Located just below the equator, the island of Bali dazzles you with its beauty and beaches. While many tourists go there to relax and enjoy their vacation without too much effort, the Indonesian island is far from being a landmark of resorts without activity. And then, who said that there was nothing to do in Bali but rest? If you plan to go to Bali for 1 or 2 weeks, you will not be bored. From the cultural discovery of the island through the villages, temples, history and culture, through the nightlife, sports activities and relaxation with spas and yoga, there is indeed a lot to do in Bali. It is possible to travel to Bali without having to deal with the ever-increasing overcrowding.
Tours for a Bali trip: 100% customizable ideas
Going to discover the island of Bali is not only to embark on an extraordinary adventure, it is also – and above all – to dive into a different universe where surprise and beauty are present at every step, every turn, during every hike and every encounter. Thus, how to miss the ascent of the volcano Gunung Agung (the highest point of the island with an altitude of 3142m) and its unforgettable panorama at sunrise? How could you not want to enjoy the beauty of a dive on Pulau Menjangan, in the northwest of the island, a place very popular with the locals and where snorkeling opportunities are as numerous as exceptional? If you are more attracted by human encounters, you must absolutely go to the former royal capital of Bali, Semarapura and its fabulous market, a constant source of wonder that will delight children and adults, with its colors, atmosphere and unique atmosphere. Finally, the small village of Munduk will be the perfect opportunity to taste the legendary Balinese tranquility, in this small haven of peace located in the center of the country and ideal for a romantic stay.
- Discover Indonesia
Also called Nusantara by the Indonesians themselves, Indonesia is an archipelago located in Southeast Asia. With no less than 13,466 islands of which only 922 are inhabited, it is considered the largest archipelago in the world. A tour in Indonesia must include Bali, the first tourist destination of the country. Rightly nicknamed “the island of the gods”, this island of the Sunda is especially famous for its beautiful and lively beaches such as Jimbaran and Bukit. To enjoy Indonesian beaches more quietly, head to one of the three Gili’s islands which are only a few hours away from Bali. Located in northern Lombok, these islands seduce with their beautiful white sand beaches, warm turquoise sea and beautifully preserved seabed.
- Recommended itineraries and activities in Indonesia for a successful tour
A true cultural melting pot, Indonesia keeps in Java some of the most impressive temples of the country. Among the Javanese temples that you must see during your tour in Indonesia, Borobudur is in first place. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. But Candi Sukuh is also worth a visit. Dating from the 15th century, this temple perched on the side of a volcano on Mount Lawu in Java is home to a multitude of sculptures dedicated to fertility. In Tana Toraja, don’t miss the funeral ceremonies that have made this region of Sulawesi famous. In addition to feasts, buffalo fights, dances and prayers, you can also witness unusual rites such as hanging in a tree or on a hillside of the deceased. During your tour in Indonesia, be prepared to meet many impressive animals such as the famous monitors on the island of Komodo. To see orangutans in their natural habitat, make a detour to Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan in the Indonesian part of Borneo. You can also see these largest primates of Asia, on the island of Sumatra, more precisely in the nature reserve of Batang Palupuh in Bukit Lawang. Many activities await you during your tour in Indonesia. A world-renowned diving destination, the country has some of the most beautiful diving spots in the world. In Bunaken, discover in the clearest water, gardens of multicolored coral reefs where schools of sparkling fish come and go. If you are lucky, you may even see sharks, giant turtles, dolphins and dugongs. In Raja Ampat, ocellated sharks, giant manta rays and sea slugs will be there. Indonesia also offers a wide range of surfing spots. Surfers should not miss the waves of the Mentawai Islands and the spectacular swells of Ulu Watu. The most courageous will be able to climb one of the many volcanoes of the archipelago including Gunung Api which is located in the banda.
