Beauty of Wild Bali

About the Experience

Bali will bring you unexpected harmony and balance. Relax your mind with therapeutic body treatments and hot spring soaks. Amaze your travel-starved soul with the colourful blur of indigo starfish, anemones and clownfish while snorkeling. The feel-good vibes are ocean deep as this itinerary allows you to contribute to a coral farm restoration project and plant a mangrove tree!

On our Beauty of Wild Bali Tour, your days will be dedicated to tapping into the deep spirit and resilience of the monsoon, savanna and coral forests. Bali’s undulating landscape of agriculture and unbridled nature is an equilibrium of tidy rice terraces, cascading waterfalls, active volcanoes and sandy ribbons of coastline.

The cultural and spiritual tapestry is a tight and beautiful weave. It’s witnessed in the boisterous markets, ornate sacred temples, elaborate floral blessings and the intricate stone carvings of the Elephant Cave. 

Bird lovers will swoon over the tropical species and the opportunity to visit the Bali Starling Sanctuary–a successful breeding and reintroduction program that has rebounded the population from 10 in 2006 to over 100 present day.

Add playful macaque monkeys, the jade fields of Ubud valley, the heady scent of clove, the juicy meat of snake fruit and a picnic on a bamboo raft!

There will be unmatched cups of coffee on the lip of a volcano at sunrise, traditional Balinese dance lessons and yoga classes with a panorama to remind you to breathe it all in.

From West Bali National Park to the magic of Menjangan Island to cycling through the rice paddy fields of Sidemen to the beaches of Sanur, there’s balance found in Bali. 

This itinerary allows for a generous amount of free time to reflect, connect, journal, sketch and invest in your own well-being, while in the safe comfort of a Wild Women group!

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Beauty of Wild Bali

About the Experience

Bali will bring you unexpected harmony and balance. Relax your mind with therapeutic body treatments and hot spring soaks. Amaze your travel-starved soul with the colourful blur of indigo starfish, anemones and clownfish while snorkeling. The feel-good vibes are ocean deep as this itinerary allows you to contribute to a coral farm restoration project and plant a mangrove tree!

On our Beauty of Wild Bali Tour, your days will be dedicated to tapping into the deep spirit and resilience of the monsoon, savanna and coral forests. Bali’s undulating landscape of agriculture and unbridled nature is an equilibrium of tidy rice terraces, cascading waterfalls, active volcanoes and sandy ribbons of coastline.

The cultural and spiritual tapestry is a tight and beautiful weave. It’s witnessed in the boisterous markets, ornate sacred temples, elaborate floral blessings and the intricate stone carvings of the Elephant Cave. 

Bird lovers will swoon over the tropical species and the opportunity to visit the Bali Starling Sanctuary–a successful breeding and reintroduction program that has rebounded the population from 10 in 2006 to over 100 present day.

Add playful macaque monkeys, the jade fields of Ubud valley, the heady scent of clove, the juicy meat of snake fruit and a picnic on a bamboo raft!

There will be unmatched cups of coffee on the lip of a volcano at sunrise, traditional Balinese dance lessons and yoga classes with a panorama to remind you to breathe it all in.

From West Bali National Park to the magic of Menjangan Island to cycling through the rice paddy fields of Sidemen to the beaches of Sanur, there’s balance found in Bali. 

This itinerary allows for a generous amount of free time to reflect, connect, journal, sketch and invest in your own well-being, while in the safe comfort of a Wild Women group!

 

 

 

 

 

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL

Om Suastiatu. Welcome to Bali!

Plan to arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Denpasar, Indonesia by 3pm. An  airport transfer (1 hour) to the trip’s starting point in Ubud will be arranged and waiting for you! You’ll have time to settle into your traditional Balinese hotel in the cultural hub town and absorb the peaceful natural surroundings. The yoga studio (located in a traditional Minang house) and its valley views make finding balance and harmony almost effortless.

Later, we will gather as a group for a warm welcome and orientation with our awesome local female trip leader. We’ll swap life stories over a locally-sourced, Balinese-spiced dinner at Bambu Indah Resort. Many of the ingredients are pulled from the onsite organic permaculture garden. Overlooking the Ayung River, the sustainably-minded jungle resort of restored teak Javanese bridal homes offer a panorama of rice terraces, emerald hills and mountains.

 

DAY TWO: DECOMPRESS AND DANCE

We’ll have the opportunity to embrace relaxation after our long haul international flights. We’ll stretch out stiff ‘flying’ muscles with a morning yoga class and indulge in a healthy, restorative breakfast. Next? A recalibrating massage at our retreat centre to ease those strung out hamstrings.

