Discover the best of Bali, from iconic temples to ancient villages and everything in between. Start with a dose of authentic island life in Karangasem province then venture into the hills where rainforests and crater lakes beckon to be explored. Wrap up the holiday immersed in Ubud’s cultural wonders.
Trek to a village of the Bali Aga, the island’s first inhabitants, and see their incredible customs and traditional lifestyles.
Visit a selection of Bali’s temples including the sacred Besakih, ‘floating’ Ulun Danu Temple and Vihara Dharma Giri Buddhist temple.
Spend a morning in Marga village, joining farmers in the fields, helping to collect coconuts and enjoying a traditional lunch.
Bali Explorer - 8 Days / 7 Nights
Arrive this afternoon at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and be greeted by the local guide and receive a transfer to Candidasa, in the east of Bali.
On the way to the hotel make a stop at Goa Lawah temple.
Goa Lawah is one of Bali’s most important temples. It features a complex built around a cave opening that is inhabited by a colony of bats, and its name translates to 'Bat Cave’. This temple was established in the 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, one of early priests who laid the foundations of Hinduism on the island.
Check in at your hotel in Candidasa where the remainder of today is at leisure.
Overnight in Candidasa.
Have an early breakfast and get ready for a morning trek to Pura Lempuyang.
Pura Lempuyang, literally translated as the ‘highest lantern’, is one of the most important and sacred temples in Bali. The entrance resembles the gateway to heaven, opening with panoramic views as wide as from the summits of nearby Mount Agung and all the way down to the beautiful tranquil bays on the east coast of Bali.
Embark on a two and a half hours uphill hike on a trail hidden in grasslands and Pandan forests. Get rewarded by breathtaking views while enjoying tea or coffee and Balinese snacks served 1,058 metres above sea level. Receive a blessing from a Balinese Hindu priest. Enjoy more of the lush surroundings while climbing down the 1,700 steps of the path.
From the bottom of Belibis Mountain continue on a short drive to a beautifully situated restaurant for a refuelling Megibung lunch, served in the style of the Royal family of Karangasem.
Good hiking shoes are recommended for the trail, of which shorter sections are steep and can be slippery.
This trekking section is based on a join-in trip.
Not far from here, there is the Tirta Gangga Water Palace. Founded in the early twentieth century, this palace is filled with decorative ponds, natural bathing pools and lush gardens. Stroll across the grounds, learn about the palace’s history and the significance of water in the Hindu religion. There is not only opportunity to visit the gardens but also to swim in the cooling waters of the adjacent pool (basic changing facilities).
Basic changing facilities at Tirta Gangga Water Palace; towels are not available and need to be brought
Proceed to Tenganan village, the village is home to the Bali Aga people, Bali’s first inhabitants, here before the arrival of the Majapahit dynasty people who came from Java. You’ll see the village’s unique architecture as well as observe the weaving of the ikat pattern and traditional basket weaving.
Return to the hotel in Candidasa where the remainder of today is at leisure.
Overnight in Candidasa.
After breakfast at the hotel, check-out and meet with the driver and tour guide for the start of the day’s program.
First, visit Besakih Temple, also known as the ‘Mother Temple’. Located on the western slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest volcano (2,567m), Besakih is the largest and most important temple on the island. In addition to being beautiful, it’s one of the best places in Bali to see traditional culture and religious practices.
After seeing the Besakih Temple, continue driving inland. After arriving in Kintamani, stop for lunch at a local restaurant with spectacular views over Lake Batur and Mount Batur. Mount Batur is the most active and surrounded by an impressive caldera overlooking the lake.
After lunch, drive over the mountain and make a stop at the Beji Temple. Then continue to Lovina, in the North of Bali, for hotel check-in. Afterwards, spend the rest of the day either relaxing or going out for a bit of independent exploration.
Dinner at leisure.
Overnight in Lovina.
After waking up and enjoying breakfast in the morning, head out to discover Lovina’s uniquely beautiful coffee ground-coloured and textured sands.
Lunch is taken at leisure in Lovina.
In the afternoon drive to Brahma Vihara Arama, a rare Buddhist temple in Bali. Check out the unique architecture and beautiful surroundings here, then go for a visit to the natural hot springs of the area for a bath in its sacred waters (changing facilities are basic).
After soaking up the healing waters of the hot springs, continue with the drive further up the hills of the surrounding area before descending again to the remote and wonderfully scenic area of Munduk, arriving towards the end of the day.
After checking in, enjoy the rest of the evening in the hotel’s ambience.
Overnight in Munduk.
