Often described as a paradise for its volcanic mountains, green rice terraces and sandy white beaches, Bali is one of the 17,000 islands that comprise the archipelago of Indonesia in Southeast Asia. In addition to remarkable culture and world-class diving and surfing, Bali is where many people come for weddings, honeymoons and for total relaxation of mind, body and spirit. With striking temples and architecture hinting at its Hindu, Javanese and Dutch colonial history, Bali first became popular in the 1970s as a top surfing and diving destination. Dive shops are located all over the island, and the crystal clear water, coral reefs, colorful marine creatures and sunken ships all present excellent diving and snorkeling adventures.
While Bali encompasses several regions and cities, some of the main tourist destinations include Kuta, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant shopping and nightlife. Ubud is the island’s art and cultural center while the bustling capital city, Denpasar, is the main transportation hub. The towns of Sanur and Seminyak offer many fabulous beachside resorts.
Bali’s Hindu culture is among its greatest attractions. The island is dotted with tens of thousands of temples varying in size, shape and architectural design. With each of these temples hosting festivals at various times of the years, the island is always buzzing with performances of traditional Balinese music, dances, costumes and rituals.
In addition to beautiful beaches, Bali offers plenty of family and outdoor fun from botanic gardens to jungle tours and whitewater rafting. Pampering services abound on the island from massages on the beach to luxurious spas. Shopping is excellent with upscale fashion boutiques and artisan shops selling local handicrafts. Food choices range from street vendors to fast food chains and restaurants serving both Indonesian dishes and international cuisine.
Buses, taxis and minibuses, called bemos, provide public transportation around Bali.