Commence your Balinese journey by making a visit to the spectacular Pura Besakih which is one of the most auspicious Hindu temple complexes to visit on the entire island. Depending on where you plan to stay, the journey here can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. This temple’s buildings and grounds date back to the 1300s and Pura Besakih is often referred to as the Mother Temple of the island of Bali. Sitting on the western side of Mount Agung, the view from here is a spectacular one, tied in with the peaceful and spiritual aspect of this holy destination. The rice paddy fields on side give the entire landscape a vibrant hue making the temple picture-perfect, the small rivulets and magical hills only adding to its beauty. Transporting you to another period of time, it’s complicated and rare architectural designs and distinct spires leave you perfectly stunned. Walk around the area, as there is so much to explore and over 20 different ancient temples are a part of this entire complex. You are sure to see a few familiar faces, as the temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, and has their statues and sculptures everywhere. Although the Hindu representation in Balinese culture is quite distinct from the Indian one, rituals and traditions remain similar at the very core. The design of the building represents so many aspects of the Hindu religion that hiring a local guide would benefit you very much if you want to learn about its intricate details. Hike up the mountain for a few minutes to reach another part of the temple, and witness the locals performing various rituals and ceremonies. Explore some of the field near the complex and just take it easy, breathing in the tranquility of the place and shutting off from the daily monotony of phones, social media and work. This is the perfect serene start to your amazing journey.
Head down to the Nusa Dua Beach to soak in some of that sun and swim in the clear water, to relieve you of all your stress. With a few options for food at the beach, it is a place that you will find more relaxing and peaceful compared to various other parts of the island. This beach is clean and has calm waters which makes it ideal for snorkeling. If you do not choose to eat at one of the fancy hotels or restaurants, it is an ideal beach to pack up a little picnic basket if you heading down with your family. You can also plan a longer trip, by getting there very early and witnessing a beautiful sunrise. Take a little walk down the beach and also explore the Water Blow, which is basically a cliff rock formation against which big waves from the Indian ocean crash causing them to splash high up. It is a beautiful sight and also a lot of fun for kids to see. If you are open to exploring more places close by, do go down to Geger beach which is a small strip of white sand and the bluest water. It is not too touristy and has very shallow waters making it an ideal location to spend some quality time yours with your loved ones. Book a table at Soleil or Cucina for a lovely dinner to finish off your day in style.
Spend an entire day at Badung, which is hipster, cultural, historic and fun. Make your way down to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park, where you'll find a magnificent Vishnu statue overlooking the island and a beautiful park to walk in built around it. You will come across various live Balinese performances, and also be able to taste the amazing cuisine made by the best local chefs. End this amazing day at the Love Anchor in Canggu. A small market, it has funky hipster shops and little cafes, restaurants, bars and street food all around it which will make your evening fun and you will be able to let your hair down. We highly recommend the Gypsy Kitchen + Bar for their lovely food and drinks. Nothing like a nice cold pint, after a day of walking around exploring the rich history of a beautiful island. We recommend that you spend the night at Canggu in order to be closer to the next destination.
Head to the Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall in the Buleleng Regency, maybe rent a scooter from Canggu itself, and enjoy the ride which is over an hour long. Once you get to these majestic waterfalls, you will be charged an entry fee and walk down a muddy hillside, which passes through a plantation ground. Enjoy sitting around, maybe bring a packed lunch and enjoy swimming in the fresh and sweet waters while admiring the lush greenery around you.
For some more action head to the Desa Wisata Baha or Baha Mengwi Tourism Village, a small village that is steeped in history of their freedom fighters, and is a cultural hub for Balinese people. You can walk around the village, exploring the local craftsmen’s works, farmers' lives, fishing techniques, and local religious ceremonies. This small village will give you great insight into the roots of Bali and its customs.
Head to Kuta beach which is a fun place to be, as it had a lot of tourists, hawkers, and vendors. Enjoy soaking up the sun, at this popular beach, and also shop some trinkets and sarongs sold by local hawkers. The vendors and restaurant owners serve up food and drinks directly at the beach which can be a blessing for a lazy afternoon. Take a few dips in the sea, or just walk along the coast taking in all the beautiful sights and sounds. To finish off your day we recommend that you take a stroll down in the Seminyak square and fulfill all your shopping desires. This is also the perfect place to buy any gifts or mementos that you would like to gift anyone back home. There are also a few bars, clubs and restaurants where you can enjoy the rest of your night.
Bali has a variety of places to explore which have not been covered in this list and can be added to your Itinerary based on preferences. The Tegalalang rice paddies are a must-see and they are one of the most photographed areas in Bali. If you wish to explore more temples Pura Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple should be on the top of your list. Seminyak Beach and Jimbaran Bay are also spectacular and should be visited if you have enough time. Overall, Bali is a dream destination that offers so many otherworldly charms and everyone here leave with a smile on their face and warmth in their hearts.