Bali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. The mere mention of Bali evokes thoughts of utopia. The Island of the Gods, Bali offers great beaches, countless waves for surfing and wonderful natural sites to explore, colorful ceremonies to revel and more. Here are your top 10 Bali getaways:
Climbing the imposing Rinjani, an active volcano on Lombok, is a serious challenge, one that should be undertaken with guides and porters. However, the epic views into the crater and out across the island are worth it. Alternatively, trekking through the lush forests of the Rinjani National Park is beautiful.
Ulun Danu Temple, on Lake Beratan, is one of Bali’s most photographed sites, and it’s easy to see why. As well as revelling in the tranquillity of the Bedugul mountain lake resort, you can hike in the nearby area, try some watersports or visit the Bali Treetop adventure park.
Coral reefs surround the Gili Islands, offering fabulous scuba-diving and snorkelling opportunities. There’s a strong chance of seeing turtles and manta rays. Stay in a bungalow on the white-sanded beach either on chilled-out Gili Meno, the middle island, or on Gili Trawangan, the party island.
West Bali National Park
The topography of the West Bali National Park is as varied as the country itself. Along its shores are beaches and a clear, fish-filled ocean, with coral reefs off Menjangan Island that offer snorkelling and diving opportunities. Inland, the forests are perfect for hiking, bird-watching or 4×4 excursions.
Diving and dolphin-watching are big attractions in Lovina and boats make regular trips at sunrise to spot the much-loved creatures. This area of coast is particularly good for beginner and night dives, both of which are catered for by the popular Spice Dive school.
Pura Goa Lawah
The bat caves of Pura Goa Lawah are considered sacred and a temple has been built to guard them. Certainly, the sight of thousands of bats hanging from the dark walls is incredibly memorable. Visit Candidasa en route, home of the beautiful White Sand Beach and some secluded diving spots.
Badung Market in Denpasar
You’re unlikely to be staying in Denpasar, Bali’s capital, but it’s worth a day trip. The markets are more authentic than those of Ubud; Badung is good for textiles and dance costumes while Kumbasari is the place for handicrafts and souvenirs. Don’t miss Jagatnata Temple and nearby Bali Museum.
Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana
Bali’s famous monkey forest, Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana, is filled with long-tailed Balinese macaques that will continually pester you. Nevertheless, they’re very photogenic and funny. Amid the lush jungle are three picturesque temples and the area is a sacred site as well as hugely popular tourist spot.
Jatiluwih Rice Fields
The painstakingly-tended green tiers of the rice fields are a characteristic sight of the Balinese countryside and are a remarkable testament to ingenious agriculture. Trek amid the terraces and you’ll also see coffee, coconut, cacao, clove, jack fruit, banana, and papaya growing in abundance.
You can’t leave Bali without watching ‘legong’, the traditional, elegant-fingered dance, and Ubud Palace is a fine location. While you’re here, visit the Museum of Fine Arts for Balinese art and Agung Rai Museum of Art. There will also be the chance to watch ‘wayang kulit’ puppets and ‘gamelan’ orchestras.