- Have your camera ready when you discover Tegallalang rice terraces
- Take a Balinese cooking class to learn the authentic flavors of the region
- Visit the key temples of Besakih, Tirta Gangga, and Taman Ujung
- Enjoy the beaches and the flavors of Jimbaran, Burkit, and Uluwatu
|Day 1||Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Ubud||Ubud|
|Day 2||Local Villages, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Tibumana Waterfall & Dance Show||Ubud|
|Day 3||Experience Daily Balinese Life in Mengwi||Ubud|
|Day 4||Visit Ubud Monkey Forest & Temples||Ubud|
|Day 5||Balinese Cooking Class||Ubud|
|Day 6||Transfer to Sidemen, Explore Penglipuran Village & Besakih Temple||Sidemen|
|Day 7||Sidemen Trek, Visit Royal Baths of Tirta Gangga & Taman Ujung||Sidemen|
|Day 8||Cultural Excursion in Ubud & Sidemen||Sidemen|
|Day 9||Transfer to Jimbaran, Visit Sukawati Market||Jimbaran|
|Day 10||Jimbaran Fish Market, Optional Activities||Jimbaran|
|Day 11||Visit Bukit Beaches & Pura Luhur Uluwatu||Jimbaran|
|Day 12||Jimbaran Sunset Cruise & Barbecue Dinner||Jimbaran|
|Day 13||Transfer to Denpasar Airport & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Ubud
Welcome to Bali! A driver will meet you at Denpasar Airport and drive you to your hotel in Ubud, where you can get settled in after your flight. Considered by some to be the "spiritual heart of Bali," terraced rice paddies and jungle surround Ubud. Soak up this verdant landscape and tropical island atmosphere. Ubud is unique compared to the rest of Bali because of its Hindu culture and rituals of placing offerings on altars and in temples. Perhaps visit one of its temples, such as Ubud Water Palace, Pura Dalem, or Pura Puseh, with its intricate stone carvings, serene ponds, and fountains.
When you've worked up an appetite, meet your driver and head to Gianyar Market. Here you'll find a dizzying array of Indonesian delicacies and Balinese cuisine, from fried rice to babi guling (suckling pig), vegetarian snacks to desserts. Awaken your tastebuds, mingle with the locals, and sample Indonesian specialties at a low price. Another option is to relax by the pool or at one of the many spas in town. Take the day at your own pace, and by night go out for dinner and maybe see a gamelan or traditional Balinese dance performance.
Day 2: Local Villages, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Tibumana Waterfall & Dance Show
Start today with a visit to the village of Mas, famous for its traditional art of wood carving. You can enter the artisans' workshops to observe them and admire their skills. Next, stop by Celuk village, where you can find many silver artifacts, from jewelry to decorative items. This is a great place to pick up some treasures to take home. Nearby you'll find the Tegallalang rice fields, whose terraced paddies are one of the most photographed places in Bali. Enjoy the views from high above or trek down for a closer look at the unique water irrigation system used by the Balinese farmers.
Day 3: Experience Daily Balinese Life in Mengwi
Get ready to experience authentic Balinese culture. Your driver will take you to a small village near Mengwi, where you will meet a Balinese family with whom you'll spend the day. Go to a local market and discover all the different local fruits and vegetables you will use to prepare a typical Balinese meal. Then learn how to make the canang (traditional offerings) that can be found all over Bali. Finally, enter their kitchen, where you will have the pleasure of participating in the preparation of the meal and also learning how to roast coffee.After lunch, you'll visit a small temple, where you'll have the opportunity to witness a blessing ceremony before making your way to the rice fields. Learn about rice production, and you'll even be invited to plant the rice and try the traditional plowing tools. At the end of this immersive adventure, your driver will pick you up to drive you back to your accommodation.
