Bali is home to venerable shrines like Tanah Lot and busy coastal resort areas like Kuta, Jimbaran and Seminyak. The crown jewel of the Lesser Sunda Islands unfurls one pristine beach after another and has incomparable indigenous culture. From lush mountain forests that produce some of the best rice and coffee in the world to precious and exotic fauna and flora, Bali is spectacular.
Although agriculture employs more people on the island than any other sector, tourism is the engine of Bali’s economy. No other destination in Indonesia is more popular with international tourists. While the bulk of arrivals to Ngurah Rai International Airport, 13 km south of capital city Denpasar, head to upscale spa resorts in beach-heavy South Bali, do not ignore these ten must-see attractions.
10. Brahma Vihara Arama
Bali’s most impressive Buddhist monastery complex feels light years away from the nightclubs of Kuta anf Seminyak. Indeed, Brahma Vihara Arama is a venerable slice of Balinese life and a short trip from the small village of Dencarik and coastal town of Lovina, North Bali.
9. Banjar Hot Springs
The natural thermal waters of Banjar will heal the muscle aches of even the most avid surfers. After days of being thrown about like a pinball by Bali’s infamous waves, head 10 km west of Lovina’s black sand coast to a lush, unforgettable asylum of luxury.
8. Kintamani and Pura Ulun Danu Batur
The highlands of East Bali hold many beautiful secrets and comprise the veritable soul of the island. Kintamani is a gorgeous area of verdant forests, caldera lakes and cool mountain weather. Pura Ulun Danu Batur, a holy shrine on Lake Batur under the loom of Mount Batur, is a must for visitors to Kintamani.
7. Jatiluwih and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is another vital water temple in Bali. The spiritual landmark on Lake Bratan in the Bedugul area of Central Bali is well worth the trek. The mountains of Bedugul also contain another brilliant point of interest in the UNESCO World Heritage rice terraces of Jatiluwih.
While some Bali visitors crave action and frenetic nightlife, others like to hit up more remote, quiet coastal destinations like Medewi. The tiny beach village is not big on hotels and mainstream tourist attractions but hey, that’s not what you came to Bali for, right? This is the place to stick your feet in the sand and enjoy the sunset.
5. Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal
Every visitor to Bali must explore the towns, ravines and sacred monuments of Ubud District. The area in Central Bali is the famous heart of Balinese culture and has great points of interest like Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Bali Bird Park and Tirta Empul temple. The Monkey Forest of Padangtegal is one of the best however.
4. Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is one of the key shrines on the island of Bali. The holy sanctuary, like Padangtegal, has a feisty monkey population, so hold on to your hat and digital camera.
Tenganan village is in the vicinity of Candidasa, East Bali and a complete throwback to venerable Balinese customs. Inhabitants follow ancient traditions and practices and while there are other similar villages in Bali, Tenganan is fairly open to outsiders. A visit here has to rank as one of the most unforgettable experiences on the island.
2. Bali Barat National Park
A lush, phenomenal wildlife refuge if ever there was one, Bali Barat National Park covers almost ten percent of the island and contains a massive variety of endemic fauna and flora. Great dive and snorkel sites await visitors off the coast of Menjangan Island.
1. Mount Agung and Besakih Temple
Bali’s prominent stratovolcano is otherworldly and sits among some of the most remarkable scenery in Indonesia. Mount Agung is superb and the peak’s Mother Temple of Besakih is absolutely the top must-see attraction in Bali.
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