Perfect for leisurely exploring, this fun and culture-filled 11-day itinerary mixes things up with temple viewing, rice paddy walks, and time on the beach. Meet local people, travel in style in a VW convertible, snorkel in warm waters alongside turtles, and sail away on a sunset cruise. A stay on charming Gili Air will introduce you to a slower pace of life, where motor vehicles don't exist, and you can snooze in a hammock by the ocean at a cool beach bar.


  • Watch the sunset over the Tanah Lot and Uluwatu sea temples 
  • Take a Volkswagen convertible trip to temples, beaches, and waterfalls 
  • Snorkel in clear, warm waters known for turtle sightings 
  • Meet the cheeky residents of Ubud's Monkey Forest 
  • Learn to cook traditional Balinese dishes in a family home 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Tanah Lot, Massage & Rice Field Walk Tanah Lot
Day 2 Transfer to Ubud, Historic Temple Tour Ubud
Day 3 Ubud Volkswagen Safari Tour Ubud
Day 4 Balinese Cooking Class, Visit a Healer Ubud
Day 5 Transfer to Gili Air Gili Air
Day 6 Day Trip to Gili Trawangan or Gili Meno Gili Air
Day 7 Snorkel Trip to Gili Air, Gili Meno & Gili Trawangan Gili Air
Day 8 Transfer to Uluwatu, Visit the Fish Market in Jimbaran Uluwatu
Day 9 Jimbaran Sunset Cruise & Barbecue Dinner Uluwatu
Day 10 Bukit Beaches, Uluwatu Temple Visit, Kecak Traditional Dance Performance Uluwatu
Day 11 Transfer to Denpasar Airport & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Tanah Lot, Massage & Rice Field Walk

Tanah Lot sea temple
Walk through rice paddies to your first temple of the trip: Tanah Lot 

Welcome to Bali! Upon arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport (known locally as Denpasar Airport), you'll get your first taste of warm Balinese hospitality as you're greeted by your driver and taken to your hotel. Begin your time on this laid-back island with a soothing one-hour massage in the comfort of your hotel to ease you into your trip. 

Once you're feeling suitably zen, set off on a relaxing walk through the local village, strolling amid lush rice paddies to reach the sea temple of Tanah Lot. Aim to arrive in time for sunset, when the waves lap the base of the silhouetted temple. 

Day 2: Transfer to Ubud, Historic Temple Tour

The entrance to Goa Gajah temple
Meet Boma at Goa Gajah temple

Explore some of Bali's most treasured temples today as you travel onward to Ubud. At Taman Ayun temple, built by the ruler of the Mengwi Kingdom in 1634, you can explore traditional architecture, peaceful gardens, and pretty courtyards. Your explorations continue at Taman Mumbul, a Hindu temple located in the village of Sangeh in Mengwi, which is said to have purifying waters. This is the perfect place for you to learn more about the Hindu religion and understand the spiritual culture of the Balinese.

Goa Gajah is today's final temple visit. This UNESCO World Heritage Site translates to "Cave of the Elephant," and it's a blend of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. As you enter the temple, you'll be greeted by a rather intimidating carved character called Boma—it's his job to dissuade evil spirits from entering, though visitors are very welcome. 

Day 3: Ubud Volkswagen Safari Tour

Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Look out over the lush Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Today gets maximum style points as you discover the beautiful temples, waterfalls, and rice fields around Ubud on a vintage Volkswagen convertible tour. Along the way, you'll follow winding roads past rice fields, villages, waterfalls, and temples. Stop off at Tegallalang Rice Terrace, where you can walk through the rice paddies, take a ride on the famous Bali Swing, go shopping for souvenirs and trinkets along Tegallalang Crafts Street, or sit in a café sipping on a kopi (Balinese coffee) and enjoying the view.

As the day heats up, swing by Tibumana Waterfall and cool off with a quick dip. Spend some time in contemplation at the 11th-century Gunung Kawi temple, where elaborate royal shrines are carved into the cliff face in a deep ravine, giving the site its name of "Valley of the Kings." Continue to Tirta Empul, one of the most famous Hindu temples in Bali, where the waters are said to have magical powers. Watch as people cleanse themselves in the ancient pools, following a tradition that dates back centuries.

Don't miss a trip through the nearby Monkey Forest to meet the troops of monkeys that are free to live and roam the nature reserve and the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple. The curious monkeys are fun to be around and can be particularly mischievous—keep your belongings close! Round off your tour with a visit to Gianyar, where you can awaken your tastebuds with tasty Indonesian specialties and sample some local street food from the bustling market stalls.

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Day 4: Balinese Cooking Class, Visit a Healer

Traditional Balinese food
Learn to cook authentic Balinese food with a local family

Today you'll get to spend time with some of the locals that make Bali so special. First, Ayu and Made invite you to their traditional house for a Balinese cooking class. After a warm welcome, they will share their secrets with you and teach you how to combine spices, vegetables, and other local ingredients so that you can recreate the delicious recipes back home. After you've perfected your dishes, you'll enjoy them for lunch in Ayu and Made's lovely garden.

