When we planned for the trip, we just had 5 days maximum. There was so much researched, googled and heard of about Bali, that we wanted to cover the most of it within these 5 days. Therefore, we customized the tour package we purchased from a local tour operator. Given below is the Bali itinerary , with enough time to enjoy and relax in the little island and experience the land’s natural wonders.
Point to note: We are more in to waterfalls, mountains and beaches. Hence, we skipped the markets that were a part of the packages. So this itinerary would best fit for a nature lover.
Arrive at Bali
We arrived at about 1.30 pm at Ngurah Rai International Airport. We spoke to our first stay at Bali, Best Western Resort, Kuta, to arrange transport to the hotel from the Airport at no cost. There are more than 100 drivers with names of their guests lined up at the entrance, so you will be spending a couple of minutes there figuring out who has your name! 🙂 While the hotel was actually close to the airport, more distance is felt because of the many turns we had to take along the bustling city.
Dinner by the beach
After having a little nap from our 9 hour trip, we set out to see the Kuta Beach. Instead of taking a taxi, we walked along the little shortcut routes to see the area for ourselves. After about a 15 minute walk, we were at Pantai Kuta! We watched the sunset at the beach and made a little trip along the road to see the tiny shops and architecture around. Later, we walked towards our Zomato find for dinner, The Boardwalk Restaurant.
Tanah Lot Temple
Our first stop, the famous Tanah Lot Temple. It takes about 20 minutes to drive from the place we stayed. There are 3 temples and a lot of other visitors around, to take beautiful shots of the place and enjoy the view. Consequently, you would be spending time closer to an hour at this place.
Taman Ayun Temple
This is about an hour ride from Tanah Lot Temple. It is more of a historic value than a photographic worth. We spent about 30 minutes in the area, admiring the architecture and the little garden area back and forth of the temple
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
Getting to this little village probably takes the longest time in the entire itinerary. It is actually in middle of Bali, a freezing, misty area. The roads are narrow and broken. No two big lorries can pass. As a result, we faced a delay of about one hour because there was a bus and a truck, stuck on the road, unable to move ahead. So we took an alternate, much longer route and came to Jatiluwih village.
Billy’s Terrace Cafe
This, as we feel is the more popular option at Jatiluwih for Lunch. It is usually packed with tourists, who come for the buffet lunch. With a spectacular view of the rice terraces, we had the red rice buffet which was… well.. not that great but still, was filling.
Ulundanu Beratan Temple
This is our favorite place on our first day tour. It is in the mountain area of the little island, and it is misty as it could be. Within 5 minutes, the whole area was covered, as if the show was over!
Located in Kintamani Area, Gitgit waterfall has about 2 entrances on the way. If you are familiar with the walk towards Dunhinda, Gitgit waterfall is about 50% of it. Not many visitors are there, if you visit in the evening, like we did. Also, the shops along the are closed by the time. It was around 5.00 pm when we reached the waterfall.
Aditya Lovina Resort
Needless to say, we were drained by this time, when we reached Lovina. The itinerary includs visiting Lovina beach, but we were happy to skip it. Even the tour guide told us that we are anyway experiencing the beach while we go for Dolphin watching. From Kintamani, it is about an hour ride to the resort. That marks the end of our tour, with dinner at our expense from the same resort itself.
The starting time for dolphin watching is 5.30 am, from the hotel lobby. According to the hotel room numbers, we are made in to groups, 4 people per boat. By 6 am, The guides leave the shore and arrive at the “Dolphin area” by about 6.15 am where we start to notice them. We did the mad game of speeding towards dolphins, before other boats came. It drizzled a bit but we all were lucky enough not to get heavy showers. After a little bit of luck, till about 8.30 am, we returned to the hotel for Breakfast.
Mount Batur Volcano
Since we skipped snorkeling, which was also a part of the itinerary, we started the day early to tour our way back to Kuta. We set off to see, the famous and very much active volcano at Mount Batur. Again, we got disturbed by the heavy mist. We waited for some time, hoping for it to clear but it seemed like that would take quite a while. Since we had the rest of the day already planned, we set off to the next location.
Bali Coffee Plantation
This is not something we were keen to visit. Neither of us are Coffee or Tea people, so visiting a coffee plantation felt alien. Yet, since we had a lot of time saved from few of the skipped activities, we agreed to experience how Luwak Coffee is made and the whole coffee process. We were glad! They have some excellent teas and coffees, in different flavors, and we ended up buying stuff to bring back home.
