Explore Bali- An Exclusive Guide
A perfect day in... Bali, Indonesia
Bali isn’t known as the ‘Island of the Gods’ for nothing. Here, laidback beach life, spirituality, wellness and hedonism combine to create the undisputed jewel of the Indonesian archipelago. Despite the island’s popularity, there are still plenty of ways to discover Bali’s quieter side, as long as you know where to look.
What to see in Bali
While it’s not exactly off the beaten path, Ubud, Bali’s cultural hub, is a great place to start your exploring. Here you’ll find streets crammed with yoga studios, holistic centers and wellness cafés, as well as easy access to some of the island’s most impressive temples, including Gunung Kawi, an 11th-century collection of cliff-carved shrines along the Pakerisan River.
Just 20 minutes north of Ubud by car is the enchanting Tegalalang Rice Terrace, one of Bali’s most popular destinations. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of layers and layers of emerald green rice paddies, fed by an ancient irrigation system. It’s worth getting there relatively early in the morning to beat the crowds and give yourself time to explore the fields freely.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches in Bali. Uluwatu is home to some of the best surf breaks on the island, but beginners would be better suited to signing up for lessons on Seminyak or bustling, built-up Canggu, where the waves are gentler. For a slower, quieter pace of life make way to Sanur on the east coast. Here you can cycle along the beachfront path and book day trips to the nearby islands of Nusa Archipelago, Lombok and the Gilis.
Uncover Bali’s deep-rooted cultural traditions by visiting the island’s extraordinary temples. Start with Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a serene spot floating on Lake Bratan, before heading to the magnificent sea temple of Tanah Lot, clinging dramatically to a rocky outcrop. End with a visit to Uluwatu Temple in the south of the island. Located 230-feet up on a cliff’s edge, this ancient site has been known for protecting Hindu islanders from evil spirits since 900 AD.
What to do in Bali
For incredible sunrise views, book a tour to climb to the top of Mount Batur. The 5,600-foot volcano contains Bali’s largest crater lake and offers staggering views over Mount Agung, the island’s highest peak. You’ll have to be prepared for an extremely early wake-up call, though – most tours start around 2am, to ensure hikers can complete the two-hour trek by sunrise. But once you get above the clouds and are rewarded with the sight of the misty vista bathed in pink and red, it’ll be more than worth it.
Bali is known for its diving and snorkeling, and the mellow waters along the eastern Amed Coast are a great place to get acquainted with the island’s underwater life. The area is best known for the USAT Liberty shipwreck, and you can also spot manta rays, oceanic sunfish and dramatic coral walls here.
To relax and unwind, sign up for one of Bali’s famed massages or traditional treatments, which you can find in one of the many spas around Ubud or Seminyak. One of the most popular is the Javanese exfoliation rub – mandi lulur – in which you’re painted and then massaged with a turmeric-based paste. The island is also home to numerous yoga spots, with the ancient Hindu practice being a staple of Balinese life for over 1,000 years. Book a class in one of Ubud’s many studios or practice on one of the beaches at sunset.
What to eat in Bali
Try traditional Balinese food in one of the many warungs (small, family-owned cafés), which line the streets all over the island. They serve up classics such as bebek betutu, a richly-spiced duck dish, and babi guling (roasted suckling pig). While in the past suckling pig was only reserved for special occasions like weddings, now it’s a staple of Balinese cuisine – Pak Malen, in Seminyak, serves up one of the best versions on the island. Most Balinese dishes come with a side of sambal, a fiery condiment made of chili, ginger, shrimp paste and garlic. If you’re not a fan of spicy, go easy.
For a taste of Indonesia’s potent coffee, head to Suka Espresso in Uluwatu. This popular café serves up specialty coffee sourced from Indonesia and roasted locally, alongside a menu of brunch staples like smoothie bowls and avocado toast – firm favorites among Bali’s wellness devotees.
For more information, go to balitourismboard.org
This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.
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