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I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea, and Hong Kong, traveled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.
- from $2,568 PP
- 8 Nights
- Mar - Nov
- 13 hrs from London / 20 hrs from NYC
A perfect itinerary for first-time visitors, this itinerary showcases the best of Bali across eight action-packed nights. Split your time equally between 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.
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- 8 nights in 4-star accommodation
- Daily breakfast throughout plus other meals as per itinerary
- Private transfers and tours throughout, accompanied by private English-speaking guides
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Ubud: Arrive into Bali Denpasar and transfer to Ubud
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 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.
Day 2 Ubud: Full day tour of Ubud’s art & culture
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
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 which 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
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
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.
Day 6 Sanur: Speedboat tour of the Nusa islands
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
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
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: Departure day
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.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests to purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
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