Day 4: Visit Ubud Monkey Forest & Temples
Meet your driver this morning and start with a visit to Ubud's famous Monkey Forest. Here you'll meet the long-tail macaques who live freely in this nature reserve, specifically around the temple Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegai. Keep your belongings close; these monkeys can be cheeky! Next, discover the temple of Goa Gajah, which translates to "Cave of the Elephant." This religious sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage Site reflects the perfect Hindu and Buddhist cultural blend. Continue your day with a visit to Gunung Kawi temple. Famous for its ancient relics, this complex is surrounded by rice fields.After lunch, visit Tirta Empul, a Hindu temple located in the village of Manukaya dedicated to purification. Its name means "sacred source" in Balinese. The waters of the pools come from the Pakerisan River and have the reputation of being purifying and magical. Dedicated to the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, and Indra, Tirta Empul is considered one of Bali's most sacred temples. This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the Hindu religion and thus understand the spiritual culture of the Balinese.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Balinese Cooking Class
Today, you are invited to the traditional home of Ayu and Made for a lunchtime Balinese cooking class. Learn the secrets of fine and delicate Balinese meals, and discover how to combine spices, vegetables, and other ingredients to recreate the recipes back home. Set the table in the beautiful garden when lunch is ready, and enjoy your self-made dishes. Most of the time, you will share this class with a small group. However, if you prefer a private lesson, feel free to ask your destination specialist.
In the afternoon, you'll return to Ubud. Your driver will be available if you wish to go sightseeing farther afield. An easy excursion is a visit to Kintamani village. Drive through the fertile heartland of Bali with its orchards, vegetable gardens, lush coffee farms, and cacao plantations. Explore the town's many art galleries and craft workshops, and enjoy the fantastic views over the stunning caldera lake to the dramatic peak of Mount Batur, one of Bali's two active volcanoes. For the more adventurous, start from here to hike along the volcano's well-trodden dirt path to its summit.
Day 6: Transfer to Sidemen, Explore Penglipuran & Besakih Temple
It's an early start today as you'll head with your driver to Sidemen. On the way, stop and visit Penglipuran, a beautiful highland village in the regency of Bangli in East Bali, best known for its well-preserved culture and architecture. Here, you'll see a traditional house and admire the classic setup of a Balinese home. Your next stop is Bali's largest and most important temple, Pura Besakih.
Known as the "Mother Temple of Bali," it's the most important on the island for its vast size (comprised of over 80 individual temples) and its dramatic location on the southern slopes of sacred Mount Agung. After exploring the complex, your driver will take you to Sidemen. Escape the crowds and enjoy the serenity among rice fields and tropical forests once settled at your hotel.
Day 7: Sidemen Trek, Visit Royal Baths of Tirta Gangga & Taman Ujung
Lace up your hiking boots and prepare to explore the countryside of Sidemen. The tour starts as you follow an easy two-three hour walk with your guide through farms with cloves, salak, cocoa, and other tropical fruits and spices, and of course, rice fields and terraces. Next, tour the Tirta Gangga Water Palace, where you can take a stroll and feed the koi (you'll find fish food available for sale at the entrance).
The highlight of the afternoon is a visit to Taman Ujung, a floating palace set in a peaceful and relaxing garden. This sprawling 25-acre (10 ha) compound with ponds, gardens, and shrines, all connected by pleasant walking paths and bridges. According to local legend, Taman Ujung is believed to have fertility powers. As a result, it is a popular place for young couples to make offerings or have wedding photos taken. As you wander, you'll discover the allure of stunning gardens, ponds filled with koi fish, and beautiful natural surroundings, with fabulous views of the Lombok Strait in the distance.
Day 8: Cultural Excursion in Ubud & Sidemen
Bali has a strong arts and crafts tradition, which you'll discover during today's fascinating excursion. First, learn about the creation of fabric for sarongs, a piece of clothing everyone wears during temple ceremonies and as part of traditional everyday clothing. Then follow a walking path to see the rice fields and plantations around Sidemen to discover more about the region's subak (irrigation system). Next, take a cooking class where you'll learn how to grind spices and herbs and prepare traditional Balinese rice dishes cooked over an open fire, such as lawar and nasi jinggo.
