january 19-28 | 2020
Experience the surf, sand, and spirituality of this magnificent gem of the Indonesian archipelago. With exclusive opportunities only for NPCA members and guests, get to know the monstrously beautiful Bali like no one else can. We will bounce from beach to rice paddy, from private yoga overlooking the steamy jungle to exclusive dinner with the Balinese Royal family, from snorkel to temple. Through millennia of trade and cross-cultural influence Bali has maintained a unique culture and outlook. Learn why this tropical atoll has been dubbed the jewel of the South Pacific for centuries. You’ll enjoy getting to know the locals of the island in a way few tourists have an opportunity to see them. Join us as we venture to this special island. Come away! Come away!
Princes and Temples. Participate in a sacred fire cleansing ceremony and have an exclusive dinner with the Balinese Royal family.
Cultural Immersion. Meet locals who are preserving the culture of the island while still developing the atoll to thrive. With 80% of the economy based in tourism, you’ll only stay in sustainable locally owned accommodations throughout the program.
Beaches and Batik. Sink your toes in the miraculous black sand beaches on shores of the island. In Ubud, immerse yourself in the local art culture, learning about the handicrafts of the island such as the batik fabric dying process and hand painted shadow puppets.
Accommodations are charming, locally-owned 3- and 4-star hotels and beach villas. Prices are based on double occupancy. Private accommodations are available for a $499 for the base program. As a solo traveler, if you prefer, we can also pair you with another traveler (two twin beds, requiring no single supplement, based on availability).
Bali is known for its tropical jungles, rice paddies, sand and waves. While this trip is accessible for most healthy travelers, please note that the trip can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking (including stairs, varied elevations, and uneven surfaces) and biking. Further, Bali is known for humid, hot and sometimes unpredictable, weather. It’s critical that all travelers pack appropriate all weather gear and be prepared for hot temperatures (additional details and recommendations will be provided after registration in a suggested packing list). If you have any medical conditions or other concerns, there will be opportunity for you to make us aware of them, and then we can determine if the trip is appropriate for you.
- All accommodations, activities, sightseeing, and entry fees listed in the itinerary.
- All meals listed in the itinerary.
- Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach, as well as transfers for the group as appropriate.
- Bottled water during all excursions.
- The services of an exceptional bilingual tour guide as described in the itinerary.
- Comprehensive cultural information and reading materials.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Flights to and from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) (DPS).
- Local health insurance.
- Expenses of a purely personal nature (including cab fares, laundry and other personal items, room service charges, passport application fees, etc.).
- Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance.
- Travel insurance.
- Food and beverage other than that specified in the itinerary.
- Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, travel conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control.
BASE TRIP PRICE - $2,299 ($499 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT)
Maximum travelers: 20
This trip is coordinated by RPCV Mary Bruce of tour operator Insider Expeditions.
Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Reservation fee will be credited towards full ticket.
Days One & Two—January 19 & 20, 2020—Voyage to the Last Paradise
Grab your swimsuits and your yoga pants because we’re off to Bali, this gem of Indonesia is home to three volcanoes and we’ll make it our home for the next ten days.
