Can I travel to Bali - is Bali safe?

The effects of Natural Disasters In Bali

Bali's Mount Agung showed increased volcanic activity since 2017 and lately several earthquakes near the neighboring island Lombok caused quite some damage and did cost the lives of almost four hundred people in Lombok. Both natural disasters are due to the fact that Bali is part of the infamous ring of fire.

In both cases volcanic eruption or earthquakes, usually only the poorer population is affected due to low quality construction and in the case of the volcano, because it's the farmers who live near the crater ad within the evacuation zone.

Travelers and the majority of the population have not been affected at all and life goes on completely normal.

Natural disasters are part of life here in this region when you look at longer time spans and therefore, yes statistically speaking, in the entire region and particularly around the many volcanoes in Indonesia, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can happen and also will happen again. Also let's not forget, the tsumani in 2004 was actually caused by an earthquake near Sumatra. So yes, this entire area has been a danger zone since millenia. But how dangerous is it really?

Of course, since the eruption of the Volcano and the earthquakes in Lombok travelers and also the people who live here ask themselvesif Bali is safe.


Car Rental, Tours, Activities & Guide Book

Bali e-book Guide
Bali e-book Guide

Bali e-book Guide

Put Bali into your pocket all you need to know. only 2,95 instead of 7,95. 

Car & Tour Rental
Car & Tour Rental

Car & Tour Rental

Hire car and driver to explore the island of Gods directly on bali.com 

Fun activities to do in Bali
Fun activities to do in Bali

Fun activities to do in Bali

Adventure & activities, rafting, canyoning, family parks, tours and more 

Book Hotels, Villas, Resorts
Book Hotels, Villas, Resorts

Book Hotels, Villas, Resorts

Incredible variety of choices. Great offers from our partners.  


Earthquake in Lombok and Bali

An earthquake on 29th July shocked the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing according to the government sources more than 400 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Smaller quakes followed and geologists expect that other quakes might follow.
Tourists particularly visiting Gili Islands near Lombok left either to Bali or left the country.
Adding to the trouble of such a disaster the impact on the local economy due to a certain level of dependency on tourism in some regions are rather bad. The collapsed buildings need to be rebuilt and people need resources and support to rebuild their lives.

Bali has not been affected much by these quakes. Yes, they could be felt and in the north some buildings did collapse but overall, life is pretty unaffected. Some tourists did cancel their trips to Bali, which caused some businesses to get into trouble.

Is it safe to travel to Bali during this time?

To be honest, nobody really knows when and where another earthquake will strike, and what would be the impact. MOst people we talk to feel still very safe. And also, it depends very much on where you stay and what you will do. The quality of construction of buildings is probably the main factor and in that regard, Bali is doing more or less ok. As said, casualties are common among the people who live in cheaply constructed stone buildings and huts.

So whether an earthquake will happen or the volcano will erupt, all and nothing can happen...and it has been like this since decades and centuries. Therefore, naturally everybody needs to decide for themselves what type of risk they take in life, when travelling or otherwise. Almost everything we do in life can be dangerous, and it might be safer to be on an island where there is a volcano spitting ash, than traveling to Miami or Rio de Janeiro - depending what we do or where we go.


Mount Agung Eruption

First of all, if you check out the map you realise, that Mount Agung is far away from almost all major tourist areas in Bali. Tulamben, Amed, Candi Dasa, and Padang Bali are the nearest and even though they have not been directly affected by the latest volcanic activities, they will be hit the hardest economically. 

All other areas, such as Ubud (30+km), and the hotspot areas of Seminyak, Kuta, Canguu, Nusa Dua, Benoa, Pecatu are far away from the volcano 60+km.

Officials are certain and confident, that anybody outside the evacuation zone ( 8-12km radius) will be safe, even in case of a stronger eruption than what we have seen lately. Of course, nobody can predict what might happen, and their is a chance that Agung could erupt massively, which could impact also the people staying and living further away (volcanic ash and debris). 

And to be honest, there are many other dangers tourists face and deliberately step into when coming to Bali. Drugs, excessive drinking, driving a scooter unskilled or recklessly or drunk, prostitution, and many other things, people enjoy in Bali, that they can't or don't enjoy at home. If you are one of those type of travelers, don't worry about the volcano ;-)

Concerned parents, whose kids come to Bali for the November Spring Break or for partying in Kuta, should be less concerned about the volcano than about the many things their kids might wish to "experience" while they enjoy to be away from home. 

