Stretching just 100 miles at its widest point, Bali is a compact island with a well developed transport infrastructure for Indonesian standards. The road network has improved no end in recent years, however congestion and erratic driving standards are part and parcel of daily life.
Driving on Bali roads
The most developed region is in the south which houses the busiest tourist resorts and the most comprehensive public transport network. Elsewhere is much quieter where traffic jams are a rarity and finding a parking space is relatively simple.
There is some rather eccentric town planning in operation in areas such as Kuta and Ubud where first time visitors are often bewildered by its one way systems. To compound matters further many major roads have undergone several name changes in recent years and street numbering is confusing.
Bali’s main cross island highways are well maintained and wide enough to avoid the worst congestion and pretty much anywhere can be reached within a three hour drive. During the rainy season, the high altitude Kintamani region and the winding coastal roads south of Amed should be avoided due to flooding and low visibility.
Motorcycle and car hire is available pretty much everywhere from the local corner shop who may rent out the family car for tourists to highly professional multinational rental companies. Due to stiff competition, prices in places like Ubud, Sanur and Kuta are very good value and there is plenty of choice. Off-road vehicles are advisable for those braving the dirt inland tracks of the mountainside, especially in the wet season.