In the late morning, we’ll rendezvous at the hotel lobby for a short transfer to Campuhan Ridge for a 30-minute walk along a pathway to the local spa unexpectedly located in the middle of a rice field. We’ll ease into a one hour spa session and traditional bath followed by a decadent lunch overlooking the rice terraces. Carefree and blissed-out, we’ll meander back, retracing our steps to meet our ride.

Following the rhythm of movement and feel-good vibes, we’ll head to Singapadu village to take part in an authentic Balinese dance lesson. Our energetic female teacher will gently guide us as we learn the basic Balinese dance steps. 

She will demonstrate and explain the meaning behind the individual postures and hand and facial gestures that are the foundation of Balinese dance. It’s an immersive way to experience Bali-Hindu culture while enjoying a bit of exercise that’s masqueraded as fun. The spirited music, sash and sarong are provided. We just need to bring our unbridled enthusiasm and best Elaine (from Seinfeld) dance moves!

We’ll transfer back to the hotel in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is yours to design and enjoy! Rest, wander, journal. Explore Ubud! Dinner will also be on your own or in the company of your new Wild Women friends. Bebek goreng (crispy duck) is a must-try! Sample the sambals (dipping sauces) like Sambal Matah (chili, Kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste) or mixed grilled Balinese satay. For a sweet finish try the bubur Injin–which is black rice sweetened with dark palm sugar and topped with velvety coconut milk. 

Tomorrow will be an early start if you’re going to hike Mount Batur (optional) so treat it like a “school night” and don’t stay up too late!

 

DAY THREE: HIKE MOUNT BATUR

Early birds get the worms AND sensational sunrises. Today offers an unrepeatable opportunity to hike Mount Batur as the sun rises over Mount Agung, the highest point in Bali. This is a rare moment where you can brag that you watched the sunrise over a volcano from a volcano! 

If you’re more of a sunset person and would rather zzz’s over OMG’s in the morning, you can join the sunrise hiking group at a more respectable hour at the hot springs. You will be picked up from the hotel lobby at 8am sharp!

For the early birds:

Meet your fellow bright-eyed enthusiasts at 2:30am (at your hotel) for transfer to the foot of Mount Batur (1,000m/3,280ft) altitude.

At 4am (yawn)we’ll arrive at Tampur Hyang area for a safety briefing led by our guide. The first section of the hike slices through the jungle before ascending up the rocky volcanic path. The route is mostly uphill but there will be several opportunities to stop and catch your breath. After approximately two hours (2km/1.24 miles) of climbing, we will approach the top of the main crater. It’s a wildly different terrain here–the path is wind-swept with few rocks and sparse vegetation.

Around 6am, while sitting at the tip-top (1,717m/5,633ft), we will witness the goosebumpy magic as the buttery sun climbs over Mount Abang and Mount Agung. On gin-clear days, it’s possible to see Lombok’s mighty Mount Rinjani in the distance across the Lombok Strait!

After a sensational start to the day (there’s so much more to come!) we’ll descend a short distance to reach our hotly-anticipated picnic breakfast with punchy coffee (or tea) while consuming the well-earned view.

Fuelled up, our descent will shift from rock and gravel for approximately two hours (2km/ 1.24 miles) until we reach the pine forest, softer terrain and a lakeview.

We’ll reach the trail’s end at around 9:30am and make a beeline to the hot spring near Batur Lake for a steamy soak (don’t forget your swimsuit!).

An incredible lunch will be served at a restaurant in the vigorously green valley of Sebatu. Satiated by the day’s pleasures (a volcanic sunrise! Mile-high coffee! A hot spring as hot as the picnic coffee!), we will return to our hotel in the late afternoon to take five before a distinctive dinner. This evening’s private meal will be prepared by a local family–it will be served in their Balinese home making this experience wholly authentic and treasured.

DAY FOUR: RELAX AND REJUVENATE

The day is all about you and whatever you want to do! Feel free to join the morning yoga class, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, extra cups of coffee and book your massage! 

This is our last day in Ubud, so be sure to allot some time to poke around a market, take in the sites and sights, scents and sounds of the vibrant city. 

Or, opt for a stressless day by taking full advantage of our pampered accommodations before we move onward and into rural Bali.

 

DAY FIVE: TEMPLES  AND WATERFALLS

Onward to West Bali National Park! Our journey northwest will take around 3-4 hours as we will make a few scenic stops en route.

In Bedugul, an area of the central highlands that is famous for its stunning beauty and three lakes, we’ll stop at the Royal Temple of Mengwi. Built in 1634, this temple was intended to serve as the family temple of the Mengwi dynasty. We’ll admire this stunning example of historic architecture with multi-roofed Meru shrines and intricately carved wooden gates. It’s even surrounded by a moat!

