Bucket list bday tour

Jan 26-Feb15, 2020

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Part 1:
Singapore

Jan 26-29, 2020

This long layover hits all the highlights of Singapore

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Accommodation:

Marina Bay Sands

This iconic integrated resort boasts luxury accommodations, upscale shopping and an infinity pool with unparalleled views of the city.

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Small Group Cultural and Historical Food Tour of Singapore

$110.34/pp

Eat like a local on a food tour and discover why Singaporeans love their food so much!

Sightseeing and food tastings in Kampong Glam, Little India, Katong and Old Airport Road. Included are 10+ foodie tastings in 5.5 hours. Learn about the history of food in Singapore, from it’s founding in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles through to the present day. A maximum of 8 people on this small group tour.

Start your food tour in the East Coast Area of Singapore and learn about the early Chinese immigrants to Singapore. The focus will be on food but we will also talk about the types of jobs that they had, how they lived and who they married.

Here you will enjoy a selection of Singapore’s favourite foods with Chinese and Peranakan heritage which includes Kaya Toast and Kopi, Bak Chang (rice dumplings) and Laksa.

Next we visit The Old Airport Road Hawker Centre which is home to so many ‘hawker legends’. It is here that where you try two of three distinctly Singaporean dishes, Hokkien Mee, Rojak and Carrot Cake.

Your next stop is the district of Kampong Glam where the stunning Sultan’s Mosque is located. We will discuss the Sultan’s role in the founding of Modern Singapore and we will try the most popular local foods from the Malay, Arabic and Indonesian communities.

Our final stop is Little India where we will be trying some popular savory Indian dishes and then finishing with some Indian sweets and Masala Milk.

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Gardens by the Bay + OCBC Skyway


$26.07/pp

Visit an outstanding attraction of Singapore with the Gardens by the Bay and take a break from the pulsating life of the city. Here you will find the gardens Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central and get access to the winter gardens Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Stroll to the newly opened Sun Pavilion and marvel at the flora and fauna from all over the world that house the gardens. On the way you will discover the largest indoor waterfall and hike in the middle of Supertree Grove.

With this combination ticket you also experience the OCBC Skyway, from which you have a majestic view of Marina Bay. Soak up the tranquility and serenity of the gardens at the bay and let the mysterious, natural beauty of the vegetation, the lakes and the winter gardens take effect on you.


 

Part 2:
Ubud, bali, indonesia

Jan 29-Feb 4, 2020

It’s a time of reflection, centering and manifestation as we spend a week in Bali

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Accommodation:

Fivelements Bali

Fivelements, Bali opened in late 2010 as the first of a new genre of wellness destinations bridging the wisdom of traditional healing cultures with innovative wellness concepts. To date, the eco-wellness retreat has been recognized with eighteen international awards spanning across hotel, wellness, spa, culinary and sustainable design industries. Fivelements has earned its position as an innovative leader in wellness concept design, retreats and programs, plant-based innovative cuisine and wellness hospitality worldwide.

The co-founders' intention is to co-create healing and wellness concepts and destinations that share:

  • A vision for love and its power to transform

  • An aspiration for bridging the wisdom, philosophies and healing practices of traditional cultures with innovative wellness services

  • An eco-consciousness linking our mission to inspiring design

By focusing our efforts toward this, we will collectively make a greater impact on the wellness of humanity. Love all, serve all.

Fivelements Food:

To celebrate “aliveness,” Fivelements provides a unique cuisine of plant-based, raw vegan living foods. The exciting tastes, pure flavors, and fresh textures are complemented by the sheer beauty of these artful, colorful dishes. All dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture, and every bite is a gesture of self-care for mind, body and soul.

Fivelements Accommodations:

Fivelements offers a range of suites right on the banks of the Ayung River. Relax in a private pool, enjoy complimentary breakfast or sit by the balcony and admire the lush green views.

Each riverside suite is housed in a private pavilion fashioned after a sacred spiral and embellished with traditional Balinese ‘Songket’ textiles and antique touches. Each has a spacious terrace overlooking Bali’s sacred Ayung River, with a healing alfresco bathhouse including chromotherapy lighting, air-conditioning, sound system with iPod dock, wifi Internet access, safety box, hairdryer and a generous array of amenities.


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Mount Batur Volcano Sunrise Trek with Natural Hot Springs

$95/pp

Nature is one of the most interesting elements in Bali. The tourists can see the beauty of nature in Bali. Mount Batur is an active volcano in which it has the stones with sulfur smoke removing out. It becomes a nice view that can be explored in Bali. The height of this volcano is 1,717m above sea level. It is not surprising that this volcano area is very foggy and cool. The Batur volcano is located in Kintamani Bali being a trekking path for a hot water bath of Toya Bungkah.

The first thing to do is selecting the right dates for exploring Mount Batur. It is perfect to go there in summertime from April to October Month. You can enjoy the best view of sunrise at Mount Batur in those months. The beauty of the sunrise in Mount Batur is as beautiful as the other top of the mountains in Indonesia.

The tourism in Mount Batur shouldn't be missed. The sunrise view can be enjoyed from the top of the volcano. Trekking in Mount Batur is relatively easy for beginners in which they can finish the trekking to the top of the volcano. To see a sunrise in Mount Batur, you should leave for trekking at 03.00 WITA, because the time needed to climb Mount Batur is about 2 to 3 hours. For the sunrise, it usually appears at 06.00 am.

A private driver will collect all of you from hotels in Bali at the right time to start a climb in Mount Batur. Meet your professional local guide trek at Start point then start your climb through the darkness. The sunrise starts from the crater and the top of the volcano. This becomes the spectacular view in Bali and easy to hike.

You can fuel up your energy with an early-morning breakfast. You must be aware of the greedy monkeys around you. The breakfast menu is hot tea and the cooked egg with the volcanic soil. Explore the crater area before going down.

After you stop in the closest natural hot springs to rinse yourself and relax your painful muscles, you should visit a local coffee plantation on the way back to your hotel. It will become a fun trip and tour to visit Mount Batur and see the magical sunrise view.

Itinerary:

01:40-03:00 AM: Pick up time from your hotel lobby.

