Bali & Lombok
The following sample itineraries from our latest Bali & Lombok guide will see you on some natural highs (both literally and figuratively) in two stunning destinations that rise far above your typical tropical island:
Leaving the Crowds Behind
The vast majority of visitors to Bali never get beyond the South Bali-Kuta conurbation - some don't even get up the hill to Ubud! On this trip, you'll definitely get up the hill; in fact you'll get up two, and then you'll work your way down to sea level through some back road villages and the national park.
Start with a climb of Gunung Batur, the 1717m peak in the volcanic caldera that still regularly erupts. The half-day treks up the hill are popular with hikers and the early morning views will give a panorama of things to come. The notorious local guiding agency should be viewed with a certain stoicism that's befitting of the sacred nature of the mountains. We suggest hiring a guide from one of the local agencies. From the volcanic sands atop Gunung Batur, you'll see the blue waters of Danau Batur and the nearby peaks of Gunung Abang and Gunung Agung. Escape the day-trippers' trails and explore other parts of the mountains, including those where you can see cones forming, promising future volcanic events. Next, tackle Gunung Agung, the spiritual centre of the island. Start early so you can reach the top and take in the views of Bali and other islands before the daily onslaught of clouds and mist.
Having climbed Bali's two most legendary peaks, head west to the little village of Munduk, which looks down to the north coast and the sea beyond. Go on one of the myriad of walks in the area and enjoy waterfalls, truly tiny villages, wild fruit trees and the sinuous bands of rice paddies lining the hills like ribbons. Finally, go all the way west and set yourself up for a trek in Taman Nasional Bali Barat, the national park. You can quickly escape the development that pervades so much of Bali and plunge into den