Next, we’ll visit the traditional market of Bedugul where a burst of locally-grown passionfruit, mangosteen, vegetables, tea and orchids are for sale. Browse the colourful stalls and learn about the different uses of fragrant spices and herbs in Balinese cooking. You’ll want to grab some of these edible souvenirs to replicate your favourite recipes back at home!

We’ll carry on to Lake Bratan, one of Bedugul’s three natural lakes. Ulun Danu, a 17th century Hindu temple located on the reflective lake’s edge is a popular upland weekend and holiday retreat for locals. The Bedugul mountain backdrop and mirror-like lake surface make for stunning pics. 

Around midday, we’ll head to the Munduk to admire the connecting twin lakes of Tamblingan and Buyan. After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll take an easy trek and cross a bamboo bridge to feel the mist of the Munduk waterfall that cascades 850m (2,789 feet) above sea level.  We’ll pass by coffee and clove plantations–views that make Bali seem like a never-ending fever dream. 

Following the northern coastline, we’ll continue on to West Bali National Park. We should arrive mid to late afternoon to check into our luxe cottages. The coastal forest setting is like a deep breath. Enjoy the serenity and exotic bird soundtrack. This park is a sanctuary for the endemic and endangered white Bali myna (also referred to as a starling–a far cry and gorgeous cousin of the North American species!). Bird nerds can also be on the lookout for black-naped orioles, black racket-tailed treepies (look this beauty up!), crested serpent eagles, sacred kingfishers, red-rumped swallows. 

We’ll rendezvous at the hotel’s restaurant for a savoury dinner tonight and chat about all the things we’ve experienced so far and all the juicy wonders to come!

 

DAY SIX: SNORKELING MENJANGAN ISLAND

Menjangan Island is in the pulsating heart of West National Park. The biodiverse island is teeming with species above and below!  The intricate coral reef formations are inhabited by a blur of clownfish, green chromis, Sergeant Majors, anglerfish, anemone and indigo blue starfish. Hawksbill and green sea turtles can be seen here too but they can be shy.

We’ll enjoy a paradisiacal seaside breakfast before boarding a motorboat that will take us to some of the prime snorkelling sites around the island. Those who are qualified to scuba dive can opt to do this instead of snorkelling for an additional fee–the warm waters, startling visibility and easy conditions makes this area especially coveted for its wall-diving.

We’ll spend the morning floating over elaborate coral gardens with uninterrupted views of Java’s towering volcanoes. Later, we’ll take a short walk on the island, an uninhabited but popular spot for visitors and pilgrims making their way to the island’s temples. Manjangan means “deer” in Javanese, and you’ll see why! Deer with ornate antlers bathe in the waters and casually munch on vegetation nearby. We’ll have our own picnic lunch to munch on in a shady spot on the beach before striking out on a short 1 km (0.62 mile) walk to see the ancient Hindu temples devoted to various deities.

Back at the hotel, the afternoon and evening is one of leisure. Tonight’s dinner is on your own—you can choose to dine at the hotel’s restaurant with your fellow Wild Women or embrace a little solitude and order room service to your cottage patio as you watch the sun slide down into the horizon.

 

DAY SEVEN: BALI NATIONAL PARK FOREST

Today we will have two activities to choose from as part of our exploration of West Bali National Park forest. For both, a picnic lunch will be provided during the tour as each activity starts around 8am and ends at 1pm. Either option is a gratifying win-win.

OPTION 1: SAFARI JEEP TOUR

Drive into the pounding heart of West Bali National Park along the western coast of the Prapat Agung peninsula. Largely occupied by monsoon and savanna forest, Prapat Agung is home to a variety of species. The monsoon forest is a geographical anomaly–the trees found in such forests tend to shed their leaves to avoid further evaporation during the dry season (up to 8 months of the year). The health of the forest relies on the regeneration of the monsoon rains that essentially bring it back to life.

Several species rely on the rhythms of this distinct forest including the black monkey, macaque monkey, barking deer and water monitors. Other protected fauna in the park includes the Sunda pangolin, black giant squirrel, wild cattle, the mouse deer and Olive ridley sea turtle (that often nests around the coastline).

Before returning to the hotel, we’ll drive to Tegal Bunder to visit the Bali Starling Sanctuary to learn more about the critically endangered species and the successful breeding and reintroduction program. When the project began in 2006, there were less than 10 surviving starlings. Now, more than 100 starlings inhabit the sanctuary.

OPTION 2: TREKKING THROUGH THE FOREST AS A RANGER

Explore West Bali National Park in the most unique way—by becoming a park ranger for a day! This opportunity will allow us to sneak behind the scenes and learn what it entails to protect this fragile ecosystem. An experienced park ranger will guide us through the exotic and delicate flora and fauna in the park and share stories of up close encounters and the park’s vision for the future.