When we look at the current situation outside the evacuation zone, everything is running quite normal. Biasa Saja as we say. It's just more quiet than usual. And yes, it's completely safe here. You won't actually notice a thing, and in any case and in any crisis big or small, people always want and need to 

Room rates have dropped and to be honest, it's quite pleasant, when the traffic is less dense at times and restaurants and shops are less empty or emptier. 

Uncertainty
At the moment, the biggest challenge and trouble that travellers faced and still face, is that the flights and airport operation is affected. DPS Airport can close due to the volcanic ash in the air (depending on the wind conditions) without notice. Airlines have their own set of rules, and oven ith the airport is open, might decide not to service Bali for a certain period.

So when traveling to Bali, you have to anticipate that your flights could be delayed or canceled and that you might have to take a bus to or from Surabaya, if flights are re-routed.

Also, because the volcano alert level has been set to 4 (highest level) travel insurances will not allow you to sign up, which for some travellers is really important. So if this uncertainty is difficult for you and you need to make absolutely sure, that your travel dates would not be affected, or if you book with airlines who don't offer any support or re-booking options, then it's not a good time to come to Bali.

But if you are flexible and not much concerned about flight changes, then come here by any means. The Balinese are looking forward to welcoming you to their island. Because today, Yes, Bali is safe; but faces uncertainty.

Distance from Crater (radius in km)

Most tourism areas are far away from the crater and the evacuation zone

What is the impact of the volcano eruption in Bali

Not only in the north and north east of Bali, hotels, restaurants are empty and businesses start to lay off people, also the other areas such as Kuta, Seminyak etc have seen massive waves of cancellations. 
Due to the media and news portals, which in many cases highly exaggerated the situation using words that trigger fear and uncertainty in people, many cancelled their travel plans. 

The tourism industry is the back bone of Bali and a decline does impact almost everyone in Bali directly or indirectly. No guests in the hotels and restaurants, farmers don't sell their goods, tais are emtpy, no tours, no purchases in the shops, the street vendors don't have customers etc, a vicious cycle hast started already. 
In Bali, like in other developing countries in the world, one worker usually supports many family members, who all depend on that person financially. Very few people have savings and can wait until the economy picks up again and the social welfare system is (almost) non-ecistent . Hardship kicks in almost instantly. 

The eruption that happened and is still ongoing does indeed have a destructive impact on the environment. Some rivers coming from Mount Agung are filled with ash and debris; rivers flowing down the hills of Bali's mountains and volcanos are crucial to the fresh water supply in Bali. Plants within a radius of 5km are covered with volcanic ash. The people who live within the evacuation zone and have their homes and small farms their, are facing tremendous challenges and hardship. 

Even though tens of thousands of Balinese have been relocated into 220 shelter camps, there is hardly any complain among the people living there. The people handle the situation with grace and show great spirit and courage. The situation for them is far from perfect, and uncertainty about what will happen and how long it will take is troubling the mind.

The government, NGOs, and many locals and residents have shown tremendous effort to support those people; most of them have little income and can barely make a living even under normal conditions.

We will see whether Agung will calm down, or continue at the level it is active currently. In both cases travelers will be safe and can enjoy the wonders of Bali, and not even notice that on the other side of the island Agung does what it does.

Whether Bali's most holy mountain will face us with a more massive and destructive eruption, nobody knows, and yes, it could happen. And nobody would dare to make a prediction or come up with a definite idea about the probability. But most agree, that even then, travellers staying in almost all areas in Bali will be safe and sound and appropriate measures would be taken by government an hotel managements to make sure, it will stay that way.

Mount Agung - Bali's Holy Mountain

The Balinese are very connected with their island, its nature and also with their volcanos. Agung, the mother mountain plays a significant role in their ceremonial calendar and Besakih, the mother temple of all Balinese is built at the foot of Gunung Agung.


Balinese see everything in the light of Karma, of cause and effect. Events like a volcanic eruption, also the one that happened in the 60ies and caused the death of 1,600 Balinese, will be interpreted through their religious understanding and belief system.
The event will be woven into their understanding of their own history; everything has in itself a special religious meaning. Events are taken as signs and guidance from the gods and words spoken to them by their island itself. For the Balinese, life is about balance and everything is connected. Depending on the meaning the healers and religious leaders will assign to Agung's wake up in 2017, they will as a society react to it. 

Many feel it's a wake up call. A soft but loud enough warning for the Balinese, to stay connected with their heritage, with their cultural and nature. A demand from nature to take care of their island and resources.