Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines beaches, rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides.
World-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations, this is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. Bali has something to offer a very broad market of visitors from young back-packers right through to the super-rich.
The word “paradise” is used a lot in Bali. The combination of friendly, hospitable people, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality and beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali Indonesia’s unrivalled number one tourist attraction. Eighty per cent of international visitors to Indonesia visit Bali and Bali alone.
- Denpasar — a bustling city, the administrative centre and transport hub of the island but not a major tourist destination.
- Candidasa — a quiet coastal town, the Bali Aga and gateway to the east coast.
- Kuta — surfer central, by far the most heavily developed area in Bali. Lots of shopping and night-life and the centre of lower-end party culture on Bali.
- Jimbaran — sea-side resorts, a nice sheltered beach and seafood restaurants south of Kuta.
- Legian — located between Kuta and Seminyak; also the name of Kuta´s main street.
- Lovina — beautiful black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs.
- Padang Bai — a relaxed traditional fishing village with some touristic options. Great place to enjoy the beach, snorkelling, diving and eating fish.
- Sanur — sea-side resorts and beaches are popular with older families.
- Seminyak — quieter, more upscale beachside resorts and villas just to the north of Legian, with some fashionable upscale restaurants and trendy designer bars and dance clubs.
- Ubud — the centre of art and dance in the foothills, with several museums, the monkey forest and lots of arts and crafts shop.
A consideration is the tourist season and Bali can get very crowded in August and September and again at Christmas and New Year. Australians also visit during school holidays in early April, late June and late September, while domestic tourists from elsewhere in Indonesia visit during national holidays. Outside these peak seasons, Bali can be surprisingly quiet and good discounts on accommodation are often available.