Well, lucky you who has 10 glorious days to spend in the Island of the Gods!
Day 1-3: South Bali
For the first few days, base yourself in Seminyak and give yourselves three days to fully enjoy the treasures of South Bali. In between all the shopping and dining that you are sure to do, here are three spots you should hit whilst in South Bali.
A trip to Bali is not complete without a day of lounging at the beach. Sanur Beach is a lovely stretch of golden sand and blue waters, perfect for families and reportedly much less commercialized and crowded than others. Spend a day relaxing with a massage or get an adrenaline rush with some watersports.
On your second day, go all the way down south to the Nusa Dua Peninsula to visit Pura Uluwatu, which sits on the edge of a cliff by the sea with the strong waves crashing against the cliff wall. Do stay and watch the Kecak dance performed at the temple, the vibe of traditional mystique combined with the view of the gorgeous sunset is a special experience indeed. Recommended time to visit is between 4-6pm. From Pura Uluwatu, it is convenient to head over to Jimbaran (10 mins drive) for a fresh and piping hot grilled seafood dinner by the beach. A perfect end to the day.
Families with kids, teenagers, or even just the young at heart would love a day out to Waterbom Park Bali. Forget kiddy pools and run down facilities, the Waterbom park is clean, friendly, thrilling, and boasts more than 20 world class water slides. Admission is priced at 31USD per adult and 19 USD for children 12 and under. A great day out for everyone, be sure to get in early to beat the queues!
Day 4-5: Cultural Ubud
After all the excitement, noise and convivial crowds of South bali, it is time to beat a hasty retreat into a more spiritual and cultural core of Bali.
Go on a rice field walk, breathe in some fresh air, and enjoy the greenery around you. Get in touch with nature, and take the time to relax your mind as you amble slowly through lush fields of green.
Be rewarded for all that walking you did with an organic lunch at one of Ubud’s many organic restaurants. One of the most popular is Sari Organik, which is located in the midst of rice fields. Fresh healthy juices and salads are their speciality, and they also serve middle eastern and Indonesian cuisine, as well as pizza.
Nightlife in Ubud is certainly different from that in Kuta. Go to the Ubud palace and catch a traditional Balinese dance performance. There are many different types of dances in Balinese culture, such as Legong, Ramayana and Kecak. You could even watch Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppetry if you are interested.
Exploring the Sukawati Art Market in Ubud is a way to get acquainted with the many types of traditional arts and crafts in Bali. From stone carvings, jewellery making, Batik cloth, paintings and wood carvings, check out whatever takes your fancy. It is also a fine chance for you to practice your haggling skills, which is practically a fine art in Bali. If you wish to experience a more local atmosphere, we recommend that you get up early, 5-6am, to observe the locals doing their marketing and shopping.
You can get a good massage anywhere in Bali, but even if you are not a big fan of massages, you have got to try it out in Ubud. The Taksu Spa and Restaurant is one of the outstanding spas. Enjoy facials, hair creme baths, massages, and body scrubs by dedicated and friendly staff in a stunning natural setting. After your treatment, a meal at the Taksu Restaurant is definitely worth your while. The menu is varied, and you have plenty of options to keep your tastebuds tingling. They also have a raw and vegan menu, which features desserts like strawberry cheesecake and macadamia apple pie.
Yoga junkies can get their fix at the Yoga Barn, a rustic space dedicated to yoga, movement and healing. Beginners to advanced practitioners can all find a class to suit them. If you happen to be visiting on a Monday, they have movie nights held in the cozy pillow strewn studio. You can also opt in to join a pre-movie buffet dinner catered by KAFE.
Day 6: Gianyar to Candi Dasa
From Ubud, go up to Gianyar. You can try the famous Babi Guling at Ibu Oka, made famous after Anthony Bourdain’s recommendation.
After a satisfying meal of suckling pig, go on to tour some of Bali’s cultural icons in Semapura (Klungklung). Kerta Gosa used to be an ancient place of jurisdiction and law. It is decorated with carved pillars, and the ceilings showcase intricate paintings which generally depict hell and heaven. The pavilion is also set in the midst of quiet lily ponds, and visitors enjoy the peace and serenity within the compound. Sarongs are needed but you can borrow one from one of the attendants.
A good stop would be Goa Lawah,also known as the bat cave. As its name suggests, Goa Lawah is populated by thousands of bats. It is a sacred place associated with cremation rites. Vendors around the area can get pushy, just remember to be firm but always respectful. The cave lies opposite a stunning black sand beach along the coast if you should wish to explore the beach for a while.
Continue towards Padang Bai, the place of transit to Lombok and the Gilis Islands. From Padang Bai, we travel along the coast until we reach Candi Dasa. Rest and relax on the beach, or even try out snorkelling.
Day 7: Tenganan to visit the Bali Aga people
Take a day trip 10 minutes up from the coast of Candi Dasa to visit the indigenous people of Bali, the Bali Aga.
The village is located in the isolated mountainous regions that almost make visitors feel that they have gone back in time. The Bali Aga people are masters of the complex Tie-Dye technique used to produce double Ikat cloth.
An interesting place to visit would also be their cemeteries, as the Bali Aga people believe in laying their dead out in bamboo cages to decompose, instead of burying or cremating them. However, there is no stench, due to the perfuming scents from the Taru Menyan trees around.
Day 8: Amlapura to Tirta Gangga
When visiting Amlapura, one must always visit the beautiful traditional palaces there. Check out Puri Agung Karangasem and the Taman Ujung water Palace, both of which are lovely to behold and a picture-perfect spot.
When you have finished exploring, continue on to Tirta Gangga. There are pools fed by underground springs, and you can stop by for a dip to cool off if you feel like it.
Homestays in Tirta Gangga offer a beautiful view of Gunung Agung, as well as rice fields all around. There are plenty of walks that you can do around the area, or perhaps a cycling trip.
Day 9: Marine wonders of Amed
The final leg of the journey takes you to Amed, where you can spend the days in bliss along the coastline. Avid divers can follow the trip out to popular dive spots such as Shipwreck and Manta Point. If diving is not your cup of tea, perhaps try snorkeling to be able to experience the wonders of the vast sea.
Day 10: Home!
A 3-4 hour drive takes you back to the airport. Depending on your flight time, you can probably stop by at Kuta where you can pick up last minute souvenirs, or have afternoon tea at the Bali Bakery.
We wish you a wonderful trip to Bali!