Tours

Experience the diversity of the island of the Gods – visiting smaller communities around the island as you staying around, and then take the opportunity to enjoy the variety of activities available ‘topside’. We will be delighted to accommodate all your Bali leisure needs with a professional and prompt transportation service that attract you with different sights to suit any preference. Our tour program presents you with selected excursions from Bali's treasure trove of attractions including stunning beaches, expanses of terraced rice fields, historical sites, temples, art and the culture that Bali has long been known for. We create fully customized tour packages for individual or groups, a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable tour program which is designed specifically for your need and personal experience.

 

Sites, Attractions, & Activities Near to The Mahogany Villa

       

This guide gives you a brief insight into the many fascinating sites, temples and attractions surrounding The Mahogany Villa.

The Mahogany Villa is located in the triangulation of tradition, culture, and religion, or what we used to called as “The Sacred Triangle” – in every direction from the villa there are sacred hill temples, royal palaces, water gardens and the seaside and all of these sites have enormous religious meaning for the Balinese.

In other parts of the world you can visit historic sites that had significance for past civilizations. What makes Bali so fascinating is that the places of historic significance that you can visit are still so vitally important to the Balinese of today, this is a living, breathing culture and religion that has an unbroken lineage going back thousands of years.

Quite often you'll find one of our staff have visited Tirta Empul Temple early one morning before they arrive to cook you breakfast or perhaps their relatives are on a pilgrimage to Besakih Temple or heading to the beach this very afternoon to make an offering for someone recently cremated.

Every day, almost every moment in every village there is a ceremony going on. In a Christian culture we have Christmas, Easter and every Sunday as religious events, in Bali just about every day has a religious significance.

When visiting temples and sacred sites you will be asked to wear a sarong and sash. Each site will supply these for you to use during your visit (usually included in the nominal entrance fee).

However, if you would prefer not to use ones used by others, ask the villa staff to give you one of our freshly laundered sarongs to take with you, We have a small supply ready for you to use.

You are staying inside “The Sacred Triangle” and perfectly placed to discover Bali’s heart. We hope you enjoy the adventure!

 

Sacred sites, Temples, and Water Gardens

The Mahogany Villa is blessed to be in “The Sacred Triangle” because we are surrounded by some of Bali's most significant sacred temples and relic sites. Many are those few tourists visit, so you are going to be discovering the heart of Bali. You can plan short trips out to one or two sites or string together a few to make a day trip. Many are on one of the two routes to Ubud, so you can plan to stop at one or two on the way in to Ubud for shopping, dining, or dance performance.

  • Ubud Village | Ubud (West of the villa)

    Ubud offers a rich insight into Balinese art and culture. Our location is a highlight of The Mahogany Villa because we strike the perfect balance of being away from tourist hotspots, but close enough to visit Ubud for galleries, museums, dance, cuisine and shopping, offering a truly unique experience for guests.

    Distance from TMV: 30mins.

    Visit tips: Do take both of the special routes into Ubud – which ever way you go, along the way you’ll be able to stop at many of the sites listed in this guide and enjoy stunning scenes and experiences.

  • Gunung Kawi | Sebatu (Northwest of the villa)

    Not to be confused with Gunung Kawi Tampaksiring, The Gunung Kawi Sebatu is a water temple built in homage to the God Wisnu (the preserver who rules over water) and here there are a number of natural spring and waterspouts and a wonderful pond with Koi. The Balinese believe that water is one of the forces of life. The etymology of Gunung Kawi means a fabricated mountain. It lies west of Sebatu village, which is elevated and its name means 'slipping on a stone'.

    Distance from TMV: 25mins.

    Recommended visit time: 30 mins+.

    Visit tips: This is one of Bali's most beautiful small temples and a must visit - but one most tourists will never find.

  • Tirta Empul | Tampaksiring (Northwest of the villa)

    Tirta Empul Temple is one of the important Hindu temples located in the middle of Bali. Tirta Empul Temple was constructed during the rules of Candra Bayangsingha, King of Warmadewa dynasty in 926 AD. The temple is a popular sacred destination where Hindu Bali people visit for purification rituals. According to a popular Balinese legend, the sacred spring in the temple was created by Lord Indra and the waters have curative properties.

