Unforgettable Travel Company

Essence of Bali

  • Duration8 Nights
  • StylePrivate Tour
  • When to GoMar - Nov
  • Price GuideFrom $2,954 Per Person
A perfect itinerary for first-time visitors, this itinerary showcases the best of Bali across eight action-packed nights. Split your time equally between the spiritual capital Ubud in the hills of central Bali, and the laidback beaches of Sanur. From these two fine destinations you’ll explore the island in-depth: taking in treks through the staggering rice fields, a traditional Balinese cooking class, visits to iconic temples and volcanoes, and a day trip across to the rugged Nusa islands. With private transfers and tours, and accommodation at a very high standard, you’ll discover the ‘Island of Gods’ in comfort and style.

At a Glance

  • Days 1 - 4
    • Ubud

      • Fast track arrival service in Denpasar Airport and private transfer to Ubud
      • Full-day private tour in and around Ubud including Tegallalang rice terraces, Tirta Empul Palace, Gunung Kawi Temple, and the Museum of Masks and Puppets
      • Guided ricefield hike followed by a private cooking class and blessing with a Brahmin priest
      • Cycling tour of Pura Luhur Batukaru and the Jatiluwih rice terraces
      • Ample free time to enjoy central Ubud and your hotel’s pool and spa
  • Days 5 - 9
    • Sanur

      • Transfer to Sanur with a private water blessing, Balinese lunch, and wine-tasting en route
      • Small group speedboat and land tour of Nusa Penida
      • Guided tour of the Uluwatu temple, followed by Kecak fire dance and dinner
      • Time at leisure to enjoy your hotel and the beach
      • Private departure transfer to Denpasar Airport
  • Meet Our Expert

    Phil Specialist

    Phil

    Asia Specialist

    My travels have taken me far and wide across the diverse landscapes of Asia. From trekking in Nepal to island-hopping in the Maldives, navigating the slow waters of the Mekong, to exploring the cultural gems of India and experiencing the high-speed bullet trains of China and Japan.

    CALL US ON: +1 844 879 7838
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    What's Included

    • 8 nights in 4-star boutique hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
    • 5x further lunches and 1x further dinner during mentioned tours and activities
    • Private arrival and departure airport transfers, including fast-track airport assistance on arrival
    • All mentioned transfers and road transport on a private basis in air-conditioned minivans
    • All mentioned tours and sightseeing on a private basis with private driver and English-speaking local guides
    • Entrance fees for any mentioned sightseeing, permits, local taxes, etc
    • Comprehensive final itinerary and travel app
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
    • Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests

    What's not Included

    • International flights from your country of origin
    • Tourist visa for Indonesia, which can be obtained on arrival. Your consultant will advise on how to obtain this
    • Tips or gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel staff
    • Any meals, tours, or activities other than those specifically mentioned in itinerary
    • Incidental local expenses - souvenirs, laundry, taxis, etc
    • Travel insurance - we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip

    Day by Day Itinerary

    • Day 1

      Ubud: Fast track arrival service and transfer to Ubud

      Rooftops of Ubud BaliBalinese dancer Ubud Bali 1

      Welcome to Bali! You’ll be met on arrival at Denpasar International Airport by a private guide and driver, who’ll then transfer you from the south coast city up into the hill town of Ubud. This will be a drive of around 1hr15m. Once you have arrived at your hotel you’ll check in and have the rest of the day at leisure to recuperate after your long flight.

      Once a small and very traditional village, then later considered the heart of Bali’s hippy scene, Ubud has now grown into one of Indonesia’s top destinations. The sprawling town has seen a surge in interest in recent years in part to the book and film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but its appeal hasn’t yet been spoiled, with tranquil temples, impressive Hindu architecture, and green rice terraces found around every corner. These sit alongside trendy cafes and boutique shops selling the island’s famous craftsmanship and local artists’ works. There are plenty of museums and cultural performances to enjoy, particularly unique traditional Balinese dances.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Blue Karma Ubud Exterior

        Blue Karma Dijiwa Ubud

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      • Uma Como Ubud Exterior

        Uma Como Ubud

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      • Untitled design 62 300x200 1

        Capella Ubud

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    • Day 2

      Ubud: Full day tour of Ubud’s art & culture

      D2 Ubud BaliGunung Kawi temple central Bali

      After breakfast, you will meet your private guide and driver and then set off for a full-day tour in and around Ubud. Begin with a drive north of Ubud and through the beautiful village of Tegalallang, known for its cascading rice terraces, where you will stop for a short walk. Continue to Tirta Empul Palace, known for its holy spring water temple, at which you can join the locals in a purifying dip.

      Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant, and you’ll then drive through more scenery of lush rice terraces in Tampak Siring village and to the Gunung Kawi temple. The temple dates back to the 11th century Udayana dynasty and comprises 10 rock-cut ‘candi’ (shrines), each of which stands seven meters tall and is carved into the sheer cliff face. Finish at the House of Masks and Puppets, a fascinating museum housing cultural items from all over the Indonesian archipelago. Arrive back at your hotel late afternoon.

    • Day 3

      Ubud: Ricefield hike & cooking class with a local artist

      Balinese food BaliD2 Balinese cooking class

      After an early breakfast, you’ll be transferred out of central Ubud and to a tranquil village around 30 minutes into central Bali. Here you’ll meet Mr. Bagus Dharma, a respected local artist who specializes in traditional Keliki painting style – usually intricate monochrome depictions of rural scenes – keeping it alive through his work and his instruction of local children. He’ll show you around his residence and studio, then lead you on a walk through the cascading rice paddies that surround, along the way explaining the heralded ‘Subak’ system of rice cultivation.

