From luxe hotels and resorts to natural wonders, Bali has everything you need for the sustainable, tropical trip of a lifetime.
With its white, sandy beaches, scenic views, and luxurious resorts, Bali is nothing short of paradise. Known as the Island of the Gods, the enchanting province is a bustling tourist attraction—bringing in nearly 6.3 million visitors in 2019, according to market research firm Statista.
The tropical oasis is warm year round and has a short rainy season from November to March. The warm waters and rolling waves also make it a popular surfing destination. But while tourism positively impacts Bali’s economy—bringing in income and more jobs—it does have its downsides. Mass tourism to the area is contributing to Indonesia’s plastic waste crisis, as well as sanitation issues and environmental degradation.
But for those looking to take a trip to the magical island, worry not. We’ve rounded up some of the best food options, places to stay, and sights to see for a sustainable Balinese adventure of a lifetime. (Keep in mind that there may be travel restrictions to Bali amid the coronavirus pandemic.)
Where to stay
Alila Villas Uluwatu
With private terraces, 24-hour butler service, a holistic spa, luxurious villas, and cliff-side views overlooking the Indian Ocean, this five-star resort is perfect for any eco-conscious traveler. Sustainability is the new luxury,” the hotel’s website reads. The hotel boasts a number of eco-friendly practices, including biodegradable amenities, recycling and upcycling, and the use of lava rocks to absorb the Bali heat and reduce air conditioning energy consumption. All organic waste is composted and used in the resort’s garden. And if that’s not enough, the place even has its own sustainability lab.
Mana Earthly Paradise
Nestled in the heart of Ubud, Mana Earthly Paradise is the epitome of sustainable living. The eco-resort features earth-bag domes made with natural materials, including natural stones, reclaimed wood, and bamboo. The perfect blend of modernity and minimalism, energy for lighting is sourced from solar panels and water-saving toilets and showers are used. Sleep soundly on a zero-waste mattress and take in all that Bali has to offer.
Bulgari Resort Bali
This sustainable resort, the home of several bee colonies and a herb garden, doesn’t skimp on luxury. Stay in a villa overlooking the ocean or a five bedroom mansion. Get some much-deserved TLC at the Bulgari Spa, which features Balinese massages, body wraps, and facial treatments using exotic oils and herbs.
Where to eat
Warung, but make it vegan. This plant-based restaurant serves up classic Indonesian staples, from meatless pork satay and beef rendang to bakso and nasi campur. Want to eat for a cause? The best part about this eatery is that it donates 100 percent of its profits to charity.
In the mood for a good ol’ burger? Then head on over to the Secret Spot, which has locations in Berawa and Canggu. Sip on fresh, pressed juices, cappuccinos, or a refreshing lavender lemonade. Big on breakfast? Opt for the buckwheat pancakes, available in triple berry or nut caramel flavors. (Did we mention they’re served with a side of scorched banana and coconut ice cream?)
I Am Vegan Babe
For a plant-based meal to remember, stop by this quaint eatery, which is located in Denpasar. Start your morning off with a coffee and a protein scramble. Or dive into the restaurant’s dinner menu, which includes a soba noodle salad, fajitas, curries, and more.
What to do
From beaches and temples to spas and an eclectic art scene, the sights to see in Bali are absolutely endless. For a day spent oceanside, stop at Kuta Beach—a popular spot for surfers—or catch the sunset at Jimbaran Beach. With breathtaking cliff-side views, spend a day exploring Uluwatu Temple, which dates back to the 10th century. And for some time spent with animals, travel through Monkey Forest in Ubud.
Enjoy a cycling tour
Feeling extra adventurous? See all the best that Bali has to offer with a bike tour through its paddy fields. “Our mission: to preserve the nature and traditions of the island,” Bali Natural Cycling Tour’s website reads. Packages include cycling in addition to water rafting, natural hot springs, and sunrise trekking.
Take an eco-workshop
From learning about sustainable farming and making your own soap to painting and learning how to surf, there are a number of educational workshops offered throughout Bali. Visit Tripadvisor for some of the best classes and workshops.
Ready to travel the world? Check out our roundup of other luxury vacation resorts and hotels you’ll want to book today.