Located centrally within the Indonesian archipelago, the island of Bali is very compact and travel between the main tourist centres is relatively quick and hassle free. There is an extensive road network in the busy south of the island and major cross island highways link north to south and east to west. Local public transport consists of small mini buses known as ‘bemos’ which serve all towns and tourist resorts.
Fares are cheap and buses are frequent during daylight hours, but travel can be time consuming and uncomfortable. You may well be sharing space onboard with all manner of fruit and vegetables and even live chickens. The island’s two major bemo hubs are in the capital Denpasar and Singaraja on the north coast and each have a number of different bus terminals.
Getting to Bali – transport guide for ferry, flights and car hire
A much more convenient option is to take advantage of the numerous daily tourist bus shuttle services which connect most of Bali’s tourist resorts such as Kuta, Sanur, Lovina and Ubud.
Fares are higher but travel time is often reduced by half and journeys are punctual and comfortable. Taxis are the next step up and can be hailed almost everywhere.
Places like Kuta and Sanur are awash with taxis and you rarely have to wait more than a few minutes before one comes into sight – even in the middle of the night. In most cases this is actually the only travel option after dark as bemos are virtually non existent after sundown.
Bali’s international airport is conveniently located in the busy south of the island just outside the resort of Kuta. It is the country’s third largest airport and handles flights to and from almost every major Asian city, Australasia and the Middle East. Bali is sandwiched between the islands of Java and Lombok and enjoys frequent ferry services to both 24 hours a day.
The access point to and from Lombok is at Padang Bai in the east but there are also some limited services leaving from Sanur and Benoa too. The bustling port of Gilimanuk is situated in the isolated northwest of Bali and is the gateway to East Java and onwards to cities such as Surabaya and Jakarta