You can call it Island of Gods, Island of Love, Island of Peace, Morning of the world…it's always Bali, a destination that every traveler should visit. Why? The reasons are many.
Of ll the islands of the Indonesian archipelago (more than 17,000), Bali is the only one Hinduist. Its peculiarities are unique. Bali has more than 20,000 temples, some of the world’s most famous breaks (Bali is a paradise for surfers), forests, ricefields and rivers ideal for trekking, rafting, canoeing, bicycling, a very important artistic life (especially around Ubud)… and the list could be even longer.
Are you planning to get to know Bali for real? Then consider at least a stay of two weeks. Here my suggestions of the top 5 activities to do as soon as you set foot in Bali.
Getting cultured in Ubud
Because of its many temples and archaelogical sites, Ubud, right in the middle of Bali, is its cultural center. The city is small but fascinating, lively and full of cultural activities to do. Do not miss visiting the temples but also its art galleries and museums. Take some time for yourself: Ubud is the right place also for spas, yoga centers and Balinese cooking classes. Staying in Ubud is also an excellent solution for daily trips to the western, eastern and southern part of the island.
Trekking in Munduk
The area around Munduk, in the central part of Bali, is a green heart made up of forests, spice plantations and …volcanos! A few days here, far away from urban life, is a must-do. Have some trekking or rafting excursions, visit some plantations (where tea, coffeee and spices are grown) and enjoy a coffee/tea tasting. Do you need more action? You can climb the Gunung Batur or the Gunung Batukan volcanos.
Surfing in the Bukit Peninsula
The windy southern coasts of Bali attract every year surfers from all over the world looking for the perfect “break” to surf. In Ulu Watu you’ll find some of the most beautiful spots. Don’t forget to visit Kuta’s famous beach, where you can even have your first surfing lesson. From here you can enjoy incredible sunsets as well.
Diving and snorkeling in the north-west of Bali
The sea of Bali is real paradise not only for surfers, but also for anyone who loves diving and snorkeling. The best spot is Pulau Menjangan, in the north-west of the island. In this area there are also some diving centers and excursions to the open sea (where there are amazing seabed, corals and shipwrecks) everyday. Nearby the Taman National Park, the only reserve on the island.
Joining a cooking class
If you're looking for something different and very “local”, I suggest that you attend a cooking class (possible in many restaurants and homestays) and get to know anything about the Balinese cuisine. You will visit the local markets, get to know about the local products and then learn how to cook some Balinese typical food (that you will enjoy for lunch).