Bali & The Gilis: Island Adventures
Swim with turtles off the Gili Isles, surf with a Rip Curl master & conquer Mount Batur at sunrise
Bali & The Gilis: Island Adventures
About your trip
Bali and the Gili Islands – where rugged adventure and slow beach beauty collide. The perfect destination for a Flash Pack adventure, then?
Welcome to 12 days of volcano trekking, underwater worlds and magical local culture. Your time on these wildly beautiful islands will see you surf the waves of Bali’s West Coast with a Rip Curl legend and dive beneath the crystal waters of the Gili Islands from your private boat to spot turtles and dolphins. You’ll dine in the middle of an Ubud rice field at dusk, fireflies dancing above you to the sounds of traditional Rindik music. You’ll even scale the dizzying heights of Mount Batur at dawn on a challenging trek, celebrating your mountaineering achievements with a Prosecco brunch; and all of this with a group of travellers you’ll quickly call friends.
Tropical island living with a side of intrepid adventure. A winning combination, don’t you think?
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- We offset 0.55 tCO2e (carbon) per person on this trip
- Minibus & speedboat
- Arrival airport transfer
- 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 A tropical island welcome
Arriving at your first hotel, it won’t be difficult to sink into that ‘holiday feeling’. Spilling back from the golden sands of Legian Beach, it’s an ideal spot for some post-flight recovery and to ease yourself into vibrant coastal Bali. Take some time to get to know your group before your official Flash Pack meet-up in the lush gardens of the hotel. With introductions over, you’ll feast on your first of many Balinese meals and, with cocktail in hand, toast to 11 more days of adventure.
Day 02 DINE WITH THREE GENERATIONS
After a relaxed morning, you’ll journey inland to the remote village of Pinge nestled in the lofty Tabanan hinterlands. Surrounded by idyllic rice fields and backed by Mount Batukaru – Bali’s second highest mountain – Pinge is as picturesque as you’d expect an isolated Balinese village to be. Here, you can see traditional rural life playing out: buffalo ploughing the terraced green fields, farmers planting rice or villagers preparing seeds. On arrival, you’ll visit a local home where you’ll have lunch with a Balinese family. Together, you’ll help prepare a seasonal lunch, then sit down to dine with family members that span generations.
Day 03 A FLOATING TEMPLE & WATERFALL SWIMS
Today you’ll be heading to Bali’s most picturesque ‘floating’ temple: Pura Ulun Danu. Located on the shores of Lake Bratan and surrounded by rolling mountains, the temple was built in the 17th century in dedication to Dewi Danu, the goddess of water. Upon arrival, you’ll board a canoe and coast through the mist to view the temples from the water. After, you’ll be taken through a private meditation in view of this spiritual wonder – a completely unique experience. Next, you’ll be hiking 500 metres downhill to reach the cascading Banyu Wana Waterfall. Here you’ll get a chance to cool off in the natural pool before feasting on a traditional lunch of nasi bungkus (a rice dish wrapped in banana leaves). The rest of the day is yours to do as you please at your gorgeous wellness abode.
Day 04 Spiritual bathing in Ubud
Today you’ll have the chance to explore Ubud. So loved by travellers the world over, we’ve set aside plenty of free time for you to wander at your own pace, but first, another spiritual moment awaits. Dating back to 926 AD, Tirta Empul Temple is famed for its holy spring water source, and it’s here that Balinese Hindus come for ritual purification. It’s a ritual you’ll have the chance to partake in – immersing yourself in the bathing waters and following the lead of your guide. You’ll then be taken to a private meditation with a local Hindu worshipper in a beautiful secluded garden. You’ll have the rest of the day to do as you please. A sunset e-bike ride amongst the rice terraces is a real highlight – so just let your guide know if you’d like them to arrange this for you.
Day 05 FLYING YOGA & PRIVATE DINING
This morning you’ll rise early with your group for a lesson in flying yoga. In a private studio overlooking a river and lush rice paddies, find yourself suspended above ground by slings and hammocks as you (try) to get yourself into a number of yoga poses. This one’s a challenging and often hilarious group experience. From mid-afternoon onwards you’ll be in the rural farming village of Subak Guliang. Led by your private chef, you’ll be taken on an immersive tour, during which you can chat to and connect with the locals. Work with them as they pick and sort rice and absorb generations-old culinary tips before sitting down to your most atmospheric dinner yet. At a table set up in an isolated rice field, you’ll eat various local dishes whilst listening to an exclusive performance by Rindik musicians.
