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 Tunjuk 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, be greeted by the local guide and receive a transfer to Candidasa, in the east of Bali.
After check in at the hotel in Candidasa, the rest of the day is free. Head out for some independent exploration or simply relax at the hotel.
Overnight in Candidasa.
After breakfast, be picked up by the driver and guide for a day of exploring the little-visited province of Karangasem.
Start with a visit of Tirta Gangga. Meaning 'water of the Ganges' this sacred water palace was built in the early twentieth century by the last king of Karangasem. It boasts many decorative ponds and fountains, lush plant life and natural bathing pools.
Stop for lunch at the famed Bali Asli restaurant for authentic Balinese food.
Proceed to Tenganan and stop en route in the village of Sibetan to observe traditional weaving and visit a salak plantation for a taste Bali’s famed ‘snakeskin’ fruit. Then, set off on a two-hour trek through the rice fields down to Tenganan, one of several ancient villages in Bali.
At the end of the trek, explore Tenganan. The village is home to the Bali Aga people, Bali’s first inhabitants before the island became inhabited with people who immigrated from Java. See the village’s unique architecture and observe the traditional weaving of ikat patterns and traditional basket weaving.
Return to the hotel in Candidasa afterwards and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Candidasa.
Breakfast is served in the hotel and, after check out, 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 Mt 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 play out due to its religious importance.
After seeing the Besakih Temple highlights, continue driving inland. After arriving in Kintamani, stop for lunch at a local restaurant and spectacular views over Lake Batur and its volcano, Mt Batur. Although Mt Batur (1412m) is not the highest volcano in Bali, it is the most active, and is 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 checkin. 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 enjoyed 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 enjoying 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 as well -which contributes to its ‘Garden of Eden’ feel.
Start with the tour guide and 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 to be had in Bali -so be sure to take some photos! 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, we 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, start the day with an amazing sustainable tourism excursion at Taman Sari Buwana Farm. During this half-day excursion, experience a local Balinese life while supporting a community-based tourism project in the village of Tunjuk.
Upon reaching Tunjuk Village, prepare for farming activities by donning a farmer’s hat, covering up with mosquito repellent and picking up a local mattock (small farm tool) -all provided by the farm. We recommend wearing flip-flops or similar as well as bringing sunscreen, too.
Then walk with local farmers to their rice fields, locally referred to as sawah. Alongside farmers, learn how to plant, transplant or harvest rice (depending of the season)
After farming, take a walk around the beautiful rice fields to observe the daily activities of the village. Visit other plantations including a coconut plantation, where locals will demonstrate their ability to climb up the trees and gather young coconuts for some refreshment.
Next, return to home base and observe the boiling of cassava in a traditional kitchen before enjoying a delicious lunch at the farm.
In the afternoon, transfer to Ubud, stopping en route at the serene Taman Ayun Temple near Mengwi. We 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.
In the morning, after breakfast, meet with the guide and driver and head out for a day of exploration.
First, stop to visit Tampaksiring Village to explore Tirta Empul, a temple famous for its sacred spring water. All Balinese bathe here at least once a year for a ritual cleaning in holy waters taht are belived to be dedicated to Vishnu.
Continue to the nearby village for a visit to 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-metres-high and combine ancient Hindu and Buddhist temple attributes. There are numerous stairs leading down to the Temple. (Good walking shoes are required)
Then we drive a bit further south towards Ubud and enjoy lunch overlooking the beautiful rice terraces of Tegalalang.
From here we drive to Ubud centre for a one-hour Balinese massage treatment at a local spa.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Ubud.
Spend the morning discovering the many charms of Ubud while visiting museums, palaces and local markets. Start with a visit to ARMA Museum (Agung Rai Museum of Art) to enjoy one of the best permanent collections of Balinese and Indonesian paintings in the country. 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 is 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 to a 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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