Plan Your Perfect Luxury Tour of Bali with Leisure.com
Bali truly deserves its nickname, the “Island of the Gods!” Of the more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia, Bali is the most beloved by luxury travelers around the world. It is not just the tropical golden beaches that entice visitors. Bali is a spiritual place with over 10,000 ornate temples, a tradition of wellness and yoga, a thriving community of traditional artists, theatrical dance performances, and a lush landscape with cascading rice terraces, rivers ripe for rafting and scenic volcanoes.
A Land of Ancient Traditions
While the changing influence of tourism has certainly shaped Bali’s development, the Balinese highly value their traditions. Locals still perform the same rituals and devotions as their ancestors, keeping their culture alive and flourishing. Flower offerings and burning incense at the many temples throughout the island infuse the air with a fragrant sense of serenity and positivity.
Dining in Bali
Balinese cuisine is based on fresh, local produce, herbs, and spices. As you might expect from a tropical island, freshly-caught seafood is a staple. Indonesia’s warm weather allows for farming rice, vegetables, fruits, coffee, and soybeans throughout the year. Tropical fruits are abundant, and visitors enjoy trying jackfruit, rose apple, rambutan, and the infamous durian, which tastes delightful but has a pungent smell. Popular dishes in Bali include curries, rendang, satay, rendang, and nasi goreng (fried rice). Vegetarians and vegans especially like the widely-available, freshly-made tofu and tempeh (made from fermented soy beans).
Bali has many fine-dining restaurants, some with Michelin-starred chefs, mostly found in luxury hotels in the south. Cooking classes are a popular activity throughout the island. Bali has endless night life options as well. Ubud has many laid back bars, while Seminyak, Kuta, Jimbaran and other beach towns pack the dance floors with electrifying club scenes.
Where to go in Bali
Flights land in South Bali, and most visitors head here for a stay at one of the many luxury beach resorts. Visitors looking for relaxation can chill out by the pool, walk along the beaches, or indulge in spa treatments. Those looking for more adventure can choose from surfing, sailing, yachting, snorkeling, SCUBA, kayaking, paddle boarding, dolphin-watching, windsurfing, jet skiing, and parasailing. Inland in central Bali, is the cultural region of Ubud. You can visit the workshops of artisans who create beautiful paintings and ornate carved wooden sculptures. There are also many galleries, museums, and art markets. Yoga studios and spas are plentiful here as well. The streets of downtown Ubud are lined with boutiques, restaurants, and bars, making for a fun day of shopping and dining. A highlight of Ubud for many is Ubud’s Monkey Forest, home to hundreds of playful and sometimes naughty long-tailed macaques. Eastern and northernBali are less-visited than the rest of the island. Visiting these regions is a great way to get away from the crowds to enjoy tranquil beaches, sleepy towns, and dolphin-sight-seeing. The waters off the coasts here also have some of the best diving and snorkeling spots on the island. They are rich in marine biodiversity with pristine coral gardens flourishing with vibrant marine life. Our travel advisors will work with you to customize the perfect luxury Bali itinerary based on your tastes and interest. Bali has a wide selection of luxury hotels and resorts to suit any style and preference. Below is our recommendations for designing your trip to paradise:
Itinerary At a Glance:
Days 1 to 4: Ubud - Cultural Treasures
Days 5 - 11: Bali - Southern Beaches
Day 12: Depart
1. Visit Ubud - Ubud is considered the cultural center of the island. 2. Tour Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Yeh Pulu Temple, Tirta Empul Temple, Saraswati Temple and more. 3. Enjoy shopping and dining in Ubud and take a walk through the Monkey Forest. 4. Spend time relaxing on Bali's great beaches 5. Get active with surfing, snorkeling, diving, and more.
Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.
After landing at Ngurah Rai Airport, your private guide will meet you in the Arrivals Hall for the transfer to your hotel in Ubud. Ubud is considered the cultural heart of Bali. We can design a tour plan to include the sights of most interest to you.
Bali Temples to Visit
Note that sarongs are required to visit many temples as a sign of respect. Your guide will provide them for you.
Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave): This ninth-century historical cave temple is particularly famous for its carved entryway.
Yeh Pulu Temple: Close to Goa Gajah, Yeh Pulu Temple has stone carvings from the 14th-century. Tirta Empul Temple: This 10th-century temple is popular for its water springs. Locals consider it a ritual of purification to bathe in the holy springs.
Saraswati Temple: Right in the middle of Ubud, Saraswati Temple is considered one of the most beautiful in the area. It has lovely carvings and huge lotus ponds. Dance performances are held here in the evenings.
Kehen Temple: A 45-minute drive from Ubud, this tranquil temple is reached by climbing a stone stairway. It has unique carvings of mythical animals and mosaics made from Chinese porcelain.
Other Places of Interest
Tegalalang Rice Terraces: These striking landscaped rice terraces are a major attraction.
Neka Art Museum: Showcases masterpieces by Balinese artists, in six buildings of varying architectural styles.
Ayung River: Go rafting on the rapids of this river, passing by scenic waterfalls.
Days 5 to 11: Bali - Southern Beaches
You may choose to pick one beach, and spend your time based in your resort there, or split your stay between two locations to experience different sides of South Bali.
South Coast Activities
Surfing: The south coast of Bali has thrilling waves and beaches to suit all levels of surfers. There is a good selection of surf schools and surf clubs. Canggu, Kuta and the small island of Nusa Lembongan are all prime surfing areas. Peak surfing season in Bali is from May to September.
Snorkeling and Diving: Bali has excellent sites for snorkeling and diving including a number of shipwrecks and tropical reefs. In the south, Nusa Lembongan is ideal and can be reached on a day trip from Bali. (Pemuteran and Tulamben in the north are also well worth the trip). You may also want to add on time in the neighboring island of Lombok, Bali’s sister island, that has superb dive sites.
Bali’s Beach Areas:
Seminyak Beach: Home to many luxury resorts and beach clubs. The upscale scene here is lively with cute cafes, shopping malls, diverse restaurants, and trendy night clubs. Nusa Dua Beach: Another popular resort area, but a quieter atmosphere. The luxury resorts here tend to be quite large with suites and villas, a wide restaurant selection and activities. Depending on the resort, ideal for both family vacations and secluded honeymoon stays.
Legian Beach: Prime surfing and pretty beaches make Legian an upscale destination for surfers away from the party scene.
Sanur Beach: Long popular for expats, Sanur’s shallow beach is ideal for swimming. Some of the beaches here have black sand. There is a nice array of shops, spas, and restaurants, though it’s more laid-back than Seminyak. Uluwatu Beach: Dramatic cliffs line the sea here, making for breathtaking views. There is a great selection of secluded and romantic luxury resorts in Uluwatu. The white-sand beaches are mostly reached via steep stairways down the cliffs. This is an ideal pace for paragliding along the coast.
Kuta Beach: Kuta is a popular beach for surfers and has a number of surf schools for beginner and intermediate surfers. The party scene here which draws younger travelers and backpackers.
Day 12: Departure
On the final day of your tour, you will have a private transfer to the airport for your international departure flight.