Bali isn’t just for those who want some sun, sand and tan.
In fact, if you’re looking for a full package of getting wet and wild above and under the ocean followed by delving into much needed personal wellness to relax your mind, body and soul, we’ve narrowed down the ultimate Bali adventures to check every box ensuring you’re in nothing but bliss in Bali with our top picks below:
At 9am sharp on our first day in Bali, Elena and I headed on our full day of outdoor adventure to white water raft and fly through jungles on ATV’s. Our first stop was to Ayung River where we enjoyed our much-needed Bali coffee overlooking the rice fields before gearing up with our life jackets, helmet and oar. After safety instructions we walked along rice fields and down into the vibrantly lush jungle until we reached Ayung River and hopped into our boat fit for 6.
Off we went with a splash; Elena and I in the front getting instantly soaked and screaming with excitement as we hung onto the side ropes as we powered down our first rapid. “Paddle forward!” The guide yelled and we gave it our all flying down the rapids with smiles plastered on our faces during the two hour rafting journey. From calm waters to rushing rapids, scenic views of natural wall sculptures, bumping and spinning into other boats, splashing the other boats passing by to jumping into an large waterfall overhang; this rafting trip was the perfect balance of 10km worth of scenery and adrenaline pumping fun battling the rapids for beginners.
When the tour ended, we were brought back for a lunch buffet overlooking the rice terrace with a plethora of options to choose from: rice, BBQ chicken, sweet chili tofu and tempeh, gado-gado (long bean salad with peanut sauce), vegetable soup, kurupuk (Bali rice crackers), watermelon, mineral water and Balinese coffee all of which were absolutely delicious filling our stomachs just in time for our next adventure: ATV Riding!
After a quick drive, a fruity welcome drink, safety gear/instructions and a quick test drive, we drove our ATV’s through small villages as the sun peaked through the palm trees before we were about to get wet and wild powering up and down though the muddy jungle full speed ahead.
“HELL YEAH!” we cheered with our adrenaline at an all time high and full of excitement as we gripped onto our handlebars and whipped through the muddy rivers and paths like a race to the finish!
Throughout the 2hr ATV tour we drove through various terrains with many challenging and fun slopes, muddy paths, rivers and tranquil fields where locals worked amongst the palm trees.
By the time the tour finished off-roading we were covered from the neck down in mud, our feet wet in our rubber boots and asking “CAN WE DO IT AGAIN?!”
Bali Golden Tours Rafting and ATV tour was the perfect package for a mix of action, sightseeing and local cuisine leaving you happy, full and ready for a nap on the drive home.
(Note: If you’re looking for a more advanced, heart pumping white water rafting tour, they also offer one to telaga waja river spanning across 16km.)
White water rafting and ATV in Bali with Bali Golden Tour
Price: Adults: USD 85/adults, Children (5 till 12 years old): 70/child
Padang Bai is home to one of the best diving sites in Bali (especially for novice divers) and is riddled with healthy, live coral and an abundance of underwater species such as octopus, rainbow fish, oriental sweet lips, clownfish, puffer fish, napoleon wrasses, trevallies, pharaoh cuttlefish and more. (If you’re lucky you can even spot manta rays and reef sharks!)
When we arrived at our dive spot, we loaded on our gear as the rain gave way to sunshine and back rolled off the boat and into the blue waters below getting comfortable with breathing underwater before we ventured downwards to 12m.
To be an observer of the underwater life is like nothing you’ll experience on land and although I had heard time and time again that once you go diving, you’ll be hooked; I’ll fully admit now that I’m already planning out my open water course after this exhilarating intro into a whole new world that snorkeling doesn’t quite capture.
From tropical fish and octopus swimming around us (just as curious about us as we were about them), peering at ship wrecks and live coral dancing in the water; a beginner dive is the perfect option for those unsure about investing in an open water course (but don’t say I didn’t warn you – you’ll fall in love hook line and sinker ready to sign up for the open water course.)
Diving in Bali with Bali Aqua
Phone/Fax: +62 361 288737 Mobile: +62 81 23 777 9099
Price: Jan-May: IDR 1.450.000, Jun-Dec: IDR 1.650.000
(Note: 5% discount for 2 or more persons booked in a group for same activity.)
We arrived at Dekom Bali Surf School with perfect weather ready for our full day of beginner surf lessons. We started off with an introductory video with detailed instructions pertaining to different types of waves, boards and safety precautions and getting us geared up for the real deal.
After the video we put on our Dekom long-sleeve shirts, knee protectant gel, met our instructor Yogi and walked around the corner with our longboard right to Kuta Beach which is highly regarded for beginner surfers.
We started our first lesson on Kuta’s soft sand learning step by step what to do once we were in the ocean such as learning how to stand on the board properly, how to balance your body and most importantly, that you should enjoy the wave.
