Bali is an incredible travel destination and many volunteers spend their weekends and time before and after the program to experience some of the great things the island has to offer. We’ve listed below some of the most popular sites in and around Bali and further afield that you can experience while on the IVHQ Bali program in Ubud and Lovina.
In and Around Ubud
One of IVHQs Bali programs is based in the historical town of Ubud. Ubud is made up of 14 small villages surrounded by lush rice paddies, against the backdrop of Mount Batur. Walking through its narrow streets, lined with temples and ancient statues is literally like stepping back in time. Ubud oozes charm and is often referred to as the “arts and crafts” hub of Bali, boasting countless galleries, artists’ workshops, shops and markets to explore.
Tegalalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Bali and rice terraces go hand in hand and the impressive terraces near Ubud and in the mountains are a must see for every volunteer while in country. Tours can be combined with trips to spice and coffee plantations where you can taste the famous Coffee Luwak (Kopi Luwak).
Sunrise Tour of Mount Batur or Mount Agung
Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) is an active volcano and can be easily climbed in under two hours. Tours set out early, leaving Ubud at 2.30am and climbing up to 1,700 meters to catch the sunrise over Lake Batur. For the more adventurous, Bali’s highest peak, Gunung Agung (3,142 meters), can be conquered in around 6 hours.
Bali Eco Cycling Tour
This original and authentic eco/educational cycling tour takes visitors away from the tourist areas, revealing the “real” Bali and offering insight into Balinese culture along the way. The day begins by driving to the beautiful Kintamani, perched high on the volcanic crater rim of Mount Batur. Participants then cycle downhill along village roads, through lush forests, plantations, crops and rice paddy fields, tasting local fruits, spices, coffee and local herbal teas along the way.
Only a short speed boat ride away from the mainland, but like stepping back in time to the way “Bali used to be,” is the island of Nusa Lembongan. Delightfully laid-back, village life is slow with minimum traffic and no hassle. Here, the locals of Nusa Lembongan make a living off seaweed farming and the resident ex-pats run top notch dive shops. The waters around the island are a marine protected area and offer world class diving, with manta rays at huge sunfish (mola mola) and even the occasional whale shark! If you’re a diver or want to learn, be sure to set aside a few days to visit this gem.
In and Around Lovina
Lovina is a low-key, relaxed coastal town and during the weekend, volunteers in Lovina will have time to relax on the beach, take part in snorkelling trip, and enjoy beautiful sunrises/sunsets while soaking up the local village life.
Puru Ulun Danu Beratan
On the shores of Lake Bratan stands Ulun Danu Beratan Temple - a major water temple in Bali which is used for offering ceremonies to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess, Dewi Danu. The temple is located an hour drive away from Lovina and the perfect day trip opportunity when combined with the impressive Git Git waterfall.
Diving and Snorkelling
Puri Jati Menjangan dive site is located about 20 minutes from Lovina and is famous for its varied range of rare marine life. Lovina is also located around an hour and a half from two of the best Balinese diving spots, the Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben (which you can also enjoy while snorkelling) and Menjangan Island.
Indonesia consists of thousands of Islands (up to 20,000) and while there is plenty to do in and around Bali, some volunteers like to travel further afield and experience some of the other incredible areas around Bali. The list is endless but we’ve highlighted three places below which are well worth visiting if you have time on your trip abroad.
Just two hours by speedboat from Bali, Lombok is well known among travellers for the remarkable Gili Islands. Laze the day away on the white sandy beaches of Gili Meno, snorkel with turtles, partake in a yoga class on Gili Air, earn your scuba diving licence or party the night away on Gili Trawangan. Mighty Gunung Rinjani towers 3000 meters into the clouds, luring trekkers to its chilly summit. The big breaks on the south coast of Lombok are also a magnet for surfers.
Komodo and Rinca Islands
For a trip an unforgettable trip of a lifetime, sign up to a four day boat cruise of the Komodo Islands. Komodo and Rinca are hilly and desolate, yet these beautiful islands sandwiched between Flores and Sumbawa are home to gargantuan reptiles – the legendary Komodo dragon. The world’s largest lizard, known locally as ora, can reach over 3 meters in length, weigh up to 100 kilograms and feed on animals as large as deer and buffalo. Your boat will depart from Lombok and dock up in the port town of Labuanbajo, Flores. Stay a few days and explore the island of Flores, or take a cheap flight back to Bali (under US$100) with Merpati Airlines or Trans Nusa.
If you would like more details on any of these locations or activities, our local team in Bali can assist you once you are registered onto the IVHQ Bali program.