Indulge in an authentic Balinese experience like no other with this nine-day trip combining elements of relaxation, spiritual awakening and adventure. From the quiet freshwater lagoon of Candi Dasa, venture to a traditional Hindu village and learn what it takes to be a rice farmer. On the edge of Mount Agung, visit the iconic Pura Besakih Temple then wake in the early hours to watch dolphins jumping above the glowing horizon in Lovina. In the central highlands, trek through pristine jungle to Bali’s smallest lake and embark on a relaxing canoe journey. Admire 600 hectares of glistening rice terraces in Jatiluwih before arriving in Ubud for a hair-raising Kecak Fire Dance performance. This trip encapsulates the best of what Bali has to offer travelers – rich and diverse culture, strong spiritual beliefs, incredible nature and spine tingling self-enlightenment.
- Witness the natural splendor of Central Bali, from the rustic valley of Sidemen to the untainted jungles of Munduk
- Uncover the spirit of Bali with visits to some of the island’s most inspiring temples and sacred sites
- Spot dolphins in Lovina as the sun rises above the horizon
- Cleanse and rejuvenate in a natural hot spring
- Participate in an authentic temple blessing and learn more about Balinese religious rituals
- Meals as mentioned
- English speaking guide
- Tours and transfers as mentioned by air-conditioned vehicle
- Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time
- Canoe trip in Munduk
- Service charge and current government VAT tax
DAY 1 CANDI DASA
Touch down at Ngurah Rai International Airport and transfer to beachside accommodation at Candi Dasa. This seaside town sits on the edge of a fresh water lagoon and provides a quiet escape from the more bustling parts of the island. Check into the hotel then spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the relaxed coastal energy.
DAY 2 SIDEMEN
Follow a Bali Ubud Tours guide off the beaten track to the relatively untouched village of Sidemen. This traditional Hindu area still maintains an authentic charm and with Mount Agung providing a backdrop for the vast terraced valley, the landscape is truly breath taking. Stroll through the peaceful countryside and balance on the edge of rice paddies to find local farmers tending to their crops. Learn about the ‘Subak’ system used to irrigate the valley then try out rice farming for yourself.
Enjoy a local lunch then return to the hotel to relax.
DAY 3 SIDEMEN – LOVINA
Leave behind the azure lagoon of Candi Dasa and transfer to Lovina on the northern coast of Bali. Along the way, stop at Tirta Gangga Water Palace to meander through a maze of pools, fountains and stone statues. This former royal palace offers a tranquil setting with the constant sound of flowing water and lush vegetation bordering the area.
Venture on to Pura Besakih temple, perched 1000 meters up the slopes of Mount Agung. As the most extensive and sacred Hindu temple in Bali, this is a must-visit when exploring Bali. Take in wondrous views of the misty volcano then finish with lunch at a local restaurant overlooking sparkling rice terraces.
Continue to Lovina to check in to the hotel then enjoy the rest of the day exploring independently in an area known for its black sand beaches and amazing sunsets.
DAY 4 LOVINA
Rise before dawn and venture out to the ocean for a memorable morning of dolphin watching. Keep an eye out for five different species of native dolphin and watch them jump up above the horizon in unison with the morning sun. After a memorable start to the day, return to the hotel for breakfast and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
DAY 5 LOVINA – MUNDUK
Leave the coast behind and head inland to Munduk in the highlands of Central Bali. En route, make a stop at the former colonial port town of Singaraja; stroll through the bustling local market where people from all over the countryside congregate to trade a huge variety of goods and produce.
Make another stop, but this time to relax at the sacred hot springs in Banjar Village. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the natural hot springs provide a peaceful and therapeutic spot for locals and visitors alike. Now revitalized, head to Bali’s largest Buddhist monastery to meander through the gardens, explore the libraries and visit tranquil meditation rooms. Continue the journey to finally arrive in Munduk; check into the hotel before a local leads the way through this stunning mountain retreat. Take in the serene ambience of this fertile region; gaze upon jungle-clad mountains, rice paddy fields and plantations of coffee and cacao. Encounter a waterfall nestled within the rainforest and let the cool breeze bring respite from the tropical heat. After this afternoon’s nature fix, return to the hotel to relax for the afternoon.
DAY 6 MUNDUK
Begin today’s explorations of Central Bali at 6am, driving through scenic mountain roads before stopping at Twin Lakes lookout for breakfast with panoramic views. Arrive at the starting point for a short trek through some of Indonesia’s most untainted jungle. Encounter a small temple hidden deep within the foliage where the local trekking guide will provide an offering and perform a blessing ritual to request protection for the remainder of the journey.
Trek further into the verdant jungle past some of the oldest and largest trees in all of Bali. Keep an eye out for monkeys swinging through the jungle canopy; these guys are usually quite shy and only emerge temporarily before disappearing into the trees. Finish the hike at a small hilltop temple overlooking Bali’s smallest lake, Danau Buyan, before taking a relaxing canoe trip to the other side. Disembark the canoe and take a vehicle transfer to a local restaurant overlooking mountainous Munduk for a well-deserved lunch.
One sated, drive back to the hotel to relax and spend the afternoon at leisure.
DAY 7 MUNDUK – UBUD
Depart Munduk and journey south to Bali’s cultural heart – Ubud. Along the way, stop at Bedugul to admire scenic views of the highlands then visit the unique Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. Located on the shores of Lake Bratan, this magnificent temple is where locals come to pay homage to the Balinese Goddess of Water. Continue south to the exotic Jatiluwih Rice Terraces; covering 600 hectares of mountain range in luminescent terraces of rice, the beauty of this place is quite staggering especially with Mount Batukaru as a backdrop.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then stop by one of Bali’s most attractive temples, Taman Ayun. With a name which literally translates to ‘beautiful garden’, it’s easy to understand why this complex has a such a reputation. Wander beneath the trees and pass by a number of water features to take in the real charm of this iconic place.
Arrive in Ubud later in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at leisure; this scenic town has a lot to offer not only in regard to natural beauty but also as a place rich in culture.
DAY 8 UBUD
Today visit one of Bali’s hidden gems, Sebatu, to encounter the true strength of Balinese spirituality. Travel by car to this charming part of Central Ba li,host to a stunning collection of sacred temples. Explore the spellbinding structures, learn about the importance such places have for the Balinese people and then travel further into the village to find a temple which supplies holy water to the area. With the assistance of the local guide, don a traditional sarong and learn how to pray to the gods. Observe how each object of offering has a different color of significance and dip into the holy water for symbolic purification of the spirit. After taking part in this optional cleansing ritual, depart the temple complex and devour lunch at a local restaurant.
Return to the hotel in Ubud and relax for the afternoon before preparing for an evening of extravagance.
Later, head to The Chedi Club for an evening demonstration of Bali’s colourful cultural delights. Be captivated by the Kecak Fire Dance where topless men dance and chant around open flames; this epic dance tells the Hindu story of Prince Rama and his rescue of Princess Sita. After a mesmerizing performance at an outdoor candle-lit amphitheater, head to The Chedi Club’s restaurant for a luxurious Balinese dinner, a wonderful end to a spectacular trip in Bali.
DAY 9 UBUD DEPARTURE
After more than a week exploring the highlights and hidden gems of Bali, transfer to the airport and prepare for a departing flight.