Last Updated on
Inspired by gorgeous Instagram pics of Bali? Here’s what you need to know to get your own beautiful Bali Instagram pics on your vacation to the island!
Bali is one of the original Instagram travel inspiration destinations. For years people have used Instagram to showcase their drool-worthy pics of the incredible island, and eager vacation-goers have been eating it up with a spoon ever since.
It’s no surprise pairing, either. Bali and Instagram make a great fit: the island is surrounded by clear blue water, features wide, soft beaches, mountains, volcanoes, rice terraces, lakes, and so many more naturally beautiful elements. Bali is also easy enough to travel to and within that people of all travel comfort levels are able to enjoy the island; from adventurous to calm.
Bali can also be credited with the uprising of fashion travel influencers. That’s right, there’s a unique sub niche of Instagram influeners not only showcasing high-quality images of incredible locations, they model runway-ready looks while there.
Prefer watching a video? Here are all our Bali Instagram tips + drone video of the island!
The Bali Effect on Instagram
I can personally attest to the Bali Affect on Instagram.
We’ve been traveling full-time for a year and Instagramming our journey along the way. Our photos are high quality and showcase some of the world’s most unique places. Our following has grown tremendously in the past year, and the support we receive on each picture is quite meaningful. I’ve always been proud of our consistent Instagram engagement rate of 3.5%.
You can clearly see how engagement on our posts from New Zealand (right before our week in Bali) and our time in the Philippines (right after our week in Bali) remained consistent, yet the posts from our Bali vacation experienced up to 50% more overall engagement. We had hundreds of extra likes and many more comments on each photo posted with a Bali geotag and location-specific hashtags!
Read: 10-Day Bali Itinerary
Instagram Bali: Know Before You Go
If you’ve been Instagram influenced to visit the beautiful island in your own flowy dress and straw hat there are a few things you should know before making your trip.
1. Lots of other Instagrammers are doing the same thing
Honestly, even the most prepared fashion travel influencer may be surprised at just how many people visit Bali’s most photographed sites every day. Tourism to the small island has grown so overwhelming that the local culture has had to adapt to fit with the ideals and wants of the hoards of people. You won’t find the same charm people originally loved about Bali in most areas, and the roads will be full of cars, motos, and pedestrians.
When it comes to taking photos I have three words for you: THERE’S. A. LINE.
So come prepared with a pleasant attitude, extra water, comfortable shoes, and a fresh idea for your Instagram photos.
2. Helpful camera gear to Instagram Bali
Your most handy camera, your phone, will work in lots of circumstances. If you really want a great picture, though, come to Bali with a DSLR and decent lens. There are so many beautiful places to photograph, but your photographer friend should be willing to give you some space to get the right shot. A phone’s camera just doesn’t capture the depth of field, colors, movement, or space as well as an actual camera will!
We traded in a Canon 60D for the lighter, more powerful Sony a6000. The Sony a6000 is perfect for travel as it’s body is half the size of a standard DSLR, snaps 12 pictures/ second on speed mode, includes stabilization, and has equally powerful video and photography skills.
You’ll also want to bring a tripod. A tripod is a must for solo travelers, as you can set up your camera on a timer and run into position without getting your arm in the shot. But even if traveling in groups, a tripod is a necessary tool for pictures of everyone you love.
A flat mirror will help you get the awesome faux reflection you see in so many photos, and doesn’t take up much space! This is the primary tool responsible for the amazing photos at the White Temple reflecting the temple pillars onto the (nonexistent) water below. Once you’ve seen how a mirror is used you’ll be tempted to use it for every Instagram shot!
How to Get Awesome Bali Instagram Shots Without Losing Your Mind
This is what you came for, and I’m going to give it to you. We were SHOCKED at the crowds of people waiting to take perfect pics in one iconic spot and then just leave. With these tips you can get amazing photos and also have enough time to actually enjoy the places you visit!
1. Iconic Infinity Pool Reflection Photo
One way to achieve this photo is with the camera reflector mentioned earlier, but another way is to actually photograph an infinity pool.
Bali hotels and resorts featuring an infinity pool on the edge of a hill overlooking a beautiful view are in hot demand, and you may not be able to find one at a hotel in your budget, or one that is vacant enough to get the perfect Bali Instagram shot. Have no fear, you can totally fake it!
If you don’t have access to a true infinity pool with a great view you can fake the pic by visiting any pool with low walls. You only need a pool where the sides are not impeded.
