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Instagram Bali. The best If you’re into insta tourism, then you will LOVE Bali!

Bali is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It just is. Blue skies, white sands, rice paddy fields, temples, mountains, perfect sunsets – it’s breathtaking! And it’s oh so perfect for the ‘grammable’ pics!

I first visited Bali back in 2012, before Instagram even existed, I thought it was beautiful and I took plenty of photos on my old, low quality compact camera. When I returned in 2020, however, the island had been transformed!

Everywhere I went there were swings, cocoons and nests for tourists to pose inside and a range of businesses promoting ‘Insta tourism’. There were also so many stunning pool villas that would surely get a top spot on ‘the grid’. than I was intrigued by the way that this destination had changed- how can a social media app have SUCH an effect on a destination?

Instagram Bali

Instagram Bali- What is it?

Insta tourism, also referred to as Instagram tourism, is a new form of tourism that has emerged in response to the use of the social media platform, Instagram. 

Over one billion people use Instagram every month, sharing images from all over the world with their followers. Whilst some Instagram users are sharing content predominantly with their friends and family, others are paid ‘Influencers’ with thousands of loyal followers. 

Users are often inspired by photographs that they are exposed to through the social network, which has seen a rise in tourism to places that have been featured in said images, particularly those that are shared by large-scale Influencers. Bali is an example of such a destination.

There are more than 60 million photos that have been shared in Instagram with the associated hashtag #bali. Other popular hashtags include:

  • #baliindonesia – 2.9 million
  • #balilife – 3 million
  • #baliisland – 990k
  • #balidaily – 1.2 million
  • #balilocal – 191k
  • #balitrip – 1 million
  • #balieats – 199k
  • #baliwedding – 962k

Figures correct as of June 2020.

So what is ‘Instagram Bali’? Well, put simply, it is the places that people are flocking to to take the perfect Instagram shot!

Instagram Bali: Where to take the best photos

There are sop many wonderful places in Bali to travel to. Personally, I wouldn’t travel to a destination just to take a photo… but photos are certainly something that I take a lot of when I arrive!

The best Instagram spots are scattered throughout the island and also on some of the neighbouring islands. This means that you have to be pretty dedicated to make it to them all! Some require a long drive and other have long queues, but if you want the perfect Instagram shot then this is what you will have to endure!

See some of these places and more in this video!

I was surprised to learn that there are several tour companies offering ‘Instagram tours’. Well, if the market is there then I think that it’s a great idea for entrepreneurs to capitalise on this! And actually, the tours are pretty great for tourists too- some of these spots are difficult to find and hard to reach- tours take the stress out of it for the tourists!

Beware- many of the top Instagram Bali spots suffer from overtourism. It is often better to try to arrive early or late in the day to avoid the crowds.

We visited several of the Instagram Bali spots during our trip to the island. Here are the best spots to visit and why-

#1 The ‘Love Bali’ sign – one of the best Bali Instagram spots

A colourful sign, with a swing, set among a backdrop of beautiful rice terraces? You can’t visit Ubud in Bali without getting a photo here – it makes for such a funky pop of colour on your Instagram feed! Pose on the swing alone or with your friend/partner, and you’ll get such cute shots.

It costs 5,000 IDR (0.25 GBP) to take a photo here. So worth it!

#2 The Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud are a must-see! The aforementioned Love Bali sign is located within some stunning rice terraces. If you go at sunrise you will be treated to such gorgeous light filtering through the palm trees, and this is one of the best Bali Instagram spots for couples wanting to take some romantic shots…

There are different entrances, and entrance “fees” are never more than 10,000 IDR – though most will just ask for a donation. You can also haggle for a lower price.

TOP TIP: tourist buses get to the rice terraces from around 10am, so definitely head here early in the morning if possible. The area is just a 20 minute drive from Ubud itself. With two of the best Bali Instagram spots in one location, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t go.

Once you are done taking your photos, this is also a really nice place to go for a walk. Although note that it can get a bit muddy if it has recently rained.

