The Valley of Fire is one of those places highly recommended as a day-trip from Las Vegas, but not everyone makes the drive. However, you have probably seen countless photos of the spectacular Fire Wave or strange-looking Elephant Rock and thought it would be great to explore the state park.
I'm here to convince you that Valley of Fire state park is a must-see when in Las Vegas or Nevada!
The Valley of Fire has some of the most incredible scenery I have ever seen, even after spending 3 month living Vanlife and exploring Utah. Seeing the Fire Wave alone is well worth a trip!
If you are looking to go on a road trip to see the Valley of Fire in Nevada, I am sharing everything you need to know before you go. And if you would like to snap a few photos for Instagram, I'm also sharing the 7 most instagrammable places in Valley of Fire State Park, including the spectacular Fire Wave.
What is the Valley of Fire State Park Known For
The Valley of Fire State Park is a nature preservation area south of Overton, Nevada. The state park is known for its incredible rock formations created from red sandstone. These formations stem from shifting sand dunes and were formed 150 million years ago. One of the most iconic of these rock formations is the Fire Wave which is an impressive hill with red and white zebra-like stripes.
With it's 40,000 acres, Valley of Fire State Park is home to some incredible sights, ancient petroglyphs, and a dream come true for anyone interested in geology, human history, and photography.
How to Get to the Valley of Fire
The easiest way to get to the Valley of Fire State Park is by car. It is a 50-minute drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, on I-15N and a 1 hour, 30 minute drive from St. George, Utah, on I-15S.
There is also a possibility to get to the park with a tour bus company. However, since the trail heads within the park are dispersed, I highly recommend you go there by car so you can explore the park at your own pace and spend as much time as you like at the Fire Wave.
Best Time to Visit the Valley of Fire State Park
Being located at the southern tip of Nevada, the weather at Valley of Fire is extremely dry with an average of 1 day of rain per month. Temperatures can get extremely hot in summer, with highs of well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). The best time to visit Valley of Fire is from October to April when the temperatures are cooler and you are able to explore the park all day long.
If you choose to visit during the summer months, make sure you are prepared for the heat by bringing a lot of water and having an air conditioned car. You can try to avoid the heat by entering the park right at sunrise and staying indoors between 11am and 3pm.
Many trails, such as the Fire Wave trail, are in direct sunlight with little to no shade. Hiking in the intense summer heat can be dangerous.
Valley of Fire State Park Details
Entrance Fee: $10 per vehicle for day-use, $20 per night if you like to camp plus $10 for camping sites with utility hook ups.
Cell Service and Wifi: You won't have cell coverage throughout most of the park but there are some spots such as at the visitor center or at the White Domes Trail parking lot which have cell reception. The park offers wifi access and a 24-hour access for 1 device is $8. You can find more details about the wifi access price plans here.
Visitor Center: The visitor center is located towards the entrance of the park and is open from 9am to 4:30pm.
Facilities: There are outhouses located throughout the park at Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, the Cabins, near Mouse's Tank Trailhead and White Domes parking lots.
Drone Usage: The usage of drones or any remote controlled aircrafts is not allowed in the park.
With a landscape this beautiful, the Valley of Fire is more than just a compilation of rocks. The best thing to do in the park is to go on hikes and explore the different areas and rock formations. Most of the loop hikes are relatively short at only a mile or less, such as the Fire Wave Trail, the Rainbow Vista hike, and the White Domes Trail.
There are a few other hikes which are longer such as the Old Arrowhead Road, the Prospect Trail, and Charlie's Spring. For more information on the trails, you can find a full map of all Valley of Fire hiking trails here.
In addition to hiking, Valley of Fire is also a great spot for rock climbing, camping with incredible views, wildlife viewing, and my personal favorite - taking photos of everything, especially the Fire Wave!
Valley of Fire 7 Most Instagrammable Places
With a park this big and this beautiful, knowing the most picturesque places ahead of time will help you plan your trip as well as save time while you're in the park. I put together the 7 most Instagram-worthy locations in Valley of Fire State Park, including the Fire Wave, the best times to take photos there, and also added them to a map to help you plan your trip.
The Fire Wave is by far the most impressive rock formation within the Valley of Fire State Park and it makes for an incredible Instagram photo. The combination of the red and white sandstone in zebra-like stripes across a wave-like hill is a sight like no other and also the reason why the Fire Wave is so popular.
How to Get There
From the Fire Wave parking lot, there is the Fire Wave hiking trail which will take you directly to the Fire Wave. The hike is less than 1 mile and relatively easy. Note that there is no shade along the way. Please make sure to bring lots of water and wear sun protective clothing.
Best Time to Take Photos at Fire Wave
Generally, the best times to take photos to have soft lighting are the first hour of sunlight in the morning and the last hour before sunset. However, if you want to capture the true vivid colors of the Fire Wave, taking photos later in the morning or early in the afternoon provides for some stunning shots as well.
Since there are no trees and is almost no shade at the Fire Wave, you won't need to worry as much about shadows in your photos.
Mouse’s Tank Road
Imagine a road which makes its way through the fire-colored sandstone rock at sunrise. You may not have heard of Mouse's Tank Road but chances are you have already seen a photo of this iconic road. The road itself is not anything out of the ordinary as it is part of the main road going through Valley of Fire State Park. However, it offers incredible views.
The best part about this instagrammable photo location is that you can create the illusion of a drone photo without actually using a drone thanks to the way the road is sloped. Make sure your photographer stands on the high point of the road and the model is further down the road. That way you can create the impression of an aerial view.
How to Get There
The perfect photo location is only a 12 minute drive from the entrance of the park and a 9 minute drive from the Fire Wave. It is right on the street and you can easily pull over with your car and snap photos as long as there is no traffic.
Best Time to Take Photos at Mouse's Tank Road
Since you are taking photos in the middle of the main road through the park, I suggest taking photos right at sunrise or sunset. That way, you will encounter the least amount of traffic and you will also have beautiful light without having to worry about harsh shadows.
Elephant Rock is exactly what the name suggests: a rock which looks like an elephant. Now you might think that these rock formations might not really look like an elephant but trust me - they do! I didn't believe it either until I was there in person.
The entire rock and arch which forms the elephant trunk is extremely impressive to see in person and makes for the perfect photo opportunity.
How to Get There
Elephant Rock is a mere 3 minute drive from the park entrance and is on the right side of the road when driving in. Leave your car in the parking lot and take the super short hike to see the rock formation. The hike is pretty easy and is less than a mile.
Best Time to Take Photos at Elephant Rock
Given the formation of the rock, the light is best at Elephant Rock later in the afternoon when the sun is low but has not yet disappeared behind the hills right next to Elephant Rock.
Welcome to Valley of Fire Sign
While this seems like an obvious place to take photos, there are so many unique locations within Valley of Fire that people forget to take a cute photo at the Welcome to Valley of Fire sign.
How to Get There
The sign is located at the Elephant Rock parking lot, right where the Elephant Rock trail starts. You really can't miss it.
Best Time to Take Photos at the Valley of Fire Welcome Sign
Almost any time of the day would work well to take a photo here. Keep in mind though that the light might be softer and conditions generally better to take a photo early in the morning or later in the evening.
If you are looking for rainbow-colored hills to take photos of, this is your spot! The entire rainbow vista hike provides beautiful rainbow rock views along the way and ends at the Fire Canyon Overlook. It is perfect for creating instagrammable content. There is even a mini arch on this trail which you can be creative with.
How to Get There
The Rainbow Vista parking lot is only a 15 minute drive from the park entrance and a 6 minute drive from the Fire Wave. The hike to the rainbow vista is relatively easy and only a mile long.
Best Time to Take Photos at the Rainbow Vista
Given the hills surrounding this hike, taking photos right at sunset or sunrise might cause a lot of shadows to be in your photos so you will be better off taking photos later in the late morning and early in the afternoon.
White Domes Trail
White Domes Trail is another great place to take instagram-worthy photos as it is packed with colorful rocks and a slot canyon.
The beginning of the trail is marked with purple and yellow colored rocks whereas later in the trail you make your way through the slot canyon and stumble upon white and red striped rocks. It's a gorgeous spot to explore and has countless photo opportunities along the way.
How to Get There
The White Domes Trail is the furthest trail from the park entrance but only a 23-minute drive from there, and a 3-minute drive from the Fire Wave. The drive itself is incredibly beautiful as you get to see the entire park and stop along the way to take photos.
The White Domes loop is only 1 mile and pretty easy to hike.
Best Time to Take Photos at the White Domes Trail
The best time to take photos along the White Domes trail is mid- to late-morning for the best light. If you are looking to take photos in the slot canyon, doing so later in the morning will provide for better light.
White Domes Trail Movie Set
While you're on the White Domes Trail, make sure you stop by the remnants of an old movie set to take a photo. It was used in 1965 to film the movie 'The Professionals'. You can watch the Professional trailer here. A small part of the movie set is still there and there is also a monument explaining the history of commercial filming in Valley of Fire State Park.
How to Get There
The movie set is a few minutes into the White Domes Trail hike and impossible to miss.
Best Time to Take Photos at the White Domes Movie Set
Any time of day would work to take photos here, depending on what light you are looking for. However, if you are spending the morning hiking the White Dome Trail stopping by here makes perfect sense.
Map of Most Instagrammable Places in Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire is an incredible place to discover, take photos, and a perfect stop for any road trip in the Southwest US. Use this map to help you plan our your trip and include as many instagrammable places in Valley of Fire, such as the Fire Wave.
What are Your Favorite Instagrammable Places in Valley of Fire?
Now that I have shared my favorite instagrammable places in Valley of Fire - especially the Fire Wave - I am curious to hear what your favorite spots are and if I missed any to include any in this post. Please let me know in the comments as I would love to go back and explore the park more!
Make sure you pin this post to your USA road trip Pinterest board or Instagram Pinterest board for when you plan your road trip to the Fire Wave!
Reno is one of those cities that most people have heard of, but haven’t necessarily been to, and we think that is a shame! Here is how to spend the perfect weekend in Reno. We are sharing our favorite places, where to stay during your getaway, and the best day trips from Reno.
Reno has a lot to offer the curious traveler for a weekend. With its cute downtown area, the impressive amount of street art, and vibrant restaurant scene, Reno is the perfect getaway for anyone looking to explore the USA more. There are also some super fun day trips from Reno for you to explore nearby attractions that you could easily stretch your weekend in Reno trip much longer.
Make sure you scroll to our Top 5 tips for spending a weekend in Reno at the end of the post to ensure you have a great time!
What is Reno Known For?
Reno is most widely known as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” The slogan was chosen as a winner of a contest in 1929, and only a few years later became more widespread when the city began significant growth due to Nevada’s legalization of gambling and liberal divorce laws.
Reno is known for its casinos which are the biggest draws to the city. However, over the years, Reno has also developed an amazing art scene and is the home of the world-class art museum Nevada Museum of Art, the National Automobile Museum, and countless of incredible street art. Not to mention Reno is the closest city to Burning Man.
