Escape the winter blues with this laid-back, nine-day interlude on Indonesia's "Island of the Gods." Start among the emerald valleys of Ubud, where you'll tour the countryside in a vintage Volkswagen, explore tranquil ancient temples, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Then it's off to the coastal town of Sanur to unwind on hidden beaches, snorkel off exotic islands, and celebrate your final night in Bali with a sunset barbecue on Jimbaran Beach.


  • Tour the lush countryside of southern Bali by vintage VW
  • Stroll through the exquisite water temples of Ubud
  • Snorkel with manta rays off the Nusa Islands
  • Unwind on the palm-fringed beaches of Sanur

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Ubud Ubud
Day 2 Ubud Volkswagen Safari Tour Ubud
Day 3 Day Trip to Sidemen: Local Culture & Customs Ubud
Day 4 Explore Ubud's Temples  Ubud
Day 5 Transfer to Sanur via Sukawati Market Sanur
Day 6 Day Trip to Nusa Penida & Lembongan, Snorkeling Adventure Sanur
Day 7 Bukit Beach Tour & Kecak Dance Show Sanur
Day 8 Jimbaran Sunset Cruise & Barbecue Dinner Sanur
Day 9 Depart Bali  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bali, Transfer to Ubud

Offerings at a temple in Ubud
Offerings at a temple in Ubud

Welcome to Bali! Your driver will meet you at Denpasar Airport and drive you to your hotel in Ubud, where you can get settled in after your flight. Nestled among lush, jungle-swathed mountains, Ubud is the spiritual heart of Indonesia's "Island of the Gods." Locals believe its elevated position places it closer to heaven. You'll undoubtedly feel like you've arrived in paradise as you drive past the region's famous terraced slopes and colorful roadside shrines.

After checking into your hotel and resting a little from the long journey, the afternoon is free for you to explore the neighborhood around your hotel. Walk through the peaceful rice fields nearby, or stop for a drink of fresh coconut. Head to the city center to browse Ubud Market for souvenirs, then sit down to dinner at one of the smaller street kitchens, known as warung, to get an authentic taste of Indonesian cuisine (be prepared—the Balinese like their food spicy!).

Day 2: Ubud Volkswagen Safari Tour

Meet the characterful residents of the Sangeh Monkey Forest

Discover the highlights around Ubud in style today with a vintage Volkswagen convertible tour. You'll follow winding roads along the way 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 enjoy the view.

As the day heats up, swing by Tibumana Waterfall and cool off with a quick dip. Spend some time in contemplation at Gunung Kawi Sebatu, an enchanting water temple, and Tirta Empul, one of Bali's most famous Hindu temples, 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 mischievous long-tailed macaques and watch them play in the giant nutmeg trees and temple ruins. Round off your tour with a visit to Gianyar, where you can sample local street food from the bustling market stalls.

Day 3: Day Trip to Sidemen: Local Culture & Customs

Follow walking trails through the Balinese countryside

Head off the beaten path today for an authentic glimpse into the daily customs and ceremonies of rural Bali. Start with a demonstration on the creation of sarongs, the island's brightly-colored, wearable works of art that reflect religious traditions and play an important role in everyday life. Then it's time to lace up your walking shoes and head out on the local walking trails to immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes around Ubud. Learn about the region's ancient subak irrigation system and the time-honored agricultural practices that create the distinctive rice paddies and terraces.

After working up an appetite, you'll head to a cooking class, where you can try your hand at grinding flour and preparing typical Balinese dishes cooked over a wood fire in a village home. Spend some time helping to prepare offerings and ceremonial cakes, then watch the talented locals as they weave palm leaves.

Next up is a lontar workshop, the art of transforming dried palm leaves into pages for engraved manuscripts, rituals, and astrology. Learn about the Balinese alphabet of aksara bali, and practice your calligraphy to create a memorable keepsake. When ready for refreshment, prepare jamu, a plant-based drink known for its health benefits, and help make your own version of a "tiger balm" salve from homegrown ingredients. Enjoy a delicious lunch on the spot to end the experience, then transfer back to Ubud after a blessing and a glimpse into the future from a local wise man.

