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Bali, Indonesia: Beach holidays can seldom be any better

Bali has everything that one can expect and wish for from a top holiday destination. Beaches, crater lakes, rain forests, volcanic mountains, lush countryside, warm and friendly people with a rich culture and heritage and a unique, infectious serenity continue to attract tourists to Bali.

The deep-rooted culture, tradition and numerous religious ceremonies bestow a certain magnetic intrigue to this naturally endowed island in Indonesia that continues to attract people from far and wide [and a very high number from nearby Australia, who simply cannot seem to have enough of Bali's sun, sand and surf]. Bali's lush green countryside and rice terraces provide the increasingly elusive and much sought-after harmony with nature.

The beaches and spas, located mostly in south Bali, are a must visit for every traveler to Bali. There is absolutely no dearth of recreation and relaxation in Bali, which have catapulted the island to its well-deserved fame as a holiday destination.

Despite recent man-made tragedies that have hit this peaceful and peace-loving island, Bali continues to attract people who want to take in the wonderful charms of one of the top rung holiday destinations in the world.

Best time to visit Bali - the season for tourists

The dry season from April to September is considered the best time to visit Bali. December to March are generally rainy months that are best avoided. It gets quite humid in October and November, during which time moderate showers - the precursor to the rainy season- are fairly typical.

Overall, Bali has a tropical climate, with average daily temperature about 30 degree Celsius (typically ranges from 20 degree Celsius to 33 degree Celsius; humidity ranging from 60-85%.

European tourists usually throng Bali during the European summer holidays (July, August and early September). This is the period when Bali is extremely busy with hordes and hordes of tourists. It will be extremely prudent to book hotels well in advance anywhere in Bali if one is planning to travel here during one of these months.

How to get in and around Bali

Denpasar, the capital city of the province of Bali, is the main international entry point to the Indonesian island. The Ngurah Rai International Airport at Denpasar is almost like a boutique airport with its Indonesian architecture. Different airport taxes are applicable for taking international and domestic flights out of Denpasar. Several leading international airlines fly straight into Denpasar, including Singapore Airlines from Singapore, Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong and JAL from Tokyo. The Indonesian airline Garuda flies a few times a day from the capital Jakarta to Denpasar.

For those prefer to enter Bali via the sea, there are the seaports of Benoa in the southwest and Padangbay in the east. Island hoppers can often consider taking one of the frequent ferries from the neighboring islands of Java and Lombok. Ferries between the eastern Balinese port of Padangbay and Lembar on the west coast of Lombok depart every few hours, every day.

One can also book a train trip from Java and be connected by bus to Bali from a town near Banyuwangi in East Java. After landing in Denpasar, there are several transportation options to move around Bali. These include: metered cab/ fixed rate cabs; rent a car/ motorcycle/ bicycle; Bemo (Mini Bus); buses and tourist coaches.

Leisure & Fun activities in Bali

If you are on a holiday in Bali, there're lots of things to keep you 'busy' - busy having fun, that is. Some of the things you can do when are you are in Bali:
Enjoy water sports: Bali, like most beach /island holiday destinations, offers a plethora of water sports: surfing, snorkelling, water skiing, para sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, high speed rafting (thrilling!) and game fishing.

Go on a cruise: There are a range of cruise options available from Bali to nearby islands, from relaxing island cruises during the day, romantic dinner cruises and to the literally 'out-of-this world' submarine cruises.

Relax and rejuvenate your senses: Indulge in the exotic spa and beauty treatments available in Bali to say good bye to all the pent up stresses on your mind and body. Pamper yourself to traditional Javanese/ Indonesian massages - most hotels and resorts have in-house spas that let you enjoy this glorious experience; many in fact offer massage treatments outdoors on the beach. If you are up for it, there are yoga and meditation classes to enjoy the revitalizing powers of these time tested methods of mind-body relaxation.

Enjoy the outdoors: Bali is blessed with some outstanding greenery and scenery - take in these visual delights with specially organized nature tours or go mountain biking.

Shopping: Balinese handicrafts are collectors' delights; a holiday at this most wonderful of islands is incomplete without taking back some unique souvenirs and mementos. From exquisitely handcrafted wooden showpieces to exotic jewelry, you can experience the richness of Bali's culture and heritage in these items; it is not uncommon for people to ship beautiful handcrafted furniture for their rustic charm.

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