As we paddled into the ocean past the break with our longboard you already felt like you were battling something much stronger than yourself. We laid our stomachs on our boards in anticipation and in seconds, Yogi pushed us yelling, “Now stand up!”
Although the first attempt ended in falling off the board as most beginners do, on our second attempt, our heart raced as we felt the rushing water below. “Stand up!” Yogi yelled again and in seconds, the world flew by as we glided along the smooth wave bringing us to shore feeling exhilarated and riding on top of the world. “OH MY GOD! DID I ACTUALLY JUST DO IT?!” Elena laughed excitedly as we high-fived laughing as we paddled back out again into the ocean.
From that point onward, you could say we “caught the stoke” as surfers say – loving every adrenaline filled minute of waiting, watching and battling the waters in order to catch the perfect wave. Although we may have come out of it with a few scrapes and war wounds from our longboards, it’s safe to say it wont be the last – and were nothing but stoked.
Surfing in Bali with Dekom Bali Surf School
Rp 520,000- (Half day)
(Note: All tours include transport pick-up/drop-off, equipment, insurance and lunch.)
Throughout my travels I have trekked across an array of mountains and volcanoes and while in Bali, one of the most memorable experiences is to watch the sun rise over the land standing atop of an active volcano.
Half asleep, my friends and I awoke in darkness, layering up and ready to go at 1:15am on our drive to the starting point of Mount Batur.
With our flashlights leading the way, we trekked easily up through the forested path with anticipation of the climatic sunrise. As we gradually made our way up the steep incline, we climbed over rocks and volcanic rubble removing our warmer layers as the darkness gave way to a glimmer of day.
When we reached the summit at a height of 1717m, we knew the climb was well worth the effort and our group cheered and hugged feeling empowered and awe-struck at the magnificent display of color across the land.
The sky had transitioned from a deep blue to a vibrant gradation of orange and red rays of light that looked nothing but surreal as we all smiled in silence along the edge of Mount Batur and I knew this would be a memory I would always cherish for years to come.
Around 7am, we began our decent down (although we had never wanted to leave) but the hot springs were awaiting us and that alone was a good initiative to depart. With our bathing suits already on, we raced into the hot springs as giddy as a kid on Christmas and let the morning beauty replay in our minds as we rewarded ourselves with a little TLC.
From the early morning exercise hiking up an active volcano to the breathtaking sunrise and a well deserved hot springs ending, the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek with Eoasia was nothing but magnificent from start to finish and a must on your ultimate adventure across Bali.
Climb Mount Batur with eoasia
Phone: +65 6850 5065
Price: Rp. 931, 000
After an action packed few days of adventure sports, Elena and I decided the best way to recover was by having a full day of personal wellness consisting of a morning yoga class, lunch by poolside and to top it all off, a traditional Balinese massage – because that’s what you do in Bali isn’t it?
Upon walking into Desa Seni, you feel as though you’ve entered an entirely different world reminiscent of Neverland. From its unique layout and colorful designed huts with flora and fauna in every direction, we knew instantly that we never wanted to leave.
At 8AM we grabbed our mats and headed to the open aired yoga room where you heard the sound of birds chirp and the calm sound of the wind rustle the trees around us. The Hatha flow yoga class was full but not overcrowded and our instructor led the class flawlessly paying close attention to everyone in order to hold the correct poses.
Time flew and before we knew it, it was time for brunch and with a variety of options to choose from, we couldn’t pick just one so we tried out an array of dishes. Our favorites were their grilled Portobello mushroom filled with sautéed sawi, tomatoes, walnuts & feta cheese, Spiraled zucchini and yellow squash served with a chilled Roma & sun dried tomato sauce as well as their blueberry milkshake and beetroot juice putting us in a deep-seeded food coma perfect for laying by poolside.
Last but not least was a 90-minute traditional Balinese Herbal Massage that sent both Elena and I into pure bliss.
Herbal healing has deep roots in the Asian culture and dates back to ancient times when it was the secret healing technique. The treatment began with a deep-pressure massage followed by the masseuse applying herbal ingredients to sooth and relax muscle tension. A herbal compress was then applied to eases respiration and left us in pure bliss. (So much in fact, one of us may have fallen asleep due to being incredibly relaxed but we’ll never tell)
When the massage was over, every ache and tension had melted away and we were left as a pile of goo in the rest area to sip on our lemongrass/ginger tea accompanied by dried apricots and ginger.
Needless to say, at Desa Seni we felt like peter pan and never wanted to leave this literal Neverland.
Phone +62 361 844 6393
Yoga: Rp. 140,000/class
90min. Herbal Massage: Rp. 650,000
Photo by Shannon Wolf
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