Travel with Bali Institute and Betty Levin
to Magnificent Bali
Visit the Morning of the World
January 31- February 10, 2016 • Bali, Indonesia
Draped languidly across the equator, the charismatic archipelago of Indonesia is a smattering of more than 17,000 diverse islands bobbing around in tropical seas. A visit is a great adventure in witnessing more than 300 cultures with their own languages, spiritual beliefs and traditions – it’s truly one of the last intrepid destinations left on the planet. The third most populous nation on earth has an incredible legacy of peoples, cultures and geography just waiting to be explored.
One of the more well-known islands is Bali – a land that seems to have a magnet at its very heart. In Balinese mythology, it is said that the gods created this unique place to be sacred, with its purpose to be a shrine to house all the deities. Some call it the ‘island of the gods’, others Shangri-La. The ‘last paradise’, the ‘morning of the world’ and the ‘center of the universe’ are yet more names for this truly beautiful tropical island – inhabited by a remarkably artistic and spiritual people who have created a dynamic society that can connect ancient wisdom with modern living.
Betty Levin has been traveling the world, leading international
tours to 6 continents for more than 30 years. Although she says
she could happily live in a hotel, her home is in beautiful
Burlington, Vermont with fellow traveller, and husband, Ed. Betty
is an avid tennis fan, especially when Roger Federer is playing.
$2,700* per person (single supplement: $650)
*Pricing is based on shared rooms.
Highlights Of This Extraordinary Journey:
• 12 days/10 nights in beautiful hotels and/or villa accommodations
• Daily breakfast, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
• Live Balinese classic dance performances
• Late night visit to authentic Balinese temple
• Private tour and tea at Peliatan Palace with Royal Prince
• Dine at a local Balinese family compound
• Learn about the United Nations’ awarded coral reef restoration project
• Experience a variety of Balinese/Indonesian cuisine
• Snorkel in some of the best areas in the world
• Meet and converse with key Balinese decision-makers
• Meet special healer and traditional medicine herbalists
A Little Bali Background Data
Like many islands, Bali has developed a world of its own. Daily life is culturally linked to satisfying and appeasing the gods, spirits and demons as the local people celebrate the eternal struggle of “Good and Evil”, the very essence of this largely Hindu island. In the midst of breathtaking panoramas of cultivated rice terraces, impressive volcanoes and pristine beaches, lies Bali’s main volcano, Gunung Agung. It is still active and considered sacred among local people, as it is believed to be the center of the universe.
The island is small, just 140 km by 80 km and lies between Java, the most highly populated and influential of all the islands, and Lombok, one of the quieter and moderately slower paced islands. Lying just 8 degrees south of the Equator, the island offers a tropical climate with just two seasons a year and an average temperature of around 28 degrees Celsius. It is one of the twenty six provinces of the Republic of Indonesia, divided administratively between eight districts that take their names and boundaries from the island’s old Hindu kingdoms.
Economically and culturally, Bali is one of the most important islands of Indonesia. Rice is grown on irrigated, terraced hillsides. Other crops include sugar cane, coffee, copra, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. Cattle and hogs are also raised. The Balinese are skilled artisans, particularly in painting, woodcarving and in fashioning objects of tortoiseshell and of gold, silver and other metals. The people are noted for their traditional dance, the distinctive music of the gamelan and for their skills in arts, sculpture, weaving, and jewelry.
Filled with charm, culture, mysticism and some of the most magnificent scenery on earth, Bali has enchanted visitors for centuries. Let it cast its spell over you as Bali Institute joins with Betty Levin to take you on an educational and spiritual journey that you will never forget.
Note: There are often special ceremonies and rituals that happen at the spur of the moment. We will make every effort to incorporate unexpected events that will continually add to this spectacular trip.
The itinerary described below is designed to give you a sense of the day-to-day schedule and activities being offered.
Day 1: Travel day.
Day 2: Arrival day, January 31, 2016 – 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 five nights will be at the beautiful, authentically Balinese Tjampuhan Hotel, owned by the Royal Family of Ubud.
Enjoy your first taste of Balinese cuisine at our Welcome Dinner. Then off for a good night’s sleep.
Day 3: Dance performance, woodcarving village, traditional market. (B, L)
After a short orientation talk about Bali’s culture, history and belief system, we will proceed to the village of Batubulan to watch a cultural performance of Barong and Keris Dance. This traditional dance describes the story of the eternal fight between good and evil. Next, visit the artisan wood-carving village of Mas, followed by a visit to the Sukawati traditional market, the most distinguished art and handicraft market in Bali. Lunch will be provided at a local Balinese restaurant.
Afternoon will be free to wander into Ubud, swim at your choice of the hotel’s two pools, make an appointment at the unique Tjampuhan spa overlooking a sacred river, or just nap and recover from the long flight.
Dinner on your own. There are many local cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
Day 4: Early morning market, Purification Temple, Volcano visit (B, L)
Our first stop is the morning market in Ubud where local Balinese are busy purchasing foods and ritual items for upcoming village offerings and ceremonies. We will take a leisurely walk through rice fields and back roads to experience up-close the life of rice farmers in an agricultural island that is quickly on the verge giving up its ancient ways. Drive on to one of the more ancient purification sites, The Tirta Empul Holy Spring Temple. By entering the fresh water of the springs, this sacred site is considered by Balinese as a place to melt all the bad influences in the body, purifying the soul and mind. Everyone is invited to experience the cool, fresh holy spring waters.
On to Kintamani, with its panoramic views of the active Mt. Batur volcano (has not erupted in over 50 years) and beautiful Lake Batur, the largest in Bali. Enjoy an included lunch at one of the more breathtaking views of the entire island.
