Bali is its dramatic landscapes. It is fast-flowing rivers through deep gorges, volcanoes that rise out of the sea, and valleys enveloped with rice paddies that gleam golden in the sun – you will be awed by this Island of the Gods. The Balinese are a generous people –  they offer all they have to temples, dance with complete joy in festivals, and their tilling of the fields is equal parts sweat and pride! If this excites your curiosity – read ahead as Ithaka gives you a perfect itinerary to discover the essence of Bali in 5 days!

Stay at Canggu (2 days)

Hidden behind the glamour of Bali, is the sleepy village of Canggu. Hemmed by a boundary of black sand beaches, where the ocean has a year-round surf – this town is a strip of vegan cafes, warungs (local food stalls), and yes, even fun co-work spaces! Start your journey from here and we promise that a cool breeze fragrant with the scent of frangipani will always remind you of Canggu. 

 

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Day 1

Dive Into A Delicious Breakfast

Kickstart your day with a delicious breakfast at any of the cafes or juice bars. Whether it’s vegetarian or some plain ol’ chicken, you can expect a dose of healthy on the menu. We’re talking lip-smacking dishes blended with chickpeas, avocados, almonds, chia seeds – the works!

 

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Ithaka’s Pro Tip: For a heavenly tropical snack, visit Nalu Bowls. A blend of fresh fruits like raspberries, bananas or dragon fruit, topped with honey and all served up in a coconut shell awaits you here!

Visit The Pura Tanah Lot Sea Temple

Next, head out exploring the Tanah Lot Complex. Legend says that a priest from Java travelled to Bali on a quest to spread Hinduism and the spot he arrived at is now Pura Tanah Lot – a temple dedicated to Baruna, the sea god.

 

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A 30-minute drive from Canggu, the temple is perched on a rocky outcrop – an easy find, especially as you can follow the sea of souvenir shops lining the path to reach the entrance. Enter the massive gates with statues on either side and explore the area.

Ithaka’s Pro Tip: While the sunset’s here are lauded to be great, the place can get you jostling for space during that time. We recommend you visit the temple earlier in the day for a quieter time.

Explore Canggu’s Streets

As the sun dips from the sky overhead, Canggu comes alive twinkling with lights – a perfect time to explore the town or chill with a beer. Rent a scooter or a bike and go looking for walls filled with modern street art that stand right beside beautiful rice paddies. As for shopping, don’t forget to visit the ‘Love Anchor’ market to pick up quirky souvenirs, jewellery, and bags. A real treat indeed!

 

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Dinner At The Lawn

When you’re done meandering the quaint streets of this town, it’s time for dinner and drinks at any of the beach clubs around, the most famous being a thatch-roofed restaurant – ‘The Lawn’. Dive into world cuisine here, right from seafood tacos to Balinese roast pork. With full bellies, sink right into beanbags by the beach with a signature cocktail in hand, while the DJ plays low jazz tunes that transform into hip hop jams as the night fast approaches.

 

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Day 2

While your heart by now, wishes to lounge about in Canggu forever, it’s time to take a day trip to a different side of Bali – Ubud. One hour away, the journey is simply delightful as you see the road pave the way for a magical countryside full of waterfalls. A must-stop before you reach Ubud is Tegenungan waterfalls.

 

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Cool Off At Tegenungan Waterfalls

Walk down a trail of stone steps, where you can only hear the rapid gushing sounds of the cascading waterfall. While the view at the end of the steps is beautiful and majestic, another big draw here are the fun photo props. As you pose beneath a huge heart sign or try out the Bali Swing, be sure to say cheese!

 

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Ithaka’s Pro Tip: At the town’s outskirts, you can also check out Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) temple to look upon striking statues from Balinese myths or simply meditate for a while here. 

 

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Enter The Heart Of Ubud

When you enter the town, roam about winding streets to explore the many art markets, lotus pools, and palaces. Along with locals, you’ll see a sizeable expat population around. Say hello, and you might get to hear stories of how people came here and slowly fell in love with Ubud.

 

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Finally, stop by the Monkey Forest to look upon the antics of Balinese long-tailed monkeys in their natural habitat.

 

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Enjoy A Sunset At Tegalalang Rice Terrace

As the sun starts to set, head towards the Tegalalang Rice terraces. Watch the rows of rice paddies come alive with a play of yellow and orange from the rays of the sun, and finally let them go pure green. Stand amid the swaying crops or caper across the fields, it’s bound to be an evening to remember. Don’t forget to try out the jungle swing here.

