With a rich and diverse culture and predominantly Hindu the island of Bali lies only 3.2km east of Java and stretches for approximately 153km towards the island of Lombok. The island’s interior is dominated by hills and volcanoes with the highest Mt. Agung (3000m). Due to the island’s volcanic nature and geographical position, Bali is very green and fertile while its coastline is surrounded by coral reefs and many beautiful beaches. Beaches on the south coast tend to have white or golden sand but can be busy. Overseas visitors seem to congregate between Kuta and Seminiak, where you will find all the action and of course some surf and nightlife. In contrast beaches on the north coast consist of black volcanic sand which attract less people and generally feel tranquil and peaceful. It seems that here you can still find the old Balinese traditions the typical ways of living.
On the east cost of Bali, Amed is the perfect place for a relaxed break by the sea. Here Bali’s central mountains roll sharply in to a long coastal strip surrounded by pristine reefs and stunning scenery. Amed’s beautiful volcanic beaches are lined by traditional outrigger fishing boats. There is some good diving as well, especially in Jemeluk Bay both in the deep and shallow water; here there is gentle slope out from shore but suddenly stops and drops off dramatically to depths of 40m and more. Corals here are healthy and fish life in abundance.
Towards the middle of the island on the foothills of the volcanoes lies Bali’s cultural capital Ubud. A visit to Ubud is a highlight to any visit of Bali as here you will find all that is traditional about Bali. There is always something going on in Ubud and you will often find the traffic blocked by a colourful ceremony or procession of some sort. Besides the temples and palaces Ubud’s offers the visitor many alternative activities; there are many art galleries, museums, quirky shops and lots of restaurants. There are lots of things to do and see in Bali and there are many different types of holidays to be had. It is not difficult to avoid the crowds and at ‘See Asia Differently’ we know how.
Area Highlights: Beaches, Trekking, Dolphins, Waterfalls, Diving, Culture
Area Activities: Ubud Cycling Tour, Dolphin Watching, Elephant Safari Park, Fish BBQ with your guide, Kayaking River Adventure, Menjangan Island Boat & Snorkelling Trip, Panas Banjar Hot Springs, Waterfalls & Rice Fields Walk, Whitewater Rafting
The round shaped island of Lombok lies eastwards next to Bali and sits just before the island of Sumbawa. Lombok is predominately inhabited by the Sasak people and topographically dominated by the centrally located Gunung Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia (3.726m). It is well worth the hike to its mighty summit which comes complete with hot springs and a dazzling crater lake.
Beautiful white sand beaches dot the island’s coastline which is outlined by lush and forested background. Lombok’s underdeveloped south coastline and nature are simply exquisite and it comes with impressive headlands, breath taking turquoise bays and excellent surfing. Just off Lombok’s west coast you will find the three tiny Gili islands. These extremely laid back islands are framed by white fine sands, crystal clear waters and colourful reefs and are perfect for few relaxing days. The Gilis are well connected by speed-boats with Lombok and Bali and are well worth exploring.
Area Highlights: Beaches, Gili Islands, Trekking Mt. Rinjani, Artisans
Area Activities: Artisans Tour, Climbing Mount Rinjani, Selong Hidden Beach
Flores and Komodo
Going further east from Bali and Lombok, just after the island of Sumbawa and you will find Flores and Komodo. The island is also located in the volcanic zone that extends from Sumatra across to the Banda Sea. Flores Island It is the biggest island in Nusa Tenggara measuring 380km long and 260km to 270km wide with the narrowest point stretching between Maumere on the north coast and the Sikka village in the south.
As a result of a turbulent volcanic history the island’s dramatic landscape is mostly mountainous with peaks reaching up to 2400m. The island also boasts to have 14 currently active volcanos. There are 5 main airports in Flores, including Ende, Maumere and Labuan Bajo and there is the Flores highway which runs across the island for 550km and connects Maumere with Labuan Bajo. The sea’s surrounding Flores contains some of the richest marine life and coral reefs in the world.
Komodo Island is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands that forms part of the Komodo National Park and is easily reached by boat from Labuan Bajo. The island is not only famous for the world’s largest living monitor lizard, the Komodo Dragon but also for its unique fauna and marine life. Besides Komodo Island the dragons can be found at and some of the smaller surrounding islands, as well as part of western Flores. In the national park buffalo, civets, cockatoo and macaques can also be seen.
Area Highlights: Beaches, Crater Lakes, Spider-web Rice Paddies, Komodo Dragons, Sailing at Komodo National Park
Area Activities: Kelimutu Crater Lake, Komodo Dragon Spotting, Sunset over Labuan Bajo Bay, Labuan Bajo Local Fish Supper, Snorkelling & Island Hopping Trips, Scuba Diving