Tropical Excursion: History, Culture & Beauty of Bali Vacation

A 10 day trip to Bali / Indonesia 
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Temples rise out of sacred waters and adorn precipitous cliffs; dolphins leap from the ocean at sunrise and dancers hum to keep rhythm as their motions tell of ancient legend. Your time in Bali will lead you into a paradise for a combination of culture and adventure, luxury and natural splendor. The beaches glimmer with white sand as coral reefs shimmer with rainbow hues and captivating marine life. Antique statues frame historical hot springs and elegant spires soar above graceful royal palaces. Your customized vacation will immerse you in the wonders of Bali’s ultimate tropical paradise. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Nusa Dua, Candidasa, Lovina, Kintamani Volcano, Beji Temple, Gitgit Waterfall, Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Ubud, Uluwatu, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Culture Park, Batubulan Village, Celuk Village  

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Nusa Dua – Arrive in Bali with an Introductory Tour around Nusa Dua

Long stretches of white sand border the town of Nusa Dua and separate the quiet streets and indigo waters. Soaring coconut palms shade the coastline amongst the hidden cafes that fill the air with the seductive aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The aromas of nutmeg and clove emanate from the market before fading beneath the scent of wild hibiscus growing around the outskirts of town. Your flight will land at Ngurah Rai International Airport where your private transfer will meet you upon arrival. You will pass the gates that lead into Nusa Dua to find a hotel that blends contemporary luxury with architecture inspired by Balinese tradition. Two islands to the east resemble mounds rising out of the Indian Ocean as the sand glints against the lapping water as surfers take to the waves breaking past the reef.

After settling into the comforts of your resort-style accommodation, you will make your way to Pandawa Beach for an introduction to the captivating mixture of land and sea. Towering limestone cliffs hide the long beach, and the cliffs contain human-made arches inside which stand statues that depicting heroes from the epic of Mahabharata. Colorful waistcloths decorate the white stone statues that elegantly bring together the splendor of Bali’s nature with the community’s deep connection to heritage.    

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour

Day 2: Candidasa – Visit Local Villages and Historical Temples en route to Candidasa

In the morning, the aroma of fresh coconut blends with the fragrant scent of jasmine swirling through the air. You can hear the waves lapping at the shore inside the open-air dining room. After breakfast, your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby and lead you on a full day tour out of Nusa Dua en route to the beachside community of Candidasa. Stone sculptures decorate the roadside and become more prominent the closer you get to Batubulan Village. Artists produce incredibly detailed statues in their studios and workshops found along the road to Tegaltamu. Batubulan Village crafted the guardians of the gates that decorate countless temples around the island. Your guide will lead you along the main road to view the distinct studios in which artisans create stunning textiles, woodwork, and stonework.

You will take a seat in front of a small stage, and a drum will begin to beat. The sparse rhythm echoes through town as the Barong and Kris Dance performance begins. The play represents the endless fight between the spirits of good and evil with tangible characters. A rattling sound pours out of the lion mask as he moves around the stage. Dancers accentuate the movements of the spirit and help bring the audience into a captivated trance. As the performance ends, you will continue to Celuk Village and Kertha Goasa, a temple connected to the Puri Semarapura Royal Palace. The 16th-century main structure features ceilings adorned with Wayang style paintings. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Lovina – Discover Rice Terraces and Kintamani Volcano en route to Lovina

Bali’s east maintains a secluded ambiance amongst the dense tropical rainforest and the bordering beaches as the water laps against the shoreline with quiet allure. Jemeluk Viewpoint towers over the bay’s edge and features traditional jukung fishing boats dotting the water. After breakfast, your guide will take you through the countryside to view the remarkably textured landscape of the Bukit Jambul Rice Terrace. The scenery joins for a harmonious combination of hills, fields, and valleys, with a marvelous panorama of the eastern seaboard. The terraces glow emerald against the bursting colors of false-birds-of-paradise and the surrounding forest canopy and clove trees. You will soon reach Besakih Temple, also referred to as Bali’s Mother Temple. The structure was erected more than a millennium ago and stands at an elevation of more than 10,300 feet above sea level.

