Bali is undoubtedly the most well known Indonesian island but despite the inevitable crowds, its authentic character and charm is still very much intact. As the only Hindu society in a Muslim country, Bali sets itself apart with its artistry and vibrant religious traditons.
Yes, Bali attracts a lot of tourists but we know all the best places to avoid the crowds and ensure you get beneath the skin of this Indonesian gem.
From a diving perspective, it is often overlooked in favour of other Indonesian dive spots, but Bali has a lot going for it. The diving in Bali is predominantly found in the far east of the island around Tulamben which offers excellent marine life and wreck diving. It would be wrong to claim that the dive sites around Bali are in the same league as the diving in somewhere like Sulawesi but when you combine the world-class hotels and land-based activities that are on offer, you are on to a winner. The fact that this is also one of the few places in the world that you are virtually guaranteed sightings of the Giant Mola Mola (Sunfish) at the right time of year is an added incentive to come.
Just 40 miles east of Bali and reached by a two-hour boat trip or a short flight is the island of Lombok. Here you can enjoy all kinds of watersports including excellent snorkelling and diving on the coral reefs of the nearby Gili Islands. The diving in Lombok is laid back and gentle and a great place to learn. Other activities include visits to the ruins of old royal water palaces and excursions to Mt Rinjani - Indonesia's second highest volcano - from whose slopes there are fantastic views. Lombok is very much a destination on the up. At present it is still far less developed than its more famous neighbour but for how long?