There is no mentioning the city’s name without thinking of the festival which melds art, activities, and events in the Black Rock desert. The biggest little city in the world has a beautiful Riverwalk District which is incredibly vibrant and by far our favorite part of town.
We are not big gamblers ourselves, so luckily there is so much to do during a weekend in Reno besides gambling.
Casinos in Downtown Reno
There is something so exciting and thrilling about going to a casino. The thought of ending your night with double the money in your pocket makes for a great evening in itself. Paired with great company, good food, and music, you will have the night of a lifetime.
With casinos being the main draw for most visitors to the city, we of course had to check out some of the main casinos in downtown Reno. Downtown Reno has some of the same famous casino brands as Las Vegas, such as Circus Circus, and Harrah’s, as well as the Eldorado, and the Club Cal-Neva.
Outside of downtown, you can easily see other famous Reno casinos such as the Atlantis, the Grand Sierra, and the Peppermill.
Make sure you stop by to play the slot machines or sit down for a round of poker during your weekend in Reno. (Please play responsibly and know that there is always a financial risk involved.)
What is There to Do in Reno Besides Gamble?
If gambling is not your thing, or you have already won big time, there are lots of other activities to explore during your weekend in Reno.
Walk Virginia Street in Reno
Downtown Reno is quite compact, which makes it very easy to walk to all of the nearby sights, bars, and restaurants. The Reno Arch is without a doubt one of the most famous attractions and is a must-see for your weekend in Reno itinerary. This iconic symbol of Reno was originally installed in 1926, however the current arch hails from 1987.
We recommend taking the time to see the arch by day as well as by night. At nighttime the Reno Arch is lit-up with neon lights, as are many of the nearby casinos.
As Virginia Street is the main street through downtown Reno, most of the downtown casinos are right here on the north side of the Truckee River, and many of the trendiest bars and restaurants are close-by on the south side of the Truckee River.
More famous signs are close at hand, as the ‘BELIEVE’ sculpture is located at the City Plaza, also overlooking the Truckee River. The sign was originally created for the Burning Man Festival in 2013, and the city later purchased the sign and placed it permanently at the City Plaza for everyone to enjoy.
Reno Street Art
Speaking of the Burning Man Festival, as Reno is the closest major city to the festival, Reno has a number of the famous art sculptures from the festival over the years. Playa Art Park is the main attraction, with a rotating display of art sculptures. Unfortunately for us, when were in Reno the park had been closed, so we could only snap pictures from a distance!
Make sure you visit the art park during your weekend in Reno though as it has some incredibly sculptures to admire and take pictures of.
Elsewhere in Reno you will find all sorts of murals painted on buildings small and large. This really gives the city a positive and creative vibe, and we loved walking up and down the downtown streets looking at the art.
Other Fun Things to Do in Reno
If the sun is shining during your stay (which it certainly should be as Reno has over 250 days of sun per year) there is no better way to unwind than a bike ride along the Truckee River Walk and explore the Riverwalk District during your weekend in Reno.
This two-mile loop spans downtown Reno, and offers a great way to start your bike ride. The area around California Avenue is also well-known for trendy shops and restaurants.
We stayed at the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel, which is located in a prime location smack dab in the middle of the city, on the banks of the Truckee River and overlooking the vibrant Riverwalk District. It is the perfect place to stay for a weekend in Reno.
The hotel has an expansive lobby, with gorgeous details throughout, as well as all the entertainment, food, and drinks you need without even leaving the property! Onsite, The Shore Room restaurant has amazing indoor and outdoor views of the city and river.
And of course if you are looking for great evening plans, the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel has a bocce ball court right in the lobby. The Bundox Bocce’s indoor and outdoor bocce ball courts are perfect for a fun evening during your weekend in Reno. In tune with the expansive art scene in Reno, the hotel even has a small gallery in the lobby where you can admire local artists.
One of our favorite amenities are the bike rentals! The hotel offers bike rentals so that you can better explore the city and enjoy a ride along the river! You can pick up a cute old-school bike any time and ride away.
Our room at the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel was huge, and had a sophisticated, modern design. We loved the views of the Truckee River and surrounding mountains, especially as they were still covered in snow!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel. With its central location, stunning views, and beautiful modern design, it is the perfect place to stay during your weekend in Reno!
Disclaimer: Our hotel stay was provided by the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel and we loved it. As always, all of our opinions on our experience and how much you should gamble are our own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!
4 Best Day Trips from Reno
If you are spending a weekend in Reno and are looking to extend your stay for a few days, there are a ton of great places to visit just a short drive away in any direction.
Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake which is known for its beaches and stunning vibrant blues during summer. In winter, the Lake Tahoe area turns into a buzzing ski resort with stunning views of the lake while you’re on the snow-covered slope.
Lake Tahoe is only a short 45 minute drive from Reno and the perfect day trip from Reno if you’re looking for some beach time in summer or snow sports during the winter.
If you follow the Truckee River to the north, you will get to Pyramid Lake which is famous for its unique rock formations which look like pyramids. Pyramid Lake beckons with water sports and is a great place to cool down on a hot summer day.
Also a short 30 minute drive from Reno is Carson City. The city is close to Lake Tahoe and the historic Virginia City. The Nevada state capital is bursting with old-fashioned charm and combines shopping, dining, culture, as well as a happening nightlife scene.
Being so close to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Carson City offers a lot of outdoor activities and will be a great extension of your Reno getaway. You can find everything in Carson such as golfing, fishing, boating, and hiking.
If you would like to travel back in time, make sure to visit historic Virginia City. The city was growing during the a 19th century mining boom and is home to countless Victorian buildings which make it look like a movie set. It is definitely worth a visit during your weekend in Reno.
Loneliest Road in America
To the east is the famous “Loneliest Road in America” which we completed after our stay in Reno. The Loneliest Road is exactly what the name would suggest – lonely! The loneliest road in America is also known as the Nevada portion of the transcontinental Highway 50, starting in Carson City and going all the way across Nevada to the Utah border.
While the road lacks civilization, it makes for an incredible drive and road trip as you will get to see some beautiful sights along the way.
Make sure you fuel up and bring enough food before starting your drive as there are only a few towns on the way. If you like camping, you’re in luck as there are campgrounds and BLM land along the road, making it a great place to relax and enjoy some star gazing.
The first stop on your drive is Sand Mountain Recreation Area which is a beautiful sand dune in the middle of nowhere and a great stop for anyone who loves ATVing or wandering around sand dunes.
Further along the Loneliest Road in America, you will come across the cute ghost town Austin, Nevada, which could be from a movie set and Nevada’s best kept secret: hot springs.
You may not know this but Nevada has more hot springs than any other state and it would be a shame to not take advantage of them. Spencer Hot Springs is right on the Loneliest Road in America and a great spot to relax and enjoy the view of the mountains.
The loneliest road continues all the way to the Utah border, and can be completed easily over two days or as long as a week, depending on what timeline best meets your schedule. If you are only interested in completing a small portion of the drive as a day trip for your perfect weekend in Reno, it is still worth the drive!
The Next Trip Top 5 Tips for The Perfect Weekend in Reno
Whether you're spending a fun weekend in Reno or are staying longer, here are our top 5 tips for an unforgettable time in the biggest little city in the world.
1) Rent a Bike
Reno has a beautiful downtown area and a great Riverwalk District which is great to explore by foot, but even more fun to bike along in summer. Rent a bike from the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel and enjoy riding along the river during your weekend in Reno.
2) Take A Picture with Street Art
There is no mentioning of Reno without thinking of its incredible art scene. If you don't feel like visiting museums, make sure you take some photos with the vibrant street art. You will find everything from fun geometric prints, landscape murals, and graffiti, to portraits of Frida Kahlo. Your weekend in Reno would not be complete without admiring some of the astonishing local art.
3) Explore the Riverwalk District
The Riverwalk District is very much the heart of the city and it is by far the most vibrant and fun place to be on a sunny summer day. Bike along the river and stop by some local restaurants and shops to enjoy everything the Riverwalk District has to offer during your weekend in Reno.
4) Prepare for Dry and Hot Summers
Summers in Reno can get very hot and dry. Make sure you are prepared and always bring water with you and wear sunscreen. A bad sunburn is not what you want as your lasting memory of your weekend in Reno!
5) Play a Game or Two at a Casino
After all, Reno is most famous for its casinos. Stop by a casino and play a game to get the complete weekend in Reno experience. There is nothing quite like the thrill of placing a bet with the hope to end your night with twice as much money in your pocket. (Please play responsibly and know that there is always a financial risk involved.)
Save this post to your USA travel Pinterest board for when you plan your next weekend in Reno and getaway in the USA.
Whether you have just created your influencer Instagram account and posted your first photo, or you have been on Instagram for a while – your goal is likely to grow your account to 10k Instagram followers, especially as an aspiring influencer. But how do you do that? Where do you even start to grow Instagram organically?
I reached 10k Instagram followers in February 2020 and am now at 17k only a few months later. I want to share all of my knowledge, tips and tricks with you that helped me get to 10k Instagram followers organically, without buying them.
Growing your Instagram is not going to be easy and you will experience many frustrating days when you just want to quit and throw it all away. There is no specific recipe you can follow to grow but there are a few tricks which will definitely help you increase your reach on the app and grow your account organically.
In this post, I am explaining all the perks of having over 10k Instagram followers, and all my tips to get 10k Instagram followers. I’m sharing my experience with action blocks, whether giveaways help you grow and what the best hashtags are to use to maximize your reach.
Nano vs Micro Influencer – Instagram Influencer Tiers Explained
First let’s talk about Instagram Influencer Tiers. Every Instagram account can be categorized into tiers based on their following. Accounts with 1k – 10k followers are usually referred to as Nano Influencers. Whereas Instagram accounts with between 10k – 100k are called Micro Influencers. You probably wonder why does this matter?
Instagram influencer tiers matter a great deal when it comes to influencer marketing. Each of the tiers comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your tier and account size, you will have a different type of influence in the market space.
Not only do you have a different account reach, but the way you are connecting with your followers changes with the size of your account. This in turn affects your position in the market space and how you can position your account to help brands reach their target audience and marketing objectives.
Because of their smaller following, nano influencers are likely to have a higher percentage of “real life” friends following them. Any advertisement through nano influencers generally resembles word of mouth advertising. The reach of nano influencers is generally lower than the reach of micro influencers but they often have a higher conversion ratio, i.e. click throughs and sales driven by the campaign as percentage of followers, than accounts with more Instagram followers.
Micro influencers on the other hand can profit from their greater reach and following compared to nano influencers. Their account size is still a manageable size, so they are able to build true connections with their followers, have an engaged audience, and respond to comments and DMs.
