 

Currently, Bali is experiencing El Niño, which means that the dry season is going to extend until October, according to the Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency.  In effect, this shorten Bali's Wet Season. 

Another factor impacting the change in dry season duration in Bali is climate change. Over the past 50 years, Bali’s average annual rainfall has decreased by around 500mm, whilst yearly temperatures have risen by over 1°C in that same period.

 

What Activities are Best during Bali’s Dry Season?

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The best activities during Bali’s dry season are mostly outdoor activites., like swimming, surfing, diving, snorkelling, hiking, partying and lounging. Virtually no activities are off limits during Bali’s dry season months of May to October. The sunny days, with little to no humidity or rain, are conducive for cycling through the hillside villages, hiking Mount Batur, Mount Agung or Campuhan Ridge, and strolling through picturesque rice fields and lush rainforests to soak under refreshing waterfalls like Sekumpul, Gitgit and Tegenungan. The weather is perfect for swimming or lazing on the soft sandy beaches of Kuta, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, surfing at Uluwatu, Padang Padang or Canggu and snorkelling or diving the calm, clear seas of Nusa Penida, Lombok, and more.

Whether you’re seeking culture and temple experiences, connection with nature, adventure, wildlife encounters, shopping till you drop, chilling at a beachside restaurant, bar or café and dancing the night away or simply relaxing at a Yoga or Wellness Retreat, Bali’s dry season allows you to do it all.

 

How much Rainfall does Bali receive during the Dry Season?

During the dry season, Bali receives minimal rainfall, with most months between May and October averaging between 57 to 85mm. More frequent rain showers can be expected at the beginning of May as the wet season rains ease. Odd rain showers occur between June and September, with August being the driest month, only receiving between 15 to 40mm of rain. During October, rainfall gradually increases again, sometimes reaching 143mm by the end of the month. Any rain during Bali’s dry season is unlikely to ruin your planned outdoor activities as it is light and infrequent. Carrying a small umbrella or lightweight waterproof jacket will ensure you stay dry.

 

What is the Humidity during Bali’s Dry Season?

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Humidity levels are at their lowest during Bali’s dry season. Between May and October, the humidity typically ranges between 75% to 80%. The continuous dry season, low humidity, little rain, sunny days, and cool sea breezes make all activities extraordinarily comfortable and enjoyable. August is the driest and coolest month, averaging three days of rain, temperatures between 20-29°C and 75% humidity. By the end of October, humidity rises again as the temperatures increase and rainfall is more prevalent, leading into Bali’s wet season months. Even though humidity is at its lowest during Bali’s dry season, wherever you venture, you should always carry plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

 

What is the Temperature during Bali’s Dry Season?

The temperature during Bali’s dry season (May-October) is warm and tropical, consistently ranging between 20-31°C. This temperature range is slightly lower compared to the dry season, making these months the most popular to visit Bali. August is Bali's driest and coolest month, with temperatures between 20-29°C. Inland and in mountainous regions, such as Ubud and Bedugul, temperatures are usually slightly cooler than on the coast by a degree or two due to their elevation. The odd rain shower can also cause temperatures to drop quickly, making the air instantly icy momentarily.

 

What to Wear during the Dry Season in Bali?

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Situated close to the equator, Bali is a tropical island, and although its dry season is enjoyable with sunny, low-humidity days, it is often warmer than most visitors are used to. It’s essential to dress comfortably and appropriately for the tropical climate and respectfully for Bali’s religion and culture (primarily Hindu). Loose-fitting, lightweight, breathable clothing like cotton and linen is best during Bali's dry season. Modestly designed tops, sundresses, short-sleeved shirts, shorts and long pants are usually suitable for most occasions. When visiting a temple, carrying a sarong or scarf to cover your shoulders and knees is a good idea.

As evenings are cooler during the dry season, it’s worth taking a wrap or light jacket with you, especially for dining outdoors. Although little rain is expected, packing a small umbrella or light rain jacket is advisable. Swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, a cover-up, and sun protection are essential to fully enjoy those delightful sunny days at the beach or under a refreshing waterfall. Comfortable and breathable footwear, like sandals, flip-flops, and lightweight walking shoes, are suitable for exploring the island. Good hiking shoes are essential if you plan on trekking and hiking.

 

What are Prices like during Bali’s Dry Season?

Prices during Bali’s dry season are at a premium, with accommodation and tours between 30-70% more expensive in some cases due to higher demand. The peak months during Bali’s dry season are June, July and August when it’s school holidays and winter in Australia and New Zealand. Preplanning and booking early is advisable to secure the best deals and rates for airfares, accommodation and tours during Bali’s dry season.

Alternatively, look out for accommodation and tour businesses offering discounts (often between 30-50% off) during the shoulder months of May and September/October and outside of school holidays, when traveller numbers are lower, but the dry season weather is still delightful. 

Bali Travel Tip: Airfare prices are lowest when purchased at least four weeks before departure, and on average, morning departures are 15-20% more expensive than evening flights.