03:45 AM: Arrival at Toya Bungkah Village (starting point).

05:45 AM: Arrival at the sunrise point

07:00 AM: Trek continues around the rim of the crater.

07:30 AM: Start heading back.

08:30 AM: Arrival at Toya Bungkah Village.

08:40 AM: Stop at Natural hot springs

09:40 AM: Stop at Balinese coffee plantation

11:00 AM: Approximate return to your hotel.


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Bali Instagram Tour: The Most Famous Spots (Private Tour)

$109/pp

Our Bali Instagram tour by ForeverVacation Bali is one of our most popular tours we currently offer. This privately guided, full-day tour, will take you to the most famous spots on the beautiful island of Bali. All of your favorite pictures you see on your friends newsfeed will now become your reality. From beginning to the end you will be able to have a fun, stress-free day as this tour is all-inclusive to ensure you will have an unforgettable experience.

You will have the chance to visit the most famous spots in Bali such as:.

Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang Temple

Beautiful views of Mount Agung

Tirta Gangga

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Tegalalang rice terraces

Famous jungle swing

Full Tour Schedule

6:00 AM – Pick up at your hotel (exact time may vary depending on your location)

9:00 AM – Arrive at Tirta Gangga

9:30 AM – Arrive at Pura Lempuyang Temple (views of Mount Agung)

12:00 PM – Lunch Time!

1:00 PM – Finish lunch and continue your tour

2:00 PM – Visit Tukad Cepung Waterfall

4:00 PM – Visit Tegalalang rice terraces

5:00 PM – Swing on the jungle swing at the famous coffee plantation

6:00 PM – Return back to your hotel

7:30 PM – Arrive back at your hotel (exact time may vary depending on your location)

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Nusa Penida Underground Temple Tour (Private Tour)

$119/pp

Get ready for a great adventure as this privately guided tour will take you to a famous underground temple as well as some of the most beautiful spots in Nusa Penida. The Goa Giri Putri temple is one of the most unique temples around as it is fully underground. From beginning to the end you will be able to have a fun, stress-free day as this tour is all-inclusive to ensure you will have an unforgettable experience

You will have the chance to visit the most famous spots in Nusa Penida such as:.

Goa Giri Putri Temple

Diamond Beach

Atuh Beach

Thousand Islands Viewpoint

Full Tour Schedule

6:30 AM – Pick up at your hotel (exact time may vary depending on your location)

8:15 AM – Arrive at Sanur Port and take a speed boat to Nusa Penida

9:00 AM – Arrive in Nusa Penida and start your tour

10:00 AM – Visit Diamond Beach & Atuh Beach

11:30 AM – Visit Thousand Islands Viewpoint

12:30 PM – Lunch Time!

2:30 PM – Visit Goa Giri Putri Temple

3:30 PM – Return back to Nusa Penida port

4:30 PM – Arrive at Nusa Penida port and take a speed boat to the Sanur port

5:20 PM – Arrive at Sanur port and travel back to your hotel

6:30 PM – Arrive back at your hotel (exact time may vary depending on your location)

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Half Day Tour Uluwatu Kecak Dance and Candlelight Dinner

$55/pp

Your private driver will come to Pick you up from your hotel at 3.30pm, sit back, and relax as you journey through the Balinese countryside southern tip of Bali. After 1 hour driving, you will stop at Uluwatu Temple or Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Uluwatu Temple is one of six key temples believed to be Bali's spiritual pillars. Is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 meters above sea level. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is definitely one of the top places on the island for you to go to for sunset delights, with direct views overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean. Balinese architecture, traditionally-designed gateways, and ancient sculptures add to Uluwatu Temple's appeal. Without a doubt, what makes Uluwatu Temple spectacular is its cliff-top setting at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Once night falls and you have seen the colors of the sunset, experience one of the island's most famous cultural performances, the Kecak and Fire dance. Watch the locals act out a scene from the Ramayana Hindu epic with a mesmerizing trance chant, punctuated by exciting fire dances by performers in intricate costumes. The dance will start at 6.00pm till 7.00pm, After the dance, your private driver will take you to Jimbaran Beach.

You will arrive here at Jimbaran beach around 7.30pm. Jimbaran beach also famous with Jimbaran Bay is on Bali's southwestern coast is a popular place for Seafood Dinner. Sink your feet in the sand as you dine of fresh seafood including prawns, clams, grilled fish, squid, along with vegetable soup, rice, and sambal, an Indonesian chili sauce with Candlelight. After dinner, your private driver will take you back to your hotel.

To Do in Bali

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Monkey Forest

Ubud’s monkey forest is certainly the town’s most popular tourist attraction. As the name suggests, the forest is a natural reserve, home to some 600 monkeys that climb its trees, as free as monkeys can be. Many monkey species live there but each one has its own territory in the reserve.

You’ll most probably melt into the crowd of tourists visiting the forest but we think it’s one of Ubud’s must-visit attractions nevertheless. There’s also a set of rules you need to be mindful of at the reserve so among other things, be sure to:

-Do NOT look the monkeys in the eyes because they think you’re provoking them.

-Keep your things with you and make sure to close your backpack, purse, etc. Monkeys are curious creatures; if they spot something lying around, or if they see something shiny or that has a bright color, they will steal it.

-Avoid touching the monkeys, especially young ones. You might think it’s obvious but it’s something people need to be reminded of. Mother monkeys can be around and will barge in to protect their young.

-Avoid giving monkeys food, apart from the bananas that are sold on the spot. It disrupts their wilderness and they can become aggressive or even dependent upon external food sources.

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Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul is built around a sacred spring with inscriptions dating the holy grounds back to 926 AD. The temple and two sacred bathing pools have been used by the Balinese for over a thousand years for religious ceremonies.

Holy water, or Tirta as the Balinese call it has three important purposes.

The first is Tirta Gering for cleansing evil spirits

Second is Tirta Merta which brings prosperity

Third is Tirta Sudhamala for the purification of mind, body, and soul

Both locals and visitors are welcome to take part in this self-cleaning process, though you should make sure to abide by the rules and do your best to perform the ritual correctly.