Tirta Empul Holy Springs
Known as the water temple, this is a beautiful landscape, yet again in a breezy area. Visitors are asked to wear sarongs, and tie the customary orange sash around our waist, before we entered the temple. Apart from the famous holy water tank, The natural springs and the big pond of fishies are there for photo capturing. I was fascinated with the natural springs, watching them making ripples and it looked like magic! 😀
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Yet again a Rice terrace, but this time, it was smaller. Also, this is not an organic farm as the previous one. Main purpose of this stop is to have lunch, again with a good view and of course on our account. We had the option to walk around the terrace and experience the whole farming thing. We are Sri Lankans, and we have enough and more moments in Paddy fields. So we chose to skip and move on to the next destination.
We actually planned to go visit the famous Monkey Kingdom. It was raining and the idea of monkey kingdom didn’t feel appealing. It was around 3pm, so our driver suggested to visit a Silver workshop, and we (stupidly) agreed! Neither of us are interested in Jewelry, and we come from a land with history of silver. Yet here we are, standing and listening to an enthusiastic young man explaining how silver is made. Then we are lead to their silver jewelry store, where we are put on spot to buy something.
Just for heck of buying to keep them happy, I inquire the price of a really small ring. It price is 70 USD 😐 That was an expense we didn’t plan for, and didn’t need either. After a lot of convincing that we are people who don’t wear jewelry, let alone wear our own wedding bands, we got out of the place. Their faces are sour and unhappy, and pretty sure our driver got scolded for bringing them useless customers 😀 So, advice is, if you don’t fancy buying, don’t ever entertain workshops. Silver, Wood works, paintings or anything of that sort.
Dinner at Hotel
We booked Le Grande Hotel in South Kuta, hoping it would be easy to tour around the beaches the next day. As our day ended a little earlier than planned, we were at the hotel by 5.00 pm.
Nusa Dua Beach
Our day starts a little late today, at 11.30 am. We first visit the Nusa Dua beach, about 30 minutes drive from the hotel. The day is not entirely in our favor for a beach visit as it is cloudy and drizzling. The beach is clean and lovely, with lots of high end hotels surrounding the area.
Water Blow – Nusa Dua
We discover this place while researching , to add to our itinerary. The entrance is through a beautifully done public park, and at the corner of it, there is a small entrance for the water blow. If you are lucky, you are able to capture a water blow of full form in the photographs. After spending a couple of minutes there, until we felt, that is the best blow, we started walking back to the vehicle
As our guide explains, this beach is a favorite of locals, which includes Indonesians from other islands. It is a ride down from a cliff, and status of gods related to a story attached to the beach, is carved along the way. The famous Fire Dance also happens at the same spot, which take place on a full moon day evening. The place is crowded, and again, drizzling. So we left to the next place after a few minutes
Again, a famous landmark of Bali, this is known as the Monkey Temple. Apparently there are enough and more monkeys there who steal mobile phones to hats to sunglasses. Our guide came to the temple with us, just to make sure that we are safe from those notorious monkeys. You can walk to the very end of the next cliff to take a better view of the temple, or visit the temple and walk halfway through the path and then go back to where you entered, like we did.
Lunch was not included in the package, and also we were not hungry to research or make any plans for it. So we asked our expert, Alith. He took us to this interesting restaurant, which is specialized in BBQ pork. Super stuff! It was packed with tourists and locals, their service is great, and also friendly staff.
Blue Point Beach
THE most favorite place from the entire tour! Those caved beaches that I have been seeing on blogs and on google images, are actually located here. The entrance to the beach is a very steep climb down from the actual land level, which makes you think how on earth you are to crawl that whole way up. Once you get to the beach, you realize it was all worth it. Stunning place that was!
Padang Padang Beach
Similar to Blue Point beach, but smaller in terms of area and the steepness. It is a comparatively easy climb way back as well. We noticed that it is more of a favorite for surfers. Both blue point and Padang Padang beaches are favorites of European and Australian visitors, for the obvious reason of it’s beauty!
Balinese Boreh, Spa Treatment.
We planned for the spa treatment at the hotel, well ahead, knowing that we will be down and out be the end of 4th day. It was a 2 hour couple treatment, done in a beautifully arranged area. From reviews, we figured that one of the awesome spas in the area was in the hotel we stayed, so that is how we decided to book there.
Heading back home.
This was our last day at Bali. We had no plans for the morning. Had a good sleep after the superb spa treatment, and packed up without a rush. We had late breakfast at the hotel as our flight was somewhere closer to 2.30 pm.
This is the complete itinerary of ours, which we made according to the sight preference we had. We were given more options such as a hike in Mount Batur and visit Hot springs, which would take 4 hours travelling time back and forth. It would be best if you can plan your trip ahead with your driver, and have more options ready for the changing weather conditions, like we experienced. I will have another post with more tips on how to plan your itinerary along with a tour guide. Hope this helps!