Nestled amidst a scattering of islands that makes up Indonesia, Bali is a green jewel rich in flora and fauna. With an area of only 5,632 square kilometres, you can drive around the edge of Bali in a day, but the multitude of delights that await within its borders mean you can stay for weeks and never feel bored.
Bali’s unique landscape is made up of a chain of six volcanoes that straddle the island. These volcanoes measure from 1,350 metres up to an astonishing 3,014 and are responsible for creating the oddly intriguing black sands that swathe parts of the islands coastline. The Batur volcano is the most active on the island and has had a number of small eruptions over the years.
The lush forests of Bali are home to a plethora of flora and fauna, though some of the island’s native animals such as leopards, elephants and the Bali tiger can no longer be found, and in the tigers case is extinct. However, there is still plenty to see for the avid nature explorer with various types of monkey, deer and over 300 species of birds to be found on the island, including the extremely rare Bali starling. Bali is also surrounded by warm waters that are home to a whole host of aquatic life. Dolphins, fish, sponges and whale sharks are just a few of the species that inhabit the coasts of Bali making it perfect for divers.
A variety of tropical plants coats the island in rich green and creates welcoming pools of shade to escape the midday sun. Great banyan trees feature in most villages and temples, joined by tamarind trees in the North, clove trees in the highlands and acacia trees and mangroves in the South. A wash of colour covers the ground beneath these great trees, flowers are a big part of Bali and you’ll find them tucked behind ears, through button holes and used to decorate temples, statues and as adornments during traditional dance. The air is sweet in Bali, with the scents of frangipani, jasmine, hibiscus and bougainvillea drifting lazily on gentle sea breezes.
The island’s cultural heritage is visible everywhere, from the stunning temples scattered throughout the island, to the many festivals and ceremonies. Some notable events in the Bali calendar include Pagerwesi in August, which is a day put aside for special meditation to enhance the balance of the world, and the Indonesia Independence Day on the 17th of August. Art and dance play a big part in traditional Balinese festivities, with masks and decorative costumes used to re-tell folklore and are a true visual spectacle.
Bali holidays are perfect for those who want a varied holiday filled with memorable experiences, including lounging on black beaches, exploring lush forest and gazing up at awe-inspiring volcanoes with a handful of other Indonesian island hovering on the horizon.