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The island of Bali is part of the Republic of Indonesia, the largest archipelago in the world with over 18,000 islands.

Year after year, Bali is ranked as “The World’s Best Island” destination by the readership of international travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure. The combination of friendly, hospitable people, the physical beauty of the island, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality, spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving and the year-round pleasant climate all contribute to Bali’s unparalleled designation as the world’s best island.

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Bali offers travelers of all ages a wide variety of leisure activities to enjoy – regardless of interests and budget.

Being an island, the beach is a major factor in any holiday. Bali has a coastline which offers every possible water activity, including surfing some of the best waves in the world, swimming with dolphins, cruises, snorkeling, diving, sailing, bungee jumping and paragliding. Non-beach related outdoor activities include river rafting, mountain cycling, observing local artisans create their arts and crafts and visiting museums and zoos.

Large portions of Bali’s countryside are accessible to visitors in the form of National Parks and open areas. Hiking can be as easy or as difficult as you’d like it to be. Waterfalls with spectacular drops as high as 100m and often pools suitable for swimming at the bottom can be found all over Bali. Some involve a hike to get there, some are conveniently located right along the roadside. You can relax in either hot or cool natural springs to cleanse your mind and soothe away any aches and pains you may have brought with you to Bali.

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Being close to the equator, Bali has a tropical climate. Year round temperatures average around 31 degrees Celsius. There are two distinct seasons, characterized as Rainy and Dry.

THE RAINY SEASON: High humidity can be expected during the rainy season between October and April when there is often daily rain. The most rainy times are between December and February and the days are hot and steamy – truly tropical. Some people just love Bali in the wet season as there are fewer tourists and the monsoonal weather adds to the sense of exotic escape.

THE DRY SEASON: The dry season falls between the months of May and September. The air feels cooler in the dry season, because it’s less humid – so many people consider this the best time to visit Bali. Occasionally rainfall can also be expected during the dry season but usually at night or very early morning. From June to August, there is usually a very refreshing cool breeze all day long. The central mountain area is typically cooler than the lower coastal areas especially at night.

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Bali is famous for many forms of art, including painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts and performing arts.

Villages on the way from Denpasar to Ubud, the artistic center of Bali, are uniquely known for their specific art and crafts, such as wood and stone carving, batik production, silver and painting.

Balinese gamelan music is highly developed and varied and their traditional dances portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana. Famous Balinese dance types include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barongandkecak (the monkey dance).

The majority of Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism and they observe a great number of ceremonies and celebrations throughout the year. The Hindu new year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. The day before Nyepi is marked by evening celebrations where large, colorful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned to drive away evil spirits. On Nyepi day, everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. NgurahRai, the International Airport in Bali even closes for Nyepi.

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Nusa Dua attracts tourists wanting a quiet vacation, with all the amenities star-rated accommodations can bring. Kuta is known for its spectacular sunsets, superb surf breaks and a vibrant nightlife. Jimbaran Bay, another place to watch the sun go down, prides itself for its seafood-on-the-beach restaurants.

Denpasar, the capital, provides the traditional market of PasarBadung, the PuraJagatnatha temple, the Bird Marketand learning about Balinese culture at Bali Provincial State Museum.

Ubud, once a sleepy artists colony, has evolved into an upscale tourist resort. An excursion to Pejeng outside Ubud reveals numerous antiquities, including the fascinating reliefs of YehPulu and numerous temples – Goa Gaja, PuraPenataranSasih, PuraKeboEdanandPuraAgungBatanBingin.

Singaraja in north Bali, retains elements of Dutch architecture and bears witness to its colonial past with Arabian, Chinese and Dutch traders. Slightly to the west is Lovina, where dolphins can often be seen in the waters off the beach. Pura Pulaki, one of the island’s most sacred temples, is located in north Bali and is believed to be the first one built by the great itinerant priest Danghyang Nirartha.

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