-Everyone must wear a sarong

There are also lockers and a changing area available. Women should wear a shirt, preferably one that covers the shoulders and is not see through when wet.

Tirta Empul is located near the small village of Tampak Siring located approximately 15 KM (~9 miles) outside of Ubud.

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Ubud Swing at Zen Hideaway

Zen Hideaway is a perfect place if you are looking for serenity and peace, enabling you to enjoy the fresh air and view of Ubud.

The swing is hanging between coconut trees, high atop a hill, which offers you spectacular experience.

As well as Ayung River view, a mini waterfall, rice fields and Mount Agung makes your swing ride thrilling yet addictive.

The price for entrance fee usually is 250.000 IDR per person (about $18).

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Campuhan Ridge Walk

Located in Ubud, this ridgewalk is a nice way to start a morning.

The Campuhan Ridgewalk is just 10 to 15 minutes away from most resorts in Ubud. This walk involves a short staircase to reach the top of the ridge and that is the most difficult part of the entire walk.

Once on the ridge, you stroll along the rolling hills with views of green around. The walk only takes about an hour to complete as it is not more than maybe a 1.5-mile round trip.

However, in the heat and humidity that is found in Bali, this walk may be a bit gruelling so make sure to pack some water and sunscreen for this stroll.

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Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah's name is slightly misleading, lending the impression that it's a gigantic dwelling full of elephants. Nevertheless, Goa Gajah 'Elephant Cave' is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit.

Located on the cool western edge of Bedulu Village, six kilometres out of central Ubud, you do not need more than an hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard and view the rock-wall carvings, a central meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains.

Goa Gajah is located approximately 6 KM (~4 miles) outside of Ubud.

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Pura Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi Temple complex, locally referred to as Pura Gunung Kawi, is one of Bali’s most unique and most awe-inspiring archaeological sites, comprising a collection of ancient shrine reliefs carved into the face of a rock cliff.

This Balinese temple is built into a steep valley overlooking the Pakserian River. Just up the road, this river also snakes its way past the sacred Pura Tirta Empul.

More than 100 steps will lead you through the temple where you will find dozens of ancient shrines and alters dating back to the 11th century.

The lush landscape is made even more spectacular by the green rice paddies and moss covered statues that dominate this temple complex.

Gunung Kawi is located near the small village of Tampak Siring located approximately 15 KM (~9 miles) outside of Ubud.

 

 

PART 3:
Sydney, Australia

feb 5-11, 2020

It’s time to head down under!

LAX-SYD-CNS-LAX (departing Feb 3), arriving Feb 5, 2020 is currently at $972/pp!
(LAX-SYD Feb 3)
(SYD-CNS Feb 11)
(CNS-LAX Feb 15)

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Accommodation:

TBD (around $1050 per couple)
(prices can flux depending on property/type of accommodations)

We have several AirBnB options available to us. (Below are links to some that I think would be great choices- all have a pool)

We also have some hotel options. One in particular is interesting (we would have to act quickly though). There is a 2BR/2BA available at the Adina Apartment Hotel in Surry Hills. (there are also 1br options, if we want a little more privacy.)

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Bondi Beach

At Deep Sea Facility you will finalise any paperwork and arrange storage for any excess luggage. Then it is off to the Cairns Marlin Marina where the transfer vessel SeaQuest awaits to take you away to your snorkelling/diving adventure.

You will reach the first destination on the reef (90 mins) and on the way out the talented and experienced crew will take you through a Safety Briefing, Crew Introduction, Necessary Dive Paperwork and also your chosen activity.

Once at the reef is time to gear up and explore the hidden wonders that makes the Great Barrier Reef.

Lunch is provided on board with something for everyone. A delicious tropical buffet with your choice of salads, cold meats and fruit, complimentary Tea, Coffee and Water is also available

In the afternoon it is time for another reef location and more exploration before we transfer to our Liveaboard vessel OceanQuest.

After settling in on-board there is the chance to hit the water again in the afternoon before taking some time to relax and chill.

Dinner is freshly prepared on board by one of our wonderful chefs.

Then it is time to find out what goes bump in the night on the Great Barrier Reef. Our Certified Divers have the opportunity to do a Night dive and our snorkelers get to experience our "Sharks in the Dark" program

Time now to relax and maybe trade "fish stories" with the other guests (I swear it was THIS big!). The bar is open until 10:30pm but make sure you get a good nights sleep as the Reef awaits you in the morning!

Please Note: This is a sample itinerary and nº of dives, dive sites, etc. may be subject to change due to weather conditions and other unforseeable factors

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Blue Mountains
Glow Worm Cave

National Pass Walk
This is one of the favorite walks in the Blue Mountains because it rates so highly on all the measures of what make a walk great. It’s very well maintained; there are spectacular views at the beginning, middle and end; the scenery is surprising and awe-inspiring all the way; it’s a loop track, which means you don’t have to do car shuffles; it gets your heart pumping; it’s a good distance, lasting about two-and-a-half hours (three hours or more with stops) and last but not least there’s a café (with views) at the end of the climb out that does decent food – so there’s a reward spurring you on up those final staircases.

The only drawback, if you consider it a drawback, is that it’s very popular, so be prepared to pass – or be passed by – many other hikers. One tip for avoiding a crowded track is to go early (pre-10am) before the tour buses arrive.

Lunch at The Conservation Hut café
Gazing over the blue horizon of the Jameson Valley, Wentworth Falls' secluded restaurant, The Conservation Hut, is as much a part of the local environment as it is a destination for its Modern Australian cuisine.

Glow Worm Cave
Join a small, personal tour group and embark on a nocturnal adventure into a world of glowing lights. Walking through the bush, feel the excitement build as first glimpses of the Glow Worms can be spotted through the trees.

Climb down to the bottom of an ancient sandstone canyon and follow its twists and turns to the main Glow Worm viewing area. In this natural amphitheatre, sit and wait in silence as thousands of Glow Worms begin to appear like stars around you.

Listen to your experienced guide recount stories of the early colonial era sightings of Glow Worms in the Blue Mountains. Learn all about Glow Worms, their life-cycles and interesting behaviours during an interactive biology lesson.

Ask your own questions to discover the truly bizarre and unique details - including HOW and WHY they produce light.

