Top 10 Ways to Get Wet in Bali
On the face of it, Bali seems to be one of those fortunate tourist hot spots immune to dire global economic circumstances. Just have a gander at the statistics for 2011, when visitor numbers to the island from nine of the ten top nations of origin shot up. The lone exception was Japan, which, when you consider the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of March 2011, makes some sense.
Visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom went up almost 7% from 2010 to 2011. The figure from China, impressively, rose by 20%. But the most impressive boost was from Australia, with a monumental 23% jump.
Presumably, a few of the new arrivals to Bali came to get wet. Have a dip in the infinity pool, swim a few laps, ride some waves, charter a catamaran to remote islets, indulge in a rain spa, scuba the depths and motor a jet ski past the reefs, as it were. Indeed, Indonesia’s crown jewel resort island offers no shortage of ways to get wet. See which ones made a splash in our new Balinese top 10.
Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta, Indonesia
The premier water park in Bali unfurls more than 17 state-of-the-art water slides and rides for children of all ages. All told, the Kuta facility covers more than 3.8 hectares of landscaped tropical parks.
The incomparable thrill of a bottlenose dolphin encounter, up close and personal and in the wild, is hard to top. Most charters in Bali operate from Tanjung Benoa, while the Dolphin Lodge off Sanur offers a wildly popular hands-on, swim with the dolphins experience.
Bali has a ton of premier scuba operators and no shortage of brilliant marine life to ogle at under the surface.
If you prefer to get wet from the confines of the catamaran or pontoon, hire a charter to cruise the reefs and islands that dot the Bali coastline. Without question, a singular type of day trip.
A Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa staple, hitch a ride and get on the boat … banana boat. Harmless fun for the kids (but remember to buckle that life jacket just the same).
Resort Spas and Pools
Some of the best ways to get wet in Bali happen away from the beach. As in infinity pools, private villa plunge pools and rain showers. Three of the best resort spas and pools on the island include:
Bali Safari & Marine Park
Jalan Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra, Km 19,8 (Golden Line of Bali), Gianyar
More marine park fun but this time with a safari twist. The Bali Safari & Marine Park is all about wildlife conservation and has a freshwater aquarium, water park and meet-and-greet dolphin habitat to boot.
Kite surf, parasail, snorkel, water ski, jet ski, wake board: you want it, Bali has it. Just take a stroll on the beach to find your recreational bliss.
Surfers have it good in Bali but competition for gnarly waves is fierce. The dry season from May to September is the best time to get in the water. Popular spots include Medewi, Kuta Reef, Airport Left/Right, Balangan, Bingin, Canggu, Impossibles, Padang Padang and Uluwatu.
If you like underwater adventures on the tamer side, try a seawalk. The ultra-cool technology allows participants to walk on the sea floor, literally, and observe the inherent marine life without all that pesky scuba equipment and certification rigmarole. The system works up to a depth of 15 feet, for 30 minutes maximum, and is all the rage in Bali.
Where to stay in Bali: