Om Swastiastu! Welcome to Ubud, Bali's largest Hindu town, and artistic and cultural heart. Your adventure officially kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your group leader and travel companions. If you arrive early, you might like to wander the traditional market stalls near the centre of town, pop into a local café or stretch out your muscles after your flight with a spot of yoga at one of the zen studios in town. After your Welcome Meeting this evening, perhaps head out to for a group meal at one of the delicious local restaurants.
Start the day with a guided walking tour around Ubud with your local leader (about 2.5 hours). Gain an insight into daily village life as you pass lush rice fields, an alang alang valley (type of wild grass used to make the roof of traditional buildings) and stop by a Balinese home for coffee and experience the traditional Balinese offering. The tour ends in central Ubud, where you'll have time to explore the many cafes, galleries and shops on your own. In the evening, sit down and enjoy a traditional Kecak dance performance. Driven not by musical instruments, but by human chanting, this fascinating theatrical performance is considered a highlight by many of our travellers.
Today you’ll explore the area from a different angle – from the saddle of a bike. Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour through backstreets, villages and rice fields. It’s a relatively easy ride – much of the route is downhill – and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos or a brief rest. You’ll also stop to check out some small, intricately carved temples, before concluding your bike tour back in Ubud. After refuelling with lunch, head for the hills to the village of Undisan, via private minivan. Set against a backdrop of Bali's highest peak, Mt Agung, the peaceful village of Sidemen is proof that Bali still has some pockets that are untouched by tourism.
Take a morning walk (approximately 2 hours) around Undisan's rice terrraces, visiting the craftspeople of the traditional trade, village temples and enjoy a traditional 'bungkus' lunch with refreshing coconut. The walk is a great chance to take in the beautiful scenery before we bid a farewell to Undisan and make tracks to Sibetan Village . You’ll be given a special welcome by the chief of the village, then check into your homestay accommodation before enjoying some free time in the afternoon. You might like to explore the traditional village a little or simply just relax and take in the atmosphere here. Alternatively, you could take on an optional cooking class and learn the secret ingredients and spices of the traditional cuisine here. This evening, you’ll enjoy some time spent with the locals and be treated to a typical dinner of salak (snake fruit), prepared for you by the villagers.
This morning, you’ll enjoy a guided walk through an ancient Salak Plantation with the opportunity to interact with the local community. Here, you’ll see cultural heritage plants – the remains of a white mango tree which was first planted in Sibetan in the 16th century as well as a Jaka Moding Plant (a type of palm tree) which is a relic plant. You’ll tuck into Tipat Blayag (Rhombus) for lunch; rice wrapped in young coconut leaves, combined with side dishes of chicken and vegetables. After some time exploring the village and surrounds on foot, you’ll take to four wheels for a journey higher into the mountains, driving along the crater rim road to a fishing village on the edge of Lake Batur. Volcanic Mt Batur (1717 metres/5633 feet) sits inside a stark and spectacular caldera and with Lake Batur below, it's a stunning sight. The lake supports the local fishing industry, while many of the villagers work as guides for the volcano climb. Your accommodation for the evening is in a great location to start tomorrow's early morning trek without extra travelling time.
It’s a very early start today – you’ll wake bright and early at around 3 am to begin the 1.5 to 2-hour walk to the summit of Mt Batur in order to reach the top before sunrise. Trust us, it’s worth the effort. On a clear morning, it's possible to see all the way across the Lombok Strait to the peaks of Lombok's Mt Rinjani. The view of the gorgeous sunrise over the valleys of Bali may well be the most memorable part of your trip. Do keep in mind, however, that the weather can be unpredictable and sometimes the view is obscured by clouds. After descending the volcano, there's an option to soak in hot springs with fantastic views over the lake and caldera. Then make the journey from the mountains to the small coastal town of Lovina, made famous by its dolphins that patrol the coast. It's also a great spot for fine food, traditional massages and yoga – just what the doctor ordered after today’s epic mountain climb.
