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We love dreamy travel photos as much as the next person, so when travel blogger Jack Morris, the man behind the @doyoutravel on Instagram, shared some of his Bali recommendations with us, we thought we’d pass them on to you. You’ll want to maximize your waterfront time (because those pristine stretches of white-sand are just as beautiful as they look in the photos), but there are also dozens of incredible outdoor adventures, restaurants, and luxury hotels to be discovered. Below, we narrow it down for you so that you can focus on kickin’ back and catching some rays.
While we hope that you get to spend more than 24 hours on this heavenly Indonesian island, here’s what we (and Morris) think are the best things to do in Bali.
8:00 a.m.: You’ll be exploring a good chunk of the island today, so start the morning early in Ubud with coffee and breakfast at Watercress Ubud, a health-conscious Balinese restaurant. Opt for the roasted chorizo, which comes with panko-fried eggs, parmesan, tomato sugo, and white beans—it should keep you energized for a while.
10:00 a.m.: Grab your swimsuit and comfortable hiking clothes. Drive an hour out to Nungnung Waterfall in the high mountains (northern region) of Bali. When you approach the village of Nungnung, you’ll pass beautiful coconut palm plantations and rice fields, so take your time and stop to enjoy the stunning scenery along the way. The 20-minute walk down to the falls is a bit steep, but according to Morris, it’s the best waterfall in Bali.
1:00 p.m.: After exploring Nungnung, we reckon you’ll have worked up an appetite. Drive south to coast until you hit the ocean in Uluwatu—this is where you’ll spend the rest of the day. Have lunch at Mana Uluwatu, a restaurant that boasts some of the area’s best cliffside ocean views, and even better cocktails and seafood. You’ll perch in the open-air, teak pavilion at Surf Villas and feast on the likes of Baja shrimp tacos, tuna poke bowls, and soft shell crab burgers. Don’t miss the impressive list of local kombucha—or if you’re ready for a mid-day cocktail, unwind with a hibiscus margarita.
3:00 p.m.: Here, you’ll find your hotel, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property: Alila Villas Uluwatu. You’ll want to spend a couple of hours luxuriating in your incredible hillside villa; the accommodations include a private 68-foot infinity pool, a private cabana and terrace, and 24-hour private butler service. Curl up in the sun, perched atop limestone cliffs over the Indian Ocean, and swim in the pristine waters of your infinity pool before heading out for dinner. If you can pull yourself away from this paradise, head to nearby Uluwatu Beach for some time in the sand, or check out Uluwatu Temple, less than a half-mile away from the villas.
7:30 p.m.: You’ll have dinner on-site at the Warung, where you can sit outside to enjoy the last of the unparalleled Bali sunset. The traditional Indonesian and Balinese dishes at the Warung include items like Nasi Liwet (a rice dish cooked in coconut milk and spices that comes with chicken curry and Javanese sambal) and Sate Lilit Ikan (minced fish satay served on fresh lemongrass).
10:00 p.m.: Time to retire to your room at Alila Villas. Enjoy breathing in the fresh ocean air before drifting off to sleep in your hillside villa.
If you’re able to book another night—or even just spend a little more time for breakfast the next day—head to Kamandalu Hotel back in Ubud, one of Morris’s absolute favorites. This five-star resort is known for serving a floating breakfast in a pool that overlooks the jungle below, and you can wake to breathtaking views of Agung Volcano.