Day Three—January 21, 2020—Welcome to the Island of the Gods
Arrive at Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, in the early afternoon. Head to Ubud and settle into your lodging overlooking beautiful rice paddies. Enjoy your first taste of Balinese cuisine at our welcome dinner of be siap sambal matah— a traditional shredded chicken with spices— and a variety of sates (vegetarian options are always available). Then we’ll tuck in for a good night’s sleep. Meals: Welcome Dinner
Day Four—January 22, 2020—Princes and Sacred Waters
On our first morning, we’ll venture out for a rice-paddy herbal walk. Learn about native plants and how the leaves, fruits and flowers of various plants are used for traditional medicine, as well as the importance of preserving the irrigation system and the protocols for its use in the community. Drive to Tirta Empul Holy Spring Temple, considered a sacred site by Balinese as a place to purify the soul and mind. That evening, put on your special Balinese outfit, a gift from our Balinese hosts, and attend an exclusive Royal Palace tour & dinner with the Prince of the Royal Family at the Peliatan Palace. Over dinner, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss Bali’s traditional culture as well as modern-day challenges. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five—January 23, 2020—Eco-Ride into the Jungle
Wake up in the jungle splendor of Ubud, listen to the calls of the birds and feel the warm air of this paradise. Enjoy your locally grown coffee and relax as you rise. Head off on our mountain bikes through the heartland of Bali, travelling downhill on secret back roads, through minor villages—we’ll be alone save for our local Balinese neighbors. That evening we’ll explore downtown Ubud together, speaking with artists and craftsmen about their work, we’ll see everything from jewelry to handcrafted shadow puppets. We’ll be joined for dinner by a local leader of an NGO to discuss how tourism has changed daily life in Bali. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six—January 24, 2020—Spiritual Cleansing
Journey to one of the most gorgeous buildings in Bali, designed personally by one of the princes of Ubud—every component was designed as part of a spiritual and sacred journey. Next Step Travel has a special relationship with the royal family who have arranged for us to enter the sacred pools, and swim in its unbelievable half-mile meandering pool, built on the edges of the sacred Ayung River. You have the afternoon free—may we suggest wandering the many interesting shops specializing in batik, jewelry, and local handicrafts. This evening we will participate in an ancient Balinese fire purification ceremony at a priest’s home, The Agni Hotra from the sacred Vedic text. The rest of the evening is your own to reflect on the beauty of the ceremony or explore town. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Seven—January 25, 2020—Bali Hai! Here am I, Your Special Island.
Delve deeper into Balinese culture and beauty as we head to Pemuteran, a small fishing village on the northern coast of West Bali. Visit the historical Ulun Danu Temple, built in 1633 and recognized worldwide. This terraced and thatched masterpiece will leave you in awe of its iconic beauty. Check in at our shoreline accommodations in the afternoon just in time to witness a spectacular sunset on the beach. Evening and dinner at your leisure. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Eight—January 26, 2020—Clownfish and Moonlight
Boat to Menjangan Island off the western tip of Bali for some of the best snorkeling or diving in the region—some would even say the world. You’ll have an opportunity to speak with local fishermen who still make their living on the seas. We’ll head back to our hotel to freshen up in the late afternoon before we come together for a special dinner at a local Balinese family compound. In the glow of the moonlight we’ll take a special night trip to Melanting Temple. Most Balinese travel here at least once a year for blessings and good luck. We’ll all be blessed with prosperity and magical memories after this trip. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Nine—January 27, 2020—Coral and Coffee
Learn about the Coral Restoration Project in the morning, awarded the Equator Prize by the United Nations Development Programme. Travel through central Bali to the quiet village of Munduk, situated high above sea level. It’s known for its breathtaking views, as well as cloves and coffee plantations. Arrive at our accommodations in Mengwi, surrounded by rice fields, for the last night in Bali. Learn the history of this ancient capital of the traditional Balinese royals as you tour the town with a local anthropologist. This evening we’ll come together for a special final Balinese-style dinner. Surrounded by your Next Step Travel friends and hosts this will be a dinner for the ages. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Day Ten—January 28, 2020—Titiang Lungsur Mapamit Dumun, Bali!
Morning free to enjoy the sights and sounds of Mengwi. After a final breakfast we’ll say our goodbyes, to friends old and new. The politest way to say goodbye in Balinese is, “Titiang Lungsur Mapamit Dumun” which translates to simply, “Well, I have to go now.” You’ll be longing to stay here forever in this magical island after our transformative trip. Meals: Breakfast
Cancellation by Traveler
The $250 trip deposit is non-refundable.
- 25% non-refundable 120 days or more prior to departure
- 50% non-refundable 119 to 90 days prior to departure
- 75% non-refundable 89 to 60 days prior to departure
- 100% non-refundable 59 days or less prior to departure If a traveler leaves the trip for any reason after it has commenced, we are not obligated to make any refunds for unused services. If a travelers fails to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made.
Cancellation by Trip Operator - Insider Expeditions (IE)
IE may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events, it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If IE cancels the trip, traveler can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.
This particular tour has been designed with specific Balinese individuals and events in mind, whose schedules and availabilities may change without notice. While we do our best to adhere to the itinerary, traveling to Bali requires flexibility, and changes to specific interactions and other activities may occur. In addition, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and changes to timetables and transport routes, which can happen with little notice. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. Each day we will update you on the program and keep you informed throughout the trip.