INDONESESIAN ESCAPE: Bali
Bali is one of those places that once you visit, you can never forget. Located in Indonesia, it is one of the smallest islands of the archipelago, and despite it's tiny size it is easily the most popular. Most people don't even know that Bali is a part of Indonesia and just think it's a country in and of itself( ex./ Singapore, the Vatican City, New York), and even if they do know, most can't name another island in Indonesia without looking it up- go on, try it.
Known the world over for its beautiful beaches, iconic rice paddy fields, breathtaking cliffside temples, and ridiculously low cost-of-living, it's no wonder that Bali has become the go-to destination for digital nomads, yoga retreats, and political V.I.P's (cough* The Obamas vacation here *cough).
This island paradise is a little over 2,000 square miles, just slightly bigger than Delaware, and it was voted as the world's favorite destination by TripAdvisor in 2017.
What makes this destination so special is how much culture the tiny island packs; it's nearly impossible to go more than a few blocks without encountering a new temple, or shrine dedicated to one of the many Hindu deities that 84% of the population worship. What also adds to the allure is just how easy it is to get around and how quickly you can transition from an urban environment to a rural setting. One minute you can be staring at he Indian Ocean from atop the cliffside temple of Uluwatu, and in a matter of minutes you can be rafting through a jungle river under the shadow of a (somewhat) dormant volcano, while looking for the hidden waterfall.
Bali is always a wonderful destination for when it's time to get away, and your New Year's celebration will be no different.
As we move forward with the planning process this page will be updated with your full itinerary as well as a way for you to make payments towards your trip.
For now, use the link below to make your $50 non-refundable deposit and reserve your spot.
Housing: Villa Puri Angsa- $5,366 (536.00/pp)
Includes on site personal chef, 3 housemaids, 2 gardeners/ pool attendants, 1 security guard
Laundry service available at cost
Cost of driver(s)- $245 ($35/day)
Cost of fresh groceries per day ($20/day)
Selected tours: Volcano hike ($60), Bali Swing ($35), Uluwatu ($2), jet skis ($26)
Customary tips to your drivers, guides and escorts
Temple entry fees
International Flight cost
Villa Puri Angsa is a traditionally built villa with all of the modern accouterments you’re looking for in a holiday stay. Located in Kuta Utara, the villa features 8 bedrooms spread across the entire complex. There are four main bedrooms at Puri Angsa. The immense master bedroom is located in a separate pavilion adjacent to the main house, another two bedrooms are located in the main house, and the fourth bedroom is located in the ‘Java House’ which sits approximately 20m from the main house. All have private bathrooms.
At the entrance to the property sits the "Front Hut" which is an air conditioned king single bedroom that has its own separate bathroom, and above the dining/living pavilion is the "Crows Nest", another air conditioned king single bedroom. Situated beside and behind the "Java Hut" are 2 raised wooden huts entered via ladders for a more ‘Bali-esque’ experience.
8 days/7 nights DEC. 27-Jan. 3
*As with any experience your days are your own and the choices on what to do are completely up to you. Your driver has already been given this tentative itinerary, but if you would like to make any changes then feel free to inform the drivers and they will see that your needs are met.
DAY 1- December 27
You will arrive to the beautiful Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Your driver will be waiting for you outside to help collect your bags and take you to your villa. Upon arrival at your villa, you’ll have a number of options depending on the time you arrive. 1) If you’re not too tired you can have the driver take you to one of the many beaches in the surrounding area. I personally recommend Pantai Kayu Putih, to the south, for its picturesque wooden docks and calmer waters. 2) You can stay at home and lounge in the villa complex while your personal chef prepares you lunch or dinner. 3) You can go out on foot and explore the surrounding area.
