Best Time to Visit: Bali’s climate is warm and humid, temperatures averaging between 21°C and 31°C. Short bursts of rain occur from November until April, making the velvet green landscape come alive. April to October is the dry season, although in hilly Ubud, you rarely feel too hot. Festival periods can get busier. In Ubud, however, you never feel the crowds. This is the advantage Ubud has over the south coast area that can get packed to bursting around August, Christmas and New Year.
Accommodation: 5 night’s Ubud Mandapa (Mandapa Suite)
As a resort surrounded by the Ayung River in Ubud, a district known for its natural beauty, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve captures both the magic of Bali and the serenity of seclusion. The charm of this hotel lies not only in its spiritual and cultural richness, but in the joy of simply letting go. Here, surrounded by verdant rice paddies and ancient temples, guests will find joy in escaping daily distractions while turning to more relaxing endeavours, whether practicing yoga in a peaceful pavilion, biking through nearby villages, experiencing the local Balinese cuisine, or surrendering to pure bliss at the hands of an experienced spa therapist.
Accommodation: 5 night’s Nusa Dua
With its beachfront location, swimmable 3,668 square meter lagoon and inviting pools, the resort offers all that guests might desire in a tropical paradise.
Itinerary: 11 Days / 10 night’s
To the uninitiated, Bali might seem just like another popular tourist destination, but for anyone who visits its shores, it is impossible not to be touched by certain magic from the ‘Island of the Gods’. The predominantly Hindu island, gives visitors the chance to have a unique and fascinating cultural experience, while still being able to partake in any number of exciting or relaxing activities, like surfing, golf, massage and diving.
Bali is an island paradise, with lush rice field terraces, stunning volcano and lake views and beautiful beaches, but it is often the warmth and friendliness of the Balinese people, that make any stay on the island so memorable.
Bali has developed into a sophisticated tourist destination offering some of the most exclusive, award winning, hotels, restaurants and spas in the world, all of which are just a short drive from Bali’s international airport.
After meeting with your English-speaking guide, you will be transferred to your hotel in Ubud area in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Enjoy a welcome massage in the hotel to relax your body after the long flight to Indonesia and have the remainder of the day at leisure.
Stay for 5 nights at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
Meals: None, other than those provided on your flight
Located in the foothills of Gianyar Regency (district) and surrounded by ravines, dense forest and picturesque rice paddy fields, Ubud is one of the most attractive towns in Bali and a ‘must-see’ for anyone visiting the island. Your tour of the cultural heartland of Bali starts with a visit to Neka Art Museum, where the collection of art on display is inspired by the natural beauty, life, and culture of Bali. You can also see the museum’s wonderful collection of keris, the often beautifully crafted dagger that is strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia and recognised by UNESCO for its cultural importance.
Continue your tour with a stroll through central Ubud. Pass through the local market, which is always bustling with activity.
In the afternoon you will be picked up by our guide for the royal high tea experience. Overlooking the Ayung River in Mambal between Seminyak and Ubud, a hidden gem awaits the intrepid. Beginning early in the afternoon as the sun slowly sinks over the hills and bathes the area in a dazzling light, visitors will be treated to a sublimely picturesque High Tea experience.
The experience commences with a flower footbath on the adjacent riverbank before unwinding with a full body massage. Following this indulgent introduction, guests are treated to a serving of hors d’oeuvers, sweets and locally sourced teas, with stunning views across a lush river gorge.
The unique character of this luxurious and open walled safariesque venue, combined with the stunning location, make for an unforgettable detour on one’s journey in Bali.
This moderately challenging afternoon walk takes you through the moon-scape of various lava flows and ash-cones created by the more than twelve eruptions of Mount Batur between the periods 1963 to 1999.
The hike begins on a path formed between mounds of frozen lava rock and newly grown scrubland, before traversing an expanse of volcanic ash and eventually heading up an ash-cone to the rim of the volcano. From this vantage point you will experience a wonderful panoramic view of the caldera as well as 270 degree vistas of Lake Batur, Mount Abang and Mount Agung to the east. On a clear day the imposing Mount Batukaru and Mangu Peak, part of Bali’s Western Mountain range, can also be seen.
Further up the ridge, you can explore various fumaroles and see not only billowing steam but also mini stalactites of multi-coloured mineral deposits left by the steam. Whilst you are discovering the craters, the guide will be preparing a meal heated in one of the volcano – ovens (specially prepared steam vents that can be blocked to create pressure to cook your meal). While you wait for your meal to cook, afternoon tea is made available.
