The Indonesian island of Bali is famous for its stunning beauty and friendly people. It’s an amazing place where adventure and serenity abound. Anyone who visits Bali comes back with experiences they will treasure for a lifetime. Here is a guide to what you can’t miss if you have seven days to spend in Bali.
Seek out a Temple
A visit to the ancient Hindu temple at Uluwatu on the southern tip of Bali is highly recommended. The temple, like many others on the island, is a fascinating place that’s rich in history. It will expose you to the mystery and magic of Bali. In the evening it gets even more exciting, with lively kecak dance performances.
There’s also good surfing near Uluwatu and a beach to explore, with excellent hang-out spots like Finns Beach Club.
Surfing is a wonderful activity to do on Bali, with options for every skill level. Kuta and Legian are the best beaches for beginners to find their sea legs, while Dreamland and Padang Padang are also lovely. It is advised not to attempt surfing at remote beaches, however, as some alcoves have sharp coral reefs that can be dangerous. Instead, stick to one of Bali’s many established beaches. You can also take lessons to get the most from Bali’s sensational surfing opportunities.
A Dose for the Soul
There’s also the opportunity on Bali to meet traditional healers and fortune tellers. These gifted shamans, dukuns and healers treat physical and mental illnesses, help people get in touch with their ancestors, and are a valued part of the island’s cultural tapestry. Tour packages are available that will help you find exactly what you’re looking for, including visiting holy springs and participating in cleansing rituals. Traditional ceremonies and temple rites are a central part of everyday life on Hindu-majority Bali, and it can be an incredible experience to take part.
From Dusk to Dawn
Bali is well-known for its breathtaking sunsets, and there are many places to find the perfect view. A few prime perches to take in the rosy hues include Seminyak Beach, Tanah Lot temple, Uluwatu and El Kabron. Stick around Seminyak for a Jari Menari rhythmic massage at the nearby Dancing Fingers School and enjoy nighttime partying at places like Ku De Ta and the Cocoon beach club. On the flip side, consider an early-morning hike up 1,700m-high Mount Batur where you can see a spectacular sunrise from the active volcano at the top. The sunrise trail is fairly easy and is 11 kilometres to the top.
What about the Wildlife?
The chance to meet some cute animal friends spells fun for the whole family, whether it’s a trip to the monkey forest of Ubud, bathing an elephant at the Elephant Safari Park or taking a sunset cruise in Lovina to watch dolphins pop in and out of the waves.
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Some of the best things in Bali are along its sparkling coasts. Snorkeling and diving through some of the most diverse coral reefs on the planet is not to be missed. Schools of brightly-coloured fish dart past as you swim the warm waters. Top snorkel locations are Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay and Manta point. For an even more luxurious snorkeling option, hire a luxury catamaran to take you to the unspoilt nature of Nusa Lembongan island and enjoy its private beach club.
Enjoy the Local Cuisine
Bali has a range of delicious, affordable restaurants serving all kinds of food including Western cuisine. As you spend your week in Bali make sure to sample local delicacies such as babi guling (spit-roasted pig) and sate lilit (spicy minced chicken or beef on lemongrass sticks). Another favourite dish that will leave you hankering for more is ayam betutu, which is a kind of slow-cooked, spicy chicken wrapped in banana leaves. Don’t forget fresh, tasty seafood from prawns to lobster. Jimbaran and Echo Beach are great places to sup on succulent seafood, with their numerous reasonably-priced beachside restaurants. You can even eat in the restored 17th-Century Royal Palace at Kerambitan (reservations required), followed by traditional dancing. Bali is a paradise for the taste buds.
Go Local Style
For an authentic island experience, consider spending a night or two at a homestay. Homestays can be a chance to meet local residents and get a unique view of what Bali’s all about. Adjusting to slower-paced island life for a day or two can be the ultimate way to unwind. Top off the relaxation with a visit to one of Bali’s natural hot springs to rejuvenate. If you are planning a visit to Canggu or Seminyak , make sure you get in touch with Made and he will give you a good deal at one of his villas.
Bali truly is a glorious place, where you can relax and have the adventure of a lifetime all in the same trip.