Hotels in Bali
Bali is popular with surfers, divers and indeed sunbathers, but there's far more to the island than sea and sand. It is renowned for the arts, in particular music, dance, painting and sculpture. Book one of our Bali hotels and discover an unforgetSEOSITE_LEVEL_DESCRIPTION destination.
Its breathtakingly beautiful beaches are undeniably one of Bali's main attractions.
Kuta is the island's best-known resort, a five-mile stretch of pale sand that is very popular with surfers. The beach is lined with restaurants, bars and clubs, and this is definitely the place to come if you like to party.
Less touristy, but becoming more popular, and also excellent for surfing, is the black-sanded Balian beach, hiding between volcanic cliffs on the west coast.
Jimbaran is another of Bali's prime beaches, with four kilometres of fine, white sand and a cluster of seafood restaurants. With no nightlife, it's quieter than Kuta, although there are some shops and a fish market where you can even have your freshly caught purchase grilled.
White-sanded Sanur is quiet, uncrowded and popular with slightly older couples and families.
The cultural centre of Bali, Ubud is famous for its arts and crafts, and is full of workshops, galleries and shops selling work by its artisans.
There are plenty of temples to visit in the area, including the Tirta Empul and the Gunung Kawi, both a short drive out of the town. Gunung Kawi is one of Bali's oldest and largest ancient monuments, an 11th-century complex of temples and shrines carved into the rock face. It is thought to be dedicated to King Anak Wungsu and his queens. The Tirta Empul is one of the holiest temples in Bali – the water from the hot springs is believed to have magical and purifying powers. The town also has numerous art museums, including the Agung Rai Museum of Art, the Blanco Renaissance Museum and the Neka Art Museum.
The two-hectare Bali Bird Park is home to around 250 species of bird from across South East Asia, South Africa and South America, including dozens of protected Indonesian species. There's also a reptile park here with komodo dragons, monitor lizards and an eight-metre reticulated python. It's also worth heading to Pelulu, north of Ubud, to see the impressive sight of between 15,000 and 20,000 cattle egrets coming into the village to roost each evening. Legend has it that the egrets first appeared after a massacre of suspected communists in 1965, leading some to believe that they are the souls of those who were slaughtered. They are referred to as white herons, or kokokan in Balinese.
The waters around Bali are home to an enormous variety of marine wildlife, including more than 500 reef-building coral species and almost 1,000 kinds of reef fish. There are plenty of opportunities to swim with dolphins while you're here, and plenty of diving schools if you want to explore underwater. Jemeluk Bay, in particular, has calm conditions good for beginners. Look out for sponges, clownfish, surgeonfish, barracuda, garden eels, moray eels, Napoleon wrasse and much more.
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