Marisa's Guide to Bali

Why do people go to Bali? Since the premiere of Eat, Pray, Love, travelers arrived in droves in search of self-discovery and mysticism but Bali is much more.

Balinese people are storytellers. Their homes, their food, their dance, and their rituals passed down through generations all have a story to tell.

For example, undoubtedly you will notice trees wrapped in black and white checkered cloth throughout the island. To some, it may seem like decoration but once you start asking questions, you learn that the black and white cloth is scared, symbolizing a balance of good and evil.

My best advice for Bali is to be curious. Ask questions and search for its soul.

While Bali does have dramatic cliffside vistas and black sand, it's not known for its pristine beaches or easily accessible snorkeling. If you're searching for better beaches and marine life, I recommend pairing your Bali itinerary with island hopping in a private yacht.

Fast Facts

How long? At least 12 nights

Best time to go? May - August

Can't Miss Experiences

  • Paint a masterpiece with a Balinese artist
  • Visit the cliffside temples at sunset
  • Snorkel off the coast of remote islands
  • Design your own Ikat textiles
  • Hike to hidden waterfalls
  • Learn how to surf in style

Suggested Itinerary & Hotels


After your long international flight, you're going to want somewhere quiet to recover. Ubud has the perfect soothing scenery and spas to match.

Schedule a massage as soon as you arrive to combat jet lag and ease any burdens you brought with you. In Ubud, it's easy to walk along candlelit streets and find cafes nestled into the jungle. Wherever you go, you'll catch the smell of drifting incense and plumeria flowers.

Pause. Breathe it in. Slow down.

STAY: Four Seasons at Sayan

Four Seasons at Sayan, Ubud

After you've recovered from your jetlag and spent time exploring lush tropics and temples, it's time to head to the coast.

Seminyak is the perfect mix of quiet beachside but has enough nightlife and activity nearby to keep you entertained. With sunset dinners and cultural dance shows, you'll have plenty to do in between lounging.

You may want to pick up a few souvenirs or schedule a full day snorkeling tour since Seminyak is known to have some of the best marine life.

STAY: The Legian Bali, Seminyak

The Legian Bali, Seminyak
Sumba Island

For the truly adventurous, Sumba is the next stop on your itinerary. The easiest way to get there is to hop on an hour flight to the remote island.

Nihi Sumba Island is the epitome of barefoot luxury with the elegance of a 5-star resort. You'll feel like you're in a remote paradise in your very own jungle bungalow.

This is your time to truly unplug and enjoy nature. You can learn to surf and enjoy award winning meals.

The best part? Nihi Sumba Island is completely sustainable and deeply committed to humanitarian aid.

STAY: Nihi Sumba Island

Nihi Sumba Island

Maybe you're heading to Bali for surfing, for stunning landscapes, or for cultural immersion but I'm certain you'll discover something about yourself in the process.