Micro influencers are often viewed as industry experts with a very targeted reach and a loyal following. When it comes to hiring content creators for marketing campaigns, this is exactly where micro influencers fit in: a large reach to a highly targeted audience.
Influencers with an Instagram following of between 50k and 500k are referred to as mid-tier influencers, whereas accounts with over 500k followers are called macro influencers. Mid-tier influencers are story tellers with a high reach and are often sought after for campaigns that involve a significant story-telling aspect.
With their incredibly large reach, macro influencers are best placed in a marketing campaign to raise awareness of a product, service, or subject matter. Due to their large size and compared to smaller influencers, they generally don’t have a strong connection to their followers, however, they are able to reach a wide spread audience.
Why You Want to Be Over 10k Instagram Followers
Having lots of followers looks great on paper, especially when you are trying to work with brands. Almost every blogger and influencer I know is aspiring to get there. But why should you want to get 10k Instagram followers? These are the reasons why having over 10k Instagram followers is beneficial to your brand.
Swipe Up Feature and How It Helps Your Brand
The famous swipe up feature on Instagram is by far the most exciting part of reaching 10k followers. As you may know, the swipe up feature was rolled out by Instagram a few years ago and is the option to include a link in your Instagram story. Your Instagram story viewers are able to swipe up on the story and visit the website link you added without ever leaving the app.
This feature makes it easy for your followers to view what you are talking about without having to close the app and open a new app, without having to manually type anything, and without “losing” their place in watching stories. In other words, it’s super quick and convenient for your audience.
Even though you can add the same links in your Instagram bio, the motivation of a follower to close out on stories, go to your profile, and click the link in the bio needs to be much higher than just swiping up because there are so many more steps involved. This ultimately results in fewer clicks.
If you use Instagram to promote your own brand or blog, having the swipe up feature can help you increase your website traffic as followers are more likely to visit your website by swiping up.
Working with Brands
Each tier of influencer has its own space in the marketing world and can tell a different story. In theory, nano influencers are just as relevant and important as macro influencers. They help fulfill a completely different marketing strategy.
In practice, however, things work differently. While more and more brands recognize the value of Instagram accounts with less than 10k followers, there are still many brands out there who refuse to work with accounts below 10k Instagram followers.
Reasons could be that their marketing concept is targeting a larger audience, that they don’t have the capacity to set up multiple different influencer relationships when they could work with fewer but larger accounts, or they sadly don’t see a value in working with accounts below 10k.
I have been working with brands since my Instagram account was at 1,000 followers. I would pitch to companies I genuinely like to promote products I use in my every-day life. With my account being so small, companies often wouldn’t respond to my email or they would get back to me saying they only work with influencers with an account size of 10k+ followers.
I also came across many companies who only reserve marketing budget for collaborations with accounts over 10k followers. This means that in addition to getting free product, these accounts would get paid per Instagram post or story to promote the company.
The industry is slowly changing and many companies (especially smaller companies) are working with nano influencers. I also see more and more companies being open to compensate smaller accounts in monetary form. However, having 10k followers on Instagram certainly helps in obtaining more brand deals.
Instagram Follower Growth Snowball Effect
They have 10k followers, their photos must be good! Have you ever heard that or hear yourself think that? I sure have!
It is generally true that the more followers you have, the more people are going to have the impression that your content is great and will follow you as well.
This snowball growth effect doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality of your content but more so with the impression people get by your account size. But it is another motivation why you might want to get 10k Instagram followers.
The Instagram Algorithm 2020
Instagram has an algorithm to help every account decide which posts they should see in their feed. The algorithm decides what to show you based on the accounts you follow, the photos you have liked and saved in the past, what photos your friends like, and likely your location. This all seems relatively straight forward but the Instagram algorithm in 2020 is very much a mystery!
Whether or not your followers see your post in their feed depends on if they have previously engaged with your content. If they like your photos, comment on them, and interact with you in DMs, the chances of them seeing your posts are much higher. As a rule of thumb, the first 30 minutes after you post will decide if your post is deemed good and worthy to be shown to others by the algorithm.
This means, the more engagement you get on your post (i.e. more likes and comments) within the first half hour, the better. And the higher the engagement on your most, the more likely it is for non-followers to discover you and for you to get to 10k Instagram followers.
Even if you follow all the steps I’m discussing below, there is still a chance that Instagram won’t show your post to your followers. I had been struggling to increase my reach for the majority of 2019. My Instagram posts would be shown to the same number of people each time, which made growing my account very difficult, as my posts weren’t being shared with new users. The below screenshot shows my reach of a standard post in February 2020.
Starting in February 2020, things started to turn around. All of the sudden, my posts obtained a reach of 13k people and I wasn’t doing anything differently! I was using the same hashtags, locations, tags, and similar captions – yet Instagram decided to push my posts and show them to more people.
The Instagram algorithm is often a mystery and it may seem that whether your post is seen may have more to do with luck than with skill. However, there are a few things you can focus on to increase the chances for Instagram to really push your account and for you to get 10k Instagram followers faster.
Your Instagram Feed – Setting Up Your Brand on Social Media
The first thing people see when they find your account is your Instagram feed and biography. You only have a few seconds to convince someone to follow, so you will want to leave a great impression. The first thing I do when I look at someone else’s account is I look at the photos and scroll a few rows down and then read the bio. If I like the photos, they are consistent, and the biography resonates with me (i.e. is covering a niche I am interested in), I will follow the account.
Your Instagram Niche
Having a niche is key when you are trying to get 10k Instagram followers! If you are looking at a profile that has a travel related post, followed by cooking, beauty, fitness, outdoor living, high-end fashion, you are less likely to follow them if you don’t relate to some of these topics or if you are simply confused what the account is about.
If, however, you come across an Instagram travel account and you are interested in traveling, you are more likely to follow them because you know what you can expect from the account. It’s a clearly defined niche. Further, if you were looking to travel somewhere, you are more likely to seek out this niche account for destination guides and tips.
Your niche could be anything you want. And I highly recommend it’s something you are passionate about. Growing your account and getting 10k Instagram followers can take a lot of time and you want to make sure you use your time to do something you love. If you are passionate about beauty, have your Instagram account be focused on beauty.
If you love traveling, post travel-related photos! This is not to say that you have to focus on one niche only. Many great content creators and bloggers have multiple niches that go together well, such as travel and fashion, fitness and cooking, beauty and fashion, etc.
The most important thing is that you stick with your niche with 80% of your posts and that it is very easily apparent. This will not only help you grow your following but will also help you establish your own personal brand for collaborations. I say 80% because I believe it's okay to post a different photo the odd time and if done well, it will stand out more!
If you find that you want to change your niche down the road because you can’t relate to it anymore – no worries at all! I have seen many fashion bloggers change their focus after they became moms and I think it’s great to be able to do that. Your following might change if you do so since not everyone can relate to your change. But you will gain more followers who connect with your new niche which is ultimately what you should be looking for.
Creating Your Own Brand
Once you find your niche, start creating your brand. Your brand consists of everything you share on social media – from your photography, to your captions, to any videos. This can sound very intimidating, but it often comes naturally. Your brand is what people will be able to recognize you by and is incredibly important to get 10k Instagram followers.
I personally have always loved photos with lots of blue tones in them and started working towards a blue-centric feed. A few months later at a PR event, I was introduced to other members of the PR firm as the “girl with the blue feed.” This has evolved so much that I now get approached by brands who are specifically looking to promote blue colored items. I often switch my secondary feed colors on @thenexttrip as shown below with orange, but the blue theme always remains.
So how do you create your brand? Your brand is often closely related to your personality. If you are a positive person and like to make people laugh, your brand could integrate telling jokes in your captions and stories. Do you like bright and airy spaces and all things pastel? Your brand could be sharing pastel colored photos with a bright edit such as the photos from Elena (@thecarryonchronicles).
If you are all about empowering women, your brand could be to share motivating messages targeted towards women. A great example is the feed from Kelly (@lipstickandink). Her messaging is clear in every single post and she even includes quotes in a diamond feed pattern.
Or if you have a love for twirly dresses, your niche could be twirling in dresses wherever you are. One of my favorite feeds out there is by Talia (@travelwithtalia) who specialized in sharing twirly dresses in great places and combining travel with fashion.
Whatever your brand may be, it should be reflected in your photos, caption, and in your stories. Similar to your niche, this will make it easier for followers to understand what your account is all about and for brands to see if you are a natural fit to work with. In general, having a defined brand is an important step to get 10k Instagram followers.
Brand and Posting Consistency
By far the most important thing when it comes to growing your Instagram account is consistency! There are two types of consistency I am talking about: consistent branding and consistent posting.
Consistent Branding - What Should I Post?
Consistent branding means that your posts are all consistent and have the same overall branding. Your goal is for people to start recognizing you when they see your photo or your caption, without even having to see your name. Once people recognize you – they are more likely to think of you when seeking advice, inspiration or help in your niche. And they are more likely to think of you and recommend you to others which helps you get 10k Instagram followers.
For example, if you post photos that go back and forth between bright cheerful edits, dark and moody edits, punches of color, and soft pastels, it doesn’t show a cohesive or consistent brand, which makes it harder for your followers to recognize your photo in their feed. On the other hand, if you love soft pastel tones and edit all your photos accordingly, your followers are going to be able to tell the photo is from you without even having to read your handle.
This recognition value is huge when it comes to your followers remembering you and recommending you which helps you get 10k Instagram followers.
Consistent Posting - How Often Should I Post?
Consistent posting means that you post on Instagram regularly. While there are many people who seem to be doing fine posting only a few times per week, I found that I was only able to grow my Instagram account once I started posting every single day. Generally speaking, the more often you post, the faster your account grows.
This means having a new photo and a new caption every day and being online on holidays, when you’re sick, and even when you’re too busy with other things. Now this sounds like a lot of work and it is. But if you are looking to get 10k Instagram followers, posting every day is one of the key ways to do so.
Every time you post, your photo will reach a certain amount of people and will show up in the “recent” section of the location tag, hashtags, and tagged accounts. As other people post with the same tags and hashtags, your post will be pushed down in the grid and less likely to be seen by other accounts.
If you want to get 10k Instagram followers, you will want to increase your chances of being seen by other accounts. Posting every day will put you at the top of the recent section in each tag, hashtag, and location for a certain amount of time every day. If you post every single day in a year, other accounts have 365 chances to see your photo at the top of the recent section in each tag, hashtag, and location tag.
Taking photos and coming up with a caption every day is by no means easy. On the contrary, it is incredibly time consuming and posting every single day might simply not be feasible for you. That’s totally okay! Focus on posting as many times as you can, even if it’s not daily, and make sure your posts are on brand.
Posting on Your Instagram Feed – How to Prepare and Post a Successful Instagram Post
Posting on your Instagram feed frequently and consistently is incredibly important to get 10k Instagram followers. Equally important is what your post consists of, what hashtags, account tags and location tags you are using and how much work you put in after you posted.
