The beautiful island of Bali is just one of over 1400 islands that make up the archipelago of Indonesia. It lies just a few degrees from the equator and because of this there is very little change in its daily temperature of 26-30 degrees and has 12 hours of daylight (6am to 6pm) all year round.
Bali really only has just two seasons. The “wet” season runs from September to February (approx.) and at its peak, sees heavy rain downpours of rain from between 30 minutes to an hour, usually in the afternoons.
There are volcanoes in the north of the island rising up to 3142 metres. The island’s rivers provide water vital to the agriculture of Bali where the main crop is rice, farmed on terraced fields. The Island of Bali also has many lovely lakes, waterfalls and hot springs.
Bali boasts some unique flora and fauna. It is home to the Waringin (Banyan) tree and countless varieties of flowers and many thousands of different orchids. Along with it’s monkeys, Bali is also the natural home of the near extinct Bali tiger, the graceful Bali cow and it’s national bird the Bali Starling (Rothchild’s Mynah).
Amongst the many activities and beautiful sites to see when visiting Bali, we have chosen the following five:
The Beaches of Bali
The draw to Bali for many are it’s beautiful and varied beaches. Bali, it seems, has a beach for everyone. In the north you will discover beaches with black volcanic sand and dolphins playing at sunset, and as you travel down the island you will find long beautiful palm tree lined beaches, delightful hidden bays and bustling town beaches.
Kutu Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Bali. It has restaurants, beach bars, good surf, and persistent beach vendors selling all sorts of merchandise and offering massages. If you agree to have a massage, be sure to negotiate the cost first. As a day on the Kutu beach draws to a close be sure to kick back with a sundowner, either on the beach or in one of the many bars, and enjoy a colourful and tranquil sunset.
Cycle Tour in Bali
Get off the beaten track and see the real Bali on a delightful bike tour. Many visitors say their cycle ride was the best part of their Bali holiday. Cycling through small villages and passing by the rice terraces you’ll get a friendly welcome and see beautiful scenery you simply wouldn’t be able to experience if traveling by car. The traditions of village life, local arts and crafts and the secrets of the countryside come alive as you pedal through Bali at your own pace.
Sunrise Trek of Mt. Batur
Pack your trainers or hiking boots for this one and be prepared for some scrabbling in the black volcanic rock and sand as you trek up the active volcano during the very early hours of the morning. The sunrise at the top and stunning views on your descent will be well worth the physical effort. Some tour guides cook breakfast eggs in the volcano’s steam and you may also be shown a bat cave.
Sunset at Temple Uluwatu
The Balinese fear the sea as they believe it contains evil spirits. Uluwatu temple perches on the steep cliffs overlooking the surf and is one of nine directional temples built to protect the people from these spirits. This temple is another one of Bali’s great locations for the perfect sunset and therefore a great photo opportunity. At 6pm each evening there is a display of Kecak, an ancient traditional Balinese dance. Grab a seat early in the amphitheater for the best views. The local monkeys are mischievous opportunists so it may be wise to tuck away your hats and sunglasses.
The Town of Ubud
The charming town of Ubud is a great place to base yourself for your trip to Bali, situated as it is in the middle of the island. It is ideal for getting to and from all of the main tourist destinations and Ubud is set in amongst all of the natural beauty Bali has to offer. Nestled in the ravines and rice terraces of the central foothills, Ubud has long been a centre for Balinese arts, crafts, music and dance and was a big draw for Hippies in the 1960s. Although now you are more likely to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, the free spirits still exist there and the town’s own bohemian character is retained.
Your thoughts on Bali
Have you been to Bali? What did you make of it? Is it an island that you would return to? What other places of interest would you recommend?
Please leave your thoughts in comments below. Thanks for reading!