 

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Stay at Seminyak (3 days)

Head out to the upscale neighbourhood of Seminyak for a 3-day stay, where you’ll find the best of Bali’s nightclubs and sleek hotels – a stone’s throw away from the pretty sandy shores. 

 

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Day 3

Learn To Cook Indonesian Cuisine

Join a fantastic cooking class, and have fun whipping up Indonesian dishes. You can also enjoy a market tour to pick up fresh ingredients for it. It’s bound to be an exciting experience blending spices the way Indonesians do in their everyday meals, which will all culminate in a delicious feast. You’ll be gobbling that up too, of course!

 

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Ithaka’s Pro Tip: We recommend a cooking class and market tour by Chef Bagus.

Visit The Nyaman Gallery

Don’t forget to support local talents and visit the Nyaman Gallery to shop for one-of-a-kind paintings and beautiful jewellery made from bone, shells, and beads. Stroll around the place to admire the sculptures and urban photographs on display.

 

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End The Night With A Fireshow

Visit the Nirvana Burger Bar for an evening full of fire shows, live music, and magic tricks. Relax here with a good ol’ burger and fruity cocktail as you behold the fire dancers move in rhythm to an increasing tempo, which ends with a big bang of sparks. A fierce end to a great night in Bali!

Day 4

Go Surfing 

With abundant surf schools all around, Seminyak’s sea waves are perfect for both beginners as well as amateurs. Learn to tame the Bali waves and head out for a surfing session at Petitenget beach this morning. If you prefer a lesser crowd and are with kids who would love to swim, visit the Berawa Beach instead.

 

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Chill At The Potato Head Beach Club

For a place to chill and eat some great grub afterwards, check out the Potato Head Beach Club. Indulge in some French or Balinese delicacies, while you soak in the ambience of the place. Rest your tired feet on the lawn sipping on a cocktail or watch the vast ocean from their infinity pool.

 

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Jaunt Through Seminyak’s Outskirts

After a relaxing afternoon, take a trip to discover the outskirts of Seminyak, which ends with a grand sunset at Uluwatu temple, an hour’s ride from the city. The journey is dotted with lots of attractions along the way, one of them being an abandoned airplane hidden near the town of Jimbaran. A Boeing 737-400, it’s a perfect photo-op if you have some time to stop on the way and click some great pictures! 

 

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Catch A Sunset At Uluwatu Temple

 

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Continue onwards to the Uluwatu temple, which will be immediately visible sitting majestically on the edge of a cliff. It’s said that the monk who started his spiritual journey from Tanah Lot temple, arrived here and vanished in a poof of lightning! The myth is not hard to imagine when it rains here. But, for now, you’ll love the breathtaking shades of orange, red, and yellow splashed across the sky during sunset.

 

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As for the temple itself, roam around and you’ll recognise the face of Siva Rudra (Lord Shiva) among the beautifully carved statues. You can also check out a traditional Kecak dance performance at the nearby amphitheatre. 

 

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Day 5

Enjoy your last day in Bali by taking it slow with a traditional massage, a yoga class, or a lavish dinner in the city.

 

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Get A Rejuvenating Massage

Get the massage done with in the morning to rid any weariness from the previous day. Seminyak has numerous spas that will cater to you well, the most famous being – Prana spa. A spa with Indian and Middle Eastern ambience, you’ll enjoy a soothing massage amid beautiful red tones and tented ceilings. With their traditional Balinese and Thai massages, you will get to experience the nimble oil-dipped hand movements of the masseuse that will heal the deep tissues of your body.

 

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Good to know: You can also join a yoga session here before you get a massage.

Shop At Jalan Raya Street

After you settle down in your hotel, set out for the Jalan Raya street to shop your heart out! From funky beach clothes to cute dresses and trendy bohemian, you will see a lot of elegant clothing that is bound to attract you inside the designer boutiques on this street.

 

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Ithaka’s Pro Tip: We recommend you shop at ‘Palm Lagoon’ for beach apparel and ‘Body & Soul’ for affordable summer dresses. 

Visit Seminyak Night Market

Still not over wandering Seminyak’s streets for fun treats? You can check out the Seminyak night market to dive into hot food, directly from street stalls. Arrive after 6 p.m. and roam around tasting satay meats, or barbequed prawns! This place is perfect to go food hopping to try out the different types of Balinese food on display. 

 

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P.S. Don’t forget to taste ‘nasi goreng’ – a tasty mix of fried rice stir-fried with chicken, prawns, and shredded omelette. A mouthwatering dish indeed!

 

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Now that you have an itinerary in place, all you have to do is pack your bags and set out on a journey to awaken your spirit in Bali.