You don't have to be a newlywed to enjoy this romantic itinerary ideal for adventure-loving couples with two weeks to spend. Together, you'll immerse yourselves in Bali's scenic beauty, hike to a hidden waterfall for a picnic lunch, receive a honeymooner's holy blessing ceremony, and indulge in sunning and snorkeling while savoring being romantic on tiny, heart-shaped Pulo Cinta, the "magical Island of Love."

Highlights

  • Drive through the Jatiluwih rice terraces, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy a lunchtime picnic beside a rainforest waterfall
  • Snorkel and sun to your heart's content on romantic Pulo Cinta island
  • Bask on the beautiful beaches of Bali's Bukit Peninsula

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Denpasar, Transfer to Ubud Ubud, Bali
Day 2 Discover Ubud Ubud, Bali
Day 3 Romantic Water Palaces and Seafood BBQ Ubud, Bali
Day 4 Discover Ubud Surroundings Ubud, Bali
Day 5 Drive to the North of the Island Munduk, Bali
Day 6 Love Birds Blessing and Waterfall Picnic Munduk, Bali
Day 7 Route to Bukit peninsula Uluwatu, Bali
Day 8 Escape to the "Magic Island of Love" Gorontalo, Sulawesi
Days 9-11 Idleness on Pulo Cinta Gorontalo, Sulawesi
Day 12 Return from Pulo Cinta to the Island of Gods Uluwatu, Bali
Day 13 Beaches and Sunsets Uluwatu, Bali
Day 14 Uluwatu to Denpasar, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Denpasar, Transfer to Ubud

A hearty meal at a hotel in Bali

Selamat Datang! Welcome to Bali! Your private driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel in Ubud. The rest of your day is free time for the two of you to relax beside your hotel pool or explore this vibrant center for Balinese fine arts, crafts, and music and dance.

Day 2: Discover Ubud

Monkeying around isn't allowed in Ubud's Monkey Forest

Enjoy a full day for relaxing poolside or exploring Ubud—an accessible city easily explored on foot or by bicycle. Here are a few recommended activities for lovebirds to enjoy together:

  • A stroll through the Ubud Monkey Forest, a serene 30-acre (13 ha) tropical forest studded with stone-carved statues and three Hindu temples, roamed by crab-eating macaques.
  • Visit Ubud Royal Palace (Puri Saren Agung), one of Ubud's main attractions, with its ornate carvings and lush surrounds.
  • Explore Ubud's many art galleries and craft studios, the Ubud Art Market, the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA), and Neka Art Museum, showcasing collections by many of the island's preeminent artists. You can even learn how to make pottery, play the gamelan, or perform a Balinese dance.
  • Take a cooking class and learn how to make Balinese cuisine like a local.

Day 3: Romantic Water Palaces and Seafood BBQ

Women praying at Tirtagangga sacred water palace

Today, journey to the eastern coastal highlands to visit two romantic water palaces. A two-hour drive brings you to Tirtagangga, built in 1948 by the last king of Karangasem is a combination of Balinese and Chinese architectural styles. It features many decorative ponds, fountains, and natural bathing pools filled with "holy" spring water believed to cure negative energy. Look for the sparkle of sunlight reflecting off goldfish swimming in the pools.

Next, venture south to the Taman Ujung royal water palace, an incredibly romantic temple adored by young Balinese couples who believe that the temple is imbued with fertility powers. Badly damaged by the 1963 eruption of Gunung Agung and by an earthquake in 1973, it was restored in 2004. Then, continue a short distance to Pasir Putih—a crescent of white sand dissolving into crystal-clear ocean waters. Spend the balance of the day sunning, snorkeling, and relaxing here before enjoying a seafood BBQ prior to returning to Ubud.

Day 4: Discover Ubud Surroundings

Devotees bathing at Pura Tirta Empul temple

Today, explore around Ubud, beginning with a drive through the Tegalalang terraced rice paddies—one of Bali's most photogenic destinations and, since 1991, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set against a backdrop of lush forest, the steep terraces utilize a traditional Balinese subak irrigation system dating back to the 7th century. You can hike trails that follow the paddy contours and even swing side-by-side on the famous "Love Bali" swing overlooking the rice fields before heading to Goa Gajah, an important 9th-century Hindu archaeological site built within a rock cavern and carved with extravagant deities.

Your guide will then take you to nearby Tirta Empul ("holy spring")—an ornate water temple compound that has served as a sacred site for more than 1,000 years. Bring swimwear and a change of clothes, and you can join the many local Hindus who come for ritual purification beneath the waterspouts that pour into a series of sacred bathing pools. You'll then return to Ubud with plenty of time to laze the afternoon away or perhaps enjoy a holistic spa treatment together. This evening head to a traditional legong or barong cultural dance show at the Ubud Royal Palace.