Post High Quality Photos
A photo can speak more than a thousand words. And a great photo can give your Instagram account the push you are looking for! Because Instagram is a visual platform, posting high quality photos is incredibly important. This holds even more true if your niche is a visual niche, i.e. travel vs. career coaching.
A lot goes into creating high quality photos. You need the right camera gear, a great eye for framing, the right editing software, and the right location. Check out my Instagram location guides if you are looking for Instagrammable places around the world.
This all sounds like a lot. Don't be discouraged! I started my Instagram journey with a very old camera and with no idea how to use it. But as I was out taking photos with friends every single day for a year, I learned how to use my camera, how to improve my editing process, and how to frame pictures better.
Taking great photos requires hands on practice – much like everything else. But what you can easily focus on today is making sure:
All photos are straight
All photos are crisp and not out of focus
All photos are not too bright or too dark
Your head or your feet are not cut off awkwardly
Further, a great editing software can make all the difference when you need to adjust exposure, contrast, or do some color corrections.
I have been using Lightroom to edit all my photos and even created my own preset which I will be giving away to all my readers soon (stay tuned)! If you are looking to test Lightroom yourself, sign up here.
What Hashtags Should I Use?
Having great photos alone is not everything. If you are looking to get 10k Instagram followers, you need to increase your chances of being “found” by others. Hashtags are a great way of increasing your reach. Every hashtag has its own “page” on Instagram showing the top posts, most recent posts, and stories including that hashtag.
Every time you post and include a certain hashtag, your post can show up on that “hashtag page.” You can use up to 30 hashtags in every single post and there are multiple theories out there on how many hashtags provide the highest reach. I personally use all 30 hashtags for every single post as it gives me 30 chances to be at the top of a hashtag page. The below hashtag page of #utahtravels shows one of my posts featured in the 9-grid.
But what hashtags should you use? A common mistake I see people make (and I still make as well sometimes) is using the wrong hashtags. Make sure you do your hashtag research before you post. Your hashtags should be relevant for your post and in your niche.
If you are posting travel related content, use travel related hashtags. People are unlikely going to look for a travel account when searching for food. You can also add location related hashtags which I have found to be the most frequent way brands find my account.
Further, make sure that your hashtag is not blocked by Instagram. A hashtag can be blocked by Instagram if it has been associated with inappropriate content. If you end up using such a hashtag, Instagram won’t show your photo in any of the hashtags you used as it immediately thinks your content is inappropriate as well. This can reduce your reach substantially and keep you from getting 10k Instagram followers.
Another thing that often gets overlooked is hashtag size. Size matters – even with hashtags!
Think about a hashtag with 1 million posts. A hashtag with 1 million posts gets about 400 new posts per day. This means every 3-4 minutes, there is a new post and your post will drop further down in the recent grid. This means that after only 27 minutes, your post won’t be shown on the initial recent grid anymore and someone looking up this hashtag would need to scroll to see your post.
If you look at a hashtag with 100k posts instead, there are only 40 new posts per day which translates to a new post every 30-40 minutes. Your post will have a much higher chance of being at the top of the hashtag page and being seen if you use smaller niche hashtags in your Instagram post.
Generally speaking, you want to use hashtags that get looked up often enough but are not too big. To start out, look for hashtags with between 10k and 100k posts.
Why You Need to Add a Location Tag on Instagram
Similar to hashtags, location tags provide the opportunity for your photo to be found when someone searches that location and help you get 10k Instagram followers. Make sure to add a location to every single one of your posts for increased visibility. Your location tag does not have to be the exact location of where the photo was taken, as not every location will be searched.
For instance, if you are taking a photo in front of a mural in Chicago, instead of adding the exact mural address, I recommend adding Chicago as your location. This is because people who are looking to find murals in Chicago would not likely look up the exact address but instead search within the Chicago location tag to find murals.
Once they find your photo, you are already a step closer to 10k Instagram followers.
Why You Need to Add Account Tags to Your Post and Get Re-Posted
A fourth way to increase your visibility is by tagging relevant accounts in your photo and getting re-posted by feature accounts. Feature accounts are accounts set up to feature non-original photos. This means the sole purpose of those accounts is to re-share other people’s photos and they do so legally by tagging you in the photo and giving you credit.
Getting re-posted by a large feature account is a great way to increase your reach as their followers will now see your photo. This in turn can help you grow your account to 10k Instagram followers. When I was starting out, I thought getting re-posted would help me grow my account overnight. This was certainly not the case. It is a nice boost but don’t expect any wonders from re-posting.
Even if you don’t get re-posted, tagging accounts can increase your reach as people may look at tagged photos in a feature account. When you use account tags, make sure they are relevant for your niche and brand. If you are a beauty blogger, it doesn’t make sense to use a travel feature account as other accounts would not think to look for beauty related posts there.
I make sure to tag 20 accounts in each of my photos to increase my visibility. I often tag the clothing company where I have my outfit from and use the rest of the available 20 tags for location specific tourism accounts if I show a lot of scenery, such as @visitutah, and travel community accounts which feature travel bloggers such as @sheisnotlost.
If you don’t know which accounts to tag, try looking at other Instagram accounts in your niche and see which tags they use. It is highly likely that those account tags would be relevant for you as well.
Engage with Your Audience and Build A Community
Now that your post is ready to go, all you have to do is hit the “share” button and done, right? WRONG! What I learned in a seminar a while back is that the more active you are on Instagram, the better your posts will perform and the faster you can get 10k Instagram followers.
Engaging with your audience after you post is very important. Some argue that you should engage at least 30 minutes before and after you post. I personally spend at least 30 minutes before and after I post engaging and I am also on the app throughout the day. As a reference, I average about 3 hours on Instagram every day.
So what does engaging even mean? By spending time on Instagram, I don’t mean scrolling aimlessly through your feed. Engaging means liking and commenting other people’s posts. If you comment on another content creator’s/blogger’s/influencer’s post in your niche, chances are they will comment on yours as well. Of course, if you comment as soon as they posted, chances are higher that they see your comment and will return the love.
With time, you will start having a set of people who always comment on your posts and you comment on theirs. You can then start looking at their comments and find new accounts to interact with.
While this might sound very calculated, you will find that you really get to know one another by interacting every day over a few months. I have connected with several people across the globe by interacting with their content daily and have even met them in real life and established great friendships.
By interacting with other accounts, you will start to build your own community on Instagram that supports you and vice versa. Having a community on Instagram that supports you will help you get 10k Instagram followers.
Understanding Your Instagram Insights
If you have an Instagram business or creator account, Instagram will show you insights for your posts. If your account is private, I highly recommend you switch to a business or creator account. (I personally had a business account and switched to a creator account and didn’t notice any difference in post performance or reach.)
Switching to a business or creator account definitely helped me get 10k Instagram followers because I was able to create strategies based on the new insights. This is not only for your own benefit, as some companies will ask to see your insights before agreeing to a collaboration.
Your Instagram insights are your best friend. They don’t only reveal how well your post has performed and which photos perform best, but also show where people found your post. Understanding your insights can help you figure out what you need to improve to reach more accounts with your next post.
For each post, Instagram shows you the number of likes, comments, shares, and saves. You can also see how many people have visited your profile, clicked on your website, and how many accounts have been reached with this one post.
Arguably the most important feature of Instagram insights is seeing where your impressions come from. Impressions are the total number of times your post has been seen. Reach on the other hand is the number of unique accounts that have seen your post.
You will want to pay attention to where your impressions come from as this is a great way to know where your content needs improvement. Your Instagram impressions can be:
From Home: if someone sees your photo when scrolling through their home feed;
From Hashtags: if your photo is shown in either the hashtag recent or top page;
From Profile: if someone sees your photo by scrolling through your feed;
From Explore: if Instagram shows your photo to others on the explore page;
From Location: if your photo is shown in the location tag;
And from Others: which includes mostly account tags but can also include explore and location if those categories are not large enough the be shown separately.
If you find that one of your posts has a much higher amount of impressions than another, look at your insights and see where the difference is. If your hashtag reach is much lower, consider changing your hashtags. If your others impression is lower, consider tagging different accounts or using a different location, etc.
The best strategy to get 10k Instagram followers is to look at your most successful posts as they indicate what your followers and other accounts are most interested in seeing. Use a similar hashtag, caption, and/or photo concept for your other posts as well.
Being active on Instagram stories is a great way to connect with your followers and share your personality. It is also a great way to grow to 10k Instagram followers. Stories are much quicker to put together than an Instagram feed post and as they generally don’t require as much preparation. They are an easy way to share little snippets of your brand throughout the day and yet they are extremely powerful to build connections.
Why You Should Post Instagram Stories
I personally find that I am more likely to engage and keep following an account if I can see the creator on stories and relate to what they are sharing. If you show your face and talk on stories, you are better able to connect with your followers on a personal level as people are interested to see and hear you talk as they would if they met someone offline.
To make your stories engaging and interactive, think about using the Instagram poll and questions features, as well as adding music to your stories.
Stories also allow you to increase your visibility when you add location tags and hashtags as your stories can then be shown in the hashtag or location tag story compilation.
How many stories should you post per day? There is no right or wrong number of how many stories to post daily. I recommend posting at least one talking story every day so that any new follower can immediately connect with you when they first start following you.
Every time you post a story, it will show up at the beginning of your followers story feed. As the day goes on, your story will be pushed away by more recent stories from other accounts that they follow. As such, the more often you post in a day, the higher the chance that a follower will see your stories and watch them.
If you struggle coming up with content to share on your stories, you can also use Instagram story templates which are relevant for your niche. I created a few fun Q&A and travel related Instagram story templates which you can download for free.
How Many Stories Are Too Many?
One thing to keep in mind when posting stories is that your audience likely does not have an unlimited attention span. Try to keep your message relatively short to keep their attention. Further, if you post too many stories, your followers are more likely to skip them altogether as they may not be interested in watching 20 stories from the same person.
Similar as with Instagram feed posts, keep an eye on your story insights and find out what number of stories and what type of content resonates best with your audience.
One of the worst things that can happen to you when you are trying to grow to 10k Instagram followers is getting blocked by Instagram. Now there are several possible types of Instagram blocks:
Action block: meaning you are not able to take any actions on Instagram including liking, commenting, following, and posting. Instagram stories are usually excluded from the block and you can still post to stories.
Comment block: you are blocked from commenting.
Like block: you are blocked from liking other posts.
DM block: you are blocked from sending direct messages.
Instagram blocks occur when you use one or several Instagram features too many times according to their standards. This behavior resembles robot behavior and will be flagged by the Instagram algorithm as “unusual.” If you continue with your activity, your account will get blocked.
The duration of each block is different and depends on every situation. In some cases, Instagram will provide you with an Instagram block expiration. In other cases you are blocked temporarily which in my experience can range from a few hours to 24 hours.