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Sydney Opera House

We can attend a show/opera, do a tour or just grab a bite in- or around the Opera House (with the Opera House in the background)!

The choice is ours! (prices range, of course)

 
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Manly Beach/
Royal National Park/
Figure 8 Pools

Figure 8 Pools Coastal Adventure Tour is a must do tour from Sydney that takes you out safely to explore this spectacular area just 37 Km (23 miles) and only 45 minutes south of Sydney.

Enjoy the scenic drive in what the locals call the ‘Nasho’ (Royal National Park) and take in breathtaking views of the south coast at Bald Hill Lookout in Stanwell Tops. Head out on a 6km (3.7 mi) return hike in the Worlds 2nd oldest National Park through coastal rainforest with changing terrain and spectacular scenery that includes some steep sections and requires a medium to high level of fitness. Spot native wildlife and dolphins and even whales off the coast during the migration season!

Walk through Burning Palms Beach and see the heritage listed Coastal Shacks, continue along the coast where you rock hop across the headland to reach the Figure 8 Pools. Spend some time to relax and explore this spectacular area, cool off in the rock pools and get your insta-famous #figure8pool photo!

Then explore, swim and relax at one of the local lagoons and beaches at Wattamolla, where the Waterfall joins the lagoon and beach. Take in panoramic views and see the impressive cliffs and headlands by taking a short walk up to Providential Point Lookout if you like.

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The Rocks Pub Crawl

$66/ea

Between watering holes, your guide takes you through the alleys and cobbled streets of The Rocks as they share the gossip, shouts, and stories of Australia’s first European settlement. Hear about the legends, gangs, and hauntings of this distinctive neighbourhood as you sample some of its finest libations.

After your Sydney pub tour, you can join your tour mates and other revellers at an iconic pub for a meal and another beer, or two…

This Sydney tour includes a choice of a beer (285ml/10oz), house wine, or soft drink at each pub and a two and a half hour guided walking tour of The Rocks, highlighting:

The fight for the title “Sydney’s Oldest Pub”

How the Larrikin Gangs rules the Rocks

What’s the 6 O’Clock Swill?

How beer quelled the rum rebellion

Where Bubonic Plague started and how it was controlled

The fight for The Rocks

Sydney’s oldest haunted place

And more stories, myths, and legends than you can pack into two and a half hours of fun

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Dharawal National Park

$15/ea

Just an hour away from Sydney’s CBD, Dharawal National Park provides stunning scenery and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Until recently, public access to the bushland was restricted, now you can enjoy guided tours of the park every second Saturday of the month from February to November.

The 90-minute walks are designed for people of all fitness levels and there are options for children as well as wheelchair accessible tours. Guiding the way will be an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger who will share local knowledge about flora and fauna along the way, as well as Dreamtime stories that connect Indigenous Australians to the area.


 

part 4:
Port Douglas, Australia

Feb 11-15, 2020

Visiting Port Douglas during the rainy season can be spectacular –
nature at its wildest with raging waterfalls, hot tropical rain and an abundance of wildlife.

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Accommodation:

Silky Oaks Lodge

$1131/couple
(total for 4nts in the Daintree Treehouse)

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Daintree Rainforest with Aboriginal Coastal Walk

$183.06/pp

Immerse yourself in a day of discovery and explore a culture steeped in heritage and tradition. Daintree, known as the oldest living rainforest on the planet, is home to the Kuku Yalanji people. Walk along the coast and the mangroves before journeying to the incredible Mossman Gorge.

Start with one of Australia's most scenic drives, north of Port Douglas to Cooya Beach, where you embark on a 2-hour coastal and mangrove walk to explore 3 diverse ecosystems: beach, mangrove, and coastal reef. Here, one of the Kubirri Warra brothers of the Kuku Yalanji people shows you how to throw a spear and other Aboriginal hunting techniques. Take part in a traditional hunt, searching for crabs, mussels and fish before taking your catch back to the family home where you will get to taste your fresh tucker. Then travel further north to the Mossman Gorge Centre for a delicious lunch overlooking the rainforest.

After lunch, journey into the lush rainforest and experience the wild wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed jungle, home to vivid flora and diverse fauna. Your experienced guide leads you through the verdant forest, highlighting the special relationship between the people and this unique tropical environment.

Your day of discovery ends with a comfortable drive back to your hotel.

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Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Walk

$114-145/ea

The Daintree’s indigenous people live in harmony with their natural environment and invite guests to discover it with them. A guided rainforest walk with an indigenous guide demonstrates traditional use of plants for food and medicine and explains the Dreamtime legends of the rainforest. The Dreamtime Gorge Walk takes visitors on

a journey along gentle rainforest tracks, visiting traditional shelters or humpies. An indigenous guide welcomes guests to country with a traditional ‘smoking ceremony’.

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Jungle Adventure Night Walk

$34.63/pp

At Jungle Adventures they don’t need to build you a time machine; they’ll just give you a torch and take you to a world little changed in 120 million years! There are no sounds of the city, just inky blackness and the pulse of the rainforest as it chirps, trickles, rustles and breathes.

The small group interpretive tours take a maximum of eleven people per guide deep into our ancient forest to experience the nocturnal world. It’s a singing, bustling world, far removed from man’s dominance over the earth, and they’ll introduce you to a weird and wonderful cast of characters who live together to create this grand circle of life.

In addition to our frequent sightings of sleeping birds and rainforest dragons, they regularly encounter forest mammals including bats and possums, many species of spiders and insects plus beautiful snakes including amethystine and carpet pythons and brown tree snakes.

to do in Port Douglas

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Wildlife Habitat

Crocodiles, cassowaries, pademelons, myriad bird species… This region is teeming with wildlife. But many of these creatures are either notoriously shy or, frankly, a bit frightening face to face in the wild. Enter Wildlife Habitat. Here, you can handfeed wallabies and kangaroos, cuddle koalas and stroke an infant crocodile’s skin (surprisingly soft), as well as observe crocodile- and cassowary-feeding demonstrations. The sanctuary operates breeding programs for threatened species (it has the only captive breeding pair of black-necked stork, or jabiru, in the world) and also rehabilitates animals that have been hurt in the wild. In case you don’t see it all in one visit, free re-entry is included in the ticket.