Then you'll meet a Balian: a wise Balinese elder who has dedicated his life to helping others. Bali has a long history of traditional Balian healers—some have their gift passed down from their grandfathers; others have studied ancient scriptures and medicinal herbs—and they are held in the same high esteem as western doctors. With a precious half hour in a Balian's company, you'll receive a blessing or readings of your past and future.

Day 5: Transfer to Padang Bai, Speedboat to Gili Air

A long stretch of sandy beach on Gili Air
Hit the beach on Gili Air

Indonesia has a beach to suit all moods, and today you'll experience its laid-back small island vibes. You'll travel from Ubud to the port of Padang Bai, where a speedboat will zip across the glistening waters and take you to Gili Air. Gili Air is the smallest of the three Gili Islands, and it's perfect for a few days of relaxation. The Gilis are charmingly car-free, so you'll reach your hotel either on foot or by horse cart. Take time to rest, watch the ocean sunsets, and snorkel in search of turtles.

Day 6: Day Trip to Gili Trawangan or Gili Meno

Beanbags on the beach at Gili Trawangan
Time to chill at Gili Trawangan

Each of the Gilis has its own character, and it's a great idea to spend time on more than one of the islands. Head off on a day trip to the neighboring island of Gili Meno (the smallest, most relaxed, and most traditional of the three islands, with a real castaway vibe) or Gili Trawangan (a more established island where there's a bit more going on: markets, dive schools, beach shops, and even an Irish bar). Rent a bike to explore, and then stop off at a local beach bar to reward yourself with a refreshing drink delivered to your beanbag or overwater hammock.

Day 7: Snorkel Trip to Gili Air, Gili Meno & Gili Trawangan

A woman snorkeling beside a turtle
Discover Indonesia's underwater world 

Today, underwater adventures await with a snorkeling cruise around the three Gili Islands. Hop on a small wooden boat and feel the warm breeze as your captain whisks you away to some of the best snorkeling sites, where you can jump into the water with your fins and mask to admire the multicolored fish and corals. If you're lucky, you might get to snorkel alongside turtles—they're often spotted in the waters here. Refuel with lunch on one of the islands before returning to your hotel to watch another mesmerizing sunset. 

Day 8: Transfer to Uluwatu, Visit the Fish Market in Jimbaran

A man selling fish at a market on the beach in Bali
Take your pick of fresh fish at Jimbaran's fish market

Board the fast boat to Padang Bai back on Bali, where your driver will be waiting to take you down to the southern tip of the island to Uluwatu—known for its striking sea temple—and the nearby resort of Jimbaran. Jimbaran combines the best bits of Bali: a fishing village with strong traditions, a long sandy beach lined with colorful boats, and a thriving foodie scene.

Here, take the opportunity to go to the famous open-air Jimbaran Fish Market. Choose your favorite seafood platter in the market—it might be tuna, trevally, octopus, or jumbo prawns—and then take it to a small local seaside restaurant to grill and enjoy with rice and vegetables. 


Day 9: Jimbaran Sunset Cruise & Barbecue Dinner

A beach in Jimbaran
Explore Jimbaran's beautiful beaches

Today you'll enjoy a full day at your own pace. Hit the beach, take a bicycle ride around the coast, relax by the pool, or eat at one of the many local restaurants. Don't forget to try some local gelato!


In the early afternoon, your driver will pick you up for an unforgettable adventure as you head to Jimbaran Beach for a sunset cruise. Soak up the views of the stunning beaches, swim around the boat or float in the warm, clear waters, and relax on deck as you watch a colorful southern Balinese sunset. When you return to the beach, you'll smell the mouth-watering sizzle of a seafood barbecue waiting for you.


Day 10: Bukit Beaches, Uluwatu Temple Visit, Kecak Traditional Dance Performance

Uluwatu Temple
Soak up the dramatic views at Uluwatu temple

This morning it's all about the beautiful beaches of the Bukit Peninsula. Your driver might take you to Pandawa Beach, with its white sands and backdrop of limestone cliffs, or to Padang Padang Beach—a hidden beach and top surf spot.

In the afternoon, the views become even more dramatic when you visit the 11th-century Uluwatu temple, which perches on a cliff 230 feet (70 m) above the sea. Take time to admire the spectacular temple and watch the Indian Ocean waves far below. Keep a hand on your belongings, though, as the resident monkeys have been known to grab water bottles, sunglasses, and even wallets from distracted visitors!


As the sun sets over Uluwatu temple, everyone gathers in the temple's amphitheater to watch the Kecak performance. Pronounced "ket-chak," this is a traditional Balinese dance accompanied by rhythmic chanting. More than 50 men wearing Balinese sarongs come together in a circle to perform an elaborate dance that reflects the Ramayana story from Hindu mythology, with fire torches illuminating the performance after dark. It's an impressive thing to see (and hear) and a perfect way to spend your final night in Bali. 

Day 11: Transfer to Denpasar Airport & Depart

Two monkeys posing by temple ruins
Say "bye" to Bali and its memorable residents
After a final morning at the beach, it's time to say a fond farewell to Indonesia as your driver takes you back to Denpasar for your international flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Unforgettable Indonesia: Bali & the Gili Islands - 11 Days
Map of Unforgettable Indonesia: Bali & the Gili Islands - 11 Days