• Bali has its own language – one of 583 languages and dialects spoken in the Indonesian archipelago. Bahasa Indonesia is the national language; English is widely spoken in Bali’s main tourist areas.

 

  • Bali is home to approximately four million people. The vast majority follows a special version of Hinduism, different to that practiced in India, and witnessing the rituals and ceremonies of daily life is a highlight of visiting the island.

 

  • The island is home to more than 20,000 temples, earning its nickname “the island of a thousand temples” or “the island of the gods.”

 

  • Some temples date back as far as the 9th century; Pura Besakih at Mount Agung is the island’s Mother Temple, the stunning Pura Lempuyang in Karangasem is at the highest elevation and has breathtaking views of Mount Agung, while the cliff-top Pura Uluwatu is touristic with its sunset kecak dance performances and cheeky monkeys. The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, it has its own Resort temple and guests are welcome to take a guided tour of it with Resort Priest Aji Ngurah, or visit the nearby Goa Gong cave temple for a water purification ritual. 

 

  • Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 2,000 metres high (6,500 feet); the highest is Mount Agung (3,031 metres or 9,944 feet), known as the "mother mountain." Adventurous travellers can enjoy panoramic sunrise views across Bali’s mountainous interior with a trek up Mount Batur (1,717 metres or 5,633 feet). 

 

  • Bali’s volcanic landscapes and climate support the highly productive agriculture sector. Spend a Day in the Life of a Balinese Farmer and learn about the UNESCO-listed 9th century subak waterways that connect the island's paddy fields.

 

  • Bali is home to the first sea-floating toll road in the country, stretching across the gulf of Benoa 12.7 kilometres (8 miles) in length, an example of the modern development that blends with Bali’s very traditional lifestyle.

 

  • Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Great for an extension to your stay on the mainland, or for a day trip especially for excellent snorkelling and diving.
Published in Go Global

Wrap those travel dreams and savor the gift of experience, knowledge and memories that last a lifetime.

Here are five ideas to consider:  

Tahiti fire dancers - Windstar

Island Lovers.

Let the trade winds sweep your cares away when you explore the islands of French Polynesia aboard a four-masted sailing yacht. A great getaway to experience with your teens, adult children or extended family, Windstar sailing ships deliver explorers to an island paradise where blue lagoons and pristine coral reefs provide epic snorkeling, scuba diving and Jet Ski options. Kayak and paddleboard off the back of the ship’s sports deck. Learn about local cultures during hiking, kayaking and museum-centric shore excursions. Later, relax on a small island (motu) where you can sip coconut drinks, listen to the nimble sounds of a ukulele drifting in the distance and cool off in the sapphire-colored sea.

Contact: www.WindstarCruises.com. 

Ski Steamboat

Snow Lovers.

For those who relish the white stuff, the gift of travel to Colorado Ski Country will be a high altitude hit. At more than 21 resorts throughout the state, kids under various ages are offered the opportunity to ski free. For example, kids under five always ski free at Arapahoe, Aspen Snowmass and Loveland. Steamboat's Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs enable children 12 and younger to ski free the same number of days as their parent/grandparent with the purchase of a 5-or-more day adult lift ticket. Other resorts offer lift ticket deals as well as lodging, lesson and gear discounts.

Contact: www.ColoradoSki.com; www.Colorado.com

Colorado Dude Ranch

Horse Lovers.

Choose a ranch vacation and you’ll have the opportunity to learn horsemanship in an authentic and scenic setting. Opt to ride in open meadows, on mountain trails or in the sun-drenched, desert southwest. Will your family members choose to participate in a real cattle drive? Are you up for a horse pack trip into the backcountry? Will your youngsters be eager to learn the skills required for team penning and other arena games? Or will you be happy to relax during daily trail rides and around the campfire come nightfall. The options are yours at working dude ranches and guest ranches across the country.

Contact: Duderanch.org; www.Top50Ranches.com.

 big league tours

Baseball Lovers.

Are you a fan of Fenway? Have you been to Yankee Stadium or Miller Park? If the mere thought makes you smile, a Big League Tour might be a perfect fit for your family. Word is you’ll hang out with MLB players, get on to the field, inside the dugouts and catch a batting practice in the venues that continue to infuse allegiance to the game. Tours and vacation packages make it possible to hear the crack of the bat in your favorite cities or an entire region. Pair a tour with a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, NY. to learn more about the history and cultural significance of the game through memorabilia and interactive exhibits.

Contact: www.BigLeagueTours.com; Baseballhall.org.

 kids in the national park

Nature Lovers.

Celebrate our freedom and the beauty of our land with a visit to one or more of our 392 national parks. With so many historical and natural wonders to discover, consider heading to the National Park Service’s web pages, specifically designed to help regular and first time visitors plan a meaningful trip. There you research park activities as well as camping, back country, lodging and educational options. Across America, each day there are special events, institute and field schools as well as volunteer opportunities. Check for fee free days and Junior Ranger programs for the kids.

Contact: www.nps.gov/pub_aff/plan_your_visit/index.htm

 

 

 

Published in Cruise