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Jungle Surfing

World Heritage listed since 1988, the Daintree rainforest is thought to be between 110 and 180 million years old (that’s at least 50 million years older than the Amazon). Some plant species here even coexisted with dinosaurs. One of the most unusual and exhilarating ways to experience its biodiversity is with Jungle Surfing, on a 357-metre zip-line through the forest, led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. While up in the canopy (the highest point is 19.5 metres off the ground), they’ll tell you about milky pines, Bennett’s tree kangaroos, spurwood mahogany, Hope’s Cycads, cassowaries, primitive flowering plants, umbrella palms and more – in between whooshing from tree to tree.

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Cape Tribulation

Stepping straight on to the beach from the rainforest is a very special experience at Cape Tribulation. This extraordinarily pretty stretch of the Daintree National Park is where you can climb aboard a fast boat to explore the Great Barrier Reef or take a kayak to nearby islands.

Marvel at empty beaches where driftwood and shells wash up to form natural sculptures, feel the wind in your hair as you ride a horse from the beach to the rainforest or pitch your tent so you can gaze at the ocean as soon as you wake. Taste exotic tropical fruits on a farm tour, try them in a locally made ice cream, refresh in a swimming hole or soar through the rainforest canopy on a flying fox.

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Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Just south of Port Douglas, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Thala Beach Nature Reserve when you spot the 700 coconut palms standing sentinel at the entrance. Guests can join their free Coconut Odyssey tour to learn all about the health benefits of this magic nut.

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Four Mile Beach

There’s nothing as invigorating as watching the sun come up over an aquamarine ocean. Postcard-perfect and easily accessible, Four Mile Beach curves from the township of Port Douglas. Active types might consider jogging like the locals for whom this beach is a running track. Expect to greet and be greeted; the residents are a friendly lot, even before dawn. A nod of hello or a murmured “good morning” is the perfect way to blend in.

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Indigenous Spa Treatment

Let’s face it, it’s not a holiday until you’re face-down on a massage table. But at Daintree Eco Lodge the massage table is swapped for the rainforest, or as the local Kuku Yalanji have named it, ‘Wawu-karrba’, which means ‘healing of the spirit, where ancient traditions are infused into your treatment, beside a sacred waterfall.

 

 

part 5:

Fiji layover

Feb 16, 2020

On our way home, somewhere between the end of the earth and the beginning of heaven is a little slice of paradise.

It is along this unspoiled stretch of beach forming the gateway to the Yasawa Islands, that we built Kuata Islands eco-inspired – Barefoot Kuata Resort. Not only are the beaches ideal for lazing about and swimming but the reef is also home to friendly white-tipped reef sharks that make for an unforgettable snorkelling experience.

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Day Trip to Kuata

$115/pp

Kuata Island Resort’s location at the gateway of the Yasawa Islands makes it the ideal place to visit for a day (or a week). We receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from guests that visit our resort, not only due to our delicious food, serenity and marine orientated activities but for our staff too. They strive to create a happy and peaceful journey for all that pass through their Kuata Island home, ensuring that everyone leaves with unforgettable memories.

YASAWA ISLANDS

Renowned for its incredible beauty, volcanic landscapes and crystal clear waters, the Yasawa Islands is the perfect destination for the intrepid traveller. Appealing to lovers of nature and travel, Barefoot Kuata Island Resort is a premier destination for those who seek to immerse themselves in traditional Fijian culture. Its pristine tropical environment and enchanting waters provide the ultimate escape from it all.

MUST DO / MUST SEE

The Awakening Shark Dive, Introductory Dive with Reef Sharks or the Reef Shark Snorkel. Get up close and personal in a safe underwater encounter with our expert dive and snorkel guides.

Trek to sacred sites solo or as part of the guided Cave Tour.

Feast – day trippers delight in our full buffet lunch including but not limited to, an array of healthy salads, Fijian inspired chicken dishes, Asian options and epic homemade beef burgers.

Relax at our waterfront bar or lie in the famous #Kuatahammock with views to be believed. Enjoy a signature cocktail or an ice cold beer overlooking both the pool and ocean!

 

 

Bali FAQ

Best Time to Visit Ubud, Bali

The high season for tourist to Bali is in July and August. The second busiest period to visit in then from Christmas to New Year’s Eve.

The best time to visit Bali is May, June, September therefore around the busy period, but avoiding the rainy season which is October to April. The rain season is typically a monsoon season which can mean strong winds and heavy rain.

Language

Bali is a part of Indonesia; for this reason, the official (and dominant) language is Indonesian. However, you'll still hear Balinese (a Malayo-Polynesian language) being spoken by some locals. Because international tourism plays a key role in Bali's economy, English is widely spoken in larger towns and cities. That means you shouldn't have a problem getting around, purchasing souvenirs or ordering food.

Currency

The currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah. Since the rupiah to U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates, be sure to check what the current exchange rate is before you go. Also, keep in mind that because the large numerical difference can be confusing for foreigners, locals sometimes ask for unreasonable prices and can trick travelers into coughing up more cash than they need to. For reference, $1 is equal to approximately 14,330 rupiah.

Cash

Cash is still an important form of payment in Bali. So make sure you carry enough with you to pay for your small shopping, transportation and food & drinks. The 100,000 bills are only useful if you intend to buy a high-priced item or spend a lot of money at the same place. Most small shops and street sellers will struggle to make change, so 50,000 and 20,000 Rp notes will be the way to go. 

Cash Tips 

  • Most resorts and hotels accept credit cards but most times smaller places like guesthouses or homestays do not.

  • Check before hand if a store or restaurant accepts credit cards and if indeed their card swipe machine (EDC) is working.

  • Hold on to a few Rp. 500 and Rp. 1,000 coins and forget about the smaller ones. They take up space and are hardly worth their weight. Don’t be surprised if at a supermarket your change of money includes a few pieces of candy instead of Rp. 50 or Rp. 100 coins.

  •  Always carry a bit of cash with you. It will come handy when you decide to buy a coconut, grilled corn on the cob or a sarong on the beach. Tipping the staff at the hotel, spa and restaurant is also usually done in cash.

