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Island Dreams: A 12-Day Adventure through Bali and the Gili Islands

Indonesia, a mesmerizing archipelago, had long been on my travel wishlist, and this vacation finally gave me the chance to explore its splendor. As a pilot, I’ve seen many places from above, but this trip allowed me to experience the wonders of Bali and its surrounding islands from the ground up. 

With an itinerary packed with cultural immersions, natural beauty, and thrilling activities, I embarked on a 12-day adventure vacation in Indonesia, with new friends via a small group tour by Bamba Travel..

Days 1 to 2: Welcome to Bali

Bali, Indonesia

The journey began with my arrival in Bali. From the moment I landed, the warm tropical air and friendly greeting from our group leader set the tone for the trip. The hassle-free transfer to the hotel allowed me to unwind and get acquainted with fellow travelers. We spent the first day relaxing and soaking in the island vibes, gearing up for the adventure ahead.

The next day, we dove straight into Bali’s rich culture. Our visits to ancient temples were awe-inspiring; the intricate architecture and historical significance were captivating. 

We also learned a few phrases in Bahasa and participated in making a traditional Canang Sari offering. The day culminated with a serene sunset at the beach, followed by a delectable dinner and a lively night out.

Days 3 to 4: Time to Surf

surfing in bali

Day three was dedicated to surfing in Canggu. Under the guidance of expert instructors, we tackled the waves, each of us making progress regardless of our initial skill levels. The laid-back beach atmosphere and the thrill of riding the waves made for an exhilarating day.

On the fourth day, we ventured to Lovina, a lesser-known gem. The landscape was stunning, with picturesque rice paddies, majestic waterfalls, and awe-inspiring temples. Our accommodation offered spectacular views of the ocean and lush greenery, creating a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.

Days 5 to 6: Discovering Lovina

lovina indonesia

Our fifth day began with a boat ride along Lovina’s coastline, where we had the joy of spotting wild dolphins. The experience was magical, watching these playful creatures in their natural habitat. 

We then visited a local Balinese family, immersing ourselves in their daily life. From basket weaving to learning about coffee production, the cultural exchange was both educational and heartwarming.

On day six, we ferried to the breathtaking island of Gili Trawangan. The scenic ride through crystal-clear waters was just the beginning of a day filled with sunbathing on white sandy beaches. Gili T’s vibrant nightlife awaited us in the evening, offering a perfect end to an idyllic day.

Days 7 to 8: Exploring by Bike

indonesia biking

We explored Gili Trawangan by bike on the seventh day. With motorized vehicles banned on the island, cycling through charming villages and stunning landscapes was peaceful and refreshing. The day ended at the iconic sunset swing, where we watched the sun dip below the horizon.

The eighth day was dedicated to a snorkeling adventure around the three Gili Islands. The underwater world was a spectacle of vibrant marine life and colorful corals, with sea turtles adding to the enchantment. Sharing stories and photos over dinner, we relished the day’s underwater exploration.

Days 9 to 10: Back to Bali

bali indonesia temple

Returning to Bali, we arrived in Ubud on the ninth day. Known as the cultural hub, Ubud offered a tranquil ambiance perfect for unwinding. I spent the afternoon wandering through traditional markets, soaking in the artistic vibe of the town.

The next day, we visited Ubud’s famous Monkey Forest. Home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys, the forest was a lively and fascinating place. Exploring the ancient temples within the sanctuary added a historical dimension to our visit.

Days 11 to 12: Goodbye Bali

An early morning trek up a volcano on the eleventh day was both challenging and rewarding. Reaching the summit just in time for a breathtaking sunrise, we enjoyed breakfast with a view before descending for a well-deserved massage. The rest of the day was spent leisurely exploring Ubud’s markets and cultural sites.

The twelfth day marked the end of our incredible journey. After a final breakfast, we bid farewell to new friends and headed to the airport. For those who could, extending the stay in Ubud was an enticing option, given the town’s endless charm.

Final Word

Throughout this journey, I realized how much there is to learn and appreciate about different cultures and natural landscapes. The warmth of the Balinese people, the beauty of their traditions, and the stunning diversity of the islands left a lasting impression on me. This trip wasn’t just a vacation; it was a profound experience that broadened my horizons and deepened my appreciation for the world.

Leaving Indonesia, I carried with me not just memories of beautiful places but a sense of fulfillment and enrichment. This 12-day adventure through Bali and the Gili Islands was a perfect blend of cultural immersion,

Check out Bamba Travel’s free Indonesia itinerary below:

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Guest post written by Ricky Trust

Meet Pilot Ricky Trust, a man of the skies who finds as much joy in sharing his adventures through the written word as he does in navigating the clouds. From the cockpit to the page, Ricky’s passion for travel knows no bounds.