Watch panoramic sunsets.
The paddy fields of Tagalalang make up one of the world's most iconic human landscapes, and they lie just twenty minutes from our hotel. Stop by this UNESCO World Heritage Site on your trip to capture some remarkable photographs and learn about the engineering systems used to irrigate and grow on the island's rice since ancient times. The descent to the lower fields is truly spectacular.
Mount Batur Caldera
Defined by its dense foliage, labyrinthine ravines, and wild untamed seas, Bali is not traditionally associated with higher climes. But Mount Batur is a must see for any international tourist, standing at the heart of island life for generations. Climb to the summit of this perfectly formed volcano for views stretching from sea to shining sea, taking in the thick, smoky fogs of the surrounding caldera.
Surf spectacular beaches.
Around Nusa Penida
If the island of Bali is not yet remote enough, you can catch a boat to the islets of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lemongan, and Nusa Caninga and be at some of the region's quietest beaches in under half an hour. Once believed to be inhabited by the dark spirits banished by the Balinese priesthood, these pockets of paradise are now known for their reefs, prized by scuba divers and mastered by experienced surfers.
Around Ulawatu Beach
Uluwatu Beach is synonymous with Balinese surf culture. Its golden sands are peppered with the boards of the professional surfers who flock here from around the world throughout the year. But the south coast, and Bukit Peninsula in particular, is blessed with a range of surfing beaches suited to surfers of all abilities. Nyang Nyang, Bingin, and Green Bowl Beach are some of our favourites.
Delve into the undergrowth.
Ubud Monkey Forest
One of the most sacred locations on the island, the Monkey Forest at Ubud is much more than your average pedestrian-friendly safari park. The band of long-tailed macaques who call its deep green tree canopy home are revered by Balinese Hindus who travel from near and far to pay homage at the three temples within the complex. Come with an offering and you could see good fortune present itself.
Trunyan Skull Village
Step outside your comfort zone and into a darker and more mysterious interpretation of Bali life with a trip to a village with a highly irregular funerary tradition. Not unlike the denizens of King Kong's Skull Island, Trunyan locals have abandoned the standard Hindu rite of cremation to leave their dead untouched on the ground. They'd be glad to tell you how and why their world works as it does.
Dip a toe into the waters.
Beji Guwang Canyon
Hewed out of the damp earth by the fast-flowing Oos, the canyon at Beji Guwang is a natural wonder hidden in plain sight. Beautifully formed like a pile of architecture, its maze of tunnel-like ravines contain mysteries untold. Its holy waters remain a popular bathing place for Balinese Hindus and an invaluable source for fossil remains. Look closely at the geology and you will notice outlines of skulls.
Tukad Cepung Falls
Waterfalls abound on the Island of the Gods. Some split into holy, crystalline streams leading in every imaginable destination; others reach extraordinary heights. The most spectacular pierces the ceiling of a cavern to reach down into the underworld. For those prepared to tackle a myriad of stairs, ramps, and passageways, Tukad Cepung is a must. You will be in awe of its waters as they refract the light.
Sample living traditions.
Canang Sari Workshop
Canang Sari is one of the principal daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to pay homage and tribute to the Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. Participate in our culturally sensitive Canang-making session and you'll have the opportunity to construct one of these deceptively small, hand-woven coconut-leaf baskets, whilst also learning about the the intricate belief systems from which the tradition emerged.
Our locally famous scooter experience allows you a great deal more flexibility than your average guided tour. From the saddle of a trusty Vespa you can feel the twists and turns of the roads, and experience Bali as the locals do. Winding your way through a cultural landscape punctuated with rice paddies, natural beauty spots, and ancient temples you'll sustain a real sense of what makes the island tick.
Immerse yourself in culture.
Pura Tirta Empul
One of the busiest temples in the Hindu world, Tirta Empul is a wonder to behold. Nowhere is held in higher esteem by the Balinese as a place for ritual purification than the petrirtaan which dominates its central courtyard. This highly ornate bathing structure was built around the source of the Pakerisan River by the Warmadewa Dynasty around 926 AD to convey amritha from the Gods.
Gunung Kawi Temple
Myth and legend abounds at Gunung Kawi, one of Balinese Hinduism's most unusual architectural piles. The most popular theory is that the powerful warrior Kiwo Iwa carved its stone reliefs with his fingernails, but nothing is certain besides its age. Records suggest an elaborate complex of courtyards and cliff shrines was built on this site in the early eleventh century when the jungle was still young.