The temple complex features 86 temples surrounded by a mixture of rice paddies, mountains, and babbling streams. The three main temples represent the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu separated into sanctuaries across the complex. Stairs split the gate to the courtyard where a central shrine glows with colorful cloth and lavish flower offerings. You will find the aroma of burning incense filling the air and blending with the crisp scent of the alpine trees. Next, you will leave the temple complex behind for the viewing platform of Kintamani Volcano, which includes a five square mile caldera shimmering with a cobalt lake.    

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Lovina – Enjoy a Sunrise Dolphin Cruise and Visit to Buddha Temple

Rise before dawn and step aboard a traditional jukung fishing boat to set out into the calm waters of the Indian Ocean on Bali’s north shore. Your boat will traverse the gentle wake as the protruding edges of the coastline fade. The sun begins to rise along the eastern horizon as the light layers the sky with fuchsia and orange. You will dip your fingers into the water to feel its warmth against the morning’s tropical, cool air. Water spouts up in the distance as dolphins reach the ocean surface and show their dorsal fin amidst the spreading daylight. The playful nature of the dolphins soon shows as they jump out of the water.

You will return to shore with the aroma of fresh coffee brewing in the seaside cafes, which will help to rejuvenate you after your early morning and the exciting interaction with the passing dolphins. After breakfast, you will make your way to Buddha Temple, which was erected in the 1960s as the largest Buddhist temple on the island. The hillside location sets the structure apart from the surrounding tree as the roof glows like the sun with bright orange tiles. Two guarding statues flank the entrance gate while Wisdom of the Buddha enhances the walls along the steps that lead into the gallery where carved stone plaques highlight scenes of Buddha’s life.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Lovina – Relish the Beauty of the Beaches and Local Culture at Leisure

The morning air fills with the fragrance of roasted coffee and the sweet aroma of blossoming frangipani. The colorful flower petals decorate the edges of the village that overlook the lapping water. After breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy Lovina and its surroundings at your desired pace. Take to the sand and relax on the soft texture and then dip your toes into the warm water of the Indian Ocean. You could also visit Menjangan Island for a day of snorkeling along the secluded shores. For a relaxing day, you could make your way to Banjar Hot Springs, located less than three miles north of Lovina. The modern facility celebrates the hot springs’ more than 300-year-old history.

You will follow the short path and cross the bridge over the small river. Hear the water trickling into the small pools at the base of the complex as water spouts out of stone naga statues, mythical dragons. The upper pools have an oblong shape, and the refreshing waters reach a temperature of nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The spouts stands up to 13 feet above the pool, allowing the water to sooth your muscles like a rejuvenating massage from a waterfall. The tropical setting, soothing waters, and historical ambiance offer a unique combination for an unforgettable day accentuating Bali’s splendor. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Ubud – Explore Gitgit Waterfall, Rice Terraces, Temples, and a Fruit Market

In the morning, you will find orchids growing near the canopy of the rainforest hiding in the dim niches. The sunlight washes over the black sand beaches that edge the water. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and escort you south towards Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali, stopping first beneath the jungle trees at a trail that leads to Gitgit Waterfall. The warm air wraps around you as the treetops shade the pathway. Barking deer graze in seclusion on the underbrush and bats dangle from the trees resting in the daylight.

The cascade of water pours over the cliff causing a rolling thunder to emanate from the waiting pool. The waterfall reaches a height of nearly 115 feet tall, and after heavy rains, it looks as though two waterfalls converge before dropping into the turquoise pool. The emerald vines and jade trees encircle the cliff, adding the luster of the natural landscape. The water begins in the mountains, making it cool and refreshing in the tropical warmth. You dip your toes into the water to feel the contrast of its cold on your skin in comparison to the warmth of the air.

After visiting Lulun Danu Bratan Temple, you can visit Candikuning Fruit Market for insight into the fresh produce grown and harvested on the island. Durian and rambutan shimmer with bright hues, accentuated by the aromas of mango and passion fruit. Orchids and frangipanis fill stalls, and the vibrant hues of paprika and turmeric decorate the spice stands. Upon reaching Tanah Lot Temple, the sun begins to set against the western horizon. The rich orange and crimson colors cast the temple situated upon a large rock in shadows for a unique view of the Balinese shoreline and 15th-century history.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Nusa Dua – Traverse Monkey Forest, the Art Market, and Bali Museum

The morning light will spread over the emerald rice paddies of the countryside outside of Ubud. The jungle canopy hovers above the shores of the nearby river as the scents of star fruit and coconut blend for a sweet and luscious aroma. After breakfast, your guide will lead you into the Monkey Forest where more than 400 long tailed macaque monkeys live amidst the 27 verdant acres. The trails beneath the towering forest trees lead to a series of temples as monkeys lounge on historical statues and linger in the trees above. Coconut shavings litter the ground near the tree stumps, and the aroma of bananas spreads through the forest. The majestic ambiance emanates from the temples and wildlife from the three tenants of Tri Hita Karana.

