The mention of Bali evokes a picture of paradise. You’ll find it in the beaches, verdant countryside, and luxurious accommodations—and you’ll find much more. Walk through temples carved into caves centuries ago, stroll jungle footpaths among friendly long-tailed macaques, dine on fantastic Balinese specialties, and discover the history, art, and spirituality of this picturesque land.
Disembark National Geographic Orion, and begin exploring some of Bali’s temples and top sites. Visit Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave. This stunning collection of grottos was carved by the Buddhist people of Bali sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries. See Batuan Temple, a local Balinese Hindu temple tended by the residents of Batuan countryside. This beautiful temple is full of Balinese ornaments, with a roof made from the fiber of chromatic black palm tree. We’ll also visit Mas village, which is well known as the home of Balinese woodcarving. Here, we’ll learn about the different types of wood used for carving, watch the artists at work and have a brief opportunity to browse the woodcarvers’ showroom.
We’ll drive to The Chedi Club, one of the Bali’s finest luxury retreats, nestled in an exclusive estate surrounded by lush greenery and stunning rice fields. Lunch will be a delicious blend of western and Indonesian cuisine served in their restaurant, overlooking verdant paddy fields.
Transfer to your hotel this afternoon. Surrounded by picturesque rice paddy terraces, and set within luxuriant landscaped tropical gardens, Ubud Village Resort and Spa is a retreat style boutique resort designed for relaxation and peaceful contemplation. Dinner is on your own this evening. (B, L)
We begin this morning with a visit to the Gunung Kawi Temple, an 11th century temple situated on the Pakerisan River, in the village of Tegalalang, just a short distance outside of Ubud. The countryside here is gorgeously lush, and the footpath down to the temple passes through breathtakingly beautiful rice terraces. A little farther along the footpath is a beautiful temple, still very active, with lovely rock carvings and a fabulous carved Garuda bird perched on the roof of one of the pavilions. From the temple, we’ll drive the short distance back to Ubud, where we’ll have lunch at the traditional Balinese Laka Leke Restaurant, stopping to photograph this verdant, terraced landscape en route. After lunch, we’ll walk the paths of the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, home to long-tailed macaques believed to be Guardian gods of Pura Dalem Agung. These macaques stroll the paths unafraid, fully aware of their sacred, protected status. We’ll then continue to the famous Ubud Market for colorful photo opportunities, or handicraft shopping. The remainder of our afternoon is devoted to learning about Balinese arts and culture, with a visit to the exceptional Agung Rai Museum of Art. We’ll tour this museum and gallery, guided by a master historian of Balinese culture and spirituality. Dinner will be at ARMA Restaurant this evening, followed by a private performance of traditional Balinese dance. (B, L, D)
Relax at your hotel this morning before being transferred to the airport for your flights home. (B)
2 nights in the hotel, meals where indicated, transfers based on recommended flights and sightseeing tours.
All airfare, personal items and immigration fees.
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