Day 4: Explore Ubud's Temples

The Besakih Temple Complex

Today, your driver will take you into the green valleys surrounding Ubud to visit some of the region's most magnificent temples. Your first stop is Pura Besakih, the mother temple of Bali and the largest on the island. This impressive complex consists of 23 small temples situated at the foot of towering Mount Agung. Next, head to Bangli and the terraced Pura Kehen Temple. This ancient Hindu complex boasts many intricate architectural features and sweeping views from its elevated position.

Continue to Penglipuran Village, a highland hamlet best known for its well-preserved culture and traditional layout. Here, you can enter a typical house and admire the classic setup of a rural Balinese abode. Take the road toward the east coast and the former royal capital of Semarapura, where you'll find the historic courthouse of Kerta Gosa and its famous floating pavilion, then return to Ubud to spend the afternoon at your leisure.

Day 5: Transfer to Sanur via Sukawati Market

Spend your afternoon on the beaches of Sanur
Plan your trip to Indonesia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

After a peaceful morning in Ubud, your driver will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to Sanur, a charming beachfront town on Bali's southeast coast. En route, you have the opportunity to stop at the Sukawati Market, where you'll find thousands of fruits, spices, and souvenirs of all kinds. The market is a local favorite of the Balinese, who come from far and wide to sell all types of textiles, baskets, paintings, fruits, and vegetables in a convivial atmosphere.

Upon arrival in Sanur, the afternoon and evening are free for you to wander through the town or along the promenade, dine at one of the many restaurants, visit the bustling night market, relax at the beach, or catch up on some rest at your hotel.

Day 6: Day Trip to Nusa Penida & Lembongan, Snorkeling Adventure

Snorkeling off Nusa Lembongan Island
Snorkel with colorful tropical fish in the waters around Nusa Lembongan 

Rise early this morning and head to the beach, where a motorboat waits to take you to Nusa Penida, a small island just 15 miles (25 km) southeast of Bali. Here you can jump into the clear, calm seas and spend the morning snorkeling through an underwater world rich with corals and tropical fish. If you're lucky, you might encounter the majestic manta rays that frequent this area and experience the thrill of swimming alongside them.

Back on board, you'll navigate toward other hidden bays and postcard-perfect beaches, stopping for more snorkeling along the way. Head to the nearby island of Nusa Lembongan around noon to enjoy some downtime on its crescent beach, then relax on deck as you cruise back to Sanur in the afternoon.

Day 7: Bukit Beach Tour & Kecak Dance Show

Walkways to the clifftop temple of Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Get ready for an unforgettable day of beach-hopping along the scenic Bukit Peninsula, visiting gems like the famous surf spot of Padang Padang Beach, the vast stretch of palm-fringed sands at Thomas Beach, and the secluded Green Bowl Beach.

Finish the day with a visit to Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple to take in a spectacular sunset. Perched on a 230-foot (70 m) cliffside overlooking the ocean, this is one of Bali's seven "sea temples" built in the ninth century to protect the island from evil spirits. Take a stroll through the grounds to take in the sweeping views and meet the temple's resident monkeys. As darkness falls, stick around for the evening's Kecak show, a dramatic Balinese spectacle of fire and dance performed by a troupe of 50 that narrates dramatic stories from the Hindu epic of Ramayana.

Day 8: Jimbaran Sunset Cruise & Barbecue Dinner

Sunset over Jimbaran Beach

Today is free to enjoy the beachside haven of Sanur at your own pace. Spend a day at the beach, take a bicycle ride around the coast, relax by the pool, try one of the many local restaurants, and don't forget to try some of the famous gelatos!

In the early afternoon, your driver will take you south to Jimbaran Beach to embark on an afternoon cruise. Enjoy the view of the stunning beaches of the south coast, swim around the boat or float in the warm, clear waters, and unwind on deck as you experience the dazzling colors of a southern Balinese sunset. When you return to the beach, a seafood barbecue awaits you to celebrate your final night on the island. 

Day 9: Transfer to Denpasar & Depart 

A wreath of marigolds as an offering at a Balinese temple

It's time to bid your Balinese paradise farewell this morning. Depending on your schedule, you could spend one final morning at the beach before meeting your driver for the transfer to Denpasar Airport. Safe travels!

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