Whether you wish to immerse yourself in untouched nature or are intrigued by Balinese people and culture, a Bali holiday still offers opportunities to discover the island differently, taking in lesser explored destinations, having thrilling adventures, and reimagining classic touring - without compromising on comfort and exclusivity!
Like Kyoto for Japan and Rajasthan for India, for most first-time visitors, Bali represents the essence of Indonesia. Although some parts of the island around the popular coastal resorts have lost their traditional charm due to excessive tourism, there are still a few hidden gems that showcase Bali’s paradisiacal charm that has captured the imagination of travellers for time immemorial.
The below itinerary inspiration provides a wonderful opportunity for a 10-day luxury family vacation to Bali, heading off the beaten track for the most exclusive and extraordinary experiences!
West of Bali is an area that has remained relatively underdeveloped. It offers the best of both worlds from fantastic beach life to pristine countryside scenery, making it an ideal location to start your unforgettable Bali family holiday. Upon arriving at Ngurah Rai International Airport, you will be transferred to Tabanan, where I recommend spending three nights to get the most out of your time here.
Known as the ‘rice bowl of Bali’, the vast region of Tabanan Regency is famed for its magnificent rice paddies, pristine jungles and hidden waterfalls, and remote volcanic black sand beaches. You will have an opportunity to explore the iconic seaside temple of Tanah Lot, enjoy idyllic picnics on remote beaches, and indulge in a thrilling surfing lesson with a former world number two Australian surfing legend. For an ultimate adrenaline rush, you can also opt for a canyoning adventure deep in the jungles.
Moving inland, you will proceed to Munduk in Northern Bali. A former Dutch hill-station, Munduk is surrounded by pristine farmland, lush coffee plantations, beautiful lakes, and stunning waterfalls, which make it ideal to explore by foot and on a bicycle on your luxury Bali vacation. En route, you will visit the 11th century Batukaru Temple and the UNESCO-listed area of Jatiluwih where an expert nature guide will take you on a fun cycling adventure through lush rice terraces and pristine countryside.
Over the next three days in and around Munduk, you will get to indulge in a variety of experiences including an ATV ride, hiking in the rainforest, log canoeing, snorkelling in the coral rich wasters around Menjangan Island, and a unique opportunity to engage with the coral reef restoration project. You will also get to try your hand at preparing your own coffee in a traditional Balinese style by roasting the beans on an open fire and pounding them with a wooden pestle!
No holiday to Bali can be complete without a visit to Ubud, Bali’s cultural heartland, which has become synonymous with the island. Located in Central Bali, Ubud is surrounded by sublime natural landscapes and is home to beautiful ancient temples, majestic royal palaces, lush farmlands and rice paddies, steep ravines, and quaint villages offering a total immersion into the local traditional arts and culture. Made famous by movies like “Eat, Pray, Love”, Ubud has become a major tourist centre, but I would still highly recommend including it in your itinerary as it offers something for everyone and is home to some of the finest cultural and natural treasures of Bali along with world-class resorts, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.
Over the next three days, you will have the opportunity to:
For foodies, we can also arrange a private cooking class in a local village where you will get to learn how to create delicious authentic Balinese dishes such as Nasi Goreng and Sambal, or an uber-exclusive food safari by private helicopter taking in amazing culinary experiences at some of the island’s finest fine dining restaurants.
If you have more time in hand and wish to explore other parts of the country on your holiday to Indonesia, Bali can be combined with Sumba Island where you can surf, horse ride, discover remote tribal communities, engage with philanthropic initiatives focusing on clean water, healthcare, and education, and indulge in exquisite wellness and culinary experiences at one of Indonesia’s finest eco resorts – Nihi Sumba, which is without a doubt one of my favourite places in the whole archipelago.
Or if you enjoy scuba diving and snorkelling, you can head to Amanwana on the remote Moyo Island or embark on a private sailing charter in the Flores Sea, around the Komodo National Park on your very own luxury private yacht, Amandira. Coral rich waters around Indonesia are blessed with astounding marine diversity and are home to some of the finest diving and snorkelling spots on the planet.
Imagine gliding underwater with giant manta rays, sea turtles and reef sharks, and coming face-to-face with the legendary Komodo Dragons… it’s like stepping into the world of fables and folklores and an adventure that you will never forget! For history and culture aficionados, a visit to the iconic temples of Borobudur and Prambanan on the Island of Java is nothing short of a pilgrimage.
If you would like any more information, please do get in touch with our Asia experts via email or on UK +44 (0) 1367 850566 or USA (toll free): 1-855-216-5040.
Images by kind courtesy of Asia Concierge, Four Seasons, Aman, Nihi Sumba.