Ubud Water Palace
A serene place of tranquility, step inside Ubud Water Palace (officially called Puri Agung Ubud) to admire Balinese architecture rising from lotus pods awash with striking pink lotus blooms. Wander through the grounds of the royal palace by day or visit at night for traditional dance performance. While you’re in Ubud take the time to enjoy surrounding terraced rice fields and chat to a farmer – it costs nothing to get to know a local, they may share some local tips or hidden gems you wouldn’t discover in your guide book. Getting there: Ubud Water Palace is in the heart of Ubud not far from the Ubud Art Market (small fee applies for evening performance).
Best time to book: Enjoy a saving of $42 (6% cheaper than the average price paid over the year) if you book your flights 12 weeks in advance).
Soothing hot springs, Lovina
These centuries-old hot springs are popular for the apparent therapeutic qualities of sulfuric spring water. The so called ‘magical water’ is believed to cure ailments such as skin disease. Regardless of your state of health, the pools adorned with traditional Balinese sculptures and surrounded by tropical gardens are a relaxing place to hang out. Getting there: On Bali’s northwest coast 5km from the town of Lovina – once you find the Brahmavihara Arama Buddhist monastery and village of Banjar you’re almost there.
Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, Candidasa
Utilising cacao beans grown on Bali, Charlie’s Chocolate Factory pays homage to the luscious products from this versatile bean. Take a chocolate tour which includes sampling sessions including cacao in its various forms before it’s transformed into chocolate. Getting there: Travel 15 minutes north of Candidasa to the village of Jasri. Look for the oddly-shaped bamboo buildings amongst a coconut palm grove (small fee applies for entry).
Blowholes at Nusa Dua
Visit the blowholes at Nusa Dua for some wet and wild free fun where the Indian Ocean is forced up through a crack in the rock cliffs. It can get pretty crazy if the swell is up so prepared to get wet. Hold the handrail! Getting there: Near the Hotel Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua, look for the grass parklands and follow the path to Waterblow entrance.
Waterholes of Nusa Penida
Known in English as the Broken Beach, Pasih Uug is the Indonesian name for a natural rock arch carved out of rocky cliff face. Formerly a cave that has collapsed, the sea washes through this ‘bridge’ into an intimate pool perfect for swimming. Nearby is Angel’s Billabong, another small intimate ocean rock-pool washed with emerald-hued crystalline waters. Getting there: Take a local (cheap) public boat from Sanur or Benoa Harbour to Nusa Penida Island, where you’ll find drivers touting for transport fares.
Suluban Beach, Ulawatu
Suluban Beach is popular with surfers, but there’s actually more to this beach than just surf. Suluban Cave could well be a movie set from Pirates of the Caribbean. While you’re there check out Uluwatu Temple before settling down onto a sun lounge with a fresh coconut at Delphi Rock Lounge. You’ll have to fork out some cash but it’s a small price to pay for the stunning location. Getting there: On the Bukit Peninsula beneath Uluwatu, head for Suluban Beach via the Jalan Bypass Nusa Dua from Denpasar or Kuta.
About the author
Fiona Harper is a north Queensland based travel writer at Travel Boating Lifestyle. Widely travelled, highly acclaimed and much published, when she’s not writing she’s probably running a marathon or exploring the world by foot, bike, kayak, camel or boat: whatever mode of transport she can get her hands on!