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BALI, INDONESIA

Year after year, Bali is ranked as "The World's Best Island" destination by the readership of international travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure. The combination of friendly, hospitable people, the physical beauty of the island, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality, spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving, and the year-round pleasant climate all contribute to Bali's unparalleled designation as the world's best island.

The island of Bali is part of the Republic of Indonesia, the largest archipelago in the world with over 18,000 islands. Bali is surrounded by the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean. It's positioned in Southeast Asia, in central Indonesia, and sits just to the east of the island of Java and just west of the island of Lombok.

Bali is located in the eastern and southern hemispheres. It's positioned in Southeast Asia, in central Indonesia, and sits just to the east of the island of Java, and just west of the island of Lombok. Dormant volcanoes (some exceeding 3,000 meters) stretch across the island. Tropical rain forests, crater lakes, vast areas of rice farms, and rivers define the landscape. Bali is surrounded by the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean and both black and white sand beaches are found on various sections of the coastline.

Coordinates - Latitude/Longitude 08° 39' S, 115° 13' E
Population - 3,325,000 
Capital City - Denpasar 
Languages - Bahasa Indonesia (official), English
Official Currency - Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) 
Religions - Hindu (95%), Muslim, Buddhist, Christian
Land Area - 5,632 sq km (2,174 sq miles)

Being an island, the beach is a major factor in any holiday. Bali has a coastline which offers every possible water activity, including surfing some of the best waves in the world, swimming with dolphins, cruises, snorkeling, diving, and sailing. Non-beach related outdoor activities include river rafting, mountain cycling, observing local artisans create their arts and crafts, and visiting museums and zoos.

Large portions of Bali's countryside are accessible to visitors in the form of National Parks and open areas. Hiking can be as easy or as difficult as you'd like it to be. Waterfalls with spectacular drops, and often pools suitable for swimming at the bottom, can be found all over Bali. Some involve a hike to get there, some are conveniently located right along the roadside. You can relax in either hot or cool natural springs to cleanse your mind and soothe away any aches and pains you may have brought with you to Bali.

Have fun!

Bali has a tropical climate appropriate to its proximity to the equator. Year round temperatures average around 31 degrees Celsius.

High humidity can be expected during the rainy season between the months of October and April when there is often daily rain. The most rainy times are between December and February and the days are hot and steamy - truly tropical. Some people just love Bali in the wet season as there are fewer tourists and the monsoonal weather adds to the sense of exotic escape.

The dry season falls between the months of May and September. The air feels cooler in the dry season, because it’s less humid - so many people consider this the best time to visit Bali. Occasionally rainfall can occur during the dry season but usually at night or very early morning. In the months of June to August there is usually a very refreshing cool breeze all day long.

Bali is famous for many forms of art, including painting, sculpture, carvings, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese gamelan music is highly developed and varied. The dances portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, topeng, barong, and kecak (the monkey dance).

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, the vast majority of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The Hindu new year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the preceding day large, colorful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

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Nusa Dua draws tourists wanting a low-key vacation, with all the amenities star-rated accommodations can bring, whereas Kuta is known for stunning sunsets, superb surf breaks and a vibrant nightlife. Jimbaran Bay, another place to watch the sun go down, prides itself for its seafood-on-the-beach eateries.

The capital city of Denpasar bustles with traffic and trade. Sightseers enjoy visiting the traditional market of Pasar Badung, the Pura Jagatnatha temple, the Bird Market, and learning about Balinese culture at Bali Provincial State Museum, Taman Werdi Budaya art center and College of Performing Arts.

Ubud, the artistic center of Bali, is also an upscale tourist resort. An excursion to Pejeng outside Ubud reveals numerous antiquities, including the fascinating reliefs of Yeh Pulu and numerous temples - Goa Gaja, Pura Penataran Sasih, Pura Kebo Edan, Pura Samuan Tiga and Pura Agung Batan Bingin.