Explore a traditional market in the morning first and then enjoy a day of snorkelling amongst Menjangan Island’s coral reef, part of the Bali Barat National Park. On the way back from your undersea adventures, you’ll stop for a soak at Banjar Hot Springs, a small spring popular with locals. In the afternoon, stop in to enjoy a tasty cup of coffee with a difference at Global Kafe, a diner whose profits support the Global Village Foundation, providing wheelchairs and mobility aids for people with disabilities and assisting those with illnesses with their medical costs. Tonight, head to Ibu Wayan's to learn about Balinese cuisine before sitting down to a home-cooked meal.
This morning we’ll wave goodbye to Lovina and make our way to Sanur. Along the way, we’ll visit Gitgit waterfall and Lake Bratan before continuing to Sanur to enjoy some free time in the afternoon. Perhaps, enjoy a stroll along Bali's first beachfront walk, watch the fishermen in the shallows or kick back and relax at one of the beachside restaurants. Get a feel for the traditions and local customs which are well maintained here. Ancient temples are also easily accessible – just a short distance away from the beach.
Travel by minivan from Sanur to the port of Padang Bai (approximately 1.5 hours). Then you'll take a fast boat that takes you from Bali to Lombok (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Stop for lunch in a basic warung – a traditional Indonesian-style cafe, before taking a minibus to Tetebatu (approximately 2 hours). On the way, stop at Masbagik Village which is well known for its pottery products and where you will get to see it being made on a short walk around the village. The hill retreat of Tetebatu is situated in the centre of Lombok, at the southern base of Mt Rinjani, and boasts spectacular views. Tonight, you will enjoy an included dinner at a family-run restaurant that provides traditional Lombok-style cuisine.
Enjoy a guided walk through lush rice fields and see how the region's farmers have tended the land for centuries, still using traditional water buffalo ploughs. Climb a little higher and pass through clove and coffee plantations and stop at a local warung to try some local coffee (approximately 2.5 hours total). Visit the local village of Pringgasela to learn traditional weaving and enjoy a delicious Sasak feast. In the afternoon, return to the hotel then travel to Labuhan Pandan on the east coast of Lombok. This remote beachside location is lesser visited by tourists but is a beautiful stretch of coastline. Tonight you’ll stay in bungalow accommodation amid the peace and quiet of the secluded east coast.
Take a trip out to the nearby coral reef and enjoy some fantastic snorkelling off the boat. Stop in at a secluded island for lunch with Mt Rinjani towering over Lombok. Tonight, eat a fresh seafood barbecue on the beach. This is island living and relaxation at its best, so soak it all up!
Travel by minibus around the spiritual centre and sleeping giant of the island – Mt Rinjani (approximately 2 hours). Arrive around midday (12 pm) at Senaru – a small, rustic village nestled between the base of Mt Rinjani and the edge of the jungle. Take a guided tour of the local Sasak village to learn about the history and culture of these people who have long lived on the slopes of the mountain. Here, your local guide is part of a female guiding association that trains and develops women in tourism. You will also take a walk to the spectacular Sendang Gile waterfall, and perhaps take a refreshing shower underneath it!
Continue to the west coast today by minibus (approximately 2.5 hours). The Gili Islands (Tiga Gili) are a cluster of three small islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Transfer by small boat to Gili Air (approximately 30 minutes), where you can take in the breezy atmosphere and stroll down stunning white beaches that rival those of the neighbouring islands. Your hotel is about a 15-minute walk from the port. Your bags can be transported by cidemo (horse cart) from the port to the hotel.
The island is your oyster, so today you are completely free to relax or explore. Perhaps take in another snorkelling trip or catch a ferry across to the other islands of Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno and work out for yourself which one has the better beaches. This evening, enjoy an optional group dinner on the beachfront as you reminisce on memories of your Lombok adventure.
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out times, usually at 11.30 am. This dsn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to extend your stay on the blissful Gili Air, we’ll be able to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).