To finish your day, share a romantic evening with your loved one on a unique floating dining setting under a canopy of stars. Against a natural backdrop of timeless woodland greenery and the enchanting Ayung River Valley, this private niche will be enveloped by flickering candles and scattering of perfumed flower blossoms. A five-course gourmet menu will be discreetly served throughout the duration of this unforgettable evening.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Your morning will start with a visit to Ubud Monkey Forest, a lush nature reserve and temple complex on the outskirts of Ubud. The forest is home to more than one hundred species of trees, a number of interesting temples and hundreds of crab-eating macaque monkeys (*). Spend a while observing their characteristics and mannerisms before heading back to your island accommodation.
Continue your tour with a stroll through central Ubud. Pass through the local market, which is always bustling with activity, and enter Ubud Palace. The local royal family still reside in the palace but you are free to wander around the majority of the compound, discovering the ornate architecture and learning about the Asta Kosala Kosali tradition of house building, a method not dissimilar to the ancient art of Feng Shui. This will be followed by free time to explore the numerous shops and boutiques that are plentiful in the centre of town.
During the afternoon, we will transfer you to Pura Sebatu Temple for a traditional “melukat” cleansing ceremony. One of the Balinese traditional purification ceremonies, melukat, resembles a river bathing or bathing under natural fountain activity. A Balinese priest will lead the purification ceremony in a resplendent location at a confluence of rivers, waterfalls, or fountains—where participants will undergo a series of rituals, including praying, bathing, and soaking themselves in a holy stream.
The priest will start chanting the prayers of purification while guests may pray based on their own belief. Then the participants will go down to the fountain within the temple, assisted by our guide to clean themselves from legs, hands, faces and heads. Afterwards, participant may change to dry clothes or can continue with the wet condition to the next process, where the priest will chant the prayer and pour holy water over the head of the participants. This ritual is aimed to cleanse the body, mind and soul from any kind of bad influences and relief stress. The ritual ends with blessing prayers to invite all the good spirits, wisdom and knowledge (**).
Later in the afternoon your guide will take you on a short stroll onto the Campuhan ridge. Enjoy here the peaceful scenery while you walk between the tall green grasses. It is truly majestic and offers great sceneries to photograph.
On top of the ridge you will be awaited with a special set up refreshment stop, giving you time to reflect the day once again over a glass of champagne and just absorb the surrounding beauty with the views over river ravines to each side.
Whenever you wish, your guide will take you back to your resort.
(*) The macaque monkeys here can be a considerable annoyance. Please heed the advice from your guide on the precautions you should take when visiting temples or forests inhabited by monkeys.
(**) Please understand that – according to Balinese Hindu beliefs – this “melukat” ritual cannot be arranged for woman in their period days.
Today you will have the great opportunity to meet and interact with Balinese people and experience how families live and work together in their natural daily environment.
There will be plenty of photo opportunities as you pass scenic vistas and interesting villages en route to Subak Guliang, a traditional farming village and compound in the centre of the island. The local houses in the village compounds are architecturally unique when compared with other regions of Indonesia. Based on the Asta Kosala Kosali tradition of house building, the method is not dissimilar to the ancient art of Feng Shui.
Begin your local encounter by preparing breakfast in the Balinese compound. Seasonal tropical fruits will be served as well as soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea and Balinese cookies.
Invigorated by your fresh breakfast, the rest of your time here will be dedicated to exploring the local vicinity – take a stroll through local farms, walk to the nearby school and interact with its friendly students, witness the rural life of the Balinese people or learn more about the complexities of rice growing – from planting and harvesting through to the best methods of cooking it. Acquire knowledge of the simple but effective irrigation system known locally as Subak or just sit back and take it all in whilst enjoying fresh coconut water, one of nature’s most delicious drinks.
Lunch will be served right in the middle of the rice field with the soft background of traditional Rindik music played on bamboo instruments.
Next visit Pura Kehan, an 11th century temple complex near the town of Bangli that is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful on the island. Thirty-eight steps lead to the Kori Agung (stone capped gateway) and an attractive courtyard that is guarded by a mythical dragon. Legend has it that inside the dragon there is a magic stone that glowed red when the location of the temple was finally decided many hundreds of years ago.