Around 4pm we will reunite at the hotel to learn about the monumental mangrove tree reforestation project in the surrounding national park area. We will be able to pitch in with some sweat equity and participate in the project by planting our own individual mangrove with a sign indicating our names and nationality. Plataran Menjangan will monitor the growth and periodically forward the ongoing spurts  to us!

On our last evening in the park, we’ll have a celebratory BBQ dinner together as we watch the stars poke through the night sky and take in the pounding waves soundtrack on the nearby shoreline.

 

 

DAY EIGHT: TERRACES AND TEMPLES

After breakfast, we’re eastbound! Be prepared for a long but scenic drive of around 5 hours, depending on the traffic to Sidemen. This is where we  will spend the next two nights. The atmosphere is palpably different from Ubud and West Bali and will offer another big, bold taste of Bali. 

After 2 hours of driving, we will stretch our legs with a walk through rice terrace fields in the Belimbing area, a region seldom reached by tourists. We’ll press on for another 90 minutes to our lunch spot–a picnic on a bamboo raft! Not too many can boast that they’ve done this. Afterwards, we’ll visit a temple to witness worshippers engaged in a sacred blessing ceremony.

After an additional 30-minute drive, we will visit Goa Gajah temple in Gianyar. Often referred to as the Elephant Cave, it was established in the 9th century as a sanctuary for Buddhist monks. The facade of the cave is known for its captivating ornate carvings. 

The final leg today brings us to our new basecamp at Wapa Di Ume Resort and Spa, a tranquil boutique accommodation situated in the middle of Sidemen rice fields with extreme river and valley views. Ease into the two-level pools or grab a daybed under the shade of a palm by the upper level infinity pool.

We’ll have dinner together tonight at the hotel’s terrace restaurant, inhaling the spices from the kitchen and the tropical blooms surrounding us as the breeze rushes across the rice fields.

 

DAY NINE: CYCLING THROUGH BALI

It’s a freewheelin’ two-wheel adventure in Sidemen this morning. Breakfast will be on the terrace overlooking the valley, followed by a  yoga class from 8-9am for those who are flexible! 

Mid-morning we’ll saddle up (bikes, not horses!) and peel through the unforgettable rice field landscape, with teaser views of Mount Agung. Sidemen is a peaceful rural area, and our route will follow roads, pathways and cut through rice paddy terraces. We’ll get a solid feel for life in the villages and the diverse agriculture of Bali. On our ride, we’ll be surrounded by salak trees (also known as snake fruit for its scaly skin), coffee, cloves and cacao. It’s a rare experience.

We’ll finish our impromptu Tour de Bali at the hotel in the early afternoon. The precious afternoon is all yours. Take a well-deserved steamy (or cold!) shower and grab lunch when hunger or mood strikes. Your only to-do: a massage at the spa. Your calves will love the deep, penetrating strokes that will help erase the miles you pedaled earlier.

Rejuvenated, we’ll rendezvous in the hotel’s lobby this evening to catch a short transfer to our top secret dinner venue.

 

DAY TEN: CANDIDASA CORAL REEF

After breakfast, we make our way to Candidasa for an incredible underwater marine stewardship experience.  

We’ll be greeted at the lagoon of Candidasa by an expatriate marine biologist. This coral farm produces corals for reef restoration projects and the aquarium industry. We’ll watch  a short video, then don masks and fins to snorkel with the marine biologist. Exploring the restored reefs, we’ll learn about how coral grows in that area. We’ll have the opportunity to try cutting and transplanting a piece of coral to a new section of the reef. Coral reefs are essential to life in the ocean, but they are globally threatened by multiple threats, especially climate change. This is your chance to physically help cultivate the ocean floor! Later, we’ll take advantage of more snorkeling time to check out other nearby reefs that naturally thrive in the area.

Continuing on to Candidasa, we’ll have a set menu lunch served at a local restaurant right by the ocean. The peaceful inner glow of contributing to a coral forest should be properly celebrated and toasted!

Afterward, it’s a short transfer to our last hotel in Bali, located in Sanur. This evening, we will gather for our farewell dinner at the hotel. It will be a lovely time of reflection and swapping contact info and AirDropping photos!

 

DAY ELEVEN: SAMPAI JUMPA AND GOODBYES

It’s departure day. Sigh. If you’re catching a flight, your 30-minute ride to the airport has been arranged. Depending on your flight time, the day is all yours until you meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby for the airport transfer.

If you’re staying on a while longer, lucky you. If you are boarding your plane today with bags of cloves and cocoa to keep the scent of Bali closer, where will you travel next?

 

 

 

 

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