Our recent trip to Bali was mainly focused on eco tourism and sustainable travel.
Through our travel diary, we aim to encourage future visitors to choose wisely their accommodation and food experiences when planning a stay on this beautiful island, as it could make a huge difference for our Planet too.
We have only spent 8 days in Bali but we managed to visit three areas, very different from each other, in order to be able to give detailed insights and hopefully useful advice when it comes to sustainable travel.
Our first stop: Ubud.
Ubud is geographically located in a very convenient position with easy access to the most spectacular spots to visit. As usual we have rented a motorbike to explore the area (I can now consider myself a pro scooter driver in Asian countries LOL) as we still think it’s the best and cheapest way to reach nearby destinations in total freedom.
We found the best daily rate (only 6 AU$) at the ONS Hostel, near our accommodation, on the way to the Monkey Forest. But if you don’t feel comfortable with driving/DIY exploring, you can also choose betweentwo other reasonable priced options:
- GRAB, which is the Asian version of UBER, but a lot cheaper. You just need to download the App. No need to link your credit card as they also accept cash payments.
- Your personal DRIVER/GUIDE. We highly recommend this for longer transfers anyway. The best company around Bali is definitely VISIONS OF BALI. We have been long time friends and couldn’t recommend enough! Wayan and his super friendly and professional crew are amazing and will take you everywhere you wish, even to those off-path destinations far from the touristy areas.
What we visited
TEGALLALANG RICETERRACES : These are probably the most famous and photographed rice terraces in Bali. Bit touristic but if you pick the right time to go there you might be quite lucky.
Only 20 min driving from our stay, we got there about an hour before sunset,when all the daily tours were already gone, leaving us the best view to enjoy. Once you get there you’ll be asked to pay a Rp 10K entry fee.
This area is also very famous for another trendy activity, become very popular in the last couple of years, that we have decided to try as it can be considered eco-friendly : Swinging high above the trees!
As you can imagine, there are so many to choose from. Many of them are extremely touristic tho, and the fee charged is way too ridiculous. So we have chosen UMA PAKEL SWING, located only 5 minutes from the rice terraces and still quite accessible interms of prices and popularity. For less than 20 AU$ you can enjoy a ride +many pics opportunities inside their humming birds’ nests and a free tasting of 7 kinds of teas and coffees made from their onsite plantations included in the experience.
TIBUMANA WATERFALL : about 30 min driving from our stay, this waterfall is truly breathtaking.
Entry fee is only 15K followed by a path made of quite few steps to get to the bottom. As usual we recommend to get there in the morning, ideally before 9am to get the perfect light for your pics and avoid the crowds.
KANTO LAMPO WATERFALL: at a short driving distance from Tibumana, you can visit this waterfall on the same day and enjoy a fresh dip. Entry fee is again 15K and to reach the bottom you need to get in the water. Unfortunately we got there quite late (around midday) and it was already too crowded so we only took a couple of pics and left towards the following destination.
THE MONKEY FOREST: Probably one of the most famous spots in Ubud, this place looks very surreal. After paying a 50k entry fee, you can walk around as much as you like. Over 700 monkeys freely live in the forest, where you can also admire 186 different species of trees, temples and statues. Plenty of photo opportunities but…you’ll need a lot of patience to get the perfect shot, as this place is very popular and quite crowded.
The monkeys are always supervised by the local staff to ensure safety (monkeys can be really cheeky!)
Where we stayed
I would like to spend quite few words on this topic cos our Trip was focused on promoting sustainable travel and our accommodation was amazingly embracing this!
SWASTI ECO CONCIOUS VILLAGE is something we fell in love with from the very first second we stepped into the property. A hidden gem nestled in a very quiet and relaxing area, on the way to the famous Monkey Forest. All their cottages have been built using recycled wood and they have a Zero waste policy around the whole village. More than 25% of their land is used to grow organic chemical-free products, then used as ingredients in their on-site Organic Restaurant, the SWASTI BELOVED CAFÉ.
Every room has a filtered water dispenser (no plastic bottles around) and different coloured bins for any rubbish in order to be correctly disposed of and recycled. We have also noticed lots of efforts around the Island to make changes and be more respectful towards our planet, comparing to the last time we visited Bali few years ago.
Swasti also offers Yoga and Retreats programs, with new Detoxing ones coming up soon, so stay tuned! The perfect place to relax and reconnect with Nature and your Inner-self.
Or spend some time playing with the cutest rescued kitties ever!
Next article will be about FOOD!!!
Yes I know, that’s the most important part!
That’s why I would like to dedicate an entire post just to the best vegan food around Ubud..and believe me…there is a lot! And amazingly delicious!
Bali is definitely heaven for vegans!