Proceed to Penglipuran, a well ordered village surrounded by plantations and bamboo forests. A Bali Aga village, the local community still adhere to the strict rules and regulations (known as the Adat) that were laid down by their ancestors many centuries ago. Tradition and time-honoured ways are still very important here and you will have time to explore this enthralling settlement before moving onto Kintamani, the best spot, weather permitting, for views of Mount Batur, an active volcano which sits alongside Lake Batur. Scanning the horizon from left to right, you will observe that Kintamani sits on the caldera rim of a huge volcano, and Mount Batur, directly in front of you, is merely a ‘small’ mountain that has been created by thousands of years of volcanic activity.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
In the early afternoon you will meet your local food specialist guide and drive to a traditional Balinese house at the outskirts of Ubud. You will be welcomed by a local Brahman and see how coconut oil is produced and used to make ‘Pepes Clengis’, a traditional steamed grated coconut dish with Balinese spices wrapped in Banana leaves.
Continuing your culinary discovery, you will stop at a small local Warung for a popular refreshment called ‘Cendol’, a jelly-like drink consisting of green pieces of Tapioka, mixed with water and coconut milk and sweetened with brown sugar.
Next, take a walk around the famous Gianyar Night Market, which any local will tell you has some of the best food in Bali. The scene is brilliant, a local food haven on its own with the sound of hundreds of cooking pots, where families gather to eat delicacies such as roast pig, sweet cakes, chicken and coconut balls, fried bananas and tempeh and tofu. Try another Balinese speciality named ‘Bubur Injin’, a fermented black sticky rice cake.
End the evening at a hidden local bamboo restaurant near Ubud to experience a traditional ‘Megibung’ dining experience, in which people share several meals on a plate or Banana leaf. This is an authentic and special style of dining that was historically enjoyed during ceremonies and special occasions. The family-style served dishes consist of many rich and exotic Indonesian specialties and – the ideal way to try out the local cuisine.
After dinner you will be transferred to Nusa Dua.
Stay for 5 nights The St. Regis Bali Resort (The St. Regis Ocean View Suite)
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Today you will enjoy a leisurely cruise from Bali to the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan. The trip takes around 1.5 hours, depending on the wind. The thoughtful crew will look after you all the way, serve you with coffee, tea, soft drinks and pastries as they hoist the sails and embark on a day to remember. Indoor and outdoor seating areas allow you to travel in comfort, or if you’re an enthusiastic fisherman, you can join the crew throwing lines off the back of the boat.
Disembark on to traditional boats that ferry you to Tamarind Bay where the Waka Beach Club is located. Tropical fruit drinks are served as you relax and take in the scenery before planning your day. Choose from a range of activities including snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours, village tours that take in the famous underground house of a local hermit or simply laze by the pool or enjoy the clear water at the white sandy beach.
Relish an extensive barbeque buffet lunch prepared with a delicious choice of salads and sides, fish, vegetables and meat dishes, including curries and satays, rice and home-made breads, followed by fruit and sweets for dessert.
A simple beach walk is a popular afternoon activity before the local boats return to ferry guests back to the catamaran for a leisurely sail home.
Travel to the southern-most tip of Bali to visit the famous Uluwatu Temple (*). One of seven sea temples that are said to form a ‘chain’ around the island, it is undoubtedly one of the region’s most venerable places of worship. Perched approximately 70 metres above sea level atop a steep cliff, the temple also has one of the most dramatic locations on the island and is the perfect vantage point from which to observe the huge waves as they roll in from the Indian Ocean and crash against the rock face below
One of the highlights of this excursion is the opportunity to witness a traditional display of Kecak dance, which is regularly performed at Uluwatu. The Kecak dance features up to a hundred male performers who form a circle and sway and chant to hypnotic music. This ritual dance is based on an ancient story from the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana. King Rahwana captures Sita, the wife of Rama and the drama depicts the battle between King Rahwana and the monkey god, Hanuman.
You will be transferred back to Nusa Dua to enjoy your dinner at Samabe’s shared cave. You will enjoy the most shared romantic candlelit dinner set in an exotic cave. Situated on the white sand beach, the cave defines a perfect venue for an intimate dinner. Soothing breeze accompanies the quality time with your loved one.
(*) Please note there are macaque monkeys at Uluwatu Temple and they can be a considerable annoyance. Please heed the advice from your guide on the precautions you should take when visiting temples or forests inhabited by monkeys.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Days at leisure.
Breakfast at your hotel. The day is free until your guide meets you for your airport transfer in time to catch your onward flight.