Puerto Rico vs Bali, is it even possible to compare them?
Many United States travelers dream of visiting Bali, a famous Indonesian province in the Pacific, ignoring that Puerto Rico is closer and easier to visit.
I’m a Puerto Rico local and a frequent traveler myself.
In this article, I will help you decide whether you should vacation in Puerto Rico or Bali:
– Is Puerto Rico better than Bali?
– Is it cheaper to go to Bali or Puerto Rico?
– Bali vs Puerto Rico safety — which is safer?
– Bali vs Puerto Rico beaches — which has better beaches?
– Which is better for families with kids?
– Which has more fun and unique activities?
Puerto Rico is better than Bali if you’re looking for a more accessible vacation.
United States passengers don’t need a passport or a special visa to visit the Caribbean island, as it’s a non-incorporated territory.
Puerto Rico also uses the same currency as the mainland, so, passengers don’t need to exchange currency.
Airplane tickets to Puerto Rico are also cheaper, from the United States and most of Europe.
Since it’s a non-incorporated territory, Puerto Rico’s architecture, road system, and lifestyle are highly influenced by the United States.
Many United States visitors will find US stores and brands available in Puerto Rico too.
But, Bali is better than Puerto Rico for travelers that want that sense of being in a foreign country.
Besides the Spanish colonial architecture and the Caribbean nature, Puerto Rico might not feel like a foreign destination for United States travelers.
Below is a video that shows the best places in Puerto Rico:
In that sense, Bali is a better destination as it provides a clear change in culture, architecture, and landscape.
The Indonesian province also provides travelers with unique experiences like visiting temples, hiking volcanoes, and tasting the local cuisine.
Check out Bali, Indonesia in the following video:
Explore trip ideas in our article 45 Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico.
Overall, it’s cheaper to go to Puerto Rico than Bali.
Plane tickets from New York and Los Angeles airports to Bali range between the low 700 and 2,000 dollars depending on the season.
A plane ticket from the United States to Puerto Rico ranges between 100 and 600 dollars. However, it’s possible to find special flight deals for both destinations.
Besides the cost of airplane tickets, Bali is generally a cheaper destination than Puerto Rico.
Mid-range travelers could spend the day in Bali for less than $50, and one week for less than $500.
In contrast, a mid-range traveler in Puerto Rico could spend an average of $160 per day.
If you want to do Puerto Rico on a budget, check our guide on Puerto Rico’s Vacation Costs.
Both Bali and Puerto Rico are safe to visit.
But, Bali does have a lower crime rate than Puerto Rico.
Yet travelers shouldn’t worry!
The majority of the crime in Puerto Rico is related to gangs and drugs, and generally, it doesn’t affect visitors.
Yet, in both destinations, travelers should watch out for petty crimes such as theft and robbery. Common sense security measures will be enough to prevent bad experiences during a trip.
The two vacation spots are also prone to natural disasters.
Bali on one side has multiple active volcanoes.
The last significant volcano activity was in 2019.
Bali is also located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where the constant movement and collision of plate tectonics causes frequent and strong earthquakes.
The good news is that, because of its geographical position, Bali rarely experiments a direct or strong impact from tropical cyclones.
In contrast, Puerto Rico has a yearly hurricane season from June to late November. But, the island doesn’t always suffer a direct impact.
The last hurricane to affect Puerto Rico directly was Hurricane Fiona in 2022.
Before that, Hurricane Maria in 2017 was the most significant impact over a decade.
Puerto Rico is also prone to earthquakes caused by the movements of the Caribbean plate. In January 2020, a series of earthquakes affected the island and since then, minor tremors happen almost daily.
But with the right precautions, both archipelagos are safe to visit. Learn about hurricane season in our article Hurricane Season in Puerto Rico – All You Need To Know.
Get all the information you need about safety in our Guide To Safety In Puerto Rico.
Which between Puerto Rico and Bali has better beaches comes down to every traveler’s taste.
These beaches aren’t spoiled by large resorts or over-tourism.
In fact, Flamenco Beach in Culebra was chosen as one of the top ten beaches in the world by TripAdvisor in 2016.
The main Puerto Rico island also offers great beaches and natural coves worth a visit, including Poza del Obispo, Mar Chiquita, and Playa Sardinera.
But Puerto Rico’s popular beaches can be crowded, particularly if they have facilities like bathrooms, showers, and rentals.
Bali also has great beaches to watch sunsets, swim, hike, and surf. Kuta Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Bali, famous for its sunsets and surrounding amenities.
But, it’s often crowded and doesn’t compete with the beauty of other Bali beaches.
Much like Puerto Rico, the Bali beaches with the best scenery are secluded and hard to reach.
The Pantai Gunung Payung, Green Bowl Beach, Blue Point Beach, and Geger Beach offer bright-blue waters and seclusion.
But, for picturesque hikes and turquoise waters, head to Nusa Penida. Beaches like Diamond Beach, Suwehan Beach, and Kelingking Beach are often ranked as the best in Bali.
Head over to our guide to the 30 Best Beaches In Puerto Rico for more information.
Although both Puerto Rico and Bali are great destinations to visit with kids, overall, Puerto Rico offers more variety of activities to do with kids.
Puerto Rico and Bali’s main familiar activities are outdoor. Both destinations boast forests, beaches, and nature reserves.
On both archipelagos, families with kids can visit waterparks, do watersports, hike, bathe in waterfalls, and even go island hopping.
But mostly because Puerto Rico is bigger, visitors will find more familiar activities there. Bali, however, is cheaper for a familiar vacation.
Read up on our article 17 Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico With Kids for more information.
Puerto Rico and Bali both have their unique charm and trying to define which is best is close to impossible.
Puerto Rico however, has the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, Mosquito Bay in Vieques.
Although travelers can also find bioluminescence in Padang Bai in Bali, the phenomenon is not as recurrent or bright as in Mosquito Bay.
Below is a video that shows Mosquito Bay:
Puerto Rico also houses the second longest zipline in the world in the Toro Verde Adventure Park in Orocovis.
Bali also boasts unique activities travelers can’t miss during a visit to the province. Visitors will find unusual temples, including the Temple of Goah Lawa, and the Pura Paluang Car Temple.
The Lempuyang Temple is one of the most sacred and hard-to-reach temples in Bali. To get there, you have to climb 1,700 steps.
The Pemuteran Temple Garden is underwater and unique in many ways. Bali’s rice terraces are also a breathtaking stop you won’t find everywhere.
The Tegalalang and Belimbing Rice Terraces are worth adding to every traveler’s bucket list.
Between Puerto Rico and Bali, it’s easier to get to Puerto Rico. Travelers from the United States, don’t need a passport or a visa to visit Puerto Rico.
Although Bali has more transportation options, overall it’s easier to move around in Puerto Rico for United States visitors. The driving system in Puerto Rico is similar to the United States and less chaotic than in some Bali areas.
If you’re still wondering which is a better vacation destination between Puerto Rico vs. Bali, Puerto Rico is a better vacation destination if you’re looking for a tropical paradise within the United States jurisdiction.
You don’t need a passport, a visa or to exchange currency. It’s also a generally better option to travel with kids.
Bali is a better destination if you’re looking for that foreign traveling sensation, a complete culture change, and a destination that is cheaper than Puerto Rico.
If you’re looking for more information about Puerto Rico, check out our guide to Where To Stay In Puerto Rico – 13 Best Places And Areas.
Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’m an avid traveler and freelance writer from Puerto Rico. I love the outdoors, coffee, hiking, and letters. When I’m not inside typing letters on my laptop, I’m out exploring the hidden treasures that Puerto Rico has to offer!