Day 06 VOLCANO CHALLENGE
After an early night last night, it’s a very early 2am start for your intrepid sunrise trek up Mount Batur – one of Bali’s most sacred mountains. The cool mountain air and starlit skies will help you shake off any tiredness as you ascend over 1,700 metres in the pre-dawn light. Cheering each other on as you tackle the (at times challenging) climb, it will take you around three hours to reach the volcanic summit, where you’ll arrive in time to celebrate together beneath a sky alight with orange, pink and lavender streaks. Back down at ground level, some guilt-free indulgence is in order. You’ll drive to a restaurant in Kintamani where a family-style Prosecco brunch awaits your group. There’s no doubt you’ll need to relax after such a mega feat, so after checking in at your waterfront hotel you’ll have the whole day free to unwind.
Day 07 Lavish royal gardens
No 2 am starts today. Enjoy a lie-in, a slow breakfast and a refreshing dip in the pool. Later, you’ll be given the option to see the highly instagrammed Lempuyang Temple, otherwise known as the Heaven’s Gate Temple. It’s optional because it’s a huge tourist spot, the kind of place we tend to keep away from. That said, it is beautiful and very photogenic, so you can vote with your group as to whether you go or not. From your hotel or Heaven’s Gate, it’ll be on to the ornate gardens of Tirta Gangga. Almost three acres of giant fountains, mythical sculptures and a giant pond flecked with the sparkle of golden carp swimming beneath the surface; this might just be the most lavish estate you’ll ever visit.
Day 08 Journey to island paradise
It’s finally time for the Gili Isles. Board your speedboat and begin your fast ride to the white sands and crystal waters of Gili Trawangan. From here, you’ll take a gentle one-hour walk across the island to your beachfront hotel. Arriving before midday, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to sink into island life. They say some of the best things in life are free, and that’s certainly the case on Gili Trawangan – where you can simply step into the shallows in front of your hotel and witness some of the best snorkeling in the world. It won’t be long before you spot turtles gliding towards you as they dip and nibble on the coral below. Back on dry land, why not book a sunset yoga and meditation session with your group, to keep your practice up?
Day 09 Private boat adventures
Today you’ll get to explore the Gili Islands by private boat. With snacks and drinks on board, you’ll spend a whole day on the water – with an exclusive beach picnic at lunchtime to keep you fuelled. The waters that lap the Gili Islands are renowned for their clarity and wildlife, but also their eerie underwater sculptures. You’ll see turtles aplenty – that’s guaranteed – and a hauntingly beautiful scene of human sculptures embracing in a circle, the dappled light of the water almost bringing them to life. If you’re lucky, you might see and swim alongside the local dolphins that frequent the waters here. Tonight, yet another culinary surprise awaits, and this one’s on the beach … but that’s all we’ll say for now.
Day 10 Back to civilisation
When it comes to leaving the Gili Islands, no one ever feels as though they’ve had quite enough. It’ll no doubt be a sad goodbye, but it’s time to head to the harbour to catch your speedboat and begin the long journey home – back to where it all started: Legian and Bali’s dramatic west coast. You’ll arrive back at your beautiful four-star resort by mid-afternoon, giving you plenty of time to recharge after the journey and make the most of your penultimate day on the Island of the Gods. As before, you’ll be perfectly located to spend time on the beach, as well as the bustling shopping street situated on the other side of the hotel.
Day 11 Balinese blessing & a VW safari
It might be your last day in Bali, but the adventure’s not over yet. Before breakfast, you’ll head to a secluded temple by the sea where you’ll meet a Balinese priest and receive a traditional blessing usually reserved for local worshippers. There’ll be time for a bite to eat back at the hotel before wandering along the beach to the iconic Rip Curl School of Surf. Here, you’ll meet a surfing legend for your private group surf lesson. Then, after a long afternoon recovering, you’ll be picked up in a fleet of VW open-topped safari vehicles for a door-to-door tour, ending at a local restaurant. Tonight it’s your farewell dinner and, if you’d like to celebrate for a bit longer, a chance to sample the nightlife Bali’s west coast is famed for.
