A tropical island at the heart of Indonesia, Bali delivers pristine coral, beautiful beaches, sweeping rice-field landscapes, and a traditional Hindu culture with fascinating temples and villages. A week in Bali, split between Seminyak and Ubud, gives you time to experience a rich tapestry of the island’s delights. Here’s how. Days 1 to 3: Beach, Ocean, and Food Spend your first few days on Bali unwinding amid the restaurants, boutiques, and beaches of Seminyak Beach. Discover the joys of Balinese food and the area’s great-value fine dining; savor an oceanfront sunset; and try water sports from parasailing and Jet Skiing to surfing and diving.
Take the time to head south to clifftop Uluwatu Temple, where locals perform the traditional kecak (dramatic dance and chanting) and fire dance at sunset, then follow up with a seafood feast at Jimbaran Bay. Indonesia is at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the world’s epicenter of marine diversity, so be sure to discover the joys of coral, whether that’s a snorkeling trip to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan islands, or a scuba diving taster at the spectacular USS Liberty wreck in Amed. Days 4 to 7: Volcanoes and Rice Fields Refreshed, head inland to Ubud, Bali’s spiritual and cultural capital surrounded by ancient rice terraces. Mingle with grey macaques at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary; explore the ancient Tirta Empul water temple; tour craft villages such as Mas and Celuk; and perfect your Instagram feed against a backdrop of tumbling waterfalls or tiered rice fields.
Adrenaline junkies won’t want to miss two signature Ubud attractions: a white-water rafting adventure through gorge and forest, and an off-road jungle quad-biking experience. A sunrise climb of Mt. Batur, the island’s second-highest volcano, is another must, capped off with a breakfast of volcano-cooked eggs and a relaxing soak in lakeside hot springs. Photographers will want to head north to the temple of Pura Lempuyang, where gates frame the sacred volcano Mt. Agung, and into the central highlands for stunning lakeside temples such as Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.