In the northwest section of the forest, you will find the Beji Temple, which is dedicated to the personification of the goddess Gangga. It is the house of spiritual and physical cleansing before a ceremony and the dangling vines and light hidden by the trees makes you feel like you have stepped into a movie, and are about to discover an ancient secret. You will continue to the Royal Palace located on the main street of Jalan Raya Ubud. The structure was erected in the 19th century and remains a well-preserved artifact of traditional Balinese architecture, highlighting the charming garden setting and connection to the arts.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Nusa Dua – Tour Garuda Wisnu Kencana Culture Park and Uluwatu Temple

In the morning, wake to surfers paddling out to the waves past the reef returns along the shores of Nusa Dua. The beachside cafes open their doors to the aroma of fresh pastries and rich coffee. Enjoy a morning at the beach before taking to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Culture Park, located on a limestone plateau at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. The views of the island shore accentuate the majesty of the soaring summits of Mount Agung and Mount Batur to the north. The park features a stunning statue of Lord Vishnu mounting his Garuda bird and weighs 3,000 tons, standing nearly 415 feet tall.

The copper and brass of the statue glint beneath drifting sunlight. You have seen depictions of Vishnu and Garuda in temples across Bali, but never to such an awe-inspiring magnitude. After visiting Dreamland Beach, you will make your way to Uluwatu Temple, situated on a limestone cliff that overlooks the edges of the southern peninsula. The temple is one of the islands six important temples associated with the spiritual pillars of Bali and the traditional multi-tiered shrine rises above the 230-foot tall precipice. Monkeys reside in the trees and lounge on the walkway.

The 10th-century edifice continues to stand tall and opulent in the gentle breeze. You can hear the waves crashing against the basin below. As the sun begins to set, you will watch the beginnings of the Kecak and Fire Dance. The leader starts the tone, and the other performers will follow. The music soon fills the breeze with soft voices that grow louder and stronger with the choir situated in concentric circles swaying as one. Sit back and listen as they tell a tale from the Hindu epic of Ramayana, when Prince Rama was tricked.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Nusa Dua – Delight in your Final Day in Bali at your Leisure 

In the morning, the traditional jukung fishing boats head out to sea with fishers eager to find a perfect catch for the day. Beachgoers venture to Geger Beach to soak in the sunlight and the picturesque views as seaweed farmers tend to their crops, cultivating the sought after plant used in international cosmetic products. After breakfast, the day is yours to indulge in the comforts and splendors around Nusa Dua and Bali. You could enjoy the thrills of a surf lesson at Pantai Mengiat or visit on of the nearby islands o see the small Bias Tugel Temple. Near your resort style accommodation stands the remarkable Nusa Dua Water Blow.

You will follow the walkway that leads over the rugged shoreline. You can hear the Indian Ocean lashing against the spiked edges of the island and then the water erupts from the rocks like a geyser, splashing over the walkway and receding to the shoreline. With plenty of the day remaining to explore, you can head to the Grand Mirage Resort to partake in the unique experience of the Ultimate Seawalker. Team members will fit you with a special helmet before lowering you into the warm, crystal-clear water of an aquatic paradise. Schools of angelfish swim around you between rainbow coral formations, and you will feel like a deep-sea diver in search of sunken treasure.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Nusa Dua – Depart for Home

The cafes open their doors each morning as the waves splash in the distance. The coffee that the locals use is grown and cultivated on the island and adds to the layers of sweet and decadent aromas that fill the air. Outside of Nusa Dua, visitors and locals alike venture into the mangrove forest to stroll around the boardwalk. The calm waters reflect the encircling canopy as the forest encompasses nearly 3,400 acres of land. The boardwalk winds alongside and beneath the canopy, bringing moments of seclusion amongst the dense trees and glistening waters. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel. You will make your way past the beautiful bougainvillea and blossoming oleanders in the countryside to reach Ngurah Rai International Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.