Although there’s talk of opening another airport on the north side of the island, for now Bali only has one airport – the Ngurah Rai airport, located 13km south-west of Denpasar. The airport was hugely extended in 2013, so you’ll now arrive in a spacious, modern version of its rather provincial former self! Flights come in daily from all around the world.
Denpasar airport operates 24 hours a day with the exception of one day a year, Balinese New Year, which is a day of total silence, when no movement or noise is permitted and even the airport closes down (see Nyepi).
Once you’ve disembarked from the plane, you’ll need first to purchase your visa (see ‘Visas’ here in the ‘Ubud Info’ section) then proceed to the Visa on Arrival counters. If you have obtained a visa in your home country, you can bypass this step and go straight to the immigration desk and then the baggage collection area.
Once you have your luggage, you’ll be required to go through customs and airport security, and past a series of money-change desks before emerging into the warm spicy air of Bali, rich with tropical blossom, incense and the smoke of clove cigarettes. A gaggle of drivers waits out here; taxis are not hard to find, if you haven’t pre-arranged a hotel transfer.