Sip on jamu, a drink with anti-inflammatory properties that is a mixture of turmeric, ginger, tamarind paste, lime juice, and honey. Help prepare offerings by weaving palm leaves together and decorating them with flowers and other symbolic items. In a lontar (ancient Balinese art) workshop, learn how dried palm leaves are cut into strips and transformed into rectangular pages for manuscripts filled with mantras and rituals. Get a lesson in the Aksara Bali alphabet and copy some lines of text to take home with you as a keepsake.
Day 9: Transfer to Jimbaran, Visit Sukawati Market
After a leisurely morning and breakfast, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to Bali's south coast, where Jimbaran's beautiful beachside fishing village will be your base for the remainder of your trip. On the way, you can visit Sukawati Market to find thousands of fruits, spices, and souvenirs of all kinds. This market is well known by the Balinese, who come to sell all types of textiles, baskets, paintings, fruits, and vegetables at low prices in a friendly atmosphere.
Once checked in at your hotel, spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool or enjoying the spectacular beaches nearby. Take a walk through the lively open-air Kedonganan Fish Market, watch the colorful fishing boats go by, or head to Dreamland or Balangan Beach for a surfing lesson. If you feel like venturing farther afield, your private driver will be available for transfers and sightseeing in the area.
Day 10: Jimbaran Fish Market, Optional Activities
Jimbaran Fish Market is a locale where the fresh "catch of the day" is displayed, ready to be taken home or to a local restaurant to cook. Choose your favorite among the many fishmongers and pick what you'd like to eat for lunch—it might be tuna, trevally, octopus, or jumbo prawns. With a catch in hand, take it to a local restaurant to be grilled and served with rice and vegetables. Revel in its flavors as you enjoy the sea views with your feet in the sand.
Aside from fresh seafood, Jimbaran is a true beach town and surf spot with white sandy beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs. Peruse the local morning markets or take a pottery class, learning traditional Balinese ceramic methods. You can go snorkeling as well as enjoy other water activities. It's easy to arrange a fishing trip or have signature Balinese spa treatments. In the evening, have cocktails at one of the numerous beach bars and watch the sunset on yet another day in paradise.
Day 11: Visit Bukit Beaches & Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Today your driver will take you beach hopping along the coast, where you'll discover some of the most beautiful beaches in Bali along the Bukit Peninsula, such as Padang Padang Beach, Thomas Beach, Green Bowl Beach, or Pandawa Beach. You can spend as long as you like at each beach and visit as many or as few as you like.
Finish the day with a visit to the Pura Luhur Uluwatu, perched on top of a cliff above crashing waves. It is one of Bali's six key temples said to protect the island from evil spirits. Stroll around and enjoy the landscape and surrounding scenery. Keep in mind that the monkeys here are masters of the place! Enjoy a Kecak (fire dance) show performed in the nearby amphitheater every evening as the sun sets. Pronounced "ketchak," this dramatic Balinese dance is performed by around 50 people and narrates stories from the Hindu epic of Ramayana.
Day 12: Jimbaran Sunset Cruise & Barbecue Dinner
Enjoy the relaxed island lifestyle in the morning and early afternoon. Spend the day at the beach, ride a bicycle around the coast, relax by the pool, or eat fish at an outdoor restaurant. Later, your driver will pick you up to go to Jimbaran Beach to catch a late afternoon sunset cruise. During the cruise, there will be incredible beach views and chances to get out of the boat and go for a swim, float in the water, or relax on deck while watching the sunset. As the sun dips into the sea, you'll be greeted by the smell of meat and fish grilling on a barbecue at the beach, where you'll eat a delicious feast before returning to your hotel.
Day 13: Transfer to Denpasar Airport & Depart
It's time to say your goodbyes to Bali as your driver transfers you to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!
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