Your best bet is to try and avoid Instagram blocks at all costs as they hurt the reputation of your account within Instagram. However, if you end up getting blocked, don’t worry! I have been in your shoes and am sharing how you can fix your Instagram block and avoid future blocks.
Why You Should NOT Buy Followers on Instagram
After all of this, buying Instagram followers might seem like an easier way to grow to 10k Instagram followers, right? Well it might, but there are several reasons why buying followers is going to hurt your account in the long run.
The main goal of any social media platform is to connect people. It is a platform where people can socialize virtually and exchange ideas, concepts, photos, videos, etc. The same is true for Instagram. The main reason why this platform exists is to connect people and enable them to share life moments. And this is exactly why it has been so successful when it comes to implementing marketing campaigns and ads.
Bought Followers Reduce the Effectiveness of your Collaborations
Through social media, any company can launch extremely targeted advertisements to an audience which trusts and engages with an influencer/blogger/content creator. If you purchased followers to get 10k Instagram followers fast, you are missing the most important aspect of being valuable to a marketing campaign: real connections.
Yes you may still get some collaborations, but if all your followers are fake, none of them will click on the dress you are showcasing and the company you are working with will notice that they are not able to generate any increase in page views and/or sales by advertising through you. As a result, they will likely stop working with you. If the marketing or PR representative shares this information with other companies, this could even hurt future collaborations.
Buying Followers Is Noticeable
You may think that buying followers is something nobody is going to notice. After all, how is anyone going to be able to tell where they came from? You’re wrong!
There are multiple platforms out there with the sole purpose to analyze Instagram accounts. My favorite platform, Ninjalytics, shows you the progression of follower growth, whether the account is engaging in follow/unfollow activities, how their engagement compares to others in the industry, and how each post performs.
Accounts that buy followers or do big loop giveaways are very easily identifiable. Below is what my follower growth chart looks like. My following has been increasing steadily over a year with no apparent spikes and had one negative growth period during the time I was action blocked.
An account that clearly buys followers has a lot of spikes in follower growth, followed by a decrease in followers over time. The decrease results in fake accounts being identified as such and being deleted by Instagram, or accounts unfollowing you again.
Buying Followers Throttles Your Organic Growth
In addition to hurting your brand relationships, buying Instagram followers also reduces your ability to grow 10k Instagram followers organically afterwards. While there is no official Instagram document certifying this information, I know a few accounts which have purchased followers and have later struggled to grow organically without buying more.
An explanation could be that Instagram notices the unusual spike in following and as a pre-caution flags the account and throttles its visibility in hashtags, tags, and location tags. That way, you will have a harder time being found by others which in turn reduces your growth.
Instagram Giveaways – Yay or Nay?
There are two types of giveaways on Instagram: small account specific Instagram giveaways and big loop giveaways. Both of them can be used as a strategy to get 10k Instagram followers. But do they work?
The small account specific giveaways are often used by creators to promote a specific company or product and give it away to one or more followers, or a way to give back to their community by generously giving away a gift card or item. Small giveaways are a great way to give back and if they are in your niche and something your followers would be interested in.
I have not noticed any negative draw backs from accounts doing small giveaways and did not experience a slow down in my growth to get 10k Instagram followers. Small giveaways are definitely a YAY!
Loop giveaways on the other hand are very large giveaways and often structured in a way that in order to win, people will need to follow 50+ other accounts. In order to participate in Loop giveaways, you likely need to “buy in,” i.e. purchase your spot in the Loop. The host of the giveaway will decide on the prize which is oftentimes a trip, expensive gadget or accessory, or large sum of money and will create the post which you then share on your feed.
Once the giveaway is live, your followers as well as the followers of the other participating accounts have the chance to win if they follow everyone participating in the Loop giveaway. In the short run, this will increase your following effectively. After the giveaway is closed and a winner is announced, you may start noticing a drop in your following as certain people might not be interested in your content and only followed you to win.
The real issue with Loop giveaways is trying to grow 10k Instagram followers organically afterwards. Similar to buying followers, the Instagram algorithm likely notices your follower spike as unusual and will throttle your visibility and growth thereafter.
I personally did a Loop giveaway in February 2019. The giveaway was in my niche as you could win a trip to Bali. My following increased as predicted, but dropped again substantially after the giveaway was closed. It took my account until February 2020 to get to a higher growth rate, i.e. a year! If you are looking to grow your following to 10k Instagram followers organically and sustainably, Loop giveaways are a big NAY.
There is a lot more to Instagram and growing your account to 10k Instagram followers than meets the eye. It is a lot of hard work but it can also be a lot of fun (at least it is for me) to create content, share it with others, and build a community. If you have any questions about other topics that I was not able to cover or anything I mentioned in this post, feel free to reach out to me via DM on Instagram or via Email. I am always happy to answer any questions and would love to help!
Pin this post to your Instagram tips Pinterest board to find it again any time!
Instagram stories are by far the best way to connect with your followers. They are quick and easy to create and super interactive. The Instagram feed is nice and all, but let's be honest, what we really do when we wake up or before going to bed is watch stories!
I put together some free Instagram story questions templates for you to use in your stories. These Instagram story questions templates are perfect for when you are lacking story content (we should be posting every day, right?) and when you want to share more about yourself! I also put together an extensive guide on how to grow your Instagram account to 10k.
What Are Instagram Story Templates?
Instagram story templates are layouts with graphics, text, or animations that have been pre-made and you can use in your own stories. Chances are that you have probably seen them on Instagram accounts countless times. Many bloggers and brands use them as part of their branding strategy. Instagram story templates provide a great way to keep your stories cohesive and in line with your branding, without taking up a lot of time and work.
Why Should I Be Using Instagram Story Templates?
The Instagram algorithm is a very tricky thing. If you want to grow your audience, posting on your feed and stories regularly is necessary. After all, how are other people supposed to find you if you don't post? Your story views will increase the more you post stories because every time you post a story, you will show up at the front of your follower's story feed.
Now imagine posting one story and then nothing else for a whole day. Your followers will have to scroll all the way through their story feed to find you. That's why it's best to post multiple stories daily as you will show up at the front of the story feed over and over. I'm by no means an Instagram expert but if you struggle with being action blocked on Instagram, this is my guide on how to fix an Instagram Action Block.
But how can I post so many stories daily? That's a great question! Most of us don't have so much time to record stories all day. This is where Instagram story questions templates come in handy. You can find your story templates online and use them or create your own (I use Canva to create them). Download/or create a few on a rainy Sunday, and you immediately have a few slides of story content without having to leave your couch.
Instagram story templates make it incredibly easy to share and connect with your followers. If you want your followers to notice, and remember your stories, using Instagram story templates is the perfect strategy!
How Do I Use Instagram Story Templates?
It is SUPER EASY! The beauty about having Instagram story questions templates is that they are super quick and easy to use! Here are the 6 steps to use story templates on your phone:
Click on the template you like below
Hold your finger down until a box pops-up
Select "Add to Photos" or "Save"
Open a new Instagram story in the Instagram App
Click on the bottom left square which takes you to your Gallery and select the saved Instagram questions story template
Fill out the template and post it!
Free Instagram Story Questions Templates
I put together a few Instagram story questions templates for you to use for free! You can just download these and use them whenever you don't have any other story content to share or don't feel like creating any new stories.
Quarantine Edition Instagram Story Templates
Creating Instagram stories during every-day life is already super time consuming. But during quarantine, it is even worse to find something to talk about on stories! Creating content has become a chore as indoor content inspiration is simply not as exciting. This is why I created a set of fun quarantine Instagram story questions templates for you to use, including a quarantine snacks and quarantine activities challenge.
Travel Edition Instagram Story Questions Templates
Being a travel blogger can be a ton of fun! Sharing new places and countries with your followers is one of the main reasons why travel bloggers are travel bloggers. However, you can't be on the road all the time and most people don't travel full time. What should you be sharing if you're not traveling?
I created some cute travel Instagram story questions templates for you which you can use to share your latest travel goals, your bucket list accomplishments, and simply to share your love for travel. I also included a template on embarrassing travel moments for those days when you feel like sharing your mishaps on the road with your audience. Trust me when I say, you will get a ton of responses! Everyone loves to hear about mishaps!
Q&A Instagram Story Templates
Sometimes, sharing basic facts about you will be the one thing that connects you most with your audience. Your followers might connect with you over a shared love for ice cream, having grown up in the same city or State, or your favorite TV show. Such little details can turn a follower into a super-follower! If your audience feels connected to you, they will engage with your content, with your Instagram stories, and most importantly, they will keep following you.
I created some simple but very effective Instagram story questions templates for you for free which you can use to build exactly these connections with your followers. These templates are perfect for your audience to get to know you better.
I would love for you to tag me when you use my templates so that I can get to know you better as well! I would love to follow along your journey and connect with you over a shared love of our favorite TV shows, favorite food, or dream vacation!
Pin these templates to your Instagram Pinterest board for those days when you are looking for Instagram story questions templates!
Road trips are by far my favorite way to explore the USA. There is so much vast and remote beauty which is impossible to fully explore without really getting into nature. Given the sheer size of the country, this often involves driving for a few hours. For me the drive is just as much the fun as the destination! With endless roads disappearing over the horizon, roadside diners and classic motels, a road trip will transport you to all these places and more.
One of the most iconic road trip destinations is the Southwest of the US. You can find some of the most beautiful scenery and Instagram-worthy views here. If you’re ready to get out there on your great American road trip, here are our favorite Southwest USA road trip destinations from Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. For each location, we’re sharing the best time to visit, our tips for visiting the location, and the most useful resources.
Note: At the time of publishing this article, national parks in these states are closed and many of these destinations are not accessible. Make sure you save this post for when it is safe to travel again!
Why You Need to Visit the Southwest USA
The Southwest has all these natural wonders you usually only see in high gloss travel magazines. Think Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Route 66, and more! You probably already know all of these from popular movies and TV shows but there is nothing better than experiencing these destinations first-hand doing a Southwest USA road trip!
One note when driving through the Southwest, a lot of these places are very remote and require a fair amount of driving. You will get to see some incredible and untouched parts of nature but on the flipside, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels, are less frequent. It helps to bring a road trip planner with you so you are always prepared.
Make sure you fill up on gas before leaving a town if you don’t know where the next gas station will be. And the worst thing to happen on an iconic American road trip is to run out of gas!
Best Time to do your Southwest USA Road Trip
You will generally find the best weather in the Southwest between December and April. This area of the USA can get incredibly hot and dry and hiking to some of these places will become extremely strenuous in the heat.
Since some of the places in Utah are at relatively high elevation and could be covered in snow, I would recommend planning your Southwest USA road trip for March or April. During this time, temperatures are going to be around a comfortable 65 F (18 C) in the northern areas and 75 F (24 C) in the south.
As most of the US Southwest road trip destinations are in the desert, it may get very hot during the day, but cool down substantially during the night. Make sure you bring a warm sweater or hoodie and a scarf for when the temperatures drop at night.
