Give Bali Another Thought?


Bali - It’s More Dynamic Than You Might Think


Whatever Bali might bring to mind for you, the reality is that it is a dynamic, sophisticated destination with intact, rich cultural and spiritual traditions as well as some beautiful and dramatic geography created by the three volcanoes of Agung, Batur and Buyan Bratan, not to mention those that created islands visible across the water. 

Given the high bar for beaches set by Adventurous Women’s homeland, Bali’s beaches deserve just a cursory mention, but it’s not so much the beauty of the beaches as the Balinese’ integrated relationship with them. Shrines adorn many headlands with incense smoke drifting over the sometimes black or grey volcanic sand. It is not uncommon to see traditional ceremonies conducted on the beach with participants beautifully dressed in their formal attire, making offerings to the Hindu gods, crafted from leaves and adorned with flowers. Small fishing boats with outriggers line the shores and when the conditions are right, the fishermen haul in a fresh catch and the rustic warung (local eatery) can grill it up for you on the spot. There might be an assumption that these iconic experiences are a thing of the past as mass tourism has engulfed the island.

The reality however is that the majority of the flop & drop crowd are concentrated in a relatively compact area that includes Kuta, Seminyak, Legian and Canggu, leaving the rest of the island to be an outstanding adventure wonderland for the intrepid traveller. Even areas in close proximity to the airport like Jimbaran, are far from overcrowded and you can expect to see just those sorts of scenes described above, take place here. 

 

When the owner of Adventurous Women, Marie decided to publish a Bali tour for AW members, it was the experiences that she had enjoyed up in the mountains and on the east and north coasts that she had in mind. The hiking trails through food forests with views out to the ocean, the towering waterfalls with rarely a foreigner in sight. The warm, welcoming manner of communities who seldom see a great many foreigners and the priceless scenery of volcanoes shrouded in bands of cloud with lush green landscapes below.  


Adventurous Women’s Bali Active Adventure is packed full of creative experiences and just the right amount of walking and daily activity. Here are some samples : 

Manggis Community

Our local operator in Bali established a presence in this remote community in the east of Bali around five years ago and has worked with the people here to develop a range of community-led activities including hiking trips, cooking classes and wellness programs. The project is really still in its infancy, but the Guides that have emerged from the training program are great. They are so genuine and eager to introduce you to their village, their way of life and their favourite food. 
We will spend two days in Manggis to experience hiking and cooking and to immerse ourselves in this quiet corner of Bali.  


Virgin Beach

In the same region as Manggis, Virgin Beach is a secluded cove with black volcanic stone at one end, white sand at its base and blue water which is just so inviting! We do see some foreign visitors here and mostly these are Europeans who are taking an extended break in Bali. 

Our friend Ayu has a rustic little eatery where she cooks modest, but delicious meals like Tempeh Ketchup Manis and coconut laced watercress. Her husband is a fisherman and more often than not he has a freshly caught fish for Ayu to grill up for us.  


Mount Abang

Hiking up Mount Batur for sunrise is one of those things that has become a bit oversubscribed, but Mount Abang, Bali’s third highest mountain is relatively deserted and offers equally breathtaking views. 
We aren’t suggesting that you hike up in the dark to catch sunrise. We love sunrises, but we also like good amounts of sleep, so we will undertake this hike at a more civilised time and will enjoy beautiful views as well as being able to appreciate the flora and fauna. 


Ubud

It wouldn’t be a Bali tour if we didn’t make at least a token stop in the cultural heartland of of the island. It’s easy to love Ubud once you make an adjustment for the fact that you will see plenty of travellers around. It’s a vibrant place with great food, a dazzling array of wellness treatments and massages and some really nice art.  
We will stay in a central location, so you can wander around town without having to contend with any car time and if you do want to go further afield there are bicycles available to rent and lots of village trails on the outskirts of town.  


Nusa Penida

Two islands sit off to the east of Bali and are visible from a few points during our journey. These islands are Nusa Penida and Nusa Lambongan and they boast some great snorkelling within relatively easy reach of Bali proper.

We will spend two nights here and aside from snorkelling, we will explore the cliffs and coves of the west coast where the surf has worn caves, natural bridges and other formations into the limestone, making for some truly picturesque scenes.  

 

Australians are sometimes accused of taking Bali for granted as a destination. We are confident that after joining us for this inspired adventure through Bali, that you will have a newfound appreciation for the depth of sophistication that this destination provides and it might just help to explain why it is such a favourite with so many people.  

Join us on our first Bali Active Adventure this October and see it for yourself!

Editorial Team