The diminutive island has endless adventures and discoveries that lurk around every rice field (nature's Taj Mahal). But where is the best place to be based for these cultural and historical experiences and outdoor adventures?
Over the hills and far away lies a corner of Bali that is far removed from the busy southern areas.(Read light years away from the dizzying and frantic bustle of Denpasar and Kuta.)
Truly off the radar, the serene, rolling hills of the northern part of the island overlook a sublime vista of quaint fishing villages and calm seas (where you can spot dolphins most days of the year in Lovina Bay).
Lovina is ideal for a spot of relaxation. laid-back ambience on this unspoilt coast. With many temples, volcanoes and iconic attractions, it is an idea base for a holiday that feels like old times.
A trip to Bali's past
Lovina is a small town near Singaraja, the original royal capital. Locals ride banged up Vespas painted every colour under the sun, but otherwise lead quiet lives while farming, fishing, or herding visitors out to sea for dolphin viewing each morning.
Sudarji Village just NE of Singaraja is the epitome of a sleepy village that welcomes visitors who want to embrace the Bali of days gone and sample organic foods (they always taste wonderful right out of the ground).
In this area, you can enjoy a walk to a stunning waterfall or take a swim in the refreshing saltwater public pool just inside the seawall. Or gawk at fertile stairways of rice terraces, majestic caldera lakes and endless temples (more than 20,000 around tiny Bali).
So where's the best place to stay in Lovina for wellness, luxury sleeps and gourmand eating in a peaceful setting? A Danish-owned retreat named Damai (means Peace). It's a hard place to find – about 5 kilometres above the bay – and a hard place to leave.
The 3-hour complimentary shuttle ride from the airport to Damai would have to be one of the best for sightseeing and photo opportunities such as Gigit Waterfall and the breath-taking mountain plateau golf course, Bali Handra alongside a stunning crater lake.
Bookings and information on Damai in Lovina – the epitome of isolated splendor with an elegant restaurant that serves creative food from its own organic vegetable and herb garden, and farm-raised pigs, ducks, rabbits, snails and lobster. Yummy Asian and Australian fusion cuisine.
Don't want to be away from the southern scene more than a day? Take the 10-hour excursion from Kuta to Lovina with stops on Mount Bedugul and the waterfall. This mountain and coast road trip is truly worth the journey into the other Bali.