Believe it or not but, a lot of people who travel to Bali seldom get out of the touristy areas and travel up country to see and admire the beauty and culture that Bali has to offer. Choosing a day trip or half-day trip depends mainly on your likes and dislikes and what you want to see. Some people loathe the idea of trekking from temple to temple. Bali is more than temples.
Most hotels can organise day trips for their guests and have their own driver to take you from place to place on these set itineraries. The bemo touts on the streets of the tourist areas also have their set itineraries for trips up country as do the smaller travel agencies you will see as you walk around the tourist areas. All costs are different.
Hotels are a set price per day trip as do a majority of the travel agencies. However, the bemo touts are probably the best bet but there are a few things you should know. Firstly, ensure the driver is reliable and this is unfortunately an assumption on your part and make sure the vehicle is in good shape. Secondly, set the price [don’t forget to bargain!] and make sure that price includes all fuel. Thirdly, ensure the driver will take you to where you want to go with no time restrictions.
The variation in itineraries the hotels and travel agencies offer varies very little but cover some interesting places. Most are ideal for first-time travellers or those wishing to see that little bit more of the island. Here are a few of the set itineraries:
Batuan (wood carving) – Batubulan (stone carving) – Celuk (silver) – Sukawati (makets) – Ubud – Kintamani (volcano)
Mengwi (royal temple) – Sangeh (monkey forest) – Alas Kedaton (monkey forest) – Tabanan – Tanah Lot (sunset over temple)
Candikuning (local markets) – Bedugul (Danau Bratan) – Twin Lakes (Buyan and Tamblingan)
Kerth Gosa (royal courts of justice) – Goa Lawah (bat temple) – Besakih (mother temple – Bangli (pura kehen)
Although these are brief tours in content, when you travel with a driver that you have hired then you can add as many places as you want; within reason of course. However, if you have a desire for a bit of adventure then get off the beaten track when travelling in Bali. Have a look at the series of articles here.