Munduk is the ideal location for outdoor activities due to its lush tropical rainforests, beautiful waterfalls and relatively cool temperatures due to higher elevation (20-25°C). Because of the unique climate and abundance of rainfall, many fruits, vegetables and spices are grown in the area contributing to its ‘Garden of Eden’ feel.
Start with the tour guide and an additional local guide on a pleasant two-hour trekking adventure around Munduk to explore its three major waterfalls and several plantations including coffee, cloves and local spices.
On the way back to the hotel, stop at a local restaurant for lunch.
In the afternoon, drive along a small mountain road and stop at a viewpoint overlooking the ‘Twin Lakes’ of Buyan and Tamblingan. Although it’s just on the side of the road, it’s considered to be one of the best viewpoints in Bali.
Then continue to Lake Bratan for a visit to Ulun Danu Temple. The temple is set in the middle of the lake’s calm waters on a small bit of land, giving it the impression of floating’. Ulun Danu is widely considered to be one of Bali’s most beautiful temples.
From here, go to the nearby traditional local market of Bedugul where a myriad of fruits, vegetables and orchids are for sale from the area’s gardens. There are also stalls selling exotic spices and souvenirs.
Afterwards, return to the south, stopping along the way to visit the UNESCO Heritage-listed rice fields of Jatiluwih. Here, take a leisurely one-hour walk through the terraced rice fields and learn about the subak style of rice production in Bali.
Continue to Umabian and check-in to the hotel for the evening. Designed to resemble a traditional house, the numerous pavilions and guestrooms are laid out in the style of a village compound. Surrounded by rice fields and a swimming pool in the garden, it’s an ideal place to unwind.
Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Umabian.
After breakfast, get a taste of authentic local culture with an insightful Bali village tour. Transfer to Marga, a typical rural village in the Tabanan Regency. Surrounded by stunning landscapes, this is the perfect place to experience an authentic countryside lifestyles.
Be welcomed with a healthy drink in a family’s compound. The hosts will introduce themselves and explain about their daily activities on the farm. Learn about their traditional herbal remedies, see remarkable inscribed palm leaves and discover other aspects of typical Balinese life.
After exploring the family compound, join a farmer for an easy trek through the surroundings. Learn about the Balinese Subak irrigation system, a unique and effective method used by generations of local farmers. Pass through vibrant rice fields where, depending on the time of year, there may be a chance to assist the local farmers. Loop back to the house compound in time for a delicious, family-style lunch.
In the afternoon, transfer to Ubud, stopping en route at the serene Taman Ayun Temple near Mengwi. Also make a stop at the famous Tanah Lot Sea Temple. Set precariously on a rock in the sea, the crashing waves and unique location make it one of the most photogenic places on the island.
Continue to Ubud and check in to the hotel freshen up.
After a bit of rest, head out again for an unforgettable Balinese dance performance. No visit to Bali would be complete without witnessing this beautiful manifestation of Balinese culture, and Ubud is the best place in the island to see it.
Afterwards, return to Ubud for dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight in Ubud.
This morning after breakfast meet with the driver and tour guide for the day’s visits.
The first stop is a visit to Tampaksiring Village to explore Tirta Empul, a temple famous for its sacred spring water. All Balinese will bathe there at least once a year for a ritual cleansing in these holy waters dedicated to Vishnu.
Continue to the nearby village and visit the unique temple of Gunung Kawi. Set amidst lush rice terraces, these 11th century temples feature 10 rock-cut Candi (shrines) carved into the cliff face. They stand at 7-metre-high and combine ancient Hindu and Buddhist temple attributes. There are numerous stairs leading down to the Temple. (Good walking shoes are required)
Then drive a bit further South towards Ubud and have lunch overlooking the beautiful rice fields.
From here drive to Ubud centre and enjoy the afternoon with a relaxing one-hour Balinese massage treatment at a local spa.
Return to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Ubud.
Spend this morning discovering the many charms of Ubud with visits to museums, palaces and local markets. Start with a visit to ARMA Museum (Agung Rai Museum of Art) and enjoy one of the best permanent collections of Balinese and Indonesian paintings. A visit to ARMA provides a great overview of the island’s rich artistic traditions.
Continue to Ubud Royal Palace in the heart of the small town. Built in the 16th century, the Palace is still home to Ubud’s King and its Royal family
Finish this morning’s excursion with a walk in Ubud Market where local vendors come to buy and sell food as well as handicrafts and textiles.
Lunch will be served at Indus Restaurant, one of Ubud’s top tables, with breathtaking views over the Tjampuhan river valley.
At the end of the day, be transferred for onward travels to the South Bali beach hotel (not included) or to the airport in Denpasar for the onward flight.
Note: Itinerary this day subject to departure flight time.
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