    Distance from TMV: 20mins.

    Recommended visit time: 1 hour+.

    Visit tips: One of central Bali's most beautiful water temples, fed by natural springs. This is an extremely holy place for the Balinese and is a regular place of pilgrimage for them during temple and family ceremonies.

  • Kintamani and Mount Batur volcano | Kintamani (North of the villa)

    Stand on the edge of the caldera and view the active volcano of Mount Batur. Then drive down into the caldera and discover ancient Balinese villages along the shores of Lake Batur whose way of life and customs have been unchanged for centuries.

    Distance from TMV: 45mins.

    Recommended visit time: 2 hours+.

    Visit tips: Treks to the central crater are possible but best done with a pre-arranged tour.

  • Tegallalang Rice Terraces | Tegallalang (West of the villa)

    The Balinese landscape is very much devoted to wet rice agriculture and this farming is the most important activity in Balinese life. Rice is both the major crop and staple food and is interwoven into spiritual life as well. The rice terraces of Tegallalang offer a dramatic small valley view as well as giving visitors a more aerial view of the 'Subak' irrigation networks that feed the terraces (this system of irrigation is so unique and significant it is World Heritage Listed). Visitors can view the terraces from the ridge and there is also the opportunity to walk down into the valley and through the terraces to get an up-close view.

    Distance from TMV: 25mins. Recommended visit time: 1 hour .

    Visit tips: This is a somewhat 'touristy' destination, being just north of Ubud. You may find the drive through rice fields from The Mahogany Villa to here offers more serene fields, but as it is on the way to Ubud it is worth stopping for the dramatic valley perspective it offers as part of a day trip taking in other sites such as the temples of Tampaksiring or if you are heading to Ubud for lunch.

  • The Pakerisan River | Flows through the valley (Front view of the villa)

    This river is claimed to be world heritage listed in many guidebooks and brochures but it would seem that it is actually the Pakerisan Valley generally and the Subak rice irrigation system that is the subject of the listing. Nevertheless, the river is the lifeblood of the valley and worth a stop to admire. There is also tube & rafting adventures from Tampaksiring going down the river.

    Distance from TMV: 10 mins.

    Recommended visit time: 20mins+.

    Visit tips: The river flows through many wilderness areas in the valley that are inaccessible but the best spot to see it and be able to walk down to it is from the bridge crossing north of the villa that connects our side of the valley with Tampaksiring. You will cross this bridge if you are going to Gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul and Tegallalang (which is also the northern, scenic route to Ubud) so ask your driver to stop on the bridge and walk down to the rivers edge if you able or you can admire the river from the bridge.

  • Gianyar Night Market | Gianyar (South of the villa)

    From around 4pm until 10pm the Gianyar market and the main street are a hive of activity. Mobile Warung wheels in to serve Babi Guling (roast suckling pig), fish, nasi campur and more. In the market itself, stalls sell clothes, sweets, ornamental fish, household goods and more. There is nothing touristy here – it is very much local people shopping for themselves. You'll probably be the only tourists there but you'll be most welcome.

    Distance from TMV: 15mins.

    Recommended visit time: 1 hour+.

    Visit tips: We only suggest trying the food if you have a seasoned travellers' stomach. For those who are accustomed to street food we can share that we have eaten here many times and never had a problem.

  • Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave / southwest of the villa)

    At the fa├žade of the cave is a relief of various menacing creatures and demons carved right into the rock at the cave entrance. The primary figure was once thought to be an elephant, hence the nickname Elephant Cave. The site is mentioned in the Javanese poem Desawarnana written in 1365. An extensive bathing place on the site was not excavated until the 1950s. These appear to have been built to ward off evil spirits.

    Distance from TMV: 20mins.

    Recommended visit time: 1 hour+ Visit tips: This is on the way into Ubud (southern route) and makes a great stop along the way. You will find cheaper handcrafts in Ubud than here.

