Most of the women that join us on a Bali yoga retreat come on their own. For many of these women, it is often their first time venturing off on a solo adventure. This is incredibly exciting, but can also be a little nerve-wracking! Luckily, Bali is one of the best places to visit as a solo female traveller and everything is set up to ensure a smooth and simple transition. Bali has been a popular tourist destination for many years, and therefore, all the systems are already in place to welcome guests from all over the world to this very special island.
When our lovely female guests are booking their Bali yoga retreat, similar questions arise revolving around the nuances of travel- what to bring, when to come, what are the visa requirements and so forth. In this article, we will cover all these topics and more to help make your journey as stress-free and enjoyable and possible. Bali is a land of smiles and beauty and it captivates you from the moment that you land. So many of our guests return again and again as it is such a safe, welcoming and stunning place to visit for anyone, and especially as a solo female traveller.
If you haven’t read part one of our Solo Women’s Guide to Bali, you can find it here.
When is the best time to visit Bali?
Being close to the equator, Bali offers a beautiful climate all year round, making it a wonderful location to visit any time of the year. Bali does have two distinct seasons- dry season and green season. The dry season runs from around May to September, and the green season runs from around October to April. The dry season is often a little warmer, and green season offers a beautiful refreshing shower each day that keeps the land and gardens lush and vibrant. No matter what time of the year you visit, expect warm weather and plenty of time to enjoy all that Bali has to offer. Many guests love visiting during the greener months as the island is quieter, it has a beautiful relaxed atmosphere, it is a little cooler, and there is more excuse for an extra massage or two if a shower comes!
Do I need a visa?
Most of our guests to Bali do not require a visa. 140 countries are offered a visa exemption in Bali, meaning if you are a citizen of these countries, you can enter Bali for 30 days without having to worry about obtaining a visa at all. You can view the list of 40 countries here. If your country is not one of these 140 countries, then you need to apply for a Visa with an Indonesian Embassy or consulate from outside of Indonesia- it is easy to do this from your own home country before you leave. If you wish to stay longer that 30 days in Bali then you can get a Visa on Arrival (VOA) when you land in Bali at the airport. This allows you to stay for 60 days in Bali. The Visa on Arrival costs $35 USD. Keep in mind you do need to visit the embassy after 30 days, in order to extend the visa for another 30 days, allowing you 60 days in total. Visa agents can assist with this process to make it quicker, but do make sure you choose reputable visa agent.
What is transportation like?
Getting around Bali is easy and the island is very well set up to cater to tourists. Upon arrival at the international airport, there are many taxi drivers in the arrivals lounge that are ready to take visitors to their hotels or destinations. Many hotels will also offer an airport pick up and the driver will wait in the arrivals lounge with your name on a sign. At Escape Haven, we collect every single guest in our private air-conditioned cars and transport you directly from the airport to our beautiful Bali retreat sanctuary in Canggu, which is around an hours drive from Denpasar airport.
Taxis are the easiest way to get around the island, you can order these, or you can organise one through your hotel or tourist operator. Many people will rent a scooter when they are in Bali- these are very common, very affordable and make getting around quick, easy and fun! Make sure you always wear a helmet when on a scooter and you will need a drivers license. At Escape Haven, we have dedicated drivers to whisk you around, as well as our gorgeous yellow golf buggy which is perfect to drop off and collect guests from around Canggu. We can help organise a scooter if you would like to rent one, or we have bicycles for all guests to use anytime whilst on retreat in Bali. Cycling is a wonderful way to see and experience Canggu, and everything is within easy cycling distance from the retreat including shops, cafes, beaches and more.
What should I bring with me?
Travelling to a new location for the first time means it is easy to overpack! Chances are once you arrive in Bali, especially on retreat, you will spend most of your time in swimmers, a sarong and your flip flops! With the weather typically the same temperature all year round, that makes it a little easier to pack- aim for light weight clothing that can breathe, some yoga/fitness gear, flip flops and running or walking shoes, a hat, several pairs of swimmers, and perhaps some nice casual dresses to go out in the evenings in. Make sure you bring sun protection, any chargers and devices you need (ipad or kindle), and of course your important belongings such as passport and bank cards. Don’t forget toiletries you need and anything else you love to travel with to be comfortable. Rest assured that you can find pretty much everything you need in Canggu- so don’t fret if you forget anything! There are plenty of clothing stores, pharmacies, and general stores that will have everything you need.
Do I need to worry about mosquitos?
Bali does have the odd mosquito here or there, at Escape Haven, we do fog the grounds to keep the levels of mosquitos low, or even non existent. The most common times for the mosquitos to appear are dawn and dusk, so it’s best to either cover up in loose fitting clothing, or use a mosquito spray. On our Bali yoga retreat we do also burn mosquito coils and all the beds have beautiful mosquito nets to ensure a peaceful slumber! If you find yourself particularly susceptible to mosquitos then do bring along a spray to keep you comfortable and protected, we also have spray in the yoga shala and in the main dining hall for guests to use.
What is the shopping like?
A great question many of our female guests inquire about! Bali is renowned for its excellent shopping. Canggu in particular has really grown with a huge variety of well-known boutique stores that previously have only been found in the popular shopping areas of Seminyak. Whatever you are looking for, Bali will have it! Canggu and Seminyak are both wonderful places to shop for clothing, homewares, nic-nacks, jewelry and anything else your heart desires! Canggu is also a very funky and eclectic with amazing artisan and unique items to explore or purchase. Boutique fashion stores can be found alongside casual beachside markets, offering a variety for everyone and every taste.