Day 12 Farewell Bali, for now
It’s time to say your goodbyes – and so begins your lifetime affair with Bali. We’ve no doubt you’ll make it back one day – but first, why not discover somewhere else, with the new friends you’ve made here?
OUR FAVOURITE HOTELS
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Away Bali Legian Camakila
Boasting exclusive access to the beach, wake up to incredible views. This is the perfect paradise retreat after a day of exploring.
Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa
Set in lush tropical grounds and surrounded by rice paddies, this Balinese-style hotel is a haven of peace close to central Ubud. We love the free yoga classes and complimentary afternoon tea.
The beachfront location and beautiful pools were always going to draw us in, but it was the lush zen garden – perfect for meditation practice – that really sold Ramayana Candidasa.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into and out of Denpasar International Airport (DPS).
- What time do I need to arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Before 3 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 5 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 30 minutes away from the airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
Check-out time is 11 am but you can leave anytime that suits you. The airport is approximately 30 minutes away from the hotel, and your Pack Leader can help you book your transfers the night before if needed.
- Are airport transfers included?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi, which will cost around 150-200,000 IDR/£8-10.
- Do I need a visa?
Most nationalities will need a visa to enter Bali including the EU, UK, USA, Australia and Canada for up to 30 days. You can apply for an e-visa on the Bali government website: https://visa-online.imigrasi.go.id.
Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
You can also purchase a visa on arrival but we advise you to get it in advance to avoid long queues at the airport.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
- What are the Covid-19 requirements for visiting Bali?
You can enter Indonesia if you are fully vaccinated (two doses) for Covid-19. If you wish to extend your stay (the Visa on Arrival only allows a 30-day visit) after this trip end and wish to travel domestically to any part of Indonesia, you are also required to have a third dose (booster) of the Covid vaccine.
Due to the changeable nature of Covid-19 entry requirements, we strongly advise Flashpackers to consult the travel advice issued by your local consular services well in advance of your departure date. Links to the key consular services can be found on our Safety page.
- What other vaccinations and medication will I need?
The below is our general advice for travellers to Bali, however, please check with your local health clinic or doctors six to eight weeks before your trip as they will be able to recommend vaccinations based on your personal medical history.
All Travellers: Routine Vaccinations / Injections: MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio)
Most Travellers: Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Rabies
Some Travellers: Hepatitis B, Cholera and Japanese Encephalitis There is a low risk of Malaria in the areas of Bali you travel to, however, we would advise you to bring anti-malarial tablets.
Travellers arriving from countries with a risk of Yellow Fever may need an International Certificate of Vaccination also (ICVP).
- How do we get to Gili Trawangan ?
We take a speedboat over to Gili Trawangan. The crossing can experience some rough seas, so if you suffer from seasickness please be aware and prepare. Sometimes, due to extreme weather, all speedboats are canceled, and in this situation, it may be decided to reroute the trip to overnight in Amed on the way there. If this occurs on the way back, there are two options:
1. Spend another night on the Gili Islands
2. Go on a shorter boat transfer over to Lombok and get a flight back to Bali instead. Your Pack Leader will discuss the best options with your group if this does occur.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
Approximately 300,000 – 400,000 IDR, the equivalent of £20 per day.
We include Pack Leader and driver tips but you may wish to tip the hotel and restaurant staff.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.
The most challenging activity on this trip is the Mount Batur climb, which is about a three- to four-hour walk up a steep hill in the dark (which is why we recommend bringing a head torch!). Hiking shoes are recommended to navigate the loose rock and sandy terrain.
The pilgrimage walk across Gili Trawangan on Day 8 is 2.3 kilometres on a flat, paved road.
Overall, the trip is relatively relaxed.
- Do I need to be a confident cyclist?
On Day 9, there is a 10-minute bike ride between the hotel and the snorkelling jetty – a journey of around 2.3 kilometres. If you’re not confident cycling alone, let your Pack Leader know and they will arrange for you to ride in tandem.
- Is the water safe to drink?
We don’t advise drinking tap water in Bali, however most hotels have a water fountain or cooler where you can re-fill your water bottle.
We also suggest avoiding swimming pools if you have open wounds that could become infected.
- Will the itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try and communicate to you.
As captured on Instagram
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