The Best of Bali : Art, Spirituality and Healing.

the-best-of-bali
August 15- 28, 2019

Bali is famous for its stunning physical beauty, rich spiritual life, and gracious hospitality. It’s a lush, emerald gem of an island full of majestic volcanoes and terraced rice fields that spill gently into an azure sea. Bali’s rich cultural heritage and deep reverence for life are legendary, rendering it more than just another tropical island paradise. Bali-Hinduism (an exceptional mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism) guides every aspect of life. Ritual and reverence are everywhere you look, creating an artistic and spiritual mecca unlike anywhere else in the world.

Our trip will bring you into three distinct regions of Bali. We will stay in small, locally owned hotels away from the tourist scene—so you can fully immerse yourself in this unique, evocative culture. Our excursions will include rice field hikes, treks in the rain forest, snorkeling expeditions among tropical coral gardens, walks through coffee and clove plantations, and lush waterfalls. Each day, your tour guides will give you an insider’s view of Balinese dance, music, art, and sacred ceremonies.

The journey begins at elegant Lotus Bungalows Resort perched right at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Here at Candi Dasa beach you will snorkel in the crystal-clear Indian Ocean and enjoy the local mountainous scenery. In the gateway to East Bali we will day-trip to swim in spring-fed pools, explore old palaces, and visit artists in an aboriginal village, and begin our time together as a small traveling community. You will begin to learn about the Balinese people—their language, their culture, and their way of life

From here we travel to Ubud, known as Bali’s “cultural center.” Ubud has much to offer—the possibility of traditional dance and music performances every night, perhaps the best selection of restaurants on the island, a thriving arts community, fabulous shopping, numerous ceremonies, and stunning ancient temples. We will explore a bit of all of these, plus visit the family home of your local guide, Made Surya to tour the compound, enjoy a tasty lunch, and learn about family life in Bali.

Spend your final days on the island at a peaceful eco-resort in a friendly mountain village of Munduk. With its dedication to nature, culture, and healing it is the perfect place to explore and then conclude your journey among the stunning views of rice fields, lush greenery, and mountain peaks. This area is seldom visited by tourists and will provide a soothing ending to our intimate tour before returning to your daily life.

Itinerary

Aug. 15 Day 1: Transit The journey begins. Depart USA around midnight, groggy but excited. Cross international dateline and lose an entire calendar day, which is made up on your return and which, if you’ve never experienced this phenomenon, is sort of cool.

Aug. 16 Day 2 : Candi Dasa BL Arrive at Bali’s new Denpasar airport mid-afternoon, where you are met, and escorted to our amazing beachfront bungalows at Candi (pronounced Chaan-dee) Dasa in east Bali. Check in and unpack before dinner together. Enjoy a swim in hotel’s glorious infinity pool because obviously.

Aug. 17 Day 3: Candi Dasa B Buffet breakfast, then venture off by private bus to our waiting boats and enjoy a snorkeling excursion in a nearby coral reef preserve with views of Bali’s stunning Mount Agung. Back to Lotus Bungalows for lunch, and our first orientation session focusing on basic Indonesian manners & customs, including a demonstration of how to wrap your traditional sarong because that’s sort of important. At 5:30  gather by the pool for Happy Hour and a talk with Made Surya on Bali-Hinduism, followed by dinner.

Aug. 18  Day 4: Candi Dasa B Breakfast, and our second orientation/language session focusing on Bali’s unique religious composition and caste system. Excursion to east Bali, with a visit to the royal palace, and time-travel back to the Dutch colonial era. Onward to Tirtagangga, a stunning “water palace” built by the region’s last Raja (king). Swim in the crystal clear, Olympic-sized freshwater pool, followed by lunch in the gourmet restaurant overlooking the palace grounds. On the trip back, visit an unique organic chocolate factory owned by a man named Charley (seriously). During Happy Hour, Made Surya will discuss the importance of temples and temple festivals. Evening ethnographic film: National Geographic Special on Bali.Anyaman

 Aug. 19 Day 5: Candi Dasa B Breakfast, followed by third orientation/language session on bargaining. Visit to nearby Tenganan aboriginal village, where Bali’s finest basket making and textile weaving takes place, and where we enjoy a personal demonstration of calligraphy. After lunch in Candi Dasa, the afternoon is free. Happy Hour seminar with Made Surya on Bali’s history, followed by final dinner your own.

