Nyepi — Balinese Hindu New Year

Bali Institute presents
our Premier Program

Celebrate Nyepi — Balinese Hindu New Year
Join the Founder of Bali Institute,
Marcia Jaffe on this Exclusive Trip

• March 13 – 23, 2018 • Bali, Indonesia •

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Join us for one of the more powerfully transformative journeys of your lifetime. This signature Bali Institute program is a unique opportunity to delve deeply into an indigenous culture during one of the most important festivals in the Balinese calendar – Nyepi – The Balinese Hindu New Year devoted to self-reflection, healing, and blessings.

Imagine an entire island closing down to engage fully in silence and stillness for a full 24 hours. It is a time of renewal, and the local people use it as a chance to purify their bodies and minds in order to enjoy prosperity over the coming year. We will meet together during this sacred time to release our inner demons (like the Balinese do during their ogoh ogoh festival on the eve of Nyepi) and purify our minds & our bodies as we too enter into the deep silence.

There are no other festivals quite like it anywhere on earth.

Following the New Year festivities, we will travel to other parts of the island where you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience Bali in a way very few non-Balinese have the opportunity to do.

Bali Program Highlights

Join us as we explore the dynamic creativity of some of Bali’s most important artistic and religious traditions. Highlights include:

  • Celebrate Nyepi in rich cultural immersion with local Balinese people and witness the once in a lifetime Ogoh Ogoh festival of giant statues parading through the village streets
  • Meet Agung Rai, founder of ARMA Museum and hear him talk about the philosophy of Balinese culture and traditions
  • Sunrise boat ride above a gorgeously restored coral reef
  • Delicious Balinese food, incredible scenery, culture and art
  • Speaking to a Balinese visionary Agung Prana about the future of Bali in the age of tourism

Program Price:

Double Occupancy $2250*
Single Occupancy $2750

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is due upon registration with the balance due February 15, 2018.
*If you are not traveling with someone you would like to share a room with, we will pair you with another solo traveler, if no one is available, single room occupancy fee may apply.
Each traveler will have their own bed unless you have indicated otherwise.

Included in Program Fee:

  • 11 days/10 nights in beautiful Balinese style accommodations
  • All transportation throughout the program for activities listed on the itinerary
  • Airport transfer on the start and end date of the program
  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 5 dinners
  • 24/7 Medical and emergency staff support for the entire duration of the program
  • All activities listed on final program itinerary are included in the per person ground costs, including entrance fees, lectures and donations**
**Final program may vary from the preliminary itinerary depending on date of program and availability of activities; however, price per person will not change.

Not Included:

  • Visa costs (if applicable)
  • Airfare
  • Trip cancellation, lost baggage, or medical insurance
  • Laundry and personal items
  • Meals not listed on itinerary
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Optional activities outside of the program itinerary
  • International phone calls

To Register
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Journey to Bali
March 13 – 23, 2018

The itinerary described below is designed to give you a sense of the day-to-day schedule and activities being offered though during the holiday some activities may be changed based on availability.

Location 1: Central Bali – Ubud

Ubud is a thriving village in central Bali and is considered the cultural capital of this tiny island. It is famous as an arts and crafts hub, and much of the village and nearby areas consist of artists’ workshops and galleries. Here you find remarkable architecture and other sites, historical museums, famous woodcarvers and artists, and an array of interesting cafes, local foods, and non-stop ceremonies. The word Ubud comes from the Balinese word for medicine, so it is here that people flock for healing energies, good spirits, meditation, yoga, artistry, and indigenous knowledge.

 Day 1:  March 13, Arrivals – head to Ubud (D)

  • Arrive into Denpasar, Bali in the early afternoon. As soon as you step out of the airport, Bali Institute staff and drivers will meet and assist you with your luggage. It’s about a one-hour drive to Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. Your first four nights will be at a beautiful, authentically Balinese hotel.
  • Enjoy your first taste of Balinese cuisine at our Welcome Dinner. Then off for a good night’s sleep.

