What could be better than a day spent learning something new?
The "Treasures of Ubud" tour combines an introduction to the island's amazing nature with glimpses of its culture. The legs of the journey are fairly short and you will not get tired, while impressions will last for weeks!
The first destination is Tegunungan, a glorious 25-m waterfall in a cozy valley. Getting there is unlikely to tire you out as you walk down picturesque village alleys, taking snapshots on the way to remember the island by. The waterfall itself is perfectly camera-friendly and you can take a dip, if you like, in a small pond at the foot of this powerful stream.
The next stop is the celebrated Monkey Wood, a cool and shadowy place overgrown with winding banyans and replete with footpaths, bridges, shrines and statues. An ancient temple dedicated to the spirits of the dead here hosts ceremonies for the departed. The forest is also home to some 600 long-tailed macaques. The monkeys are considered lords and masters of the forest, and Bali people take care of them out of a belief that they protect the earth from evil spirits.
Afterwards we will visit a village hosting the ancient temple of Batuan – open to all visitors, which is uncommon for Bali. This temple is built to all canons of Bali architecture. Rites, prayers and weddings with a very special and memorable atmosphere, well worth experiencing, are performed here.
The colorful rice terraces of Tegalalang, which will be our next stop, are certainly one of Bali's must-see places. Their gigantic green steps walk down hillsides of a ravine in the middle of a palm forest – an ideal background for your smartphone magic!
The Kintamani hamlet, to be visited next, features an observation deck for taking snapshots of Batur volcano. The location gives a great view of it. This is not the end of the tour, however. From here we can go to plantations of luwak coffee or villages of local artisans.
Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, and there you can see how coffee beans are gathered, dried and roasted; luwaks (Asian palm civets) will also be at hand, and you will get to learn just what role they play in production of this exclusive beverage; afterwards, if you feel the desire, you can try the drink of millionnaires yourself.
If you favor the artisans, their villages lie around Ubud. Every one specializes in particular form of craft, working some with batik, others with silver or wood. Souvenirs made by their hands will be available for purchase.
Set aside a day for being happy with Balilook!