Bali can be an excellent destination for people who like to be active with waters sports, land sports, traditional sports, and air sports to choose from. Engaging in these activities can allow visitors to experience a different side of the island, and it can also be a wonderful way to socialize. Bali has a particularly good reputation when it comes to water sports such as surfing, kite surfing, and scuba diving. If visitors are looking for something truly unique, they can try one of the island’s traditional sports.
Traditional Sports of Bali
There are a number of sports that are believed to have originated in Bali including:
One of the most fun games that visitors can get to experience during a trip to Bali is Tagog. This traditional game involves walking on stilts made from bamboo. It is a sport that has been traditionally played by children, and it takes a great deal of skill to remain upright on the stilts. The winner is the competitor who is able to stay up on the stilts the longest.
Mepantigan is a martial art that originates on the island of Bali. It is a type of wrestling that uses techniques for throwing and locking the limbs of the opponent. Mepantigan is usually performed in the mud with combatants wearing a sarong. Demonstrations and competitions are accompanied by gamelan music, and one of the things that makes this art so unique is that it combines music, self-defense, and drama. Visitors to Bali can learn the basics of this fighting art by attending classes at Mepantigan Arena in Batubulan.
Water Sports in Bali
Bali is surrounded by water, so it is no real surprise to find that there are many popular sports that make use of the sea. There are also a number of rivers on the island where adventure activities can be enjoyed. Some of the most popular water sports in Bali would include:
Surfing in Bali
Bali is considered to be a bit of a surfer’s paradise. This is a sport that can be enjoyed all year round, and there are waves suitable for complete beginners as well as experienced surfers. Some of the best surf can be found in locations such as:
- Padang Padang
- Kuta Reef
- Medewi Beach
- Bingin Beach
- Balangan Beach
There are many surf shops and schools on the island, so this really is a great place to enjoy the sport.
Kitesurfing in Bali
Kitesurfing is an adrenalin-filled sport that combines surfing with paragliding – and also a bit of gymnastics. The kite pulls the surfer along at high speeds, and they get to perform tricks such as jumping up high into the air or riding waves. In order to learn the skills to manage the kite and board, it is necessary to get some instruction. Bali Kitesurfing School in Sanur is just one of the places on the island where people can go for instruction – a basic lesson costs IDR 900,000 (as of mid-2013). It costs about 350,000 IDR to rent a kitesurfing set for one hour.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Bali
Bali is an excellent location for both scuba diving and snorkeling. There are many dive shops on the island, and these can arrange lessons and tours. This can be a good location to do the PADI Open Water Course which will provide people with the basic tools they need to scuba dive. Some of the most interesting things to see underwater can be found at:
Kayaking in Bali
One of the nice things about kayaking is that it can mean that visitors get to experience natural wonders that it would otherwise be hard to reach – it’s also great exercise. There are a number of locations on Bali where kayaking is an option. If people are looking for some challenging rapid, they can try kayaking down the Ayung River. A more laid back option might be to go kayaking on Lake Tamblingan. Sea kayaking tours are available at Padawa Beach.
White Water Rafting in Bali
There are three rivers in Bali where it is possible to go white water rafting; Melanggit River, Telaga Waja River, and Ayung River. These river adventures pass through some of the most beautiful landscape on the island, and they are sure to provide an unforgettable experience. There are a number of companies that can provide this type of tour including Sobek
Water Skiing in Bali
Water skiing is challenging as well as very invigorating. It is fairly easy to pick up the basics of this sport, but it does require some upper body strength to get the most out of the experience. Water skiing can be arranged from a number of places on the island including Kuta Beach and Sanur Beach. It costs around US$25 for fifteen minutes of water skiing – this is usually plenty of time for beginners.
Other popular water sports in Bali would include:
- Swimming is something that visitors can enjoy at most beaches on the island.
- Jet skiing is available at all of the more popular beaches.
- Sailing is an option in a number of locations including Jimbaran.
Other Sports in Bali
Visitors to Bali can also enjoy plenty of other sports that do not involve the water such as:
- Paragliding is a sport that allows visitors to explore Bali from above. Exo Fly is located close to Timbis Beach, and this school can provide instruction as well as organizing paragliding tours.
- There are a number of golf courses on Bali including Nirwana Bali Golf Club and Handara Kosaido Country Club.
- Mountain biking trips can be arranged by a number of tour operators on the island including Infinity Mountain Biking.
- Running is a reasonably popular sport on the island, and there are some good routes to choose from. There is also the Bali Marathon which takes place every year.
- Hiking is another activity that visitors to Bali can enjoy, and this is a good way to explore the rural areas. Bali Hiking offers a number of tours including hikes at Mount Batur, Mount Agung, and Caldera Batur.
- There are many tennis courts on the island. The Canggu Club Tennis Center can provide tennis coaching and hitting partners.