As a result of being considered the most important and visited island in Indonesia; Bali has created a shadow over its neighbors. However, apart from this popularity, Bali is surrounded by many more wonders that are equally stunning and absolutely worth visiting.
Indonesia is known by being a compound for many little islands, and since tourism began to be a very important economic activity for this country; experts say that the spotlight should be focused on many other places apart from Bali. Nevertheless, this stunning island can be used as a starting point to go to the other nearby destinations.
It is said that, if Bali keeps this rhythm of development and tourism exploitation; in ten years, it would get saturated in pollution, putting in danger all the natural variety that live in this amazing island.
Based on this fact, and our lack of knowledge about the different Indonesian islands; in this article, we want to open your eyes to all the stunning destinations you can find near Bali, where you could enjoy so many locations that have nothing to envy to their superstar neighbor.
Padang Bai: more than just a port town
This little town that is located on the east area of Bali is commonly known for being the departure and arrival port of boats and ferries to the islands, but Padang Bai is certainly much more than a port.
The travelers usually get to know this town on their trips from Bali to any other island like Lombok or the Gili islands, and some of them get enchanted with the calm they find in Padang Bai and decide to stay. In the main street, a few hotels can be found, and all of them are designed to make their visitors feel in personal paradises; private bungalows, astonishing gardens with perfectly tempered water pools in the middle, and the most important thing nowadays; Wi-Fi connection!
If you decide to stay there, you will find amazing beaches such as Blue Lagoon beach and Bias Tugal Beach, with very few tourists. The main attraction is the tours made for scuba diving in the reefs near the beaches, you can book a trip in a boat and locals will take you there. Scuba diving equipment is available for rent in case you don’t have it. Moreover, if you are really interested in these kinds of activities; you can take a 30-minute boat trip near Padang Bai where locals will take you to a diving spot where manta rays will be swimming around you!
Whether you want to stay in this town for a long vacation or just for a few days before departing to a paradisiac island; don’t forget to visit the diverse Buddhist and Muslim temples, as well as the traditional street markets all over the town.
Lembongan Island: your surfing paradise
Also known as Nusa Lembongan, this majestic island is so near from Bali that you will not hesitate about picking it as your next spot to visit after. Since the trip is very short, the options to travel are many, and nature is spectacular; this beautiful place is easy to fall in love with. Lembongan is not crowded but very touristic, and it’s simply a gem in the crown of Indonesia’s islands.
Various types of accommodation are available there, from a simple room with basic services and a stunning view of the sea that shows its very best moment at sunset, to surfing camps and even boutique hotels.
This incredible island has many things to offer; if you are into beaches and aquatic sports you cannot miss spending at least one day in Dream Beach can you picture how gorgeous a place has to be to deserve that name? Also, an incredible cave at the bottom part of the cliff that surrounds this beach appears from time to time. If you are interested to visit it; make sure it is a low tide day.
On the other hand, there is Mushroom Beach which is right next to Dream beach yet, somehow different, as it is way more commercial. It has plenty of bars and restaurants with prices a little bit higher but, it is also the most elected one by surfers.
Looking for something unique to remember for the rest of your life? Angel’s Billabong is the one. During the low tide, you will be able to observe the clearest glass waters of the lagoon and its gorgeous color levels of green and blue.
Additionally, in Lombok; you get to have the best of both worlds, as there are interesting activities not only for water lovers but also for land adventurers. Nusa Lembongan has lots of walking routes all over it, where you will catch the most amazing views from hills around the beaches.
Sanur: the perfect getaway
Only 15 kilometers away from the crowded Kuta beach; lies a splendid zone that combines antiquity with modernism. The environment you feel when you get to Sanur beach is so different and relaxed that you won’t remember you are so close to Bali.
Its water is very calm with a clear-blue shade, and its sand is so soft, white, and glittery. Fishermen locals keep their establishments on this beach which makes it as authentic as it was many years ago.
Different from many beaches, towns, and islands around; the largest amount of tourists who come to Sanur are from Europe, while Asians and Australians rather go directly to Bali or Lombok. This quiet atmosphere of relaxation also attracts lots of couples from different ages.
However, it is not all about relaxing here in Sanur! There are many hotels that suits different personalities and budget; from luxury hotels to little bungalows near the beach. Delicious local cuisine is easy to find, also, nightlife is a very interesting part of this charming town.
A typical day there may involve admiring awe-inspiring sunsets on the beach, have dinner in a local restaurant and go back to your hotel to rest in case you had a long day, or maybe hit the clubs in the area, they can be located in some hotels or just right on Sanur beach.
Something you definitely don’t want to miss; is attending “The International Sanur Kite Festival” it takes place once a year and lasts for a couple of days. During the festival, the sky over Sanur gets decorated with colorful vibrant kites with different shapes flying everywhere. It is so beautiful that deserves to be photographed.
The Gili Islands: the three tiny heavens
Absolutely free of the bustle and hustle present in other spots, this group of islands is becoming so popular lately, especially for Asian visitors. Formed by Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, the Gili islands are 100% free of vehicles and even motorcycles, could you imagine how peaceful they can be? These little paradise islands are located between Bali and Lombok, and getting there is as easy as taking a fast boat or ferry trip from one of the many ports in the region.
You can choose whether to visit each of them separately and spend some time there, or you can try an islands’ hopping tour to the three islands. No matter what option you pick; you will never regret it!
