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Beach hopping

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If beaches are the main thing drawing you to Bali, consider spending a mix of your time on the mainland and on the nearby island of Nusa Lembongan, which offers better swimming conditions than the main island. Popular beach destinations on Bali include Sanur and Nusa Dua on the southeastern part of the island and Kuta and Seminyak on the western shores. All four destinations are relatively convenient if you want to stay in one place and do day trips. Kuta, in particular, offers a high concentration of budget-friendly bars and restaurants and is a good place to stay if you want to party. If you want something a bit quieter and more bohemian, Canggu is a great choice. Popular with aspiring surfers and digital nomads, this small community is a bit further up the coast from Kuta (about half an hour without traffic) and has a ton of fun places to stay and eat on the cheap.

While it might make sense to just stick to one beach town and then take day trips, you could also consider a few days on the west coast, followed by a few days on the east coast. End your trip in Nusa Lembongan (easily accessible by speedboat from Sanur). If you've got time left over, you may want to consider also checking out the Gilli Islands, which are popular for short trips from Bali, but are technically under the administration of neighboring Lombok).

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