Bali - The Swiss Army Knife of Vacation Destinations

Mat, a HomeAway staffer, shows us there's something for everyone on this verdant Indonesian paradise

Introduced to Bali from India in the 5th century, Bali remains the only region in the Indonesian archipelago to practice Hinduism. Not only does this make Bali culturally unique from the rest of Indonesia, colourful street-side offerings and lively cultural festivals provide a sensory feast for the intrepid or luxury traveler.

For those looking for the classic “drop and flop” holiday at a luxurious villa with shopping and restaurants within walking distance, Seminyak is the place to be. Seminyak is away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta and Legian, but is still within a 15 min taxi ride to the heart of the islands bar and night life. 

If you’re looking for something a little more remote, then head to the east side of the island to Candi Dasa, a sleepy coastal district with black sand beaches and plenty of accommodation and restaurant options.   

When you’ve worked on your tan long enough, head to the cliff tops of Uluwatu for the Kecak Dance performance. Only found in Bali, this colourful, dramatic and hypnotic performance features over 150 performers depicting a battle from the Ramayana. Mythical creatures, fire and chaos ensues as this spectacular story unfolds. And on the way back to your villa, Jimbaran Bay is the best place on the island to feast on some of Bali’s finest seafood.   

When travelers think of going to Bali, they rarely consider the northern reaches of the island. Only a three hour drive from Denpasar, Singaraja is a bustling introduction to daily life on the island away from the throngs of tourists. If you’re going to spend some time on the north of the island, consider saying at Lovina rather than Singaraja, about a 20 minute out of town, it’s much quieter and comfortable. Lovina is also one of the only places on the island you can go dolphin spotting!

Finally, for the adventure traveler, Bali has it covered, from white-water rafting, elephant safaris, mountain biking and volcano trekking. If you don’t mind getting up early on your holiday, we’re talking 2am, then consider climbing Mt. Agung (locally known as Gunung Agung) for sunrise. This experience a truly rewarding and something few visitors to Bali get to achieve. Experienced local guides and well-trodden paths will see you get to the top safely, but the adrenaline pumps once you near the summit, with bellowing steam and that unmistakable smell of sulfur.           

Bali truly is a one stop travel destination for a relaxing, adventurous or cultural holiday. It’s also great for couple or families. With even more daily flights on full-service and Low-cost-carries from around the world, it’s easy, cheap and convenient to reach the island. If you’ve never been to Bali, anytime is the best time!

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