  • Your cash is king at markets, food stalls and small shops. Do not expect to be able to use your credit cards here.

Credit Cards

More and more restaurants and shops do accept credit cards nowadays - particularly in the touristic areas it's gaining ground a lot. But do not rely on your credit card as you would in a western country. Cash is in many cases the only acceptable way of payment. Particularly in remote areas a credit card will be of little use to you. 

Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit cards in Bali. Some hotels and restaurants do take Amex, Diners Club even less. 

Keep in mind that very often there will be a 3 to sometimes even 5% surcharge on credit card transactions. This is, because the credit card companies keep that percentage for themselves, and the vendors on Bali will charge that fee back to their customer. 


ATMs

Read the article above for important information.

Also- Always put your hand above the keypad when typing your code. ALWAYS!

Tipping

Tipping in Bali is considered to be a foreign concept. Although it isn’t mandatory to tip for every service you avail, the tips are nevertheless appreciated. On the other hand it is important you understand that workers in the service industry are paid extremely low wages, with the bulk of the earnings going into the owner’s pocket. You might just make someone’s day by tipping him/her for the services offered when you’re visiting Bali. In light of this mentioned below is a detailed tipping guide highlighting what you need to know about how to tip for different services.

  • TIP $2-$4 at a hotel

  • At a restaurant TIP 2%-5%

  • TIP $1-$5 at a Spa

  • Tip your tour guides $5-$10

  • Round up your taxi fare


Vaccinations

While there are no required vaccinations to visit Bali, we do recommend reviewing this link and considering some vaccinations.


ELECTRICITY

220 Volts, 50Hz. Electrical plugs are two-pronged ‘Europlug’ type.

Getting to Ubud, Bali

Most resorts in the area organize transportation from the airport (DPS) to the resort. If not, we will arrange transportation on your behalf.

The transportation from DPS to Ubud takes approximately 1 hour, but upwards of 2 hours if the traffic is bad. Which, more than likely it will be.

Dress Etiquette

Dress modestly before entering a temple in Bali. Temple guests are expected to wear shirts that cover shoulders and part of the upper arms. The waist and legs should be covered by a temple scarf (known as a selendang) and a sarong (known locally as kain kamben) respectively.

Environment & People

  • Bali is a fragile island. Trash, Water and Traffic are big problems, like in any other part of the developing world. Help by being a conscious consumer

  • Try to take short showers and avoid wasting water.

  • Everything you throw away stays on Bali or will be washed into the sea. Affective rubbish management in this part of the world is not really existing.

  • Plastic is problem no. 1. Avoid plastic bottles, straws, plastic bags when shopping.

  • Most workers you will meet have a salary of around 130 to 150US$ per month and work hard for their money, travel long distances and share their income with other family members.

  • Balinese are super friendly and welcoming. They are also proud and are happy if you respect their customs and island.

  • Being angry and shouting is not appreciated. If you have a complaint, be polite, calm and insist on a solution in a friendly manner if you wish to get any result.


bartering 

If you're shopping at any one of Bali's markets, bargaining with street vendors is a must. But it's also nice to respect and value their work, effort, and services, and to pay fair prices. Live and let live!


Travel In Ubud

Private Driver

We can certainly arrange private transportation and driver for you throughout Bali, and even for your day trip excursions.
We’ve found this to be a safe and secure option, leaving little to question including where and how to find a driver on the spot, and how to calculate driving fees.

Taxi

The most honest taxis in Bali are the blue taxis marked "Bali Taxi" (known as Blue Bird Taxis); everybody else is hit or miss.
They’re so honest, other taxi operators hate their guts and collude with some hotels to exclude Bluebird taxis from their area. Catch a Bluebird taxi in Bali if you can.

Bali Taxi Tips

Riding a taxi in Bali works the same way as everywhere else—you hail a cab, get in, and tell the taxi where you're headed. But here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind:

  • Take the traffic situation into account. Bali's traffic seems to get worse by the week, particularly fares from the airport. Look up possible detours before getting in the taxi.

  • Ask the driver to repeat your destination to you, or otherwise ensure that he knows your destination.

  • Explain your preferred route to the driver, if you have one.

  • Make sure the driver uses the meter; say so at the beginning of the trip. If he doesn't use the meter, he may just be getting ready to gouge you at the end of the trip. If he refuses to use a taxi or makes an excuse, get out and hail another cab.

  • If the taxi driver offers to wait for you at your destination, consider it. Some places do not get a lot of taxi service, so it might be handy to have a ride ready for you when you're set to leave. Agree beforehand if you want him to keep the meter running while he waits, or if he's willing to settle for an hourly fee. IDR 50,000 (about US$4) is a good upper limit.

  • Keep spare change handy. Drivers often claim not to have any change for the fare, so they can then pocket the excess.



Scooter- AVAILABLE BUT NOT RECOMMENDED

This is NOT recommended on the island of Bali.
Scooters are really popular in Indonesia, and you can rent one for a day for around 30,000-50,000 IDR (just a few dollars!) Lots of tourists ride them and no one travels all that fast. Saying that, there are accidents frequently and police crack down on tourists who aren’t obeying the rules.



Uber- AVAILABLE BUT NOT RECOMMENDED

The taxi service, Uber works in Ubud and generally works out significantly cheaper than local taxis. Locals haven’t embraced the service, and as a result they’re not permitted in some areas. You may have to choose a pick up location away from major hotels or shops.
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND GETTING INTO UNMARKED CARS WHILE TRAVELING


Drinking Water

Drink a lot of water to avoid getting heatstroke… just don’t get your water from the tap. Bali tap water is often blamed for many a bad case of “Bali belly,” so avoid it entirely. Stick to canned drinks or bottled water.

I can highly recommend the Grayl Purifier. This is what I use when I travel - and I travel to some pretty out of the way places. This is hands down the best (and easiest) filter on the planet.

REMEMBER- even the water you brush your teeth with, needs to be purified or bottled water. Most resorts have a purification system, but I never trust that it’s clean enough.

Ice cubes in restaurants are generally safe and government controlled.


