Situated between Java and Lombok, the island of Bali is a province of Indonesia, the largest archipelagic country in the world. Although Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, traditional Balinese culture has remained largely unfazed by globalization. Balinese lifestyle emphasizes the importance of “Tri Hita Karana,” the concept that includes the spiritual relationship between humans, God, and their environment. Revered for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, music, and its location in the Coral Triangle, Bali has something to offer everyone.
Activities in Bali
Most everyone who desires to venture to Bali is enamored with, or at least curious about, Balinese culture. Fittingly, some of the most popular activities in Bali include visiting the religious and historic temples, visiting Ubud (Bali’s cultural and spiritual center), visiting the Elephant Park, biking through rice paddies, practicing yoga, and taking Balinese cooking classes. The Besakih Temple, called the “Mother Temple of Bali,” is an especially important temple to visit as it is the island’s largest Hindu site, boasting more than 18 shrines and sanctuaries. The Titra Empul Temple is another temple worth visiting for its understated and unique serenity, especially that which is exuded by the large rectangular pool in the center of the complex.
While Bali is widely revered for its unique and pristine beaches, few people realize how amazing the snorkeling and diving is on this island. Bali is located in the Coral Triangle, and boasts more than 2500 fish species, as well as an innumerable array of coral species and invertebrates, in its tropical waters. In fact, few people know that Bali has approximately seven times more marine biodiversity than the entire Caribbean does. While in Bali, make sure to dedicate enough time to explore the beauties under the sea!
Bali Weather & Seasons
Bali enjoys a tropical climate, with pleasant daytime temperatures of 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The “Rainy” season, which brings heavy showers and high humidity, lasts from October to March. June through September is considered the driest season, and enjoys low humidity and cooler evening temperatures.
The “Bukit,” which is the hill south of Jimbaran is often dry, even on wet days in Bali. Conversely, you may expect to see some clouds throughout the year in Ubud and Bali’s mountainous areas.
Surrounded by coral reefs, the island of Bali, is located approximately 8 degrees south of the Equator, with the Java Sea to the north and the Indian Ocean to the South. Bali is approximately 95 miles wide, 69 miles from north to south, and occupies a total land area of approximately 2176 square miles. Bali features several mountains from the center of the island to the eastern side of the island, including the “mother mountain”, Mount Agung (9944 ft.), which is an active volcano.
Bali’s most populous city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, which is located near the southern coast. The second largest city, Singaraja, is located near the northern coast and is home to approximately 100,000 people. Other cities of note include the beach area of Kuta/Seminyak on the western coast, the cultural center of Ubud, the luxurious city of Nusa Dua to the south.
Getting to Bali/Travel Around Bali
There are a number of direct flights to Bali, including flights from Los Angeles, Honolulu, Auckland, and Sydney. Flights from Los Angeles to Bali are approximately 19 hours in duration, exclusive of any layovers. Bali’s international Ngurah Rai Airport is in Denpasar (DPS), and is a 15 to 3o minute drive to Kuta, Legian, Sanur, and Nusa Dua. The airport is about an hour by car from Ubud. You can also access Bali by car from Java, and by ferry from Java and Lombok.
A great way to travel around Bali is by car. You can rent a car, take a taxi, or hire a chauffeur driven vehicle. Don’t forget that Indonesians drive on the left side of the road!