Bali's best surfing and diving
Kuta & Seminyak
Ubud & Around
Lombok is the most popular destination in Nusa Tenggara, with the fabled Gili Islands drawing visitors for action both in and out of the water, mighty Gunung Rinjani luring trekkers, and the big breaks on the south coast a magnet for surfers.
Perched on the gentle slopes leading up towards the central mountains, Ubud is the other half of Bali’s tourism duopoly. Unlike South Bali, however, Ubud’s focus remains on the remarkable Balinese culture in its myriad forms. It’s not surprising that many people come to Ubud for a day or two and end up staying longer, drawn in by the rich culture and many activities.
South Bali & the Islands
Kuta & Legian
For decades, travellers have made the hop from Bali for a dip in the turquoise-tinted, bathtub-warm waters of the irresistible Gili Islands and stayed longer than anticipated.
Sanur is a slightly upmarket sea, sun and sand alternative to Kuta. The white-sand beach is sheltered by a reef. The resulting low-key surf contributes to Sanur’s nickname ‘Snore’, although this is also attributable to the area’s status as a haven for expat retirees. Some parents prefer the beach at Sanur because its calmness makes it a good place for small children to play.
The capital of Bali, Denpasar, has been the focus of much of the island’s growth and wealth over the last 20 years. It has an important museum, an arts centre and lots of shops. Denpasar means ‘next to the market’, and the main market (Pasar Badung) is the biggest and busiest in Bali.
Superbly positioned along a stretch of sweeping bays, Senggigi is Lombok’s principal beach resort. Accommodation here is generally excellent value for money, as luxury hotels have slashed rates in an attempt to draw in tourists following several tough years.