Map for an Iconic Southwest USA Road Trip
There are so many different attractions throughout Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico that it is hard to decide where to go. The below map shows all of our favorite attractions and the order in which we recommend seeing them in on your Southwest USA road trip. You can use this map to plan out and to figure out the best order these road trip destinations fit with your travel plans.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are exactly what the name suggests; an area with densely packed salt. They are located on Interstate 80 just outside of Salt Lake City, close to the Nevada border, and the perfect start for any Utah road trip.
Given the huge flat area, the salt flats make the perfect background to take photos and be creative. Get out there and have fun! Think about working with different perspectives, play with the reflection off the water, and just enjoy the view.
Given that the ground is covered in salt, don’t wear your favorite leather shoes or anything else that could be easily damaged by the salt. Salt can be extremely difficult to remove from clothing and fabrics afterwards. I recommend wearing rubber shoes or boots.
Keep in mind that the salt flats are covered in water which is also extremely salty, but more importantly there may be no dry place to set down a bag or anything you bring with you.
Temperatures on the salt flats vary greatly. In Summer, they often reach over 100 F (38 C) degrees and can drop below freezing in winter. Make sure you wear protective clothing and sun screen.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day. The Bonneville Salt Flats are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and open to the public most of the time. During events and/or filming projects, there might be restrictions. You can check out the event calendar here.
Facilities: There are no washrooms at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Have you ever heard of two slot canyons called Peek-A-Boo and Spooky? Me neither until I went there. These canyons completely live up to their names, are a lot of fun to explore, and definitely worth adding to your Southwest USA road trip. The canyons are closest to Escalante, Utah and are a 3-hour hike round-trip from the parking lot. The hike starts off on a flat sandy trail and continues to a climb down into the dry canyon area. The steep climb down is over smooth slick rock.
The best way to hike these two slot canyons is in a one-way loop, starting with Peek-A-Boo, traveling cross-country to reach Spooky, and then exiting Spooky in the original canyon area near the Peek-A-Boo entrance.
Once you reach Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon, you need to climb up about a 12-foot (3.7 meters) rock face to enter the canyon. I am 5’5” (1.7 meters) and managed to get up there on the first try. Once you start walking through, you quickly understand where the name Peek-A-Boo comes from.
The canyon has some fun rock loops you can climb through and each corner is hidden – providing the best peek-a-boo game! As the slot canyon is not overly deep, you can also play peek-a-boo with people in the canyon, while walking along up top.
When you reach the end of Peek-A-Boo, there is an easy to follow trail that travels cross-country to the entrance of Spooky Slot Canyon. The canyon very much lives up to its name. It is incredibly narrow! In some places, we could only pass by taking off our backpacks, and shuffling sideways.
Spooky also has one technical section halfway through where you need to climb overtop some car-sized boulders, and then crawl back underneath them to continue through the slot canyon. These canyons will definitely make your Utah road trip more interesting!
Please don’t visit these canyons if you’re claustrophobic! Both canyons have some very narrow spots and are dark at times.
Bring enough water but carry a small backpack. A large backpack is much harder to squeeze through the tight corners of Spooky Slot Canyon.
There is weak to no cell reception on the hike with T-Mobile.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Cost: Visiting Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Canyon is free.
Facilities: There are two outhouses at the trailhead.
Location:Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyon. The slot canyons are located along Hole-In-The-Rock Road, and require driving about one hour on dusty gravel roads - the perfect adventure on your Southwest USA road trip. The roads are fine for a car when dry, but do not attempt to drive when the ground is wet as it instantly turns to slick mud.
Stunning Grosvenor Arch
If you love arches but don’t feel like battling the crowds at Arches National Park, Grosvenor Arch is your destination. It is a unique double arch about 150 feet (46 meters) tall and is located within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. The double arch is an easy 5-minute walk from the parking lot and is extremely impressive to look at! You can’t climb around or on top of the arch but the view you get from the bottom is definitely worth it!
Grosvenor Arch is easily reachable by car but you will mostly drive on a gravel road. Make sure you fuel up before hitting the road as there are no gas stations anywhere close.
There is weak to no cell reception at Grosvenor Arch with T-Mobile.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Cost: Visiting Grosvenor Arch is free.
Facilities: There are two outhouses at the trailhead.
Devil’s Garden Escalante is very much like a playground for grownups and offers so many photo opportunities. It is a perfect addition to your Southwest USA road trip. It is located in the Staircase-Escalante National Monument and known for its countless hoodoos and two small arches. Its location provides for some amazing views and given that it’s possible to climb onto the base of the hoodoos, you can let your creativity run wild.
Devil’s Garden is easily reachable when driving down the Hole in the Rock road. Make sure you fuel up before your trip and bring enough water and food for the day.
Cell reception at Devil’s Garden is spotty with T-Mobile. I had the best reception at higher points.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Cost: Visiting Devil’s Garden Escalante is free.
Facilities: There are two outhouses at the trailhead.
Location:Devil’s Garden This is located on the same road as Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons and is great to combine into the same day.
Arizona Road Trip Destinations
Similar to Utah, Arizona is home to some incredible natural wonders and trying to figure out where to go can be a daunting task. These are our favorite Arizona road trip destinations, some of which you may never have heard of and which you cannot miss out on your Southwest USA road trip!
Off the Beaten Path in White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
White Pocket is an area within the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. It has some of the most amazing rock formations. Think orange lined rocks like the Wave, white pillow-like rock surfaces and sliver thin rock layers. You are free to walk around and explore as much as you like.
The area is a 10-minute walk on a sand trail from the parking lot. It is one of the best kept secrets but a great addition to your Southwest USA road trip.
Getting to White Pocket is a bit more difficult.. It is a 3-4 hour drive from Kanab, UT or Page, AZ. The first hour of the drive is on a paved highway, followed by a maintained gravel road. The last 5 miles are in deeply rutted sand. A high clearance vehicle with four-wheel drive is highly recommended. That being said, most rugged SUVs and pick-up trucks with four-wheel drive should be able to make it without issue.
There are no facilities at White Pocket. It’s very remote so be sure to bring enough water, food, and sun protection.
Don’t leave anything behind, not even personal waste. We recommend bringing bags designed to hold human waste.
I had surprisingly good cell reception at White Pocket. I had 2 bars LTE with T-Mobile.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Cost: Visiting White Pocket is free.
Facilities: There are no facilities at White Pocket.
There is nothing quite as magical as catching the sunrays as they shine through a slot canyon! Antelope Canyon is one of the most famous slot canyons in Arizona and a must see on your Southwest USA road trip. It is completely worth a visit. You will need to book a tour to access the canyon and I recommend booking far in advance as the slot canyon is incredibly busy, especially in Summer.
You may not know this but there is an Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon is slightly less busy and tours are cheaper. We visited Lower Antelope Canyon and loved the tour and the canyon itself.
The tour moves quite fast and taking a lot of pictures can be difficult. If you’re planning to take photos, consider booking a tour first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon.
The light in the canyon is best around midday, which is also the busiest time to visit.
The descent into the canyon is a very steep staircase. Make sure you wear good shoes.
It was incredibly windy when we were there and we found orange sand in our pockets days after we walked through the canyon. Expect to have sand blown everywhere.
Hours: You cannot access Antelope Canyon without a tour. Tour hours are 7:30am – 5:45pm.
Horseshoe Bend is one of the most iconic places to visit in Arizona and on your Southwest USA road trip and definitely worth a stop! We visited the Horseshoe Bend in 2017 and also just recently in March 2020. The river formation is just as stunning the second time we saw it as the first time. The area around it has completely changed though.
You can easily drive up to the parking lot and walk 5-10 minutes on a gravel trail to get to the bend. There are two covered areas where you can get some shade along the trail as it gets extremely hot here in Summer.
Once you get to the very tip of the cliff, there are some areas which are fenced off for safety reasons. However, you are still free to roam around in other areas and the iconic “rock” is not fenced in and you can get one of the most Instagram-worthy photos from here.
Take a lot of water! Yes, the hike is short – only 5-10 minutes. However, it gets extremely hot and there is not a lot of shade. We visited in March and didn’t think we would need the extra water but we wish we had brought some.
Apply plenty of sunscreen! Even if you’re not planning to stay very long, the sun reflects of the rock surfaces and is very intense.
Horseshoe Bend is extremely popular and gets super busy. Consider visiting early in the morning or late in the evening for some amazing sunset photos.
Hours: Open daily from Dawn to Dusk according to the City of Page.
Cost: Entrance fee to Horseshoe Bend is $10 per car. You pay upon entering the parking lot.
Facilities: There are washrooms available at the parking lot.
Any Southwest USA road trip would not be complete without a stop at the Grand Canyon! I’m sure you have seen countless photos of the Grand Canyon and might be wondering if it’s worth going there given that you have already seen it in photos. It is absolutely worth it! Standing on the edge of the canyon and overlooking the entire area is an incredible feeling and very much worth a trip.
The Grand Canyon has a North and a South Rim. The South Rim includes all of the popular viewpoints and it is what people usually think of when you mention Grand Canyon. It is much easier to get to and unlike the North Rim, it is open all year round.
Getting to the North Rim is for those who like to take the road less traveled. It is generally closed in Winter and lodging is only open from May to October due to the snow. Make sure you make a reservation at the North Rim lodge or campground if you’re planning to visit the North Rim, as lodging options are very limited.
A Grand Canyon road trip can be as long or short as you like. The South Rim is a 4.5-hour drive from Las Vegas and you can easily see some of it in a day. If you’re short on time and only have one day to spend here, I recommend visiting the South Rim as it is much easier to access. Start your day at Mather Point which is a great place to view the sunrise or sunset.
Continue to Yavapai Point which is very close and make your way West. You can easily drive to all the viewpoints and if you have time, doing the South Rim Trail is an easy way to take in all the epic views. The hike is relatively easy with minimal elevation gain.
Other viewpoints which are easy to get to by car and have an amazing view are Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, and Mohave Point where you can see the Colorado River. If you’re looking for wide views of the canyon, Lipan Point is another great viewpoint.
If you have more than one day here and are planning a longer Southwest USA road trip, I highly recommend waking up early and enjoying a sunrise over the canyon and seeing the sun set behind this majestic landscape. It truly is an experience like no other.
There is a lot to see at the Grand Canyon, make sure you plan out your time here and know what you want to see.
The South Rim viewpoints can get very busy. Being here early in the morning and later in the evening helps avoid the crowds.
If you want to make the most out of your Grand Canyon road trip, bring water and food with you so that you don’t have to stop in the village but can chase the amazing views instead.
Hours: The South Rim is open 24 hours daily. The North Rim is closed to all vehicles from December 1 to May 15.
Cost: Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park is $35 per vehicle. Your pass will be valid for 7 days and includes both the North and South Rim.
