Outdoor activities in Bali

By John Reality, Cambodia, September 2011

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It's tempting to reduce the allure of the Indonesian island paradise of Bali to the sheer magnetic appeal of the natural landscape. Obviously, the culture and people of Bali have many interesting qualities and attributes, but it is true that the beaches, rivers, jungles and mountains are the starred attractions. The following four suggestions are noteworthy methods of making the most of what's on offer.

1. Mountain Cycling
Take advantage of any number of guided bike tours in and around Kintamani or Batukaru to enjoy the exhilarating descents (most tours involve a lift to up the slopes, though the masochists among you are welcome to attempt both directions), and unique exposure to rural villages and roads, many of which aren't accessible by cars and trucks.

2. Jungle Trekking
A great way to get off the beaten track at a slightly slower pace is to avail yourself of a guided hike into the island's interior. Rather than zooming downhill at breakneck speeds, these treks allow the curious to more closely examine the profusion of exotic flora and fauna that flourish here.

3. Sport Fishing
Embrace your inner Ahab aboard one of the small fleet of maritime vessels available for chartered fishing trips around Bali. There are no white whales with humps like snow-hills in these waters, but there are plenty of Spanish mackerel, travelly, wahoo, mahi mahi, tuna, sail fish, barracuda, and many other species.

4. Surfing
Bali is world famous for its surf breaks. Whether you're a novice or an expert, there are plenty of places to find the right size and caliber of waves to fit your skill level. If you're a beginner, there are few better, cheaper, or more beautiful places to seek out a lesson or two with a helpful local.

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