Aug. 20 Day 6: Ubud B Breakfast with final orientation/language session. Depart Candi Dasa for Ubud, Bali’s “cultural center,” stopping along the way to visit, have lunch, and tour a very special NGO (named Happy Hearts) for disabled Balinese adults. Arrive in Ubud and check into our hotel, followed by a brief walking tour to acquaint you with local amenities and purchasing sarongs. Amazing evening performance of Kecak (Ramayana) dance and fire trance dance, followed by dinner.

 TenunAug. 21 Day 7: Ubud B D After breakfast, morning excursion to an 11th century temple for a tour and seminar with Made Surya on Balinese iconography and spirituality. Then segue by foot to an ancient power spot, noted for meditation. Finally walk to the home of a respected priest and healer to hear about Balians—traditional healers with a chance for a treatment. The remainder of the day free until late afternoon, when we travel to the temple of Tirta Empul in Tampaksiring  for a purification ceremony in the healing waters, followed by a visit to the main temple. Back to Ubud and dinner on your own.

Aug. 22 Day 8: Ubud B Breakfast. Excursion to the home of another gifted healer, specializing in bones, joints and muscles and with Made Surya translating. Chance for a treatment if needed. Then journey to the home of your guide, Made Surya, meet the family, tour the compound, and enjoy a traditional lunch. On the way back to Ubud, stop at the home of your guide for a brief visit

Evening performance of Jegog, giant bamboo Gamelan described as the “Sounds of the Earth, accompanied by traditional dance.

Aug. 23 Day 9: Ubud B Excursion to visit artists and craftsmen in their home studios, beginning with a factory in nearby Pejeng, where they create beautiful traditional batik. On to a compound of shadow puppet makers and performers for a demonstration. Our final visit is to the home of one of the few carvers on the island who creates sacred masks. Afternoon free for last minute body-work, shopping, or trekking. Evening traditional ristaffel and farewell to Ubud.

Aug. 24 Day 10 Munduk BD Breakfast and check-out. Depart for island tour of volcano country and north Bali. We wind our way through stunning landscapes and Bali’s fruit and vegetable basket, stopping at the fruit and flower market, and Pura Ulun Danu, Bali’s most beautiful temple, named for a goddess, floating on a small island in a volcanic lake. Arrive in Munduk mountain village early afternoon, have lunch, and check into hotel. Late afternoon meet at the Sunset Bar for a talk with Made Surya on Balinese Rites of Passage: Birth, Initiation into Adulthood, Marriage, and Death. In the evening, we will have the first of our family-style group dinners.

 Aug. 25 Day 11 Munduk BD Breakfast, followed by a gorgeous, relatively easy trek through the neighboring countryside: small villages, rice fields, coffee and clove plantations, culminating at the magical Growing Stone. Afternoon free. Evening meal together followed by optional ethnographic film: Kawitan (ceremonies held for babies in Bali.)

Aug. 26 Day 12 Munduk BD Breakfast, then depart the hotel for a trek through coffee and clove plantations to Bali’s highest waterfall. In the afternoon meet with Made Surya for a talk on the irrigation systems and their relationship to the religion. Evening dinner together. Ethnographic film “Kahyangan”  (ceremonies connected with death in Bali.)

Aug. 27 Day 13 Munduk BD Breakfast. Free day to take another trek, indulge in body treatments, enjoy further touring, your choice, until Happy Hour together—a time to ask unanswered questions. Final dinner, followed by a performance of music and dance by the local village dance and gamelan group.

 Aug. 28  Day 14 Transit  After breakfast, depart for the airport and your flight home, or stay on and enjoy more of Bali and Indonesia. Arrive back the same calendar day.

Our Hotels: www.lotusbungalows.com/

www.okawatihotel.com

www.purilumbung.com

No one is expected to join every activity, however there will be no refunds for any missed activities, and anyone who leaves the tour at any time, for any reason, is on their own.