Don’t Do Drugs- Don’t even TALK about Drugs

Bali’s drug laws are very strict and should not be trifled with. Indonesian Law No. 35/2009 lays down harsh penalties for drug users caught with Group 1 drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine: you can get life imprisonment for possession or the death penalty if you’ve been convicted of trafficking in drugs.

Pro Tip: Parts of Kuta (in the south of Bali) are still rife with drug dealers, or narcotics officers pretending to be dealers. Tourists walking through often get whispered solicitations for drugs. If you get one of these whispered sales pitches, walk away. You might end up a hapless victim of a drug sting!

Caution

  • When it’s raining the sidewalks can be extremely slippery

  • Sidewalks can have large and deep holes, that can’t be seen at night.

  • Currents in the sea can be dangerous, and change depending on the weather and wind conditions; also good swimmers have drowned on Bali

  • Night swimming (under the influence of alcohol and drugs) seems like fun, but will most likely lead to Bali being your last destination.

  • Kuta and Legian Clubs and Bars can get rough at times. Some security guys here might not be as calm and objective as you expect at times. Don't trust the security guys. They are often part of the problem and not part of the solution

  • Balinese are open-minded but they don’t like disrespectful and loud behavior, somebody touching their head, overly public display of affection.

Mosquito Repellent

Use mosquito net and repellent when possible. Dengue fever is widespread.

I highly recommend Sawyer Picardin lotion (not the spray). This can be purchased online or at REI or Cabella’s.
We found that 1 bottle (when applied once, daily) lasted about 2 weeks.


EMERGENCIES

In case of emergencies, dial 110 for police and 118 for ambulance.

Safety and Security

Since 2002, Indonesian police and security forces have disrupted a number of terrorist cells. Although extremists in Indonesia continue to aspire to carry out violent attacks against Indonesian and Western targets, police have arrested more than 1,700 individuals on terrorism-related charges since 2002 and have greatly reduced the capacity of domestic terrorist organizations. Extremists may target both official and private establishments, including hotels, bars, nightclubs, shopping areas, restaurants, and places of worship. Whether at work, pursuing daily activities, or traveling, you should be aware of your personal safety and security at all times. 

Recent incidents of extremist violence include the May 2018 bomb attacks against three churches in Surabaya that killed 15 civilians and injured 50 more, and an attack in January 14, 2016, by terrorists using guns and explosives attacked near the Sarinah Plaza in Central Jakarta, which killed four civilians, including one foreigner, and injured 17 others. In 2002, more than 200 foreign tourists and Indonesian citizens were killed by a bomb in Bali’s nightclub district.

Demonstrations are very common in Jakarta, Surabaya, and other large cities, but less common in Bali. You should avoid demonstrations and other mass gatherings, since even those intended to be peaceful can become violent. Demonstrations may become more frequent ahead of the Indonesian general elections scheduled for April 2019.

Currently, travel by U.S. government personnel to the provinces of Central Sulawesi and Papua is restricted to mission-essential travel that is approved in advance by the Embassy security office.

Crime: Pick-pocketing, theft, armed car-jacking, and residential break-ins are common. Avoid traveling to isolated areas late at night. Beware of your surroundings, particularly vehicles or individuals that might be following you. 

Use a reputable taxi company or hire a taxi either at a major hotel or shopping center. Travelers have been robbed in taxis that have been painted to look like legitimate taxis.

Credit card fraud is a serious and growing problem in Indonesia. Avoid using credit cards when possible. Criminals have “skimmed” credit/debit cards to access and drain bank accounts. Use an ATM in a secure location and check the machine for evidence of tampering. Monitor your account statements regularly.

Tourists and Indonesians have suffered from serious illness and have even died from "drink-spiking” and drink poisoning incidents, particularly in clubs and nightspots in urban and tourist areas. 

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Victims of sexual assault should seek prompt medical assistance, contact the Embassy, and call the local police at 112. For a criminal investigation to be initiated by the police, the victim must make a full statement to the local police, in person.  

See the webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

The US Government can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care.

  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police.

  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent.

  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms.

  • provide a list of local attorneys.

  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution.

  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.

  • replace a stolen or lost passport.




U.S. Consular Agency Bali
Jalan Hayam Wuruk 310, Denpasar, Bali
Telephone: +(62)(361) 233-605
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate in
Surabaya:+(62)(811) 334-183
Fax: +(62)(361) 222-426
Email: CABali@state.gov



Visiting a Healer in Bali

For several years it has become the “in thing” for tourists to pay a visit to a healer during their holiday in Bali. With the release of the film based on the wildly popular book, “Eat Pray Love,” in August 2010, the demand exceeded all boundaries. I have been told that the top hotels in the Ubud area are expected to know directions to the home of the person featured in the book. But how many of these tourists bother to learn even the protocol regarding such a visit, or learn even the most basic Indonesian language in order to greet them?

I have been asked to translate for visitors to Balians by those who landed in Bali two days prior, with no background in Bali-Hindu culture or religion, something the anthropologists and historians have written volumes about. The challenge is how to present what they are hearing and experiencing into a larger context?

Basic Facts about Balians


Balinese trade information about Balians with skill and charisma, because they do not believe in anyone who is a self-proclaimed “healer.” There are bogus practitioners, some of whom are quite famous. Most Balians were “chosen,” and it is not something they chose. Most discovered their gifts in the course of trying to heal themselves. Balians do not advertise, draw attention to themselves or like to be addressed as a Balian, as this can invite jealousy and bad feelings.

Balian Etiquette

  • Balians receive their gifts from the spirit, as well as through study based on Bali Hindu philosophy. They credit this spirit with giving them their gift of healing. Others become Balians through a very long and intensive study and initiation from a well-known healer or high priest or priestess. They are the Balinese equivalent of a “doctor,” who has to follow an etiquette and moral code, not so different from a modern Western doctor.

  • Healers are not regarded as movie stars or celebrities (so don’t treat them like one).

  • There are so many types of healers who work on specific problems, from broken bones to broken hearts, mental disorders to “mysterious” problems, so choose one that is appropriate for you.

