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With incredible diving, literally thousands of delicate temples and scenery that will take your breath away, Bali is a destination that on the bucket list of travelers the world over. The beauty of the natural landscape is hard to overstate - with quiet beaches, lush rainforests and orderly rice paddies it’s the picture of paradise for many. Bali is just one of an incredible 17,504 islands that make up the island nation of Indonesia - which is itself spread across some 700,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean.
Getting there from the United States means a long journey - at least 20 hours - but the effort is worthwhile. International flights to Bali land in Denpasar, and while direct flights do exist you should be prepared to change at least once on the way, with an overnight layover quite likely.
Bali first made a name for itself as a surf destination as far back as the early 1970s, when it was featured in the iconic surf movie Morning of the Earth. With miles of golden beaches and perfect waves, it’s still attracting keen surfers to this day.
If you’re a beginner, make a stop at Seminyak or Kuta beach. Both have gentler waves suited to those just starting out in the sport. The two beaches are close to one another so if you’re staying at one of our Seminyak villas you will have plenty of chance to try out both spots during your vacation.
For those with more experience, don’t miss the chance to surf at Uluwatu beach, in the south west of the island. It is perhaps the most famous of all Bali’s surf beaches, and definitely one of the most popular. You’ll find big waves here, along with incredible views of the coastline from your surfboard vantage point. No matter what your experience level, our concierge team can arrange equipment rental and surf sessions with an instructor to get you off to a good start.
While the majority of Indonesian islands are Muslim in heritage, and some have Christian and Buddhist practices, Bali’s owes many of its traditions to Hinduism. This combination makes for a beguiling mix of cultures across the islands, which can be seen in the wide variety of styles in the art and architecture. Beautiful temples dot the landscape all over Bali, and while all are beautiful there are some that any visitor should make time to see.
One of the most famous, and on many traveler’s bucket lists, is Pura Tanah Lot (Pura meaning temple), which is perched on a picturesque rock just off the coast near Denpasar. The temple is thought to be the work of the 16th-century religious leader and architect Danghyang Nirartha. It was built to honor the Balinese sea god Dewa Baruna and is one of seven sea temples dotted around the coastline. Each temple was built within eyesight of one other to form a chain along the southwest coast of the island.
As one of the most iconic temples on Bali, it’s very popular with tourists so will almost certainly be busy, but that does not take away from its beauty, especially at sunset. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the spectacle of the pagoda roof outlined against a glowing pink and orange sky.
Experiencing a new culture through its food is a delight that many indulge in while traveling - and on Bali, that means trying some delicious street food. For an authentic taste of the island, foodies should head straight for one of the many street-side or beachfront warungs - cafes that specialize in local dishes.
If you can, try sate lilit - pork or fish served on a lemongrass skewer, flavored with coconut milk, lemon, and chili, or nasi campur, which can be any number of filings, from tuna to tofu to beef, served over rice and wrapped in a banana leaf. Or if you’re feeling adventurous ask for a recommendation - most spots will have a particular dish that’s a favorite with locals.
If you want to try your hand and Indonesian cooking, Luxury Retreats can organize cooking classes in your villa, or if you want to come home to dinner on the table, your chef will be happy to whip up a local feast for you.
Whether you’re planning to spend a couple of weeks in one spot, or tour around the island, our Bali villas are in some of the island’s most sought-after locations - including Canggu, Seminyak, and Ubud.
You’ll find that a lot of our homes are built in the traditional style, with separate sleeping and living pavilions spread out across landscape gardens - some with beach access and ocean views. All of our properties on the island have swimming pools.
Nestled among steep hills, lush forest, and terraced rice paddies, our Ubud vacation rentals seem a world away from the everyday. The town was once an important source of medicinal plants and herbs (Ubud comes from Ubad, meaning medicine), and although the town may now be more famous for its monkey forest and temple, a connection to the earth remains strong here.
Our luxurious traditional-style homes in the town have views over the verdant landscape, pools to cool off in after a day’s exploring, and spacious living and sleeping quarters.
With laid-back third wave coffee bars and a barefoot hippie vibe, the beach town of Bali attracts surfer types, yogis and those seeking hassle-free relaxation. If this sounds like your kind of place, our Canggu vacation rentals will make the perfect home base for days spent chilling on the beach, exploring the temple at Tanah Lot, learning to ride the waves or practicing your crow pose on your villa’s shaded terrace. Our spacious homes in Canggu sleep from four to 36 people, so no matter what style of vacation you have planned, we have an option to suit you.