Planning a December getaway to Bali? You’re likely wondering what kind of weather to expect during your tropical retreat. One of the questions we get most here at Bali Tips–and from friends and family considering visits!–is about December weather in Bali. That’s no surprise, with the holiday season and the cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
We’ll give you an answer tailored to you and your visit in this article.
First, yes, December is a wet season month in Bali. But Bali’s December climate might surprise you—it’s a mix of warm days and occasional rain. But don’t let that dampen your spirits! I’ll dive into what this means for your holiday activities and how to make the most of Bali’s unique December weather.
If you’re considering a December visit to Bali and you’re concerned about the weather first check to see if there’s an ongoing El Niño or El Niño condition. It’ll probably be the best indicator if there is, it’ll probably be the best indicator of what the weather will be like.
If there is not, and it’s a fairly normal year, you can expect the rains to get going in September or October in the beach areas, starting mostly at night. This pattern will go through to roughly March or April. And again in a normal year from April through into September, there will be very little precipitation in the beach areas and areas at low elevation In Bali.
Please understand also that even if it is a normal year and it is raining in December, the normal pattern In Bali is rain for an hour or three, and then it often stops and can be hours of bright sunshine for the rest of the day. The exception to this would be when a big storm that comes in that keeps it raining hard for three or four days on end. Those days can get pretty wet and monotonous, and cause trouble transportation problems if you’re still trying to get out and about.
Anyway, here are some insights on temperatures, rainfall, and insider tips for enjoying Bali’s natural beauty during this festive month. Whether it’s your first visit or your tenth, knowing what to pack and what to expect can make all the difference in your holiday experience.
Average Temperatures in Bali During December
Venturing to Bali in December means embracing a tropical holiday experience, with the weather being a warm embrace. During the day, temperatures hover around a comfortable 27°C (80°F), rarely dropping below 23°C (73°F) at night. High humidity levels characterize the month, so you can expect a balmy feel in the air.
I’ve charted the average high and low temperatures during December to help you get a better picture:
With relatively stable temperatures, as I say it’s the fluctuations in rainfall that primarily distinguishes Bali days and nights in December. The island’s coastal regions tend to be warmer, so if you’re by the beach, you’ll enjoy slightly higher temperatures.
When planning your activities, it’s wise to consider the midday sun’s intensity. It’s usually the hottest part of the day, ideal for those who appreciate the warmth. However, for others who are more heat-sensitive, I’d recommend scheduling any strenuous activities either in the early morning or later in the afternoon when it’s cooler.
As you prepare for your trip, packing should be strategic. Lightweight, breathable clothing is a must to stay comfortable, and a hat and sunglasses are your best friends against the tropical sun. Evenings might require a light sweater or shawl, especially if you’re venturing out to the higher, inland areas where the temperature can feel noticeably cooler.
Staying hydrated in December’s warm weather cannot be overstressed. Include a reusable water bottle in your daypack to keep you replenished during your explorations. And don’t forget, Bali’s sun is deceptive – sunscreen is your shield against what could otherwise be a painful reminder of your holiday in the tropics.
Rainfall in Bali During December
When planning a trip to Bali in December, it’s essential to consider the rainfall patterns. Bali experiences its wet season from October to March, with December being one of the wettest months. Rainfall can be quite heavy, but it often comes in short, intense bursts followed by clear skies and sunshine.
During this time, the island sees an average of 15 days of rain, translating into significant precipitation over the course of the month. However, the rain doesn’t necessarily mean your holiday plans will be washed away. I’ve found it’s still possible to do whatever activities you prefer to do, even go to the beach, as these showers are typically brief and can even be refreshing. It’s just a matter of timing and a little luck with the weather.
Here’s some data on the average rainfall in Bali during December:
|Average Rainfall in December (mm)
Given this, I always advise travelers to be prepared for wet weather. Packing waterproof gear is a smart move – think raincoats, waterproof bags for your electronics, and sturdy umbrellas. Ponchos are easily available and quite cheap in local shops, so you can also pick one up upon arrival.
With the right attitude, there’s actually an upside to the rainy season: for those who love the lush, green landscape of Bali, December’s rains bring out the best in the island’s flora. The rice fields are at their greenest, and waterfalls run full and strong – ideal conditions for photographers looking to capture Bali’s natural beauty. Just remember that trekking paths may be more slippery, and rivers can swell, so always exercise caution and consider hiring a local guide for the best experience.
Overall, while the wet season does pose some challenges, it also presents unique opportunities to see a different side of Bali. When planning your daily itinerary, keep an eye on the weather forecast and be flexible with your plans. Mornings are usually the best time to venture out before the rain typically starts in the afternoon. And who knows, you may just find that Bali’s tropical downpours add to the adventure of your trip, creating moments that are as memorable as they are Instagram-worthy.
Activities to Enjoy in Bali in December
Despite the rain, Bali still offers a multitude of activities that can be enjoyed during the wetter month of December. Indoor attractions like the vibrant Ubud Monkey Forest with its enchanting temples or the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) make for perfect escapes when the rain begins to pour. Days with less rain provide the perfect opportunity to explore Bali’s numerous art galleries and craft studios.
