Arriving and staying options
We flew from London Heathrow to Denpasar (Bali) with Garuda Indonesia Airlines with a transit in Jakarta on the way out and a transit in Singapore on the way back. The two places we stayed at were the Grand Mirage Thalasso and Spa in Nusa Dua and then The Layar Villas and Spa in Seminyak.
Arrival and your first day of stay
I recommend you take a day or two of chilling to get rid of the side effects of a long-haul flight and a different time zone. At the end of the day, it's nice to switch off your brain and recharge your body. "Sweetness of doing nothing" - as it's been said in a film once... :)
Grand Mirage Thalasso and Spa is absolutely stunning, see if you can compare deals on IQPlanner.
Elephant Safari Lodge in Taro
Feed the elephants, learn about them and trek through the jungle. The jungle trek is part of the compound and only about 15 mins, although they say 30. It is a good opportunity to quiz your elephant guide about the majestic animals and Bali life.
Volcano at Mount Batur
Volcano at Mount Batur with views of the volcano and lakes whilst enjoying lunch. If you have older children, you can set off really early and climb the volcano. We were told that the sunrise is amazing when you get to the top. If you have some extra time you can visit the twin lakes nearby
Visiting Coffee plantation
At the coffee plantation, you will learn about the world famous Balinese Luwak coffee as well as other spices they grow. Try the different flavoured coffees and do try the Luwak coffee, which is in a league of its own in terms of flavour - smooth and mellow like no other coffee I've ever tasted.
Explore the local village
Visit a traditional village to learn about Bali culture and traditions. The residents are more than welcome for you to take a look inside their homes. They also sell handmade gifts and ornaments. Take a stroll through the bamboo forest while here too.
Chilling at the resort
Spend a relaxing day at the resort. Enjoy a late breakfast, the beach and spa facilities.
Bedugal lake and temple
This place is so peaceful, even with hundreds of people around. Be there at the right time and you can see a religious ceremony that takes you through the gates and across to some amazing views.
Git Git waterfall. Don't forget your swimming gear and a camera. This waterfall has fresh spring water cascading from above. The water is so clear. Be careful as you step around as it is rocky beneath. The water is cold when you first get in but after a while, you get used to it. There is a large rock over on the right-hand side for you to jump from. It is 3m deep closer to the waterfall, so competent swimmers only.
Spend the entire day here!
Waterbom Bali has been rated the best waterpark in Asia and the second best waterpark in the world!
Book a package excluding the day bed, it includes VIP entrance, towels, lockers, lunch with soft drinks, all your pictures to download and one free pass per person to a choice of some paid rides or a massage.
If you want a massage or to try out Flowrider, I suggest you do this as soon as you arrive as they are the popular choices. Don't worry about booking a day bed, you will hardly use it. Use the facilities of the lockers and get a sunbed by the main pool or children's pool so that you can keep an eye on the little ones.
A couple of the slides do not allow you go on if you have any buckles, zips or metal bits on your swimwear. We had lunch at Thaitalia, next to Flowrider. Great food and you can pick up some tips on how to ride Flowrider before taking the challenge
Spend the day in and around Ubud
See how silver jewellery and kites are made. Visit the palace and markets and sit in a coffee shop people watching.
Tegalalang rice terraces
You must stop at the little I Love Bali platform. Grab a sign of your choice and take some snaps here. Leave a small donation that goes to the farmers. trek down the terraces and then back up the other side for some amazing views. Be careful as it can be a little slippery if wet.
Monkey Forest Ubud
Buy some bananas to feed the monkeys if you are happy for them to climb on you. Don't tease them though as they can get quite aggressive. Move past the entrance and the crowds and you will see more of the monkeys and the forest itself.
Ubud Palace and market
Ubud market for a spot of shopping. Great for a spot of bargaining. However, on the main road, you will find little boutiques with some unusual pieces that you won't find elsewhere.
Relaxing at the hotel
Spend the day on the beach, at the pool and relax!
Bali Safari and Marine Park
Take some time out to have some more spa treatments.
Don't forget to make the most of those amazing sunsets. Jimbaran Bay, Potato Head Beach Club, Ku de Ta or Rock Bar Bali are some of the best.