  • Expect that it will be a process, and expect to receive several treatments at least and that you might have to change Balians if one does not work. (It is not an instantaneous process, so don’t expect to be healed on your way to the airport.)

  • Typically, Balinese bring an offering to a healer, with a donation of appreciation inside. At the conclusion of the day, the healer dedicates this offering to their spirit in the family temple. Be generous. 

  • Balians are regarded a status similar to priest. Consequently, if you visit one, you should show respect by dressing in a sarong and temple scarf.

  • Remember always to give your offering with your right hand, and never point the bottom of your feet at Fe.the healer. Never ever touch their head or face, which is the most sacred part of the body.

Dos and don’ts when visiting a balian

 

1. Ask yourself first if you actually need to be healed

The internet is littered with blog accounts of those who have gone to see a Balian because they are “curious” or as one woman writes, “A medicine man on the side just seemed unique and adventurous”. Balians are not a side show, and it is unfair to take up their valuable time unless you are genuinely in need of healing.

 

2. Dress respectfully

A skimpy sun frock or tattered Bintang singlet is not appropriate attire. Depending on who the healer is, you may need to wear a sarong and temple sash, or at the very least cover your arms and legs. Find out before you go. And don’t point your feet at a Balian, as feet are considered unclean.

Balians are not a side show, and it is unfair to take up their valuable time unless you are genuinely in need of healing.

3. Make an appointment

Some Balians will only be seen by appointment; others you can just turn up and wait. Again find out before you go. 

 

4. Payment

Never hand money direct to a healer. Inquire first if payment is by donation or a fee, and place it in an envelope or a canang (flower offering) and leave it with a member of the family or in the family temple.

 

5. Choose your Balian wisely

Balians work with different maladies, so it is best to find one that specializes in your particular ailment, and follow personal recommendations. Healing is a booming industry in Bali, and one which has its fair share of charlatans.

 

 

Some of the island’s better-known balians

 

Pak Sirkus: Not for the faint-hearted! As the saying goes, “First he hurts you and then you feel better.” Pak Sircus specialises in problems associated with muscles and bones.

Jalan Subak Sari, Berawa + 62 361739538.

 

Pak Made Partha: Generally works with vigorous deep-tissue massage, ideal for sports injuries, back problems and sprains. He can also set broken bones. 

Banjar Bantan Buah, near Ubud + 62 81338430224.

 

Cokorda Bagus Astawa: A traditional Balinese healer who specialises in readings and mystical illnesses. He works with herbal tinctures and massage and energy healing to remove blocks.

Singapadu, Gianyar +62 81338533037.

 

Pak Man: One of the island’s better-known energy healers, Pak Man mostly works with healing massage and makes his own medicinal oils. He treats everything from depression to diabetes, drug addiction, black magic and broken bones.

Ubud, + 62 81338935369.

 

Ida Resi Alit: Bali’s youngest high priestess can be found in Bangli and offers ritual water purification ceremonies that will leave you feeling spiritually cleansed. 

Facebook Ida Resi Alit
 

Ibu Jero: A high priestess descended from five generations of healers, Ibu Jero specialises in energy cleansing and Balinese shamanic massage. She also offers a healing melukat ceremony which includes a blessing, offering and chakra clearing ritual to cleanse the mind body and spirit. A minimum of five people are required.

Jimbaran
, +62 81337649367.

 

Fivelements: A serene eco resort in Mambal with several powerful Balinese healers on site, each descended from a long line of healers. Chakra balancing sessions with Pak Dewa are particularly powerful.

Mambal +62 361 569206.

 

Floating Leaf: Specializes in customized retreats, including a five-day transformational healing retreat that incorporates a purification ritual, healing blessing ceremony, and session with a Balinese healer specifically chosen according to your particular ailment.

Sukawati +62 8113891842.


Entry & Exit Requirements

Your U.S. passport must be valid for at least six months from when you enter the country and have at least two blank passport pages.

Upon arrival, you must obtain a visa exemption or a 30-day visitor visa upon arrival at the airport in Bali for $35. The visa exemption allows tourists in the country for up to 30 days (and absolutely no longer); the temporary visa applies to tourist and short business trips only and can be extended if necessary.


 

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Travel Insurance

TRAVEL INSURANCE - AVAILABLE FOR ALL PASSENGERS - DUE WITH FIRST PAYMENT

Zone Travel LLC strongly suggests purchasing Trip Cancellation insurance. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider as most U.S. medical coverage will not cover you outside of the country.

Insurance costs are based on the total package cost, including air taxes and charges listed under "Included."

 

Approximate amounts can be given at time of reservation in order to purchase the appropriate amount of insurance.

 

BASIC PLAN:

Your may think you can't afford both the fun and the insurance to protect it. The Basic Plan is so affordable that you can have it all, while still staying in a budget. The plan offers existing medical condition coverage and 24-hour assistance services, allowing you to purchase your trip with complete confidence.

Trip Cancellation: Trip Cost

Trip Interruption: Trip Cost

Emergency Medical/Dental Coverage: $10,000.00

Emergency Medical Transportation: $50,000.00

Baggage Coverage: $500.00

Baggage Delay: $200.00

Travel Delay: $300.00

Travel Delay: $150.00

24-Hour Hotline Assistance: Included

 

CANCEL ANYTIME: 

You can enjoy the extra flexibility of knowing you can cancel your trip for almost any unforeseen reason that the Classic plan does not already cover at 100% and receive 80% of their non-refundable trip cost back in cash. With features like comprehensive trip cancellation, primary emergency medical coverage and 24-hour travel assistance, the Classic with Cancel Anytime plan is there if life throws an unexpected wrench in your travel plans. Plan must be purchased within 10 days of the first payment date and must cover the full non-refundable trip cost ($10,000 maximum).

Trip Cancellation: Trip Cost

Trip Interruption: Trip Cost

Emergency Medical/Dental Coverage: $25,000.00

Emergency Medical Transportation: $500,000.00

Baggage Coverage: $1,000.00

Baggage Delay: $300.00

Change Fee Coverage: $250.00

Frequent Flyer Miles Redeposit Fee: $250.00

Travel Delay: $800.00

Missed Connection: $800.00

24 Hour Hotline Assistance Plus: Included