Local Guide To Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit: Loïc Lagarde via Compfight cc

Famed as The Island of the Gods, the rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, lush rice paddies and volcanic hillsides make Bali one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Couple that with the unique spiritual culture, world class attractions and breathtaking accommodation, and you've got paradise on earth.

Many a visitors has fallen head over heels in love with Bali, and chances are you will too.

If you're planning a trip to this beautiful island you're in the right place as we're sharing our best insider advice on how to make the most out of your stay:

Cultural Highlights

Every aspect of Balinese life is infused with religion. The traditional dance and music are a major attraction to visitors to the island, and justly so. The Barong is a ritual dance depicting the battle between good and evil with performers wearing fearsome lion like masks. Staged specifically for tourists, this dance is by far the most visually dramatic and the story line is easy to follow.

The Balinese people are also master sculptors and each village seems to specialize in a specific craft. For example, Celuk is a hub of gold and silversmiths, Mas for wood carvers and Batuan for traditional painting.

As you travel around the island you will see the Balinese people going about their daily lives. Workers in the rice terraces that cover the mountain slopes, women walking beside the roads balancing impossible large loads atop their heads, and enthusiastic vendors selling their handicrafts.  The culture is a splendor for the senses with something new and exciting to discover around every corner.

With 90% of the population adhering to Bali Hinduism it will come as no surprise that there are temples and shrines everywhere. One of the most famous tourist sites is the temple of Ulun Danu surrounded by spectacular hills and ornate gardens, set upon the edge of Beratan Lake which appears to be floating. Uluwatu Temple is equally mesmerizing. Perched on the top of limestone cliffs jutting out on the Bukit peninsula, Uluwatu is also home to a large number of monkeys who have become extremely adept at snatching visitors bags. There is usually a small fee to enter the temple grounds and both men and women are expected to dress appropriately.

Must See Hotspots

Whatever your reason for visiting Bali there are some absolutes must that you can't miss out on:

-- The gorgeous beach at Pacatu Indah resort overlooking the Indian Ocean

-- A charming lunch at Kintamani aside Batur Volcano and accompanying crater lake

-- Hiking down 160 steps at the Tegenungan waterfall to see the river below

-- Touring the peaceful Tegallalang rice terraces

-- Jimbaran Beach which is famous for its weddings, sunsets and fine dining

-- Watching the sunset over the ocean at Tanah Lot temple

Hot spots in Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit: Pandu Adnyana | Thank you for 1000k+ views via Compfight cc

Shopper's Paradise

From beautiful boutiques to exotic markets, Bali is a shopper's paradise. Being an island of artisans, arts and crafts are abound, but try to head to the source and see the craftsman in action rather than buying from identikit stores in Sanar or Kuta. Whether it's paintings, ceramics, basketware, glassware, wood carvings or silver jewelry you're after, you won't be disappointed with the selection that Bali has to offer.

For new threads, head to the chic and stylish Seminyak. The boutiques there are nothing short of gorgeous, and they are passionate about support up and coming young local designers. If you do decide to do a spot of retail therapy in Seminyak then be sure to check out Mist. This label has an exquisite range of hand painted summer frocks in the softest fabrics, all of which are incredibly priced.

Things to do in Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit: Kashklick via Compfight cc

Wellness Bliss

Bali is host to some of the finest wellness and retreat centers in the world, so if you're planning an escape with relaxation in mind rest assured that you'll end your trip with a sense of total body bliss.

The island's famous Balinese massage is not to be missed, and that's just the start of the luxurious spa treatments available. The sacred hot springs of Banjar are a once in a lifetime experience. Picture this: tucked away in the midst of the jungle in a luscious landscaped tropical garden, hot spring water gushes from the mouths of eight stone dragons into a huge pool which then overflows into three more below. Situated near Lovina Beach, the Banjar hot springs are also home to a small temple and cozy restaurant. Visit as early as possible in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Bali is one of the greatest places on earth for yoga and meditation lovers alike. Whatever your preferred form or style, you'll have no problem finding classes that suit you. The Yoga Barn is a center in Ubud which runs eight classes a day, seven days a week, with disciplines ranging from ecstatic dance to pranayama and vinyasa flow. Set among the idyllic rice paddies with a view that will leave your breathless, you're guaranteed to come away feeling euphoric.

Must see in Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit: fabola via Compfight cc

Sea & Surf

From surfing big breaks off the Bukit Peninsula with one of the adventurous self styled surf teachers, to grabbing the diving gear and exploring the serene reefs around Menjangan, the abundance of water activities in Bali are another one of the island's main draws.

Sailing is one of the best ways to truly appreciate the incredible natural beauty that Bali has to offer, so don't miss the chance to hire a yacht or get aboard one of the organized sightseeing tours.

Top things to do in Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit: mark benger via Compfight cc

Where To Stay

Touted for its luxurious private villas, Villa Infinity Bali is the most exclusive and magical villa Bali has to offer. Boasting 8 high class bedrooms sleeping 26 guests, fully equipped professional kitchen, air conditioned media room with cinema, lounge and pool table, and a 40 meter infinity pool, Villa Infinity has everything to make your getaway a dream come true.

Hidden away in the charming village of Pererenan, it is the only villa in Bali with breathtaking unobstructed infinity views of the incredible natural surroundings.

Although Villa infinity offers total privacy it is still only 20 minutes from the stylish Seminyak complete with trendy shops, beaches, boutiques and restaurants, and only 5 minutes to the world class Greg Norman designed Bali Nirvana Golf Course. Canguu beach is also right on your doorstep with its legendary sunsets withing walking distance.

To ensure you are well catered for exclusive service of car and driver, top quality chef and assistant, security, butler and massage therapist are all at your disposal 24 hours a day!

Where to go in Bali, Indonesia

Photo Credit: Theophilos via Compfight cc