Included:

  • Round-trip airfare from San Francisco or LAX
  • Airport transfers and all mini-shuttles
  • Snorkeling excursion in Candi Dasa (excluding mask and fin rental)
  • Attendance at three traditional dance, puppet & music performances
  • Guided tours of Tenganan aboriginal village, Tirtagangga Water Palace, Karangasem royal palace, chocolate factory,
  • Home/studio of a master carver of sacred masks, Ulun Danu and Goa Gajah Temples, Ogoh Ogoh Museum, fruit and flower market
  • Treks through the neighboring countryside: small villages, rice fields, coffee and clove plantations, culminating at the magical Growing Stone, and Bali’s most magical waterfall
  • Purification ceremony at Tirta Empul sacred springs,  possible attendance at full-moon ceremonies in local temples and a traditional cremation ceremony.
  • Breakfast every day, lunch in your guides family compound and our favorite NGO , four family-style dinners in Munduk, farewell to Ubud ristaffel
  • Seminars and talks on local customs and culture, language, Bali-Hindu religion & caste system, traditional healers, rites of passage, symbolism in cremation, ancestor worship, trance and sacred masks, history and politics and more.
  • Visit and treatment with two traditional healers
  • Undying services of Madé Surya & Judy Slattum, Bali specialists.
  • Four nights in seaside Candi Dasa
  • Four nights in Ubud cultural center
  • Four Nights in Munduk mountain village
  • Pre-trip information. On-site handouts. And more

 Not Included:

  • Meals that are not noted in above itinerary (expect $6-$12 per meal)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry services
  • Overweight baggage fees
  • Snorkel equipment rental (just a few bucks)
  • Any additional activities or excursions not listed

Trip Cost: $3250.00, includes airfare from LA or San Francisco.Ground only, deduct $900.00.

NOTE: Price is based on double-occupancy room, each with private bath (all hotels have western amenities and two have swimming pools). Includes full breakfast, excursions listed, classes and workshops, services of western and Balinese guides, along with several orientation and language sessions. Also includes all hotel transfers, land arrangements. Please note that an unexpected rise in fuel taxes may influence the final price. Those arranging their own air travel will be responsible for transfers from the airport to hotel and back. Minimum 6 participants, maximum 12.

Airlines: The flight is on regularly scheduled Tai-Pei based EVA airlines.
Ground only  does not include airport transfers.

Deposit: A deposit of $500.00 per person is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due June 15, 2019.

Cancellations and Refunds: For the flight portion, cancellation will be governed by the rules and regulations as listed in the flight contract by the participating airline. For the land portion, a cancellation fee of $350.00 will be collected up to 60 days prior to departure, after which half the final payment will be refunded. No refunds will be made from one week before departure. Trip cancellation and medical evacuation insurance is highly recommended.

Baggage: Two (2) pieces of luggage, not exceeding 62 inches or 50 lbs. Pack light… it’s Bali.

Accommodations: All accommodations are based on two persons sharing a twin bedded room with private, western-style bath. Single supplement (based on availability) $ 440.00 additional.

Roommates: Single travelers may sign up for accommodations desired on a share basis and will be assigned a roommate as circumstances permit. If a roommate is unavailable, the participant will be notified of the adjusted price for a single supplement.

Passports, Visa & Health: A passport, valid six months from date of entry with proof of onward transportation. Indonesian free visa for 30 days granted on arrival to US citizens. No inoculations are suggested or required.

Tour Organizers/Leaders: Made Surya, son of a Bali/Hindu priest (Pemangku), Surya was given private religious instruction to prepare him to take over as head of the 400 year old family compound. His parents, with help from academic scholarships, also managed to put Surya through graduate school. He is also a performer of traditional mask dance, a mask carver, and is frequently asked to sing Kawi religious texts at ceremonies.

Thirty one years ago Surya married Bali scholar Judy Slattum (Balinese Masks, Periplus Editions) and together they organize and lead theme trips for visitors to Bali. One of these trips, The Healing Arts of Bali, involves bringing visitors to the homes of Balinese Healers to watch them work and answer questions. Through this, Surya has become familiar with and in many cases, close to some of Bali’s foremost Healers.

For eight years Surya conducted trips for the Institute of Noetic Sciences, on traditional healing, and family and community relations in Bali. Part of the process involved intricate philosophical translation with healers and Western health care professionals, especially psychotherapists.

Presently he is working with Dr. Adi Putera writing the first book in English on traditional healing practices in Bali.