Day 5: Drive to the North of the Island

Sunlight highlights the Jatiluwih rice terraces

This morning, your chauffeur guide will drive you north into the rural Bedugul highlands via the Jatiluwih rice terraces—another UNESCO World Heritage Site—on the southern slope of Mount Batukaru. There'll be time to walk among Bali's largest rice-terrace complex (spanning 1,500 acres/600 ha) before continuing to Lake Beratan to admire the serene setting of Ulun Danu temple, which seems to float atop the lake. The lovely temple was built in 1633 to honor Danu, the Balinese goddess of water, rivers, and lakes.

Then continue to the quiet and untouristed mountain resort of Munduk, a former colonial hill station and the setting for many coffee and spice plantations. Spend your afternoon enjoying the temperate heights by relaxing at your hotel, savoring a couple's aromatherapy treatment, visiting a coffee plantation, taking a horseback ride, or hiking through the highlands.

Day 6: Love Birds Blessing and Waterfall Picnic

Caption
After breakfast today, you'll meet your guide for a relatively easy walk through Munduk to reach a "holy" spring, where a Balinese priest will conduct a lovebirds' blessing ceremony for you. You'll then head to the home of a balian—a faith and medicinal herb healer—to learn about traditional Balinese healing practices before an easy hike through the montane rainforest to one of Munduk's famous "secret" waterfalls, where a romantic picnic awaits.
 
In the afternoon, return to your hotel to cuddle up for a siesta, relax by the pool, enjoy a spa treatment, or explore Munduk as you desire.

Day 7: Route to Bukit Peninsula

Brahma Vihara Giri Buddhist temple

If you're feeling adventurous, rise early today for a pre-dawn hike to the summit of Batur volcano to enjoy a romantic sunrise together before returning to your hotel for breakfast. Following breakfast, meet your chauffeur guide and drive south to the Buddhist temple of Brahma Vihara Giri, which opened in 1970 as a mini replica of Borobudur (the world's largest Buddhist archaeological site on Java), and which contains Bali's only Buddhist monastery.

You'll then descend through the Belimbing Valley, another beautiful rice terrace region on the southwestern slope of Mount Batukaru. There's time to trek the paddies to learn about traditional farming and to find the perfect viewpoint for photographing the sensational vistas before a lunch of ayam betutu (grilled chicken with spices) overlooking the rice terraces. Continue via Denpasar to the tip of the Bukit Peninsula for a free afternoon relaxing, plus overnight, at the surfer's paradise of Uluwatu.

Day 8: Escape to the "Magic Island of Love"

Escape to the magic Island of Love
Escape to the magic Island of Love
You'll head to Denpasar airport early this morning for your flight to Gorontalo in North Sulawesi. Here, you'll be met and transferred to a private harbor for a boat journey to Pulo Cinta—a tiny and magical heart-shaped sandy island (nicknamed the "Island of Love") surrounded by warm, teal-blue water in the Gulf of Tomini, just 2 miles (3 km) off the coast of Sulawesi. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and being intimate in your private thatched, stilt-legged villa overlooking the coral reef.

Days 9-11: Idleness on Pulo Cinta

Endless turquoise and teals of the Gulf of Tomini
Pamper yourselves with three full days blissfully relaxing on Pulo Cinta. When not sunning or snoozing, you can enjoy a wide range of activities offered by your eco-resort hotel, including scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and trips ashore in Boalemo province for waterfall hikes and chasing butterflies. In the evening, enjoy a romantic sunset boat trip. And, at night, when not gazing into each other's eyes, try stargazing and wish upon a star among the millions sprinkled across the ink-black sky above. 

Day 12: Return from Pulo Cinta to the Island of Gods

The sunset Balinese Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple is a must-experience 
Enjoy your last morning relaxing on the "Island of Love" before taking a boat transfer to the harbor of Gorontalo and on to the airport for your flight back to Bali. Your driver will be waiting for you upon arrival in Denpasar and will drive you to your hotel in Uluwatu. Spend the balance of the day relaxing on the beach or by your hotel pool.

Day 13: Beaches and Sunsets

Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is the place to be for the spectacular sunsets

Enjoy your last day lazing and being romantic in your hotel, or stroll to the several beautiful beaches around Uluwatu. Surfers can try catching 10 at Uluwatu's world-famous surfing break (heralded "the most famous wave in Bali"). At the same time, non-surfers can head north to the nearby fishing village of Jimbaran to witness the brightly colored fishing fleet departing to sea in the afternoon. This is an excellent spot to enjoy a seafood lunch at one of the many warungs (small restaurants) lining the reef-protected shore.

In the late afternoon, head to Pura Luhur Uluwatu—an 11th-century temple dramatically perched atop sheer limestone cliffs and dedicated to the spirits of the sea. Linger for the sunset and watch the traditional Balinese Kecak Dance and Fire Dance performance, held at 6 pm nightly in a clifftop amphitheater as the sun goes down in the background.

Day 14: Uluwatu to Denpasar, Depart

Bali Handara Gate
A couple passes through the Bali Handara Gate
Today, depart for home (your private guide will drive you to the airport when the time arrives).

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Map

Map of Honeymooner's Secret Escape to Bali - 14 Days
Map of Honeymooner's Secret Escape to Bali - 14 Days