Bali is famous for its world-class beaches and the place offers infinite experiences for everyone. We all want to stay in Bali for at least a month, but our 9-5 lives do not allow us to spare that much time for travel. This post is for people who want to make the most of their limited time in this intriguing tropical island. I know three days do no justice to this beautiful place, but I will try my best to point you towards some of the most unique experiences that could all be done in this time period by following the itinerary mentioned in the post.
Day #1- Visit the Tanah Lot Temple and the Monkey Forest
Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali and it is home to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot. Tanah means “land in the sea” in Balinese language; the local language of Indonesia. It is a very popular tourist and cultural icon for photography because of its beautiful sunset view and soothing chilly breeze flowing throughout the beach.
It is widely believed by the local people that a Hindu priest of the Majapahit kingdom in East Java visited Bali in the 15th century to spread Hinduism. The site was established by him to honor Varuna, the Sea God despite facing oppositions from the village’s chief. Legend has it that he successfully guarded the rock with the help of sea snakes and attained enlightenment on the site through meditation.
The temple has a natural water source and the water is regarded holy by the priests of the temple. The clifftop consists of numerous restaurants that offers both Balinese cuisine and western cuisine. I would recommend visiting the temple during evening to experience the cold evening breeze and watch the radiant sunset. You should be careful when you are standing on the edges, as the surface is slippery due to the deposition of green algae. If you are travelling from Kuta, it takes around 1:30 hours and the Monkey forest is 1 hour away from the temple.
The Monkey Forest is a nature reserve and Hindu temple complex in Bali, Indonesia. It is a home to 5 different categories of Balinese long-tailed Monkey and the complex has around 600 monkeys in total. The Forest demonstrates the coexistence of humans and nature. Tourists are welcome to play with the monkeys at their own risk. You’re probably wondering why I have not included the pictures from the monkey temple. Well let me tell you a little secret, I am absolutely terrified of monkeys. I made everyone skip that part of our trip due to my fear of monkeys. However, I do intend to get over my fear and visit the Monkey Forest in future, so be on the lookout for that post.
Day #2- Hike Mount Batur and visit rice terraces in Ubud
Mount Batur is an active volcano located near Mount Agung in Bali, Indonesia and its peak is 1717 metres high. Its first documented eruption was in 1804 and the most recent was in 2000. UNESCO has established the Mount Batur Kintamani Caldera region as part of the Global Geopark Network. The earth park carries out geological preservation and at the same time used it as a tourist attraction.
Mount Batur is very popular for climbing and it is on the bucket list of many travelers. The sunrise from the ridges of this volcano on early morning treks is one of the best in Bali. You could enjoy views of the magnificent Batur Caldera and Batur Lake from the peak of Mount Batur. The hike begins very early but the adrenaline rush you experience due to climbing an active volcano is totally worth it.
The Rice fields in Bali are not only awe-inspiring but they also reflect the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana which focuses on bringing together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This philosophy was born out of a cultural exchange between India and Bali over the past 2,000 years and it has helped shape the landscape of Bali. The sites are listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO because they are threatened by the tourism industry.
Subak system is a sustainable cooperative irrigation method used for farming in which water from dams and canals flows through the temples and then onto the rice fields. This unique irrigation practice incorporates the Tri Hata Karana philosophy beautifully and portrays important Balinese beliefs like maintaining a harmonious relationship with God, with other human beings and with nature.
If you visit these rice terraces, you will come across Luwak coffee which is the world’s most expensive coffee. You will be surprised to know that the world’s most expensive coffee is made from animal poop. An Asian palm civet eats a coffee bean, digests in in its stomach and the coffee is intact in the animal’s feces. These coffee beans collected and processed to make Luwak coffee. A cup of Luwak coffee can sell for as much as $80 in the United States.
Due to its emerging popularity, many Luwak coffe farms have been established throughout Southeast Asia. In these farms, Luwaks are kept in cages and fed coffee fruits harvested by farmers in order to increase excretion of bean. If you want to try this exclusive coffee, I would advise you to purchase coffee which is labelled “wild” to ensure that no animals were harmed for its production.
Day #3- Experience an adrenaline rush in Tanjung Benoa
Tanjung Benoa is a peninsular subdistrict of Kuta south district which is famous for its beaches. If you are seeking some adrenaline-charged fun you should definitely head to this location. The diving experience around this beach is great because it is surrounded by transparent waters, astounding marine life and underwater treasure troves of plane crashes, World War II machinery and city ruins.
It offers numerous activities like scuba diving, banana boat, flying fish, stand-up paddle boarding, water jet packs and fly-boarding. My personal favorite was flying fish as it challenges the laws of physics when it fling high really fast. If you are the kind of person who loves intense experiences and wants to test their adventure limit, this is your attraction.
I would advise you to take the exciting Bali water sports tour package as it includes numerous attractions for only $50 per person. The package consists of a glass bottom boat ride of half an hour, a 15-minute banana boat ride, a parasailing ride, 1 introductory dive and a visit to Turtle island. The company though which you take your package will also give you access to lockers, towels, shower facilities, changing rooms, and all safety equipment.
Tanjung Benoa consists of a turtle conservation center commonly known as turtle island. The Indonesian government has set-up this facility to protect the endangered green turtle. The conservation center helps turtle populations through rescue, rehabilitation and release programs. Since it is a conservation center, you can learn about the turtle’s life cycle, see their eggs and the little hatchlings. These little hatchlings are protected in the facility until they mature and are then released into the ocean. Besides seeing the turtles, you can also see some other beautiful animals such as snakes, toucans, monkeys and Asian palm civets.