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Your guide to Bali
All About Bali
Sometimes referred to as The Island of the Gods, Bali is one of the most famous islands in the Indonesian archipelago. More than just a favorite luxury travel destination, it has a millennia-old history. From migrations by Austronesian peoples to the island to its multicultural society with influences from Chinese, Indian, and Hindu cultures, Bali has evolved into one of Southeast Asia’s most unique destinations. The region is also home to some of the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak.
Bali also has two separate observed calendars based on lunar cycles (Saka) and rice growing cycles (Pawukon). The island has three volcanoes, which are responsible for its stunning black volcanic sand beaches. The island also lays claim to beautiful lakes, lush tropical forests, and many shrines and temples. Known for its native arts and crafts, there’s a thriving creative community in Bali that continues to practice skills passed down through generations.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Bali
The best time to stay in a villa in Bali is during the months of April, May, June, and September, otherwise known as Bali’s dry season. Temperatures year-round are hot, while the dry season has less precipitation and humidity. Booking during these months also helps you avoid the hottest temperatures in July and August while still enjoying plenty of sun-filled days. Some noteworthy events in Bali include the Spirit Festival in early April, an annual celebration of yoga, dance, and music. The Bali Arts Festival, in June, is a month-long celebration of Balinese culture and crafts especially focused in the capital of Denpasar. Another event not to miss is the Sanur Village Festival in September, with activities, food, music, and a variety of water sports held in the eponymous village.
Top things to do in Bali
Overlooking one of Bali’s surfing spots, Uluwatu Temple is situated on a clifftop presiding over plunging seaside cliffs. In Balinese, Ulu means "tip" or "land's end," and Watu means “rock.” The temple is thought to protect Bali from evil sea spirits. The best time to visit is during sunset, when the sea and the sky glow in the late afternoon light and Kecak dances are performed.
Nusa Dua Beach
A good break from Denpasar’s city centre, Nusa Dua Beach is a great place to enjoy a beautiful white sand beach stretching along nearly 4.5 miles. There’s plenty of pampering opportunities along the shore in the form of fine dining and spa treatments, and you’ll find a promenade for sand-free strolling between the various resorts and their attractions.
The Sidemen Valley
About a 90-minute drive northeast of Ubud, the Sidemen Valley evokes the feel of an older Bali. Locals tend their fields and rice paddies with traditional agriculture here, and it’s a wonderful area for a hike, with paths passing by emerald rice fields and coffee and cocoa plantations all the way to the summit of Mount Agung.