Top 5 Bali destinations
Just an hour from the airport, you’ll find yourself in the green heart of Bali. Ubud is an artistic town with an array of fine restaurants and art shops, surrounded by the fresh green terraced paddy fields. Right in the centre of the town is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary where you can spot countless long-tailed macaques clambering over ornate Balinese statues.
2) Spotting Dolphins in Lovina:
Lovina has been a popular hideaway for backpackers and adventure travellers for years, which has given it a laid-back atmosphere with lots little restaurants, shops and diving schools. Thanks to a large shrimp population in the waters around Lovina, the area attracts lots of dolphins. You’ll need to set off early in the morning with a local guide in a traditional Jukung boat. The water is as smooth as glass at this time of day. Luckily the fishermen know where the shrimp are hiding in the currents and before you know it, you’ll hear splashing alongside the boat as the first group of dolphins appear.
3) Trekking through the hills of Munduk:
Munduk is a charming Balinese mountain village in the north of Bali, with beautiful traditional houses and a comfortably cool climate thanks to its relatively high altitude. The area surrounding the village is great for treks through the jungle and rice paddies of the mountains. There are many local guides that can take you on an environmental trek through the lush countryside, showing you the coffee, clove, vanilla and avocado plantations dotted through the jungle.You can also trek to a few beautiful lakes and the picturesque Red Coral Waterfall. The treks range from light hikes lasting 2 – 3 hours, and more adventurous treks that take you deeper into the mountains, lasting 6 – 7 hours.
Permuteran is a lovely little bay with beautiful hotels and one of Bali’s best sandy beaches right on your doorstep. A very successful coral reef restoration project is being run by local businesses in the area, which means you can rent a snorkel and mask and see amazing marine life and corals only 10 metres off the beach. Menjangan Island is nearby and you can go on a boat trip to the island in search of colourful fish and sea turtles. These day trips are run by the local dive shop and you get your own professional snorkelling guide, and lunch and drinks are also provided. You can also choose to visit the Barat National Park to spot exotic birds and other wildlife in the forest and mangroves.
Hidden in the heart of Bali, amidst bright green rice paddies, lies the magical Tirtagangga Water Palace. Tirtagangga literally means “water from the Ganges”. On your Bali water palace tour you can sleep in the palace itself where you can go for a royal swim in the pool of the former sovereign. Tirtagangga is an ideal base for trekking through the surrounding countryside. You can spend a couple of days with a Balinese family as part of a homestay, learning more about how the locals live in the stunning landscape.