Off the beaten track tour of Bali

“Moderate small group hiking tour taking in Bali's lesser-visited coasts and volcanic interiors. Day hikes feature on 7 of 15 days over average distances of 12kms. Balinese beauty far from tourist hot spots.”


Tanah Lot Temple | Tunjuk village | Belimbing village | Mount Batukaru | UNESCO Jatiluwih rice terraces | Batukaru Temple | North Balinese coast | Rice paddies and coffee plantations | Early morning (3.30am) hike to Mt. Batur’s crater | Lake Batur hot springs | Amed beachside village | Tirtagangga water palace | Lempuyang Temple | Ubud |

Description of Off the beaten track tour of Bali

Take some real time out on this two week small group tour of Bali that promises to get travellers off the beaten track and discover the simmering volcanoes and terraced rice paddies of the island’s lesser-visited interior and unexplored coastlines.

This is a walking tour that takes you coast to coast through jungle trails and around crater rims where waterfalls, hot springs and black sand beaches provide ample excuses to let off steam.

Experiencing this lesser-known agricultural side to Bali brings a beautiful blend of outdoor activity and cultural enlightenment with a combination of temples, plantations and mountain top views conjuring an unforgettable experience, way off the beaten track.

Full day hikes feature for seven of the 15 days with average distances around 12kms. Rest days are ample and there are plenty of opportunities to take it easy and enjoy an incredible selection of Balinese cuisine, as well as that all-important Southeast Asian sunshine.

Travel Team

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13 Jul 2019
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Off the beaten track tour of Bali

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 12 nights in locally run hotels where approximately 70% of their staff are local Balinese. By using these accommodations, we support the local community and economy as these establishments provide jobs for the residents. Most of the accommodations used are actively campaigning to limit energy and water usage during the clients stay. When food is provided, ingredients used are locally sourced and produced wherever possible and prepared by the locals. Clients will have the opportunity to try traditional Balinese cuisine such as pork satay, Nasi Tumpeng (yellow rice with vegetables). By visiting, a variety of eating establishments throughout the tour, this support locals in the rural areas less frequented.

Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and encourage the disposal of litter and even the collecting of existing litter on this tour. ‘Zero Waste Management’ strictly applies to the trekking team and is supervised by the tour leader. Guests are always encouraged to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, purchase traditional gifts and crafts from local art shops and get a real impression of Bali to facilitate a positive cultural exchange.

Local Craft and Culture:
During the tour, clients discover the two sides to Bali’s personality, its Hindu faith and its rural practices. In the village of Tunjuk some of the elders show clients how to prepare temple offerings by weaving palm fronds as well as weaving pandanus leaf and making floral offerings. These offerings are an integral part of Balinese culture and every morning such offerings are placed at temples but also in front of homes and shop-fronts all over the island. Our exploration of local village life continues in the rice fields as we follow farmers who will show how to plant, transplant and harvest rice (depending on the season).

Our visit to a number of Hindu temples and an experience of a local purification ceremony with a Balinese priest at the sacred temple of Batukaru exposes clients to the local religious and culture beliefs of Bali. There are plenty of opportunities to support local craft and economy when we stop by markets in locations such as Munduk to purchase some local foods. In Ubud, it is also possible to buy handmade jewellery, painted masks and some souvenirs, clients are advised to avoid pieces made of shells from endangered species.

Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

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