As the cold weather in much of the world continues, there are still a handful of places that are very much a warm paradise. Bali, one of the many Indonesian islands, is the perfect place for an exotic getaway filled with sun, sand, vibrant culture and amazing food. Here are just a few reasons to check Bali off your bucket list in 2016.
Being in such close proximity to the equator means all-year warm climates. This tropical and humid climate essentially makes it summer all year. Though Bali doesn't have a variation in seasons in the expected sense, there are dry and rainy seasons instead. The rain may be comfortable and alluring to some, but most travellers opt to go during the traditionally drier time of year in from April to September, with temperatures and travel peaking in July and August.
Nature & Wildlife
Bali is an island of many beautiful beaches, some more popular than others. With white sands and clear waters, these long curved stretches are perfect for swimmers, surfers, beach bum and everyone in between. It's easy to see why so many travellers consider it a romantic destination, with picturesque sunsets and volcano views that would make for the perfect spread in National Geographic. For animal lovers, there's plenty of opportunity to see and interact with animals in a way that doesn't put them at risk or keep them in captivity. Places like the Ubud Monkey Forest are perfect for this reason, along with the other similar forests in other parts of Bali, bird and turtle sanctuaries and elephant safaris.
Balinese food is unique, savoury and spicy and you can find fantastic dishes all over the island for very reasonable prices. With a huge emphasis on seafood, fish dishes are extremely popular along with pork and chicken. Most traditional Balinese dishes are paired with rice and vegetables and served on top of a large banana leaf. With influences from neighbouring countries as well as tourism, it's also easy to find high quality fusion cuisine that mixes Indian, Thai, Italian, French and Japanese cuisine alongside Balinese food.
In Bali, there is no shortage of art, music theatre and dance to enjoy, as they are known for their form of not only elaborate religious celebrations through music and dance, but also traditional shadow puppet plays, called Wayang kuilt. Though the island is mainly Hindu, there is also a unique touch of Buddhist influences that have become infused with larger Balinese culture and customs. With over 10,00 temples on the island, there is lots of importance placed on spirituality.
Spas & Retreats
Since massages and other body treatments are such a big part of Balinese culture, it's not difficult to find a plethora of inexpensive experiences to get luxurious treatment. Spas of all types and sizes exist all over the island and it's possible to get a 60-minute massage for as little as $5 USD. As one of the locales in the book Eat, Pray, Love
it's no wonder that Bali is so closely associated with healing, rejuvenation and self-pampering. Whether you have a spa as part of your hotel or resorts or you check out some of the islands other options, the possibilities are endless.