What is Bali’s religion?
Bali is a Hindu country, it is in fact the only Hindu country in Indonesia. Bali and Nepal are the only places outside India, where Hinduism dominates. The basic tenet of Balinese religion is the belief that the island is owned by the supreme god and has been handed down to the people in sacred trust. Thus the Balinese devote many hours to beautiful offerings and temple ceremonies to please their Gods. They celebrate many festivals and celebrations and have many deities that they worship. Beautiful Balinese temples are found everywhere in Bali. They are places for communicating with spirits through offerings and prayers. Religion is woven into every aspect of daily life and the Balinese make offerings multiple times every day. Typically rice, flowers and sweets are placed on a banana or palm leaf and are left on the ground. The Balinese religion and ways of life are very special to witness and the beauty of the daily offerings, the incense, the flowers and the prayers are one of the things that make the island so beautiful and lovingly referred to as ‘The Island of the Gods.’
What are the Balinese people like?
In one word, delightful. The Balinese are good, kind and gentle people and they are always eager to please. On our Bali yoga retreat we adore our Balinese team that have come to feel like family. Balinese people will always greet you with a smile and be happy to help you out – whether that means giving you directions, helping you with your luggage, learning about their culture, or simply serving you food or drink. They are trustworthy people and care deeply about family and community. The Balinese people really do make Bali such a wonderful place to visit, and an easy and safe place for female solo travelers.
Is Bali a safe place for female travelers?
Bali is an incredibly safe and popular destination for female solo travelers. The country is well set up for tourists and the Balinese people are respectful, helpful and attentive. Traveling solo as a woman in Bali is easy and safe. Of course, it is always best when travelling alone anywhere to keep your wits about you! Travel with reputable drivers, book accommodation that has had good reviews, avoid walking alone at night in unpopulated areas and be respectful of the country’s people, culture and customs. If visiting temples women are often required to wear skirts or dresses below the knee, or have a sarong that can be draped around bare shoulders. All in all, Bali is a fun, safe and popular place for women to explore on their own.
Is it easy to get money out?
There are many ATM machines around the populated areas of Bali. It is easy to get cash out at any of these ATMs, do note, you may be charged a fee for withdrawals by your local bank so it is best to check with your bank before leaving for the best way to make purchases and withdrawals as each bank is different. If you are changing money, it is always best to do so at the airport or with a reputable money exchanger. Many places in Bali will also accept cards if you wish to avoid using cash. Again, it is best to check with your bank regarding fees for card purchases. At Escape Haven, we can always help you to change money or direct you to a safe place to get cash out when necessary. Once on retreat, you won’t really need cash until the last day to settle any bill for additional drinks or appointments. These can also be settled over paypal to make things easy.
Can I make phone calls?
If you wish to make calls in Bali you will need to purchase a Bali sim card for your phone. These are very cheap and can be purchased in various general stores. Credit is also very cheap although you will have to check with the service provider for international call rates. Whatsapp is a great way to make calls overseas for free and all you need is to download the app and be connected to wifi to make calls anywhere in the world.
Will I have internet connection?
Wifi is very common and accessible in Bali, especially in Canggu. Most cafes and all hotels will offer free wifi connection for guests. At Escape Haven we also have unlimited wifi for all guests on retreat. The Wifi generally has a good connection. Canggu also has several wonderful co-working places (a great one close to retreat is Dojo) and these co-working spaces offer the best high speed wifi as well as private Skype booths if you need to do any business whilst on holiday! If you plan to stay longer in Bali, these co-working places can be a great way to meet and network with other locals and travelers in the area.
What is the food like?
Bali is a mecca of wonderful food and flavours. It is easy to find a wide and diverse range of international cuisine, as well as plenty of traditional Balinese food options. Bali, and Canggu in particular, have an enormous range of healthy cafes serving up endless vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and paleo options. Choose from vibrant salads, colourful smoothie bowls, and fresh takes on classic Indonesian and Western favourites. Whilst the Balinese food is fantastic, Canggu also offer excellent Mexican, Japanese, Italian and Greek to name a few. Most cafes will also deliver meals to your hotel if you wish to stay in. On your Bali retreat at Escape Haven, all delicious gourmet meals are included except for two dinners out where you are welcome and encouraged to try the incredible local restaurants. Meals on retreat are a mix of tasty healthy dishes and flavoursome Balinese cuisine- you certainly will not go hungry!
Well, are you ready to book your flights?!
Bali is a wonderful country for female travelers and we love welcoming many solo women every year on retreat. At Escape Haven, we do go the extra mile to ensure you are well cared for from the moment you arrive, to the moment you depart. We can help you to plan onward travel if you intend to stay in Bali longer than the duration of your retreat, and have an expert team on hand to assist you with anything that you may need. In your lead up to retreat, we also provide you with all the information you need for your trip, and our ‘Bali Bibles’ that are in each guests room are filled with information, tips and insider know-how to ensure your Bali retreat and time overseas is perfect, rewarding and enjoyable in every way. Visit our dates and rates page or contact us to book your perfect solo Bali getaway with us at Escape Haven.
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award winning Bali luxury retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness retreat Bali classes and restorative healing retreat Bali sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.
Looking for a more affordable and flexible women’s retreat Bali? Check out our other Bali yoga retreat. Here you can enjoy the offerings of any Bali luxury retreat, but with more flexibility and less inclusions. Read more here.