DAY 2- December 28
After a good night’s sleep you’ll want to get out and see what Bali has to offer. As always you have options on what to do, but assuming you’re a bit jet lagged from the trip, why not spend a lazy afternoon at the beach. Should you choose to take on a more adventurous option then your driver can take you to Batu Bolong Beach where you can set up personal surf lessons at one of Bali’s best surf spots. If you aren’t into the water-sports then you can always find a spot at one of the nearby cafes and get a cold Bintang (Indonesia’s local beer), some fresh coconut water, or try one of the Javanese jelly drinks on ice. (It’s kinda weird but, when in Rome.)
Since it’s a Friday you’ll probably want to see what’s going on. The city is sure to be full of energy as everyone is gearing up for the New Year celebration so you can head into the more touristy Seminyak area and see what they have to offer. I suggest stopping by Baker Street Social, a well hidden speakeasy that can only be accessed through the staircase in the restaurant on the 1st floor, for cocktails crafted to your exact specifications. From there it’s just a matter of finding the type of party you want to go to. Bali offers up a wide variety of nightlife activities from underground clubs, beach-front danceries, even a 1920’s Great Gatsby themed spot if the spirit so moves you.
My favorite areas are the live-music spots on the beach front. To find them, just head to the beach and listen for the music. They love entertaining foreigners and you could end up on stage with them.
DAY 3- December 29
Depending on how your night went I’d suggest spending Saturday checking out some of the more cultural elements of the island, specifically by taking a day trip to Ubud where you can visit the sacred Monkey Forest and tube down the river in search of the many secret (but very clearly marked) waterfalls and cenotes in addition to a number of other things.
Bali Swing is the IG famous swingset which sends you soaring over the rice fields of Ubud. The best package to get for this is $35 Bali Swing Active Package which gives you access to the swing as well as 22 other activities, including lunch at a waterfall.
If you’d like to stay closer by, then you can check out Tanah Lot is a rock formation in the middle of the water with a Balinese temple constructed onto it. A great spot for dramatic photo opps or visit Uluwatu is a cliffside monkey temple overlooking the Indian Ocean. There are several tall gates, secluded forest areas, beautifully gnarled trees, and unbelievable oceanscapes for photos.
DAY 4- December 30
If you don’t feel like a beach day then why not go the volcano hike before sunrise? You’ll be driven to the base of the volcano where your guide will take you on a sunrise hike to the tallest peak in Bali. From there’s you’ll get a 360 degree view of the entire island. It’s a bit out of the way and you have to be up early in order to do so, so if this is an option that you' want to take advantage of, just let me know and we’ll get it set up.
DAY 5- December 31
Rest up for the night of partying to come. Head to whatever beach is calling your name. I suggest venturing a bit out of the way to go to Double 6 beach near Seminyak and spending the day there. There are plenty of restaurants, art museums, and shops to occupy your time, and you can get a nice buzz going before heading out for the night.
DAY 6- January 1
Ready to get that iconic shot? Head over to Bali Gates of Paradise is an iconic set of gates at Pura Lempuyang. Though getting there is a bit of an adventure (the gates are in East Bali, whereas you’ll be on the West side of the island so expect about a 2hr ride), the image you’ll get is worth it. The entire area of Tirta Gangga is worth the visit though, so if you do venture this far, you might as well make it a day trip. I know that you specifically stated that you' want to visit this particular place but this is a very common style of gate in Bali, and the temple at Uluwatu is much closer and will produce a similar shot.
*Note: when entering the temples or walking up temple steps please only walk up on the Dragon (right) side. The middle staircase and door belongs to the Gods.
DAY 7- January 2
Why not try and sneak in one more beach day before heading back to the winter time temperatures back in America? This time throw some action in to the mix by going jet skiing or parasailing or by feeding giant fruit bats or Kopi Luwak (fun fact: this animal produces the most expensive coffee in the world, as the coffee beans that it consumes are harvested and used to make a very rare coffee). If you’d like you can spend the day shopping in order to round out your final full day in Bali.
DAY 8- January 3
It’s your final day so make sure you have everything before heading to the airport. Your driver will help carry your bags and send you on your way.