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Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

Sydney, Australia
8 posts
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Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

Hi guys,

Going to Bali with the family on the end of November for 8 days. One thing we still haven't done is organise the activities. We have in mind stuff like the bicycle tour, white water rafting, sightseeing (monkey temple, other temples etc.).

Now, we have the option of booking some of the tours/activities through our travel agent, but I'm guessing it will come with an inflated price.

Another option is we can try and book these activities ourselves online (through each individual company's website).

Or, we can book them when we arrive at Bali. However, I am unsure if by leaving it that late, that they would be booked out, and might have to wait 2-3 days until there is an opening? Seeing as we are only there for 8 days, I would hate to waste 2-3 days.

So what do you guys normally do in terms of booking tours/activities?

Any suggestion/help would be appreciated.


Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Legian
Level Contributor
5,753 posts
144 reviews
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1. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

Hi Dan i would book through their website as you have a secure booking and also would be paying less than through a travel agent.

Activities like Waterbom,Monkey Forest and Safari Park can be purchased at the gate on the day.

As far as the Bicycle tour i am not sure what others do.

White water rafting can be purchased off one of the tour vendors off the street .

Have a great trip.

Sydney, Australia
8 posts
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2. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

Thanks for that.

The best option is to book from off the street vendors because we can haggle the price down. But for activities such as white water rafting, is there a chance that it would be booked out/full, and we would have to wait 2-3 days?

I guess I might just have to play it safe and book online.

Level Contributor
433 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

I should definitely wait until you get there and book using the kiosks.

There are only two reasons for booking your activities from Australia:

1. you want to pay too much, or

2. you want to do something very popular but with limited access like Bali Dolphins and/or you are travelling in peak season.

You should definitely be able to get onto a rafting/biking or other similar excursion. In fact, for those types of activities with multiple providers and at that time of year I would be surprised if you even needed to be flexible in your timing.

I went in November last year. We had our schedule of activities all worked out in advance and had no problems at all.

Level Contributor
44 posts
92 reviews
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4. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

Hi Dan

I suggest you to book when you arrive.the only one thats always full booked is Dolphin

The others like rafting,tubing,canyoning,cycling,cabrio trip,nusa lembongan trip,elephant safari or climbing mount batur always available.

In which hotel are you staying?

Bali, Indonesia
Destination Expert
for Ubud, Pemuteran, Yogyakarta
Level Contributor
10,304 posts
104 reviews
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5. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

There are many rafting providers and when more people book they just throw another rubber raft in the water. Same with bicycles, etc etc...No problems..book when you get here...

And November is in the slow season anyway.. Plus booking after you arrive gives you more flexibility to say...oh tomorrow I just want a massage.......

Geraldton, Australia
1 post
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6. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

I have just recently returned from my first trip to Bali.

Our hotel had a tour booking lady and she had a heap of pamphlets for you to choose from. We did the Bali Hai dinner cruise and also the Night Zoo tour using the hotel booking lady. Everything was organised by her, hotel pickup by the tour provider, payment etc. All went very smoothly.

I also booked online the Bali Eco-Cycling tour ... All questions were promptly answered by email and again, hotel pickup was organised as well. Payment was made at the end of the tour. I did this whilst I was in Bali.

Might be an idea to do it whilst you are in Bali, especially as there maybe a ceremony/holiday that you are unaware of (Galungal fell when we were there and for 3 days a lot of businesses didn't operate).

Ubud, Indonesia
Level Contributor
59 posts
101 reviews
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7. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

We spent a couple of hours on arrival to organise activities and did so easily with no problem. One highlight was "Bali on Bike" www.balionbike.com. This was one of the best days we spent in Bali, suitable for all ages and is pretty much all downhill. you can read my full post on here:


Jakarta, Indonesia
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49 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

for my recomend better you booking tour or activity after arrive in bali,you will got more discount,and seem service

Sydney, Australia
8 posts
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9. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

Thanks for your help guys!

very helpful..seems like booking at a kiosk when we arrive would be the best way to go.

Is there a guide/blog on prices? Are the prices offered at the kiosk reasonable..or should we aim to haggle 10% off / or even 20% off?

We are staying at the Pelangi Bali Hotel in Seminyak...I assume there will be kiosks near the area?

Perth, Australia
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374 posts
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10. Re: Booking activities in advance, or on arrival?

There are so many street vendors that do Bali tours that it will drive you insane.... Dont use the hotel one as the price will be more.