Travel to the north of Bali to explore its rice fields
The famous rice fields of Jatiluwith or Tegallalang, look ready for that long-awaited Instagram image, complete with vertigo-inducing swings, photocalls of hearts and other posturing elements. Instead of visiting these rice fields, we suggest heading to the north of Bali to explore the wilder rice fields. Plus, you don’t have to pay to enter or take a picture. Visiting them is a real treat for the senses and you can see the locals working the land, without posing for photos. Here you will hardly meet any other tourists. But even so, the area is well prepared for the visit. In other words, you will find good restaurants where you can taste the delicious local cuisine, overlooking the rice fields. As for accommodation, it is also not a problem, there are many options in the northern villages, where you will have the opportunity to disconnect and relax, surrounded by nature.
- Visit the waterfalls in the Singaraja area
Another thing to see when visiting Bali is to enjoy its incredible waterfalls. In and around the Ubud area, there are beautiful waterfalls, yes, but also lots of people. Early risers can be lucky and perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim before the crowds arrive. Again, we offer other less touristy places of exuberant nature. They are not totally virgin, that is, there is also tourism, but much less. We are talking about the Singaraja area. In and around this area you will find the spectacular waterfalls of Sekumpul, and a little further north, those of GitGit and Aling Aling. These three waterfalls are considered the best on the island, and are only a few hours drive from Ubud. Of course, it is ideal to spend the night there, otherwise you will spend more time driving or cycling than enjoying this natural environment. Besides, if you like trekking, the area is ideal to get lost between the pure green and nature, breathe fresh air and share some time with the locals.
- Cultural immersion in the north of the island
But traveling to Bali is not only to enjoy its natural spaces. When we think of Bali, we think of course of those fantastic images of waterfalls and rice fields, but also of its temples. Visiting them is one of the most recommended experiences. Unfortunately, they have also become a mere tourist attraction in recent times. One of the most famous images of Bali at the moment is that of the gates of paradise, with the effect of a lake at the foot. A photo that is taken with a mirror under the camera lens of the phone, since in this temple, the Lempuyar Lahur, there is no lake. This long-awaited photo, of a place that is not even real, can take up to 3 hours of waiting. You read it right. And the same thing happens in other temples, like Tirta Empul, where every day thousands of people gather to have their picture taken as part of the water purification ritual.
If you want to enjoy these places without having to put your elbow in your face, the best thing, as you know, is to get up early and go in early, at the opening time, or even earlier and wait. But if what you want is to take a look at Buddhism and learn more about the religious practices, we recommend you to go out of the usual routes. We reveal another less touristy place to visit: the town of Sudaji. This small town, also located in the north of Bali, has several guesthouses, many of them ecological, where you can spend a few days relaxing. There, with the locals, you can learn a lot about the history, culture and religion of Bali and you can visit the temples in the area with them. If your visit coincides with a special festival, you can attend the rituals and even participate in the celebration.
- Bali travel: Bali beaches and diving
We have already made the tour of waterfalls, rice fields and temples, but going to Bali is also to enjoy its beaches. Canggu and Uluwatu are usually the destinations chosen for a few days of sun and even surfing. Resorts, swimming pools and beautiful beaches, yes, but with many foreigners and a rather festive atmosphere. What if we changed these destinations for other less touristic places? The area of Amed, a fishing village in the north of Bali, has quiet beaches, a very relaxed local atmosphere and incredible diving.
You can switch from diving in the famous and festive Gili Trawangan to Amed, where you will find extraordinary marine life (you can see turtles to spectacular manta rays) and where there are not so many tourists. In conclusion, there is nothing to envy to the Nusas or the Gili. You will easily find diving schools where you can do your certification courses or rent your dives.
Traveling to Bali and finding less touristy places is possible, as you can see. The northern part of the island still retains a very local and authentic essence, but also prepared for tourism, but not for the masses. The ideal is to spend a few days, or even the whole stay if you decide to go to Bali in search of more tranquility and less crowding. Don’t forget that in addition, throughout Bali, you have plenty of sustainable and eco-friendly accommodations, restaurants and services.