  • Yeh Pulu | Bedahulu village, near Goa Gajah (Southwest of the villa)

    This site is home to a relief sculpture 25 meters long and two- meters high. The sculpted relief was only discovered in 1925 and is believed to narrate the life of the people in the 14th century. A man on a horse throwing a spear and two people carrying the animals they hunted are some parts of the ancient stories narrated in the carvings. In the Balinese language, the word 'yeh' means water and 'pulu' means earthenware jug so 'Yeh Pulu' is named after an earthenware jug that was used to keep rice and placed in the middle of a sanctified spring.

    Distance from TMV: 20mins.

    Recommended visit time: 1 hour+

    Visit tips: As for Goa Gaja, this is on the way into Ubud (southern route) and makes a great stop along the way. There are guides offering rice field walks from Yeh Pulu for a small fee and this offers a pleasant experience and supports the local guides who care for the monument.

  • Keramas Beach | Keramas (Southwest of the villa)

    Directly south of the villa is Keramas Beach (and a range of other beaches along this coastline). The beaches here are black sand. Most beaches will have warung serving fish dishes to pilgrims who come to the beach for ceremonies. It is possible you will see Balinese arriving in trucks in large groups with Gamelan orchestras and Barong to conduct ceremonies on the beach. After a cremation, for example, some of the ashes and many offerings will be bought down from the village to the beach as an essential part of the ceremony.

    Distance from TMV: 30mins.

    Recommended visit time: 1 hour+.

    Visit tips: This is not a safe beach for swimming.

  • Ubud

    Once a sleepy hillside village with little more than endless rice fields and earthen pathways, Ubud was nevertheless considered from early times as Bali's artistic center. This pedigree attracted early European artists who developed a wonderful relationship with their Balinese hosts. With royal  patronage, these artists settled here and built lives around artistic pursuit. They developed their own artwork and gained inspiration from the Balinese culture but also shared their skills generously with their hosts.

    Today, Ubud offers a rich insight into Balinese art and culture. Galleries, museums, dance, cuisine and the natural environment together with shopping and dining offer a truly unique experience for guests.

    For the use of our guests we have purchased a copy of the Ubud chapter of the Lonely Planet guide for Ubud and this is available with printed copy of this guide at the villa for your use during your stay.

    We have highlighted in each section the things we feel are most compelling, so if your time is limited you will be able to quickly identify what we think are the best choices from those recommended by Lonely Planet.

     

    HIGHLIGHT: ROUTE TO UBUD

    The normal route most drivers will take and (possibly a faster route, so the one we normally take if wanting to go direct) is going south from the Villa, down the hill toward Gianyar (with nice rice paddy and village scenes) and then west to Ubud (along more built up but still interesting roads, with many locals' shops and daily life to view).

    However, a more 'scenic' route is to go north of the villa and cross the bridge at Susut Village (your driver will need to look out for the sharp left turn off the Petak Kaja Road to Susut – if he asks for 'the bridge to Tampaksiring' locals will guide him if he does not know). At Tampaksiring you can explore Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul. Then head west toward Tegallalang (again, locals will give directions) stopping at Gunung Kawi Sebatu before heading south to Tegallalang (rice terraces) and then Ubud. Even if you do not want to stop at the temples, this is a pleasant drive to Ubud through rice fields, villages and up and down valleys with lots of photographic opportunities.

    Of course, you could take one route into Ubud and the other back to get the full circle trip and decide which is your favorite.

     

    Ubud’s Dance & Cultural Performance schedule
    We have a book in the library at the villa that explains all the various dances to help you choose the ones that appeal most to you. Your driver will know the location of each of the dances listed below – all are in central Ubud. It is quite safe to buy tickets from street sellers who are often out in the afternoon selling tickets to that night's performances – they are usually volunteers selling tickets to support their village. The village receives the proceeds of the performances to support their temple and ceremonies. Please treat street ticket sellers with respect – they are not touts.

     
    Days Time Performance Place
    SUNDAY 7:00 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Padang Tegal Kaja
    7:30 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Pura Batukaru Ubud
    7:30 PM Legong of Mahabarata at