Day 2:  March 14, Orientation, Water Temple, Private Palace Dinner  (B, L, D)

  • day-two-graphicA short orientation presentation about Bali’s culture, belief system, and life philosophy
  • Later in the morning we will drive to one of the more ancient purification sites; Tampaksiring Holy Spring Temple where everyone is invited to experience the cool, fresh holy spring waters in preparation for Nyepi.
  • Lunch at a nearby Balinese restaurant
  • After a short rest in the early afternoon you will visit Peliatan Palace for a private tour of this historically important palace and then meet/have dinner with the Prince of Peliatan Palace. Ample time is allowed for a fascinating Q/A with the Prince.

Day 3: March 15, Melasti Ceremony, Lunch at Women’s Center, Balinese Dance Performance   (B, L D)

  • Participate in the Melasti Ceremony: a major Hindu component of Nyepi performed at a local beach area. The ceremony is done to purify the village, the world and the universe, performed with a parade procession accompanied with deities from the local village temples and shrines.
  • Have a delicious meal and conversation at a Balinese women’s center and learn about their job skills and healthy living programs.
  • Afternoon free to wander the streets of Ubud and try an amazing massage at a nearby jungle spa!
  • Balinese legong dance performance at the Ubud Palace

Day 4: March 16Nyepi Eve, ARMA Museum, Ogoh Ogoh Festival & prepare for Nyepi (B, L)

  • nyepiogohogohIn the morning we will visit ARMA Museum and get a tour of all the beautiful art in this special museum. Drink coffee and meet with ARMA’s founder, a recognized historian on Balinese culture.
  • Lunch will be provided at a local Balinese restaurant.
  • Later, take a walk through Ubud to see all the Ogoh Ogoh. These are statues built for the Ngerupuk parade, which takes place on the eve of Nyepi day (today).
  • Dinner will be on your own – try one of the many local cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
  • Late in the day will be a Nyepi parade and more instructions on what to do during your full 24 hours of silence throughout the island.
  • Nyepi begins at midnight on this day.

Day 5: March 17, Nyepi. (B, L, D)

  • 24 hours of meditation, contemplation and silence. Everyone must stay within the confines of the hotel and food will be available for lunch and dinner.

Day 6: March 18, Morning Market, Visit ARMA Museum, travel to Pemuteran, Ulun Danu Temple (B, L)

  • Visit the early morning market in Ubud where local Balinese are busy purchasing foods and ritual items for Nyepi offerings and ceremonies.
  • On the way to Pemuteran stop at Bedugul, Bali’s leading traditional fruit and vegetable markets and visit Pura Ulun Danu, one of the top iconic temples in all of Bali residing on Lake Beratan.
  • When you arrive in Pemuteran you’ll be staying in a gorgeous private villa resort, right at the ocean.
  • Dinner and evening on your own.

talking to studentsLocation 2: North Bali – Pemuteran

Pemuteran is a small fishing village on the northern coast of West Bali. It is located in close proximity to West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island, and Gilimanuk, the port allowing passage between Bali and Java. Pemuteran is home to the largest artificial coral reef project in the world, and the village’s model of community based tourism and conservation has been recognized by the United Nations.

Day 7: March 19, Sunrise Boat Ride, Snorkeling, Coral Reef Restoration Project, Balinese Compound Dinner, Evening Temple Visit (B, L, D)

  • itinerary-graphicStart the day with a beautiful sunrise boat ride.
  • Learn about the United Nations recognized coral reef restoration programs then snorkel above the gorgeous coral to see the bio-rock structures
  • Time to enjoy the gorgeous private beach.
  • Dinner will be with a Balinese Family at their home compound.
  • Evening visit to the majestic Melanting Temple, considered the Temple of Prosperity.

Day 8: March 20, Menjangan Island (B, L) 

  • Take a snorkeling boat trip to Menjangan Island, a small island off the Western coast of Bali. The habitat is very varied with rainforest, dry savanna, acacia scrub and lowland forest, as well as more mountain forest in the higher center.
  • There are also several temples around the island where Balinese Hindus go to pray. The coral reefs that surround the island are home to some of the greatest biodiversity of species in the world.
  • Dinner on your own.

