Monthly Archive: March 2019

5 Star Amenities In A Rugged Spot For A Relaxing Vacation

While some people enjoy vacationing in all the hot spots of the world where their time away from home is like one giant party filled with exciting things to see and do and enjoy staying in elegant hotels or private villas with all the mod cons, other people enjoy those quiet vacations where they can simply relax and soak up the sun and explore places off the beaten track and those quiet B and B’s or small budget hotels. Still others love a combination of the two, enjoy those elegant private villa surroundings and the quiet ruggedness of being off the beaten track. However, finding a combination of a quiet spot to vacation and the elegant living of a 5 star resort all in one place isn’t always easy. That is what makes Bali’s Bukit peninsula such a welcome change for many people.

Imagine: a beautiful limestone peninsula with rugged cliffs overlooking the ocean, mountains in the distance, spectacular beaches, and a quiet relaxed way of life. Where the most exciting activities of any day is taking a motorbike to the beach and watching the surfers challenge those big waves, or taking a quiet swim and looking for sea shells.

Then choosing to drive along the beaches and exploring the sea caves that date back to prehistoric time or taking the time to visit the quaint little sea temples that dot the peninsula’s coast. Then after a quiet day of exploring, swimming or simply enjoying the beach return to a spectacular villa where you can have a relaxing massage before heading outside to a perfectly appointed table overlooking the ocean where you will enjoy a wonderful meal cooked by a talented chef.

Well, you don’t have to imagine such a holiday. It can be yours. The Bukit peninsula is an unspoiled haven where you can relax and enjoy your days. Nightlife is practically nonexistent unless you want to drive 30 to 45 miles so having a comfortable place to stay during the evening is almost a must and what could be better than staying at one of the plush villas this area has to offer.

There are several around but, perhaps the most beautiful and centrally located is the Suluban Cliff Bali. Located between two world class surfing beaches Uluwatu and Padang Padang, and only a ten minute walk from quiet Suluban beach and a 15 minute drive from the Kuta golf course and a 5 minute drive from the Uluwatu temple. This villa has four charming suites that are beautifully appointed and the main villa has a comfortable living area where you can spend time, meet the other guests or simply enjoy a quiet evening. Complete with awesome views from every part of the Villa estate to relaxing spa and pool this Villa has everything to make your stay in the Bukit as luxurious as it is peaceful.

While the Bukit peninsula may not be for everyone those who enjoy a quiet and rugged vacation spot while enjoying the comfort and elegance of a 5 star resort will find this part of Bali a dream come true.

Recommended Places to Visit in Bali

Bali is a world famous Indonesian island and is the major center of tourism for the country of Indonesia. The island has many beautiful long beaches, wonderful coral reefs in pristine blue waters, luscious landscapes, towering volcanoes, numerous palaces and temples. In addition, this unique island has many classy art forms to enjoy. Here is a note on some popular tourist activities in Bali.

Tanah Lot temple in Western Canggu is a well known site. This beautiful Balinese temple was built in the 16th Century and is encircled by the sea at high tides. This is one ideal site from which to see a sunset. Another ideal site at which to see the sunset is the famous Uluwata temple in southwestern Bali.

The Kintamani mountain trip is a favorite activity especially for hikers. It takes two to three hours to make it to the mountain top; however, the view it provides is breath taking. You can see the 4 large lakes and thick flora and fauna from the top.

Goa Gajah, often referred to as the ‘Elephant Cave’ is a magnificent ninth century temple with many wonderful carvings and divine water pools. This place is a sacred haven. Gunung Kawi is a well-known historic as well as spiritual and meditation center. Visit the large Bali Safari and Marine Park in Gianyar to enjoy the nature and wildlife.

Attempt thrilling bungee jumping near the Double Six club and the ‘Adrenalin Park’ in Kuta. Many approved companies offer fine scuba diving tours near Tulamben at the east coast and at Menjangan Island. Go for wind surfing at Jimbaran Beach in catamarans and sailboats. Bali has many famous surfing spots. Ulu Watu and North Canggu are some favorite ones. Enjoy white water rafting in Ayung River in northwest Ubud.

Some exiting water sports are water skiing, banana boat rides, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and parasailing. These sports and more are offered in Beluga Marina in Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali Jet Set Dive and Marine Sports. The Waterbom waterpark in Kuta is a must see for children.

Bali is renowned for its amazing foods and it has numerous fine restaurants in various places such as Ubud. Bali spas are very famous as well. It is possible to enjoy a visit the Ayana spa and the Karma spa. Ubud has many noted museums and art galleries. Learn about Bali’s colorful dances such as the Legong, the Kecak, the Fire Dance and the Wayang Kulit at various centers.

Scuba Diving in Bali – The Island of the Gods

On simply hearing the name, Bali evokes visions of tropical paradises. Writers keep inventing adjectives to describe Bali but few can surpass the words of Indian prime minister Pandit Nehru who named the island “the morning of the world”. A world born out of the sea, delivered by the power of volcanic force. There is a deep world, a world within, the true morning of the world, a whole different world that belongs to Bali. A blue world of tranquility, of stillness, a world that lets you forget the world…

As Indonesia’s most famous tourist destination Bali has remained a somewhat underestimated diving destination. To believe this would be a mistake.