Balance of the day is free to enjoy your hotel or head into town.
Day 5: Visit to Balinese Healer, Private tour of ARMA Art Museum with its Founder (B)
This morning we’ll have a private visit with one of the renowned healers of Bali and observe his/her sessions with local Balinese people. Western doctors, psychologists, health professionals and other medical experts make special trips from around the world to study with and observe these traditional healers.
Lunch on your own at the recommended Clear Café, one of the best local health food restaurants in Ubud, offering a variety of fresh juices, salads, entrees and desserts extraordinaire.
This afternoon we’ll have a private meeting with Agung Rai, founder of world-renowned ARMA Museum. He will present an historical view of the arts of Bali and its defining role as a key component of Balinese culture. He is considered one of the top historians of the Island and Bali Institute is honored to have him as one of its global advisors. After a presentation complimented by delicious Balinese sweets and coffee/tea, Agung Rai will provide a personal tour of his fascinating museum, considered one of the best in Bali. It hosts world-renowned visiting artists in addition to its own major art collection.
Dinner on your own. Optional evening dance performance.
Day 6: Private Palace Tour and Meeting with Prince of Peliatan, Last Day for Shopping/Exploring in Ubud (B)
Private tour, conversation, and coffee/tea at the Peliatan Palace with Prince Cokorda Krisna Dalem Agung, a young entrepreneur who serves as a global advisor to Bali Institute.
Peliatan Palace, the largest and oldest palace in the greater Ubud area, has links to the performing arts stretching back centuries. Today it is regarded as the center of classical dance and music. The Royal Family of Peliatan continues to be close advisors to the Bali Institute. A highlight of our programs is a private tour and dialogue with members of this royal family, inside their portion of the Palace.
The village of Peliatan is renowned for its artistic activities. Their gamelan instrument and dance troupes travel abroad as cultural ambassadors. In the 1930s, the first Balinese dancer to travel to the US with Bob Hope and Fred Astaire was one of the still-living princesses of the Royal Famiy. Peliatan is also a center of painting and woodcarving and many artist studios can be found among its Main Street and back lanes. Time for lunch on your own while you explore this fascinating village.
Balance of the day is at leisure. Perhaps an Ubudian massage. Bali Institute can recommend its favorite place in the jungle where all the products are made from indigenous plants and oils right onsite. Most interesting massages in Bali!
Dinner on your own.
Day 7: Travel to Pemuteran via Ulun Danu Temple and Bendugul Market (B, L)
This morning we are off to Pemuteran. Get ready to see the magnificence of Bali on the way to this northwest coastal village. We’ll be traveling across the island, witnessing the vast rice-terraced jungle. On the way, we’ll visit the historical Ulun Danu Temple, built in 1633 and recognized worldwide for its location at the shore of Lake Bratan.
After an included buffet lunch, we’ll visit the nearby Bedugul traditional market, a great place to buy exotic spices, fruits and vegetables and gifts.
Afternoon arrival at Amertha Villa Resort in time to witness a spectacular sunset on the beach in front of your private villa and pool.
Still undeveloped, the resort blends wonderfully with nature, using natural indigenous materials. The relaxed setting is surrounded by tranquil gardens and a beautiful swimming pool with bar.
Pemuteran village lies in the shadow of a gorgeous mountainous region to the south. To the north is Menjangan Island, considered one of the best diving areas in the world. Pemuteran has the largest area of shallow coral reefs in Bali, free of strong currents and waves making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving.
Dinner on your own on the sands of the Pemuteran ocean, or perhaps served in your villa next to the private pool.
Day 8: Coral Reef Restoration Project (B)
Breakfast is served right on the sands of the Bali northern coastline! Morning visit to Coral Reef Restoration Project sanctioned by United Nations and developed by Agung Prana, owner of the hotel and another Bali Institute global advisor for many years.
Snorkeling is available at the hotel beach for a small fee.
Leisurely afternoon for swimming, massage, and walks on the private beaches.
Lunch and dinner on your own.
Day 9: Menjangan Island, Balinese Home Dinner, Evening Temple (B, L, D)
This morning we will boat to Menjangan Island for some of the best snorkeling or diving in the region. Named after a local species of deer, Menjangan Island is part of West Bali National Park. Enjoy the whole day at this unique beach area. Diving at additional cost.
Return to the hotel for R&R before dinner at the home of a local Balinese family. Then off to Melanting Temple, Bali’s prosperity temple. Most Balinese travel here at least once a year for blessings and good luck with their businesses and field crops. We’ll visit at night for a most memorable and magical experience.
Day 10: Travel to Mengwi through Munduk Village (B, L)
After a final breakfast on the beach, we’ll travel through central Bali to the quiet village of Munduk, situated 1500 meters above sea level. It’s known for its breathtaking views, and its cloves and coffee plantations. We’ll stop along the way to taste and smell.
Included lunch at a local restaurant before arriving at Puri Taman Sari Resort, a traditional Balinese resort owned by Agung Prana, a member of the Mengwi Royal Family. Enjoy your suite, surrounded by rice fields, for the last two nights in Bali.
Dinner on your own.
Day 11: Tour of Mengwi temple and village, Tanah Lot Temple, Farewell Dinner (B, D)
Enjoy a walking tour of historical Mengwi including a visit to one of the oldest and largest temple sites of Bali, the 17th century Taman Ayun temple. We will then travel to historic Tanah Lot, recognized around the world for its location on a rock in the ocean. Lunch on own at Tanah Lot. Late afternoon, meet Agung Prana’s personal healer and herbal specialist Made Mangku.
This evening we’ll enjoy a Farewell Dinner.