Gili Trawangan is the biggest among the three, surrounded by turquoise water and powdery shiny sand, this interesting place has a recent history, as Gili Trawangan has been occupied for few more than 30 years, but once discovered it has become a destination spot for many visitors.
This particular place has gained its popularity so fast due to many reasons: locals say the sunsets in here are the most spectacular on earth, sea life is so rich, diving is wonderful, and the hippie mood will make you feel like having fun in the Caribbean. Also, you get to bring your inner child back by riding a bike around the island.
The bays of Gili Trawangan are equally stunning, however, the main difference reclines in the number of tourists you will find, the further you get from the hotel area, the less they would be. Also, walking around the island won’t take you more than three hours including taking baths in the calm blue water from time to time.
Gili Meno is the less frequented Gili Island, but that does not mean it is not as stunning as the others! Locals say that it barely rains on this island, so you won’t have to worry about rainy days ruining your plans of getting smoothly tanned on the beach. Given the fact the weather is very dry in Gili Meno, the temperature of the clear like crystal water cannot be more perfect; warm enough to attract you but, cold enough to refresh you.
Hotel chains are not installed on the island yet; however, various types of accommodations are available, some private and fancy rooms are ready for use, as well as options for lower budgets. If you have an adventurous soul that reaches for a little wooden bungalow near the beach to sleep under a sky full stars; you can make it happen here.
Apart from the amazing bays where you can spend the day contemplating the view; there are also plenty of diving, swimming, and snorkeling activities.
Gili Meno also hosts other attractive spots to visit like the salt plans, incredible walk paths spread everywhere, and an amazing Bird Park full of tropical varieties of birds.
Gili Air is the third tropical island of this group; it is not the biggest one but the closest to Lombok. This peaceful place barely has 2000 inhabitants and they are extremely dedicated to pleasing their tourists. The simple fact of being in a place without pollution or disturbing vehicles already make it worth the visit.
In addition, having the chance to practice scuba diving and snorkeling in such splendid beaches and in really good prices will end up convincing you to spend a couple of days or more in this paradise. This little island is mostly surrounded by reefs, in which an enormous variety of sea life waits for you to share their space. Guided tours are easy to get and you will be surprised about how cheap they can be. Furthermore, what wouldn’t you do to take care of breathtaking sea turtles in their natural environment?
Lombok: the upcoming superstar
Described by visitors as the next Bali; Lombok is strongly making its way to the top to finally compete with its famous neighbor. This unique island is gifted with lots of incredible locations that are perfect for all kind of tourists with different interests and personalities. What makes Lombok so special is the fact that it is totally managed by locals and still maintains its genuine traits and warm vibe.
Stunning beaches are located all over the island, some of them are perfect to rest and get the perfect suntan, and one of them is Kuta beach, it’s located at the south and holds the most quantity of hotels and restaurants on the island. However, it’s still great for a time-out.
The south area of Lombok is well known for having astonishing bays to practice aquatic sports, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, and kite surfing. Gerupuk bay, Bangko Bangko beach, and Tanjung A’an are ideal spots with perfect waves.
A couple of surfing camps are also available on the island. So, whether you are a beginner or a professional; the beaches here have suitable waves for each type of surfer.
Nothing can be compared with the unique pink sand of Tangsi beach; in which red dead shells are mixed naturally with the sand and result in a wonderful pinkish tonality.
Waterfalls incredible hidden waterfalls in the middle of the lush forests are also among the treasures of this gorgeous place.
You can book a waterfall dig trip provided by the locals, which you get to pick the most suitable for you and your group based on the length, level of difficulty, or location.
You will come across some dazzling waterfalls after a 15-minute trekking like Sendang Gile and Tiu Tedja. After a 45-minute hiking through the jungle and even crossing a pending bridge; you will reach the most impressive waterfall on the island Tiu Kelep which will make you forget how long or hard the trip was at the exact moment you get into its natural pool filled by the 45-meter downfall of water.
Mount Rinjani is a majestic volcano and certainly one of Lombok’s highlights, where you can practice hiking. On the top of this volcano, you will appreciate breathtaking views of the entire Island and Bali too. On the other hand, you will get to have a look at the fishermen town and watch how they work, as well as many tobacco and grains plantations like rice, beans, garlic and vanilla where you will be able to take incredible photos, don’t forget the landscape views from any of the multiple hills that surrounds the majority of the beaches in Lombok; in there, sunsets are so beautiful that they really deserve being admired. Zoo-styled wildlife parks are also part of Lombok’s most valued treasures to share with all its tourists.
We are here for you
There are many more places inside, nearby, and outside Bali, that are totally worth a visit. However, a vacation trip like this needs a little bit of detailed planning to enjoy the most of your trip without having to worry about a thing.
In Baliferry we care about every little detail, so you don’t have to. By using our services you will realize how easy it is to move from one island to another. Actually, all you have to do is to pick the trip that fits you the most and you are ready to go!
Most people think that in this part of Indonesia, services are so limited that you never have the chance to choose because you have to take the only option available. However, we have everything to prove to you that this is not the case with us! By searching in www.baliferry.com you will find the schedules of our fast boats and ferries from all locations and to all locations. You will be able to easily choose your departure and arrival points, leaving and return dates, and the number of travelers; whether adults or children. After that, you can smoothly make the payment using either your credit card or PayPal account. In a few minutes, you will receive a detailed e-ticket for your trip, then you’re ready to go!
Extra features such as transfer services from the comfort of your hotel to the pier, whether by taxis or shared minivan are also available on our website. All the process is done online and our staff is always happy to help you if any questions arise.