If you dive Bali you will see that the diversity of Bali’s reefs are awesome. When diving in Bali, allow yourself to be surprised. As far as diving in Bali is concerned, Bali’s greatest charm is its wide range and variety of dive sites. Shipwrecks, drop offs, sand slopes, black volcanic seascapes, roaring currents and quiet bays… all tastes are accommodated.

There are plenty well maintained diving facilities on Bali.

There are four main diving areas in Bali that you can explore.

Nusa Penida:

Nusa Penida and the neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan offer some of the finest Bali diving. Nusa Penida is a large island located in the southeast of Bali, across the Badung Strait. The Balinese consider this dry, rough island to be haunted, but it is the diving around this Island of Bali, in it’s clear, current swept reefs that’s the main attraction.

With its adjacent deepwater trenches, the main attraction at Nusa Penida is the common encounters with the curious and otherwise very rare oceanic sunfish, or Mola Mola, that come close to the reef to visit cleaner stations.

There are a great many dive sites to choose from. In the season we can try to find the illustrious Mola Mola, but the heartland of Nusa Penida diving offers stunning visibility, healthy reefs, and pelagics. And you won’t even have to swim a lot here, as almost every dive is a drift dive.

Currents are often strong because the islands lie right in the path of the Indonesian Throughflow. The Lombok Strait separates the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok, it is the second most important strait through which water is exchanged between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The best times to dive Nusa Penida are when the tides peak at slack and high, when water movement is the least.

Amuk Bay (Candi Dasa & Padangbai):

Amuk Bay, with the villages of Padang Bai in the south and Candi Dasa in the north, is about 6 km across and located along the south side of Bali’s eastern point. Close to Candi Dasa there are two larger islands, Tepekong and Biaha, as well as an area with small rocks called Mimpang or Batu Tiga.

The islands in this bay are actually little more than current swept rocks, and have an untamed beauty. The bay, which is fed by the rich south Bali upwelling, hosts’ sharks, mola mola and schools of fish, making these Bali dive sites quite exciting.

If you are interested in special small critters you should be diving around Padang Bai. This tiny inlet is fringed with reef that starts as a shallow ledge at a depth of ten meters. Macro fans will have fun diving around Padang Bay and the Blue Lagoon, where all manner of critters can be found in the shallows. The sheltered bay is also an ideal location for night diving.

The diving in this area is astonishingly rich. There are also several excellent dive sites for sharks, rays, large schools of fish and this is one of the places where Mola Mola ocean sunfishes are regularly sighted from August until October. Water temperatures are quite chilly, there is always a bit of surge but visibility is normally quite good.

Amed and Tulamben:

Tulamben, home of the famous WWII wreck, is the most known and the best loved diving site in Bali. Tulamben Bay, is situated in the world’s richest marine biogeography zone with more than 2500 different species of fish and 700 corals. Situated on the northeast coast, the bay receives very plankton rich water from the major ocean current that moves from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean and vice versa.

Amed is located on the northeast coast of Bali, about 2.5 hours drive from Kuta. From a landscape point of view, Amed is much prettier than Tulamben. You will see many rice fields along the way, traditional salt-panning and also sandy beaches as opposed to Tulamben’s stony beaches. The diving in Amed is still untouched and you will encounter few fellow divers on these dive sites.

There are also excellent dive sites that extend from Tulamben to Amed and almost all the way to Bali’s eastern tip, some recently discovered, many still waiting to be explored. The black sand bottom offers a dramatic backdrop for the amazingly rich fish life.

Menjangan Island:

The reefs of Northwest Bali around Menjangan Island are some of the most protected on the island.

Clear calm waters, a mysterious old wooden shipwreck, and rugged, gorgonian covered walls in excellent condition, make Menjangan Island on Bali’s northwest coast, a premier dive site.

About 14 dive sites to choose from with clear water and calm conditions. Menjangan is part of the West Bali National Park. It are the rugged gorgonian covered walls that make this island Northwest Bali’s premier dive site.

The coral walls around Menjangan drop vertically to between 30-60 meters, before gradually sloping outwards. The reef surface is very rugged with caves, grottoes and crevasses breaking up the coral walls, textured with little nooks and crannies. Gorgonians of many kinds reach large sizes here, and huge barrel sponges are abundant. Soft corals blanket the colorful walls all the way down.

Menjangan’s western tip holds a deeper, but equally interesting dive on an old wooden shipwreck. Called the “Anker” it is just off the island shore, close to a small Park Service dock and guard post.

More to the north, Gilimanuk offers some fantastic muck diving in Secret Bay and South there is an equally interesting muck site at PJ’s.

Now at last you can discover Bali’s underwater world in a personal and complete way with Dive Around Bali. Feel free to contact me for more information.

Michel De Ruyck.