#3 Pura Lempuyang Temple

Otherwise known as Bali’s gateway to heaven, this famous temple is one of the oldest and most scared on the island. Split in two, you’ll get such cool photographs standing in the middle of it with clouds and mountains in the background.

Play around with your poses here! It’s a really fun photo location, and definitely one of the best Bali Instagram spots – it’s instantly recognisable too.

Pura Lempuyang Temple is actually an excellent example of Insta tourism and how this can have negative impacts. People flock to the temple from all over Bali and the average waiting time to take a photograph is around three hours.

There is a ticket system and several ‘photographers’ that will take your photos for you. They place a mirror beneath your camera to create a reflection, which creates the image of water in front of you. It’s pretty clever and who ever came up with this idea is surely rich!

#4 Mad Pops – one of the best Bali Instagram spots for vegans

Love a neon sign? Head to Mad Pops in Seminyak – white tiles, green plants and a pink neon sign saying ice ice baby. What more could you want?! The ice cream is pretty good too, and it’s vegan. So you’ll get a fantastic dessert and a gorgeous shot for your IG feed. Mad Pops is definitely a winner…

#5 The Rumah Pohon Treehouse

With leaves, mountains and water making the perfect backdrop, this treehouse in Nusa Penida is perfect if you like a lot of nature on your Instagram feed. The ladder makes for a great place to stand and get those lovely candid shots of you admiring the view. It’s just a gorgeous location!

DID YOU KNOW: while the treehouse is one of the best Bali Instagram spots, you can also stay here while on your travels! If you are just visiting to take some photos, be sure to knock and make sure it’s okay with whoever is staying there if anyone’s in at the time.

#6 The Gili T swings

If you’re heading to the Gili Islands while visiting Bali, then the Gili T swings are a must. The most famous one is at Exile restaurant on the west of the island. The swings offer such a fun photo opportunity! Some have flags and hammocks attached, and they’re definitely some of the best Bali Instagram spots.

#7 The Bali Swing Park

Gili T isn’t the only place with swings! The Bali Swing Park is in the jungle in Ubud – and there are plenty of different swings to choose from depending how high you want to go. There are also ‘nests’ and a tandem swing. You’ll be able to get some fantastic shots. To make it easier, there are tours that take you to and from the swing park – meaning you can enjoy one of the best Bali Instagram spots with ease!

#8 Pigstone Beach’s single palm tree

Pigston Beach has one of the most beautiful sunsets in Bali. And there is a spot on a hill with a lone palm tree that makes for the perfect Instagram shot if you prefer a more minimal feed. Around 12 km away from Canggu, the beach is quieter than most without taking too long to get to. There is no entrance or parking fee here.

#9 Old Man’s in Canggu

With a beer garden that overlooks the beach, funky blue tiles, brightly coloured seating and fairy lights galore, there are so many things that make Old Man’s one of the best Bali Instagram spots there is. And of course, it makes for a great place to hang out with your travel buddies and take a break from all the exploring!

#10 Bali’s abandoned plane – one of the best Bali Instagram spots for pro photographers

From the top of a hill at Bukit Peninsula, the southernmost point of Bali, you’ll have a fantastic view of an abandoned plane. Rent a scooter or hire a driver to get you to the area (around an hour away from the likes of Canggu and Ubud). It is free to see the plane! You can’t see it at ground level, as it’s fenced off – but the photographs you can take from above are beautiful nonetheless. There is a sharp drop overlooking the area where the plane is, so be careful with this one…

#11 Tegenungan Waterfall

There are so many waterfalls in Bali. Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed to have found yourself at one of the best Bali Instagram spots. Tegenungan Waterfall is no exception!

There is a 15,000 IDR entrance fee per person, and the waterfall is open from 6.30 am until 6.30 pm daily. Get there early to avoid the crowds and get some gorgeous shots that will rival any shampoo advert out there!

Bali is so beautiful. As long as you’ve got your phone and a bunch of filters or presets you’ll be the envy of all your friends when you curate an entire feed full of the best Bali Instagram spots. Just be respectful of nature, pay your entrance fees where applicable and you’re good to go.