Things to do
Your villa manager will typically have a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any tour bookings for you. Do ask other members of staff about the local area too. Invariably some of them will live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.
In the meantime, here’s a taste of some of the activities on offer within reach of the villa:
- Hit the beach! Swim or snorkel among the corals in the bay off the quiet, pretty, black-sand beach at Pantai Labuan Amuk or rent a sunbed under the shade of a coconut palm and have a massage on the beautiful sands of nearby Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach, also known as the Virgin Beach) whose isolated 500m stretch is one of Bali’s best kept secrets.
- The picturesque harbour and village of Padang Bai (for ferries and fast boats to and from Lombok) has a sandy beach and lots of local cafes. Nearby is the snorkelling and dive site known as the Blue Lagoon, with its white sandy beach and abundant sea life.
- Visit the ancient Hindu Goa Lawah (bat cave) temple, 10km west of Candidasa, which guards the Balinese against dark spirits from the ocean.
- The beautiful water palace at Tirta Ganga owned by the Karangasem Royal Family, is just to the north of Karangasem town. There are stunning rice paddy terraces in this area as well. Other historical attractions include the 150-year-old water gardens of Taman Sukasada and Puri Agung Karangasem, a mystical royal palace located right in the heart of Amlapura.
- Odyssey Submarine Adventure based in Amuk Bay is an ideal activity for those who would like to witness marine life without having to scuba dive. At a depth of 20 metres, you can watch a team of professional divers attract the reef fish by feeding them immediately in front of the portholes of the vessel.
- The ancient walled village of Tengenan is one of Bali’s original pre-Hindu settlements and a stronghold of native traditions. It is famous for its hand-woven double ikat cloth, known as geringsing, which is thought to have magic powers. Visitors are welcomed at Tenganan during daylight hours, and the village is also the start of treks through rural farmlands.
- Go white water rafting on Telaga Waja River, starting in the foothills of Mount Agung in the Karangasem regency. This 12km or two-hour river trip will thrill the whole family.
- Scuba dive the wreck of the Liberty (a US cargo ship torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942) 30m below the waves off the black pebble beach at Tulumben.
- From Candidasa, jukung fishing boats can be chartered for snorkelling, fishing or just plain exploring the beaches and bays of south east Bali.
- If you fancy a spot of pampering make for the black sands of Buitan, a quaint fishing village home to the 4-star Alila Resort with its top class spa. Snorkelling is also good here.