Infinity Pool Instagram Photo Tips:
- Find a pool with a low walls (a decent background helps!)
- Take photos at dusk or sunrise for best landscape effect
- Hold the camera low, so the edge of the pool is even with the line of the water
Oila! You’ve turned any pool into an infinity pool with a great background!
2. Lempuyang White Temple Photo
Lempuyang is the only Hindu temple in Bali made from white stone instead of the more common black lava rock. The material isn’t the only thing which sets this site aside, though! It’s also characterized by it’s position on top of a hill, with a gate which opens up to a view of Bali’s volcano, Mount Agung.
A photo from the middle of Lempuyang’s gate doors is as iconic a Bali Instagram spot as ever. The location is stunning, but, unfortunately, many people miss it because they are so focused on getting the perfect picture.
Getting a picture at Lempuyang White Temple is a huge ordeal. The temple isn’t close to very much, so it first requires hiring a driver (or braving the roads yourself on a rented scooter) to take you up the mountain. You are then required to rent a cover-up and, ultimately, stand in line to wait for your turn at the gate.
Tourists line up by 7:00 a.m. for their chance at the iconic picture. A covered patio allows a line to snake around as people wait for up to 4 hours for their chance. Once your turn is up you run to the locals in photo position to hand over your phone or camera, run into the middle of the gate, do 2-3 poses, and run back to pick up your camera.
Was standing in line (missing everything around you) worth that set of photos? Possibly. If you doubt it, though, here are some tips on getting the perfect Instagram shot anyway.
Lempuyang White Temple Instagram Photo Tips:
- Arrive by 7:00 a.m. to stand in line with little wait, or….
- Wear a simple, solid color top which won’t clash with the rented cover up
- Stand beside the gate with the crowd of onlookers and waiting drivers on the right of the gate
- Wait for a break in posers as the next person gets their camera ready
- Calmly walk through the gate down the stairs below as someone you left behind (a friend or your hired driver, they can be trusted) takes pictures on burst or action mode
- You can either accept the pictures as they come, or edit the photo to flip the image and add it at the bottom of the gate for the classic “reflection” shot
Extra tip: You can also take great shots of the gate as you walk back up the stairs leading down from the gate!
3. Tirta Gangga Water Palace
The Tirta Gangga Water Palace was built in 1948 as a religious refuge for Balinese Hindus. The Water Palace grounds feature fountains and pools meant to invoke the spirit of the Ganges River. The main pool is covered by concrete stepping stones which have become Insta-famous for pictures of women in flowing dresses feeding the resident koi.
The problem is that word on this photo location is definitely out. You won’t have to stand in line for hours as at Lempuyang Temple, but you will have to be patient with the many tourists planted at each stepping stone for pictures. No, that’s not an exaggeration.
If you’re longing for that perfect Insta shot on the Tirta Gangga stepping stones but want to skip waiting around every other photographer, follow these steps.
Tirta Gangga Water Palace Instagram Photo Tips:
- Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The palace is close to Lempuyang, and most people come to Tirta Gangga after the White Temple.
- Sit on the stepping stone directly in front of the main fountain with your dress arranged around the stone
- Purchase some fish food as you enter, but wait to feed the koi until your photographer is positioned on the ground across from you
- Feed the koi as your photographer snaps on action mode to make it seem as if you are petting the fish
- If you can’t get there early enough, avoid the other photographers by heading straight to the last row of stones to the right. They don’t lead to a great fountain background, so most people stop for pictures long before getting there. You’ll have it to yourself!
- Position your photographer above you to get a better picture of you from the top down to avoid the unsightly background
4. Taman Soekasada Ujung
Taman Soekasada Ujung is absolutely breathtaking. It isn’t nearly as popular as Tirta Gangga, so you’ll have more privacy to enjoy the beautiful grounds. It’s on Bali’s east coast near Tirta Gangga and the Lempuyang White Temple, so you can have an entire Instagram day around visiting these three beautiful (and important) places!
Taman Ujung has a few places which are perfect for Instagram shots. You could get some posed on the walkway in the middle of the central pond, on the wide sidewalks, or from the tiered gardens which lead to an amazing view of the town and ocean.
Our favorite spot on the Taman Ujung grounds is the tiered gardens, so these are our tips for achieving the perfect Instagram shot from that location:
Taman Ujung Garden Instagram Photo Tips:
- After walking across the pond head to the tiered gardens on your right. You’ll notice a staircase leading to a platform with columns.