Day 9: March 21, Free Day for Massage, snorkeling and reflection (B)

  • Enjoy a free Day wandering around this beautiful coastal village. Perfect day to relax, have a long massage and enjoy the surrounding beauty.

waterfrontpalm treesLocation 3: West Bali – Mengwi

Mengwi is located in the western part of Bali and is famous for its rolling green landscapes, clove and coffee plantations and spectacular rice paddies. The village of Mengwi has a long and rich history associated with its royal family, one of Bali’s main ancient kingdoms, and is nestled in shady coconut groves, surrounded by rice fields and rivers.

Day 10: March 22, Travel to Mengwi, Community Discussion, Special Final Dinner and Evening Ceremony (B, L,D)

  • Drive to Mengwi and settle into relaxing accommodations nestled among the rice paddies.
  • Enjoy lunch near the rice fields with homegrown Balinese food.
  • Swimming and wandering through village of Mengwi.
  • In the afternoon, you will participate in an engaging meeting with United Nations recognized Balinese leader about community based tourism.
  • Enjoy a delicious dinner and special ceremony at a private temple of the Mengwi Royal Family.

Day 11: March 23, (B) Last morning in this lush remote village. Head for home

  • Last morning together, goodbyes and we head home.

 To Register
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*More about Nyepi – Balinese Hindu New Year


Nyepi is one of the most important festivals in the Balinese calendar, and it marks the New Year according to the Hindu calendar.  It is a day devoted to self-reflection. The Balinese will not speak a word or engage in any type of entertainment for 24 hours and all shops and businesses are closed. Only hotels and emergency services are allowed to stay open. The local people take their period of silence seriously and even foreign visitors will be expected to stay in their hotels on this day.


The New Year is seen as a time of renewal, and the local people use it as a chance to purify their bodies and mind. It is hoped that by doing so it will mean that they will enjoy prosperity over the coming year. On Nyepi Eve there will be a real celebration atmosphere with parades and fireworks probably the noisiest day of the year. All of this excitement is followed by a day of complete silence.

Image 2bThe preparations for Nyepi begin months before, with each village preparing its own unique “Ogoh Ogoh” a giant artistic representation of a favorite “demon”. These Ogoh Ogoh are being built on every main village road, and at night, as members of the community work together to create these monsters, the excitement is building. About three to four days before Nyepi, all Balinese prepare with the purification of temple objects, this is called the Melasti ceremony. The holy symbols that are of importance to the Balinese are taken to the sea for cleansing. This event involves processions and gamelan music.

Celebrations on Nyepi Eve (aka Tawur Kesanga) tend to be very noisy gatherings for an important reason, the goal is to drive out evil spirits. With this in mind the villagers parade their Ogoh Ogoh proudly through the streets and into the main village square. As they pass through a village the procession will stop at every crossroads and turn the Ogoh Ogoh around three times, the aim is to confuse the spirits so that they will be forced to leave the island. As well as trying to frighten away demons and spirits, the local people will cook enough food to last them for the next couple of days.

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 About the Program Leader

Marcia 12-4-15

Marcia Jaffe brings more than 30+ years’ experience in the business, nonprofit and entrepreneurial worlds. She ran her own midsize event management company for 15 years, producing corporate and community conferences and events for up to 400,000 people. She has created several of her own conferences including a series called FAMILY2000, events on multiculturalism in the 21st century, women’s health gatherings, and numerous others. It was Marcia’s vision while on a short vacation in Bali in 2003 that generated the Quest for Global Healing series of conferences, launching a unique concept that weaves Balinese culture with western dialogue and programs as a core structure for a global conference. With help from numerous Balinese and Indonesians, and other senior advisory team members from around the world, she held fast to her dream for the next wave of this journey, moving the conference concept into a global learning center called Bali Institute for Global Renewal located in Ubud.

 Click here to learn more about Marcia.  

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Bali Institute for Global Renewal is the largest provider of cultural immersion and service learning programs for universities and high school students based in Bali, Indonesia. Other programs include internships and practicum opportunities, faculty training programs and other services to international groups and organizations in their quest to provide inspired learning towards global citizenship. Bali Institute is located in Ubud, Bali and San Francisco, California. It is the only affiliate member of ISEP, and an educational partner with Udayana University and Ganesha University —both based in Bali.

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