For outdoor adventure, you might want to consider scuba diving or snorkeling. The waters are at their warmest in December, teeming with marine life that’s colorful and abundant. Bali’s northeast coast, around the area of Amed or the famous USAT Liberty wreck at Tulamben, offers underwater sights that are less affected by the season’s rains. It has to be said that during stormy weather, obviously visibility will tend to be compromised for divers.
Yoga retreats are quite popular in Bali and December’s cooler mornings are ideal for a rejuvenating session. Many resorts in Ubud and Seminyak offer beautiful settings for yoga enthusiasts. For a more deep-seated cultural experience, don’t miss out on Balinese cooking classes that are often followed by a communal meal—a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Excitingly, Bali’s rafting tours generally run all year round, and the rainy season often means more thrilling rapids. The Ayung River and the Telaga Waja River are two of the best spots where you can experience the lush landscapes and the thrill of white-water rafting simultaneously. Always check with tour operators regarding safety and the best times to go.
Lastly, shopping is an activity that can be done rain or shine. Local markets like the ones in Seminyak or Kuta offer a vast array of handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. While you’re at it, explore the culinary delights at cafes and restaurants that showcase both international and traditional Balinese cuisine. Remember, the in-between rains are perfect for enjoying Bali’s beaches—frequent breaks in weather allow for sunbathing, casual beach walks, and the occasional quick dip in the ocean.
What to Pack for Bali in December
Packing for a December getaway to Bali means preparing for both sun and rain. During this time, it’s important to pack versatile clothing that can handle the island’s tropical climate. Lightweight and breathable fabrics are my go-to choices, ensuring comfort during the humid days. As Bali typically experiences short bouts of heavy rainfall, don’t forget to include a waterproof jacket or poncho.
I always make sure to pack the following items:
- Quick-dry clothing: Ideal for unpredictable weather.
- A sturdy umbrella: A compact and durable umbrella will be your best friend during sudden downpours.
- Water-resistant shoes: Comfort is key when walking wet streets or trekking on muddy paths.
- Sun protection: Including a high SPF sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
In addition to clothing, there are a few other essentials that should make it into your suitcase or backpack:
- Insect repellent: With the rain comes the mosquitoes, so protection against bites is crucial.
- Rehydration salts: These are a savior if you’re not used to the humid climate and find yourself needing to replenish electrolytes.
- Waterproof bags: Keep your electronics and important documents safe from water damage.
- Swimwear: Despite the rain, you’ll still find plenty of opportunities to enjoy Bali’s beautiful waters.
While Bali’s beaches are alluring, remember that evenings can bring a slight chill in December, especially after storms or in higher elevations. A lightweight sweater or long-sleeve shirt will provide that extra layer of warmth when needed. Dressing in layers is the secret to handling the varying temperatures throughout the day with ease.
Ultimately, the key to packing for Bali in December is focusing on adaptable clothes and accessories that can handle both the rain and shine. With the right items in your luggage, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy everything Bali has to offer during this lush and vibrant season.
Insider Tips for Enjoying Bali in December
Bali’s unique charm in December is undeniable. I’ve learned in my 20 years here that this month, though wet, is brimming with the same wide range of activities and lush scenery we love about Bali. To truly relish in Bali’s offerings during this time, smart planning is key.
Planning outdoor activities in the morning usually will leave you with a drier experience. Bali’s morning allure is not to be missed, with fewer tourists and a refreshingly cool atmosphere. Besakih Temple, the largest and holiest temple in Bali, feels particularly serene during the early hours, allowing for a more personal and tranquil visit.
Another aspect often overlooked is the vibrant life beneath the waves. Despite the rain, December can still be a good month for scuba diving and snorkeling, as I say. Menjangan Island, a part of the Bali Barat National Park, offers some of the best visibility and marine life. Expect to encounter schools of colorful fish and intricate coral gardens.
For culture enthusiasts, December is a vibrant time full of local celebrations and ceremonies; it’s advantageous for those looking to immerse themselves in Bali’s traditions. Be respectful when attending these events, dress modestly, and always ask before taking photographs.
Foodies will delight in Bali’s cuisine this month as well. The cooler weather calls for savoring Bali’s rich, spicy foods like Bebek Betutu, a slow-cooked duck dish that’s both aromatic and tender. Warungs, or local eateries, serve up these traditional dishes at a fraction of the restaurant prices, ensuring not just a feast for your tastebuds but a glimpse into the daily life of the Balinese.
Keep an eye out for local markets too. I find that they have the most unique hand-crafted souvenirs and gifts; a perfect opportunity to pick up something special while supporting local artisans. The markets can be colorful and chaotic, but that’s where the fun is, negotiating a good deal and enjoying the buzz of local trade.
Armed with the right gear and insights, you’re now set to embrace Bali’s December weather. Remember to dress smartly for the humidity and showers, and don’t let the rain dampen your adventurous spirit. Early mornings are your best bet for outdoor excursions, while the evenings invite you to experience the island’s vibrant culture. Whether you’re diving into the marine life or indulging in the local festivities, Bali in December is a treasure trove of experiences. Pack accordingly, stay connected, and immerse yourself in the beauty that Bali has to offer. Your tropical holiday awaits!