Think of Bali and your thoughts are instantly transported to tropical beaches, awe-inspiring temples and a fascinating culture that stretches over thousands of years.
A province of Indonesia, Bali is hidden in the western point of Lesser Sunda Islands, and can be found between Java and Lombok.
Famed for its lush beaches, majestic mountains, rugged coastline and deeply spiritual culture, Bali has earned itself a position as one of the most fascinating, beautiful islands in the world.
With a dizzying array of activities to choose from as well as temples and spiritual sites, Bali has become the holiday destination of choice.
Bali is famed throughout the world, and no less for its stunning sandy beaches. Miles of untouched white sands and clear blue waves have rightly earned Bali a reputation for paradise on earth. Check out Padang Padang and Dreamland Beach to get your dose of gorgeous sand and warm blue waves.
Pack a snorkel and a waterproof camera and check out the glittering reef that buzzes with life just under the surface of the water: home to fish unique to the Indian Ocean, including the famous Lion Fish, the endless flashes of colour and movement is a sight that will never leave you.
It has also become one of the most premier spots for a wide range of water sports. Snorkeling, diving and surfing are very popular here.
Why not pack a cooler, hire a jetty and explore the crystal clear shallows along the coastline? Dotted with shoals of glittering tropical fish, sea caves and beautiful plants, it’s no wonder Bali is so famed for its scenery.
If you’d prefer to stay on land, Bali has a dizzying range of mountain treks and walks to choose from; hop aboard the Elephant Safari trek as they delve deep into the tropical jungle. Home to unique plants, beautiful flowers and breathtaking scenery, spotting Elephants in their natural habitat is not the only fascinating aspect to these famous treks.
Many of the tour operators also offer elephant rides along the beautiful beaches and through the jungle-just remember to hold on tight!
Planned treks to Bali’s highest mountain peak, Mt Batukaru, also take you through protected Rainforest territory, home to some of the rarest and most beautiful plants and animals in the world and under threat from extinction. Many of the proceeds from treks and walks through the nature reserves go towards protecting these precious elements of the island’s ecosystem.
Summit treks are usually available between June and September, and begin from 800 metres: be warned, they are not for the faint hearted. Glimpses of monkeys, chimps and tropical birds make the long treks worth it and are not to be missed.
Bali has one of the most fascinating cultures in the world; with a heady mix of French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese, the tangible and awe-inspiring influences are easily visible in their architecture, temples, spiritualism and cuisine.
Famous for the beautiful golden temples or ‘Pura.’ Bali is a traditionally Hindu nation, with a very strong spiritualism. The largest temple in Bali is the Mother Temple of Besakih in Karangasem. Thought to be the most Holy place in Bali, the Mother Temple is a complex creation of stunning architecture, and is a sight not to be missed.
The rich culture of Bali really comes to life during the many festivals and street markets; brightly coloured feathers, shells and locally made jewelry compete for attention against dancers, musicians and food stalls selling freshly caught fried fish.
The French and Dutch occupations are evident through Bali’s wide stone boulevards, sitting incongruously alongside gabled rooftops and towering golden statues to the gods.
World famous for their creativity and artistry, the Balinese regularly pay homage to the arts. Sculptures, music, paintings and performances take centre stage and attract people from all over the world for a dizzying play on the senses.
After an action packed day of snorkeling, trekking, exploring and dancing, relax in one of the many beach-side restaurants and sample the delicious Balinese Cuisine.
This is where it’s heady mix of cultures really comes to life: Diverse, delicious and never dull, Bali’s cuisine utilizes ingredients from all over the world including Indian spices, French bread and garlic, Chinese noodles and local fish.
Try one of the national dishes, Nasi Goreng, for a taste of traditional Bali.
Voted the most delicious dish in 2011, it’s a simple blend of stir-fried rice with Tamaring, Garlic and Chilli. It is often combined with salted fish and vegetables and is the most popular dish in Bali. Another hugely popular dish throughout the whole of Indonesia is Gado Gado and is certainly not to be missed.
Made up of fresh vegetables with a liberal covering of salted peanut sauce. Found in restaraunts, stalls and beachside bars, the vegetables can be cooked or raw.
When to Visit Bali
Bali is a sub tropical climate and benefits from long, sunny days with very high temperatures reaching around 32C.
Bali has two very distinct seasons: May to September is the dry season, and is often the best time for tourists to visit, as rainfall and humidity are at their lowest with ideal visibility for snorkeling, water sports and fishing expeditions.
Wet season falls between October to April and is traditionally Monsoon Season. However Bali still experienced 12 hours of sun with very high temperatures; humidity and monsoons are more common, however.