      Pass through placid villages, spice plantations, and verdant forests, arriving at a second local home where you’ll enjoy a fabulous local lunch. This too will be an educational experience, touring the gardens and vegetable plots of the home, then getting hands-on to help prepare your own meal. Under the instruction of your host, you’ll prepare an array of succulent Balinese dishes, then later sit down to enjoy them while looking out across blissful scenery. You’ll then be transferred back to Ubud and have the rest of the day free.

    • Day 4

      Ubud: Cycling tour of Jatiluwih

      Jatiluwih BaliMount Batur Bali

      This morning you’ll take a stunning journey through Jatiluwih – the most famous of Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage rice terrace areas. Spread over 600 hectares in Bali’s central heartlands, these majestic fields seemingly pan all the way to the horizon, capped by views of Mount Batukau and Mount Batur in the distance.

      You’ll be picked up around 8 am for a 1.5-hour transfer into rural Bali, stopping en route to visit Pura Luhur Batukaru, known for its 7-tiered merus dedicated to Mahadewa, the God of the Batukaru mountain. Led by your private guide, you’ll begin riding from the temple compound, descending first to Wongaya Gede village then onto a small road with stunning views of rice terraces, mountains, valleys, and hills. Along the way you are welcome to stop and greet local farmers as they tend to their fields, helping to craft a landscape that has been meticulously perfected for over five hundred years. You’ll also pass through a beautiful village lined with traditional and elaborately carved Balinese houses.

      A delicious picnic lunch will be served in an especially scenic spot, with snacks, fruit, and refreshments provided along the way. You’ll be returned to your hotel in Ubud late afternoon

    • Day 5

      Sanur: Transfer to Sanur with water blessing & wine-tasting transfer en route

      D7 Ubud e1630928549786Waterfall Bali

      This morning you will set off from Ubud on another highly scenic down to Bali’s south coast, making for the laidback beach resort of Sanur. Two unique and highly contrasting Balinese experiences will be included en route.

      Make the first stop at the picturesque Sala village, around an hour from Ubud. Here you will visit a small local temple for an intimate blessing. You’ll be greeted by a Hindu priest and led inside for a short meditation, before making your way down to the lush river and majestic waterfall that sits below. The priest will then lead you through three purifications: underneath the cascading waters of the waterfall, at a natural (and auspicious) spring fountain nearby, and finally back in the temple’s own bathing pool. After you’ve dried off, take a seat within the temple, reflecting on your experience against a soundtrack of gentle mantras and fast-running water. A tasty vegetarian Balinese lunch follows in the temple pavilion before you reunite with your driver and continue south.

      Arrive at the south coast, where just back from the pristine black sands of Keramas beach, you’ll find Sababay: Bali’s first – and only – winery. Led by their knowledgeable and passionate hosts, you’ll take a tour of the winery during which you’ll learn how their wine is produced in such difficult tropical conditions. The tour concludes with a tasting of three Sababay wines.

      Arrive in Sanur late afternoon. Sanur is Bali’s oldest and most traditional resort area. Sanur has much more of a village feel compared to the louder beaches over on the southwest coast, and with its gentle blue waters, overhanging palm trees, and good quality accommodation is invariably our first choice of location in the south.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Maya Sanur Resort Spa Exterior

        Maya Sanur Resort & Spa

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      • Tandjung Sari Exterior

        Tandjung Sari

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      • Untitled design 31 300x200 1

        Pavilions Bali

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    • Day 6

      Sanur: Speedboat tour of the Nusa islands

      Manta Bay Nusa Penida BaliNusa Penid Bali

      Visible on the horizon all across the southeast coast, the Nusa islands are three sparsely populated outcrops that offer a rugged, wild escape from busy Bali. Today you’ll take a small group speedboat tour to Nusa Lembongan, known for its isolated golden beaches, 300ft high towering cliffs, and fantastic snorkeling stops. Lunch will be served during the tour, and you’ll be returned to Sanur in the late afternoon.

    • Day 7

      Sanur: Sunset dinner tour of Uluwatu

      Uluwatu Temple BaliKecak fire dance Uluwatu

      Today is free of plans – enjoy your excellent hotel, or take a relaxing walk along the beach or through the village! If you’re feeling active, arrange a diving or snorkeling tour locally, or indulge in activities such as cooking classes, rice field walks, or gallery tours – all of which can be arranged through your hotel.

      In the late afternoon, you’ll be picked up and taken out to the Uluwatu Temple, around 45 minutes away, which has a dramatic clifftop setting at the base of the Bukit peninsula. Your guide will take you for an introductory tour around this 11th-century construction, sitting 70m above the crashing ocean waves, before finding you a prime spot to watch the sunset. As the sun falls you’ll watch on for the nightly Kecak fire dance; witness around 50 performers circle a roaring fire while re-enacting scenes from the Ramayana, accompanied by traditional instruments, masks, and dress.

      Afterward, you’ll be taken for a delicious Balinese dinner in a nearby restaurant, then later returned to your hotel in Sanur.

    • Day 8

      Sanur: Day at leisure

      Aerial view of Sanur beach 1Sanur Bali

      Today is left totally free to relax at the hotel and enjoy South Coast Bali. Should you be keen, Sanur is a great base for more diving and snorkeling adventures, which can be easily arranged locally through your hotel or local guide. The nearby ‘blue lagoon’ in Padang Bai is a sheltered cove, rich in coral, which is especially attractive for snorkelers. Hikes and cycling can also be arranged in the countryside just inland.

    • Day 9

      Sanur: Private departure transfer

      Sanur Beach BaliPlane taking off in Langkawi

      Sadly your adventures in Bali have come to an end. At the appropriate time, you’ll be picked up from the hotel and transferred by road back to Bali Denpasar International Airport, a drive of around 25 minutes. Arrive in good time to check in for your onward flight.

    Let’s make this itinerary yours.

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