Yes, Bali is located below the equator – to be precise – 8 degrees south of the equator. However, Indonesia is not! Situated in Southeast Asia, Bali is a separate province which is also an island located 600 kilometres east of Java.
Many people mistake this little island to be a nation of its own due to its unique Hindu cultural practices and exotic experiences that set them apart from the rest of the Java islands, but it’s a part of the Indonesian archipelago.
What Is The Equator?
The throbbing question that many of you may have is the very definition of the equator. What causes the separation of the two hemispheres?
The equator, in simple terms, is an imaginary circle around the globe that divides the Earth into two parts at 0-degree latitude.
Countries and cities located on or close to the equator experience high temperatures and tropical atmospheres due to the rise in warm air among other reasons.
What Is Known As The Emerald Of The Equator?
‘Zamrud Khatulistiwa’ or ‘Emerald of the Equator‘ is another name for Indonesia. The name is a result of the fact that Indonesia lies across the two hemispheres and its lush greens and natural awes.
Home to over 250 million people, Indonesia was – back then – referred to as the Dutch East Indies during colonization, and ‘Indos’ and ‘Nesos’ in Greek, which means Indian Islands.
In some poetry and literature, the reference to Emerald or ‘Zamrud’ is emphasized due to a large portion of the country – almost 60% – being covered by forests.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, and it strikes through the equator belt with most islands being located in the southern hemisphere and the remaining in the northern hemisphere.
What Parts Of Indonesia Lie Above The Equator?
While most states and islands of Indonesia lie south of the equator, some lie above. These include North Sumatra, North Sulawesi, North Maluku and half of Borneo that is bisected by the belt.
North and East Kalimantan states are located in the northern hemisphere, while West, Central and South Kalimantan are located in the southern hemisphere.
Jakarta – the capital of Indonesia is located nearly 700 km south of the equator. Those travelling to Indonesia – most preferably the main islands – will come across many equator-themed parks and sites.
The synonymous city of Pontianak is where the equator exactly cuts through. Pontianak is the capital of West Kalimantan.
Bali Weather During Seasonal Transitions
In general, countries and cities located close to the equator possess a tropical climate with only two major seasons – dry and wet. And the Bali weather is no different. The tropical resort island has a climate that is unpredictable with sudden pours and humidity spikes.
Located north of the typhoon belt, the climate type of Bali is called ‘doldrums’ for its light winds and frequent thunderstorms. Although the weather in Bali is always commendable, it is not the same for its neighbouring states.
The west coast of the Sumatra islands gets about 400 cm of rainfall per year which is why Indonesia is known as one of the rainiest places on Earth.
Although weather changes are mild, if you’re in Bali, you’d notice that cool temperatures prevail at higher elevations and in mountainous regions.
Other Countries Located Below The Equator
Apart from Indonesia’s Bali, there are many other cities and nations located in the Southern hemisphere. The whole of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, along with more destinations are located below the equatorial line.
However, when it comes to South and Southeast Asia, only a few atolls of Maldives and parts of Indonesia belong to the Southern Hemisphere.
The Southern hemisphere vastly consists of oceans, and it’s hotter due to this reason. A usual winter in the southern hemisphere would begin in June in countries like Australia and Argentina.
Tourists visiting Bali would not come across a winter as it’s resting just below the equator. However, it’s best to be prepared for colder nights in particular months.
Learn More about places to visit in Indonesia
When Is The Best Time To Visit Bali?
The dry season is considered the peak for tourists, which begins in April and goes up till October. Although rains are unpredictable, the chances of downpours are highly unlikely during this period.
But if you are the type of traveller who enjoys tranquillity and fewer crowds, January and February is the ideal time for a visit.
These months are estimated to bring the highest rainfall but there’s never a dull day in Bali. As long as you can avoid the beaches during the monsoon peaks, your vacation will be a journey to remember.
And that is a wrap! Yes, Bali – the holiday island state of Indonesia – is in fact located below the equator, along with Jakarta – the capital, and a few other islands including Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and the lower half of Borneo island.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Java from Bali?
The air travel distance between central Java and Bali is about 350 miles or 563 kilometres. This equates to an air travel time of less than 1 hour.
The road distance between central Java and Bali is about 480 miles or 775 kilometres. This equates to about 14 to 15 hours of travel time by a road vehicle.
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