Navigating Bali's Ngurah Rai Int'l Airport (DPS)
Navigating Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Denpasar (DPS)
This new seaside international terminal opened in November 2013 and makes for a beautiful gateway to enter Bali.
Navigating Bali’s airport is very straightforward. You’ll have filled out a customs card while still on the plane (just one per family; you do not have to fill out an arrival card). You’ll make a stunning landing over the water, and then hopefully you’re lucky enough to pull right up to a jetway (otherwise, you’re taking the bus in the the airport!) Either way, you’ll walk towards the VOA (Visa On Arrival) desks:
You’ll cross the cavernous space and pick a line in which to pay your $35 USD for your 30 day visa. (Check to make sure this holds true for your country; this blog is aimed primarily at Americans!)
Remember, you must have proof of a return or onward ticket (they want proof you won’t fall in love with Bali & try to stay forever!) They don’t always ask for this proof, but it’s in your best interest to have it handy (in the form of a printed itinerary or e-ticket). Also, your passport must have at least 2 blank pages for visas and it must be valid for at least 6 months more (that is, your passport can’t expire within the next 6 months).
Pick a payment counter, hand them your passport, and pay. You can use cash; if you receive change it will be in local currency (and the exchange rate won’t be the best). While you can use credit card, it’s easier and faster to use cash (you never know when the credit card machines will be acting up, etc.)
After you pay and get your receipt (they’ll place it in your passport), you continue on to Immigration.
Pick a line, and hand the Immigration Officer your passport with receipt you just got. The officer will most likely ask you for either your boarding pass or flight number (from the flight you just arrived on), so have that handy just in case. They’ll affix your visa, stamp your passport, and you can collect your baggage. The screens that tell you which carousel your bags will be at are just before you exit Immigration.
Collect your baggage and head toward Customs. Assuming you have nothing to declare, head towards the green channel and hand over your completed customs card. After you pass there, you will have to put all of your baggage, including purses and carry-ons, onto a belt to be scanned. The officers may or may not ask to look inside your bag based on what they see in their scan.
When all is complete, you’ll head toward the exit and see a sea of lovely faces awaiting you. Well, one or two of those faces will be waiting for you! (We’ll let you know what signage to look for when you depart.) Head to your left to exit via the duty free shop (clever, right?) Actually, alcohol is very expensive in Indonesia (and is not included on our tours), so if you know you’re going to want to enjoy a few cocktails, it may be in your best interest to take advantage of the duty-free shop.
There is an ATM on your left before you exit; this might be a good time to pick up some initial local currency.
Welcome to Bali! (This is neither here nor there, but if you arrive absolutely famished, there’s a great Malaysian restaurant right outside the arrivals area called Bangi Kopitiam! The iced coffee + tea mix is amazing!)