- Once on the platform, lean against the columns facing forward for a backlit silhouette of you with the city in the background
- Another option is to place your photographer on the ground level to the right of the platform. You lean against the columns in his view as he snaps away at the vision of you between the columns with a background of the mountains
With options for a city and ocean view or a mountain view you really can’t go wrong with getting Instagram pictures at Bali’s Taman Ujung!
5. Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Ubud
Bali is known for it’s rural landscape, which is on full display at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud. Ubud is a city which sits in the middle of the island between the ocean-centered south and the mountainous north. Ubud perfectly combines these two landscapes by offering lush scenery with a laid-back vibe.
It’s no wonder Bali vacationers love spending time here!
No trip to Ubud would be complete without a visit to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. You’ll find personal rice fields all over Ubud and northward, but the small rice plots aren’t nearly as beautiful as the terraced fields at Tegalalang.
What makes the Tegalalang Rice Terraces stand out is that they are built alongside a narrow ravine in a stair-step pattern. From the top it looks like rows of tall, slender grass blades clear to the center of the Earth, and from the side it feels like grassy steps leading you to heaven.
It really is beautiful.
Here are some tips on getting your own iconic Tegalalang Rice Terrace Instagram photo:
Tegalalang Rice Terrace Instagram Photo Tips:
- Go early in the morning. Try to head out around sunrise, 6:00 a.m., to get that druzy morning light and very few other tourists (tour vans start to arrive by 10:00 a.m., but the sun is already leading to harsh shadows by then)
- Walk straight from the commercial side to the private side to get the best angles with less tourists
- Get a photograph looking toward the side to capture the stair steps of the terraces
- Position the camera behind a row of grass to make it feel as if you are a nature goddess at one with the ground
- Bring a tripod for group shots of everyone walking down a row of rice shoots. If you are early enough, it won’t be too crowded so you can use a tripod without fear!
6. Bamboo Pod Chair
There are pod chairs all over northern Bali. You’ll find plenty of mountainside cafes offering them for customers. They are made of bamboo shoots curved into different positions. The trick is finding one in a shape you like with a beautiful background!
My best tip is to get your pod picture while at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. You’ve already gotten up before dawn for this location, you may as well get two pictures out of it!
The road leading to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces is covered by independent cafes and souvenir shops offering you a sidewalk into the rice field. Most will also offer a patio with bamboo pod chair, which you can access for free if staying for a bite to eat (or for a small fee if just passing through.) Why not get breakfast and kill time waiting for your food to cook by getting another Bali Instagram shot?
Bamboo Pod Chair Instagram Photo Tips:
- Find a chair + background you really like
- Sit along the side of the chair with the photographer directly behind you for a great profile shot
- Sit directly in the middle of the chair looking at the background for a shot which highlights your location
7. Snorkeling at USAT Liberty Shipwreck
Bali isn’t just about beautiful, draping gowns and green rice shoots. It’s also about enjoying the warm, clear water!
One way to show your friends at home you’re about more than just the glamour is by getting a great underwater shot while snorkeling or scuba diving. There’s a lot to see under the surface around Bali, but our favorite location for snorkeling pics is the USAT Liberty.
The USAT Liberty was a US Army cargo ship torpedoed off the coast of Bali by the Japanese during World War II. The ship was able float it’s way to shore, where it stayed beached for 2 decades. USAT Liberty was shaken back into the ocean after Mount Ajung erupted in 1963, where it remains a mere 5 meters below the water’s surface.
Liberty ship wreck has become home to many tropical fish species in the years since it found a watery home. Snorkeling this area is popular due to the interesting coral and marine life which are easily seen from surface level. To show how adventurous you really are on your Bali vacation go just below the surface for some excellent photos!
USAT Liberty Snorkeling Instagram Photo Tips:
- Rent a snorkeling mask and fins from the ticket booth one you arrive at the USAT Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben, Bali
- Head out to the wreck with your photographer and waterproof action cam (we recommend this GoPro. The photos are fantastic, and the video mode is so hi-res you can easily grab a great screen shot!)
- Swim around the ship wreck and wait for a time without other snorkelers or scuba divers
- Have your photographer record you taking a deep breath and swimming just below the surface. You don’t have to go too deep to make it look like you’re free diving!
- Edit the video later to take a screen grab of you swimming toward the Liberty shipwreck!
Planning a Bali vacation? Pin these Bali Instagram tips for later!