Facilities: The South Rim has multiple visitor centers and is fully outfitted with facilities, restaurants, and lodging. The North Rim has one visitor center which is open from May 15 to October 15 and limited lodging.
You may not think of Nevada and New Mexico when planning your iconic American road trip. Trust me when I say that both states have some beautiful road trip destinations you absolutely need to add to your Southwest USA road trip!
Loneliest Road in America in Nevada
The Loneliest Road in America, also known as U.S. Route 50, goes straight across Nevada. It very much deserves the name of being the loneliest road as there is little to no civilization along the way, other than the odd ghost town. This is exactly why it’s the perfect Southwest USA road trip destination!
Fueled up and with plenty of water and food, you can hit the road and explore the vast countryside of Nevada which ranges from salty flat areas to mountains, and grass lands full of hidden hot springs. The road itself goes straight for a large portion and offers incredible photo opportunities, sharing the vastness of the state.
Stopping in a ghost town is a must if you like the idea of traveling back in time and seeing America as it used to be. I can particularly recommend Austin, Nevada which is full of old-school houses, store fronts, and signs.
Other fun activities along the way include enjoying a sunset on Sand Mountain, horseback riding through the wide grass lands, and searching for hot springs. Because of its remote location, the Loneliest Road in America offers the perfect opportunity for some stargazing.
The Loneliest Road in America used to be only travelable by people with survival skills. While it’s definitely easier to drive these days, make sure you fuel up before you leave and get gas every opportunity you get. Gas stations are few and far in-between.
Make sure you bring plenty of water and food with you.
Nevada has an incredible amount of hot springs and no road trip across the Loneliest Road would be complete without taking a dip. Make sure to stop at the popular Spencer Hot Springs or smaller heart-shaped Bartine Hot Springs.
There is surprisingly good cell reception along the Loneliest Road in America. I had 2 bars LTE with T-Mobile.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Cost: Driving the Loneliest Road in America is free.
Facilities: There are only few facilities along the Loneliest Road in America, whenever you hit a ghost town.
White Sands National Park is everything you think of when you hear the name. It’s in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico and is covered in rare white sand. While you may have never heard of it, White Sands is extremely beautiful and definitely worth adding to your Southwest USA road trip.
The white gypsum sand is like nothing I have ever seen before. As you enter the park, you will notice how incredibly quiet it is. There is no sound other than the wind forming new sand dunes.
You can easily access the dunes on the Dunes Drive which is a looped road from the visitor center to the dune field. We were able to park almost anywhere we wanted and just get out of the car to explore the area. If you would like to spend more time in Mexico, you could visit the White Sand National Park in the morning and head to Albuquerque for a weekend.
The White Sands National Park is a desert and as such extremely dry and hot. Make sure you bring plenty of water.
You can easily get lost wandering around the dunes as there is not a lot a variety in landscape. Make sure you don’t visit alone and follow trail posts.
The sun reflection off the white sand is very intense. Make sure you use sunscreen with high SPF and wear protective clothing. Visiting in the early morning is best to avoid the afternoon heat.
There is poor to no cell reception at White Sands National Park.
Hours: The White Sands National Park opens at 7am daily. Closing hours vary depending on the time of the year and are generally between 6pm -7pm in winter and 8pm-9m in summer. Make sure you check the current operation hours on the official website as there might be closures for missile testing.
Cost: Entrance fee to the park is $25 per vehicle and $15 per person if there is only one person in the vehicle.
Facilities: There is a visitor center at the entrance of the park with full washrooms.
The Next Trip Top 5 Tips for Your Southwest USA Road Trip
1) Prepare for the Heat
The weather in the Southwest US is very dry and hot. Especially during the Summer months, temperatures often rise over 100 F (38 C) and spending time outside can be unbearable. Make sure you are prepared for the heat during your Southwest USA road trip. Make sure your car has air conditioning and if you plan to visit in Summer, plan accommodation with air conditioning as well. I would recommend doing your Southwest USA road trip in March or April when temperatures are more pleasant.
2) Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is key during the heat for safety but also to stay energized. Many of these incredible destinations are very dry and windy and you will end up needing more water than you expect. Make sure you bring plenty of fluids. I add Hydralyte to my water for extra hydration on all of my hikes to make sure I don’t get de-hydrated.
3) Bring Good Hiking Shoes
A lot of these Utah and Arizona road trip destinations are in rocky and sandy terrain. Make sure you bring good hiking shoes with great grip on the sole to get around easier. I have done some hikes in normal sneakers which slowed me down a bit as I wasn’t able to climb down rocky sections as easily.
4) Bring a Good Camera
You will undoubtedly see some incredible landscapes on your Southwest USA road trip. Make sure you bring a good camera and have it fully charged. You will want to look back to this iconic road trip years down the road and will want photos to remember all the incredible places you have seen. On our trip, we took thousands of photos of the amazing rock formations and continue to enjoy looking back on them.
5) Plan Around Sunrises and Sunsets
Generally, the best time to explore these places is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Temperatures are not as hot, there will be less people on the road, and the golden hour provides for amazing photos. Make sure you know your sunrise and sunset hours as traveling in the dark can quickly get very dangerous. I would especially recommend to not do any off-road driving or hiking in the dark.
Have you ever taken a Southwest USA road trip? Let us know if we missed any places we should be adding to our list! We love to explore more and hear from you! What have been your favorite road trips to date?
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Welcome to South Bali! Whether you’re planning to stay on the island for only a few days or explore it for longer, South Bali is a must see! If you love staying at all inclusive resorts, the beach life, a few one-day excursions, South Bali is for you! This is your three day South Bali itinerary, including everything you can't miss!
South Bali is the most popular part of Bali. It is surrounded by incredibly beautiful beaches, luxurious beach resorts, and often a party destination. It is equally as beautiful as the rest of the island, but has distinct vegetation compared to north or west Bali.
At the southern tip of Bali is an enclave called Nusa Dua which is resort heaven for all resort lovers! It includes over 20 resorts and has some of the best Bali luxury resorts. It has everything to offer that you could possibly think of.
We stayed at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali which is located right on the beach. The hotel is very distinct as it authentically represents the Balinese culture. When you drive up the hotel, the first thing you’ll notice is the huge Bali gate followed by a beautiful water garden with many fountains. It is by far the prettiest Bali gate I saw on the island.
The resort is built with traditional Balinese style in mind and features a lot of detailed wood carvings. To bring the culture to you, the hotel showcases the Legong Dance during dinner on Wednesdays and a Beach BBQ and Fire Dance on Fridays.
What to do in South Bali
Being right at the beach, you have the best part of South Bali steps from your hotel room! The water in South Bali is amazingly clear and surprisingly warm to swim in. That being said, there are a few attractions in South Bali you can’t miss out on. Since three days can go by in no time, we are summarizing the best places to see in South Bali, and put together a South Bali Itinerary below.
Admire the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue
The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue is almost in the center of South Kuta (the southern-most tip of the island), yet you can see it from almost everywhere in South Kuta. That's because it is 400 feet (122 meters) tall and thus almost 100 feet (30 meters) taller than the statue of Liberty!
It is immensely impressive, and we’re disappointed we didn’t have the time to see it from up close. It is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Make sure you add it to your itinerary by combining a visit with the drive to Uluwatu Temple.
Watch the Sunset at Uluwatu Temple
On the opposite side of Nusa Dua is the Uluwatu Temple. The temple itself might not be the prettiest or the most intricate in all of Bali, but the temple setting will leave you speechless! Built on top of a 230 feet (70 meter) cliff, it provides the most spectacular views, especially around sunset.
Make sure you visit the temple 1 to 1.5 hours prior to sunset. That way you can avoid the crowds and still get the most incredible sunset views. The best viewpoints are from vantage points to the north and south of the temple. While watching the sunset, you can befriend the cute monkeys which are believed to guard the temple from bad influences. Keep your belongings stowed away or hold them close to you to make sure a monkey doesn’t mistake it as a gift.
Go for a Sunrise Stroll at Nusa Dua Beach
South Bali has some of the best beaches in Bali! Get up before sunrise and stroll along the beach while watching the sun rise. You will have the beach almost to yourself and may only see a few joggers and hotel staff setting up for the day.
Nusa Dua beach is full of photo opportunities. If you enjoy taking photos this early in the morning without anyone interrupting you, make sure to bring your camera.
Admire the Water Blow
Only a short walk away from Nusa Dua beach is the Water Blow. A water blow is basically a combination of high waves hitting steep cliffs, thereby creating a large water spray. This particular water blow can be extremely intense depending on the waves and with spectacular sprays. It’s another great location to take photos.
Treat Yourself to a Balinese Massage
There is nothing better than pampering yourself when you’re on vacation, especially after a full day of exploring. So why not go for a traditional Balinese massage? The Balinese massage combines acupressure techniques with skin rolling, flicking, firm and gentle stroking and the application of essential oils.
We enjoyed a full Balinese massage at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali and it was such a blissful experience. The massage started out with a foot scrub, followed by a full body massage. As part of the tradition, the masseuses used essential oils which we got to pick beforehand. I chose a flowery jasmin oil which smelled heavenly.
South Bali Itinerary for 3 Days
We put together a South Bali itinerary for you to make it easier for to plan your stay in South Bali and make sure you get the most out of your 3 days there!
Day 1 in South Bali:
Arrive in South Bali
Relax by the beach after a long trip
Treat yourself to a Balinese massage
Enjoy a dinner on one of the best beaches in Bali
Day 2 in South Bali:
Get up early for a stroll along the Nusa Dua Beach
South Bali has amazing snorkeling opportunities which you don't want to miss out on. Make sure to bring your own snorkeling gear if you own some. Otherwise, your hotel might rent out gear.
2) Bring Mosquito Repellent
Bali can have a lot of mosquitoes due to its tropical climate. Make sure to bring mosquito repellent to protect yourself.
3) Bring Sunscreen
Given that your South Bali Itinerary likely includes long hours in the sun, make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen. I was surprised to find that it is difficult to find high SPF sunscreens in Bali and was glad I had brought my own.
4) Book a Massage in Advance
Massage spots can fill up fast, so to ensure that you get a time that works with your schedule, book a time slot as soon as you arrive at your hotel, or even beforehand.
5) Schedule South Bali at the Beginning or End of Your Trip
As South Bali includes Denpasar International Airport, it is best to schedule your time here at the beginning or end of your time in Bali to minimize driving times, and relax either before or after your flight.
Save this post to your Bali travel Pinterest board for when you plan your next vacation!
If your visions of a Bali vacation include chasing waterfalls, wandering through lush jungles, and sampling delicious coffee, you will want to visit Munduk, Bali! This is the place of incredible mountain views, the famous Bali swing, and the iconic infinity pool.
Munduk is located in the mountains of central Bali. Some people say this is where the true beauty of the island is hidden. Given its higher elevation, Munduk is a couple degrees cooler than the rest of the island and is incredibly green. It is known for its lush forests, hills, culture, temples, lakes and waterfalls. Munduk, Bali is highly distinct from South Bali and is perfect to get away from the sun, learn more about the Balinese culture, and explore the outdoors. If you're looking to get away from tourists completely, you would love spending time in the tranquil West Bali!
The most common way to get to Bali is by flying into Denpasar Airport. If you're looking for tips on how to book cheap flights to Bali, check out our 5-step guide here. Once you get to the airport, the easiest way to get to Munduk, Bali is by car. You can either rent a car or rent a car with driver. Estimate at least 2 hours get from Denpasar to Munduk without traffic. We left right during the evening traffic and it took us almost double the amount of time. The roads in central Bali are winding and narrow, but incredibly scenic. If you're driving during the day, you're in luck! Every corner you turn is a new incredible viewpoint.
If you decide to drive by yourself, make sure your travel insurance covers you in case of accidents. We have heard about quite a few people getting into scooter accidents because of the way the roads are designed and how bad traffic is. Accidents are never fun but without the proper coverage, things can get worse quickly.
Where to stay in Munduk, Bali
The ultimate Munduk experience is not complete without staying at a hotel in the middle of the jungle with the most iconic infinity pool! We stayed at the Munduk Moding Plantation which is a gorgeous hotel consisting of private villas, situated in its very own coffee plantation. The hotel is known for its incredible infinity pool views blending in with the surrounding hills.
The villas feature indoor and outdoor showers, as well as private relaxing areas. Depending on which villa you’re staying at, you will also have your very own pool.
The main hotel area includes two infinity pools with incredible views as well as a Jacuzzi. Even though the hotel was relatively booked, we had plenty of alone time at the pool and were able to fully relax and take in the views.
Munduk Moding Plantation also offers a variety of daily activities on the property such as a coffee plantation tour, where you learn everything about growing coffee to making coffee, trekking tours, as well as mountain biking tours.
They even have four Bali ponies which can be booked for horse back riding trips.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Munduk Moding Plantation and had a wonderful time! We are excited to share our trip with you here. As always, all of the opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!
What to see around Munduk, Bali
Munduk and Central Bali is the culturally richest area in Bali and if you like visiting temples, you can easily fill 3-4 days. However, a visit would not be complete without seeing some of the most impressive waterfalls on the island and taking a picture with the famous Bali Swing!
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls (Wanagiri)
The Banyumala Twin Waterfalls are located at the north end of central Bali and are relatively lesser known than other waterfalls. They are only a 30 min drive from Munduk itself. The waterfalls are absolutely worth a visit! The falls can be accessed by car, followed by a relatively steep decline. Make sure you wear good footwear, especially if it has been raining, as the path might be slippery.
Once you get to the falls, you are rewarded with the most amazing views of multiple waterfalls ending in the same basin. The basin itself is not overly deep but great to swim in.
When to go: mornings are least busy, but it’s not overly touristy so you can also go in the afternoon.
Cost: IDR 50,000 (roughly 3.50 USD)
What to pack: Make sure you bring good shoes to walk to the falls and bring a swimsuit if you can brave the cold water.
We also recommend seeing Munduk Waterfall and Leke Leke Waterfall as we have heard great things about them. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see them ourselves, given our tight schedule.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a major Hindu Shaivite water temple on Bali. It’s actually a temple complex and consists of five compounds of temples. During rainy season or at the end of the rainy season, you will understand why it is called a water temple as the main temple appears to be “floating.”
During dry season, the temples are not floating but the complex is just as beautiful.
The temple is very popular among tourists and can get quite busy. We were there early in the afternoon and it was very busy. We’d recommend going earlier in the day, preferably in the morning to avoid the crowds.
When to go: the earlier in the day the better. Opening hours are 7am – 7pm.
Cost: tickets to enter the temple grounds are IDR 100,000 (roughly 7 USD).
What to pack: Make sure you bring water. It can be very hot there and as with every tourist destination, buying water there is more expensive than bringing it.
Lake Tamblingan and Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan
Lake Tamblingan is a quiet lake at the foot of Mount Lesung in central Bali. It’s relatively unknown and the perfect getaway if you’re looking to escape the tourists. The lake is home to the Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan, a spectacular floating temple. You may have seen some incredible photos on Instagram showing the temple and the lake during the rainy season. During the dry season, the water levels at Lake Tamblingan are low which makes is perfect to walk around the temple grounds but takes away the “floating” temple views.
When to go: The lake is very quiet and the perfect escape from mass tourism. Any time of the day would be great to visit.
Cost: Park entrance is IDR 10,000 (roughly 0.7 USD). You can rent canoes starting at IDR 200,000 (roughly USD 14).
What to pack: Since you’re right at the lake, make sure you pack insect repellent and sun screen. Even though the temperatures are mild compared to other places in Bali, the sun is just as intense.
The Famous Bali Swing & Hidden Hills Wanagiri
While this is not a Bali-native attraction but mostly created for Instagram, it has become a very popular attraction and is just as stunning as other sights. If you don’t believe in taking a photo with the Bali Swing and feeding the hype, no hard feelings. Feel free to skip this paragraph and jump to our 5 travel tips for Munduk, Bali.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills & the Bali Swing have gained huge traction with tourism around the globe in the recent years. It’s a photo area in central Bali, set up to take staged photos with an incredible backdrop of Lake Buyan and surrounding mountains. There are several different places along Jl. Raya Pancasari road to take these types of photos and each of them has a slightly different set-up. Every stand is equipped with some dress rentals, a changing room, and the locals are super friendly and help you take the perfect photo. They even have a reflector to create the perfect lighting for you.
It’s a very popular destination to stop at and if you don’t like to be rushed, we recommend going early in the morning. We paid IDR 100,000 (roughly 7 USD) as entrance fee but heard that the price is going up over the years.
Bali Swing and Hidden Hills Wanagiri Tips
Location: Jl. Raya Wanagiri in Central Bali, if you're going there with a driver, show them a photo and they will know exactly where you want to go. If you're driving yourself, look for little huts/stands on the lake side of the street. Upon getting closer, you will notice the photo ops set-up.
When to go: The Hidden Hills Wanagiri are extremely popular so expect to wait in line to take your photo. The earlier in the morning you arrive, the less people will be there. We were there around 10am and once we left, it got very busy.
Cost: We paid IDR 100,000 (roughly 7 USD) to access the park area but heard that prices are on the upswing. Also, getting access to the big Bali swing costs extra.
What to pack: There are quite a few different photo spots. If you want additional variety in your pictures, make sure you bring some clothes to change into. They have a changing room so you can easily switch between outfits. If you don't have any outfits you like, the operators provide long and flowy dresses there which you can borrow/rent.
Note that the famous Bali gate is very close to the Wanagiri Hidden Hills. We wanted to take some photos there also. However, as we drove past, we saw that the wait was already at least 1 hour. Bali has so much to offer that we didn’t think it would worth waiting in line.
Overall, Munduk is a beautiful area to explore and you can easily fill 3-4 days visiting temples and waterfalls. It is not as busy as South Bali and a few degrees cooler, making it a great getaway! If you have more time on the island, make sure to also visit Ubud and check out some of these best hotels in Bali.
The Next Trip Top 5 Travel Tips for Munduk
1) Rent a car or have a driver.
Getting to and from Munduk, and getting around Munduk is difficult without a vehicle. We recommend renting a car or hiring a driver for the days when you're exploring. Talk to your hotel if they can recommend a driver for you.
2) Make sure you bring cash!
Bali is very cash-centric and doesn’t accept cards everywhere. Most of the sights/attractions in Munduk are paid attractions and require you to pay cash. There are some ATMs around Munduk but they generally don't let you withdraw more than 1,000,000 IDR (about 74 USD). We found this maximum to be the case in South Bali also. We paid our driver 680,000 IDR (about 50 USD) for the drive from Denpasar Airport to Munduk. For a day driving around Munduk, we paid our driver around 400,000 IDR (around 30 USD).
3) Bring Mosquito Repellent
Being located in the jungle with regular rain fall, there can be a lot of mosquitoes in Munduk. Make sure to bring mosquito repellent to protect yourself.
4) Bring Sunscreen
This is true for almost every outdoor destination. Even though it's a few degrees cooler than on the beach, the sun is just as intense in Munduk. Usually, higher elevation destinations require more sun protection.
5) Eat all the Fresh Fruit
There are a ton of fruit stands in Munduk on the side of the road. I am usually not a fruit person, but we sampled almost everything and had the best fruit I have ever tasted! I can highly recommend the passion fruit which are just picked from the trees.
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What is your idea of heaven on earth? Welcome to our personal heaven! There are a lot of great places to stay in Bali and picking where exactly you want to go can be difficult. Each geographic area has its own appeal and unique history.
Why West Bali is One of the Best Places to Stay in Bali
West Bali is the least known, unspoiled, and uncrowded area of Bali, which makes it one of the best places to stay in Bali! It is the perfect place to get away from your busy every-day life. The days you will spend here are utter bliss and there is no better place to just disconnect.
West Bali is dominated by the West Bali National Park, a mostly uninhabited jungle. It is home to quiet and deserted beaches, great places to surf, and shallow waters perfect for snorkeling and diving. Most tourists don’t know much about West Bali and don't venture this far west on their Bali trip. Not even the locals visit the “wild west.” This provides for a very quiet surrounding and the perfect base for a retreat and exploring nature.
How to Get There
West Bali is relatively secluded but still accessible via car or scooter. There are two ways to get to West Bali, taking the road along the south shore or along the north shore, via Munduk. Either route will take around 4 hours, depending on traffic. Since the roads are quite narrow and windy, this makes for a long drive but trust me, it is completely worth it!
What is the best month to go to West Bali?
West Bali has relatively constant temperatures throughout the year, due to its proximity to the equator. However, there are two main seasons: the wet and the dry season. October – April is usually the wet season. During this season, the weather can be quite unpredictable and as the name suggests – wet. April through September is called the dry season and will have relatively little rain. This might sound great, but the lack of rain also affects the vegetation and might leave forests and hills looking more dried up than expected.
In our opinion, the best months to go to Bali are April – June. It’s right at the end of the rainy season / the beginning of the dry season. This means humidity levels are slightly lower than during the wet season and the vegetation is lush and green. Further, if you travel outside the peak season, flight prices are likely cheaper. If you would like to learn more about saving money on cheap flights, check out our 5-step guide to booking cheap flights.
Where to Stay in West Bali
West Bali is truly a place where you can fully relax. With the weather being perfect almost every single day, it is one of the best places to stay in Bali and the perfect place for a retreat.
We stayed at Sumberkima Hill in North West Bali. The hotel consists of private Bali villas with a main area for yoga classes and spa treatments. You stay in your very own villa, which includes a personal pool, a kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. It is basically your new luxurious home away from home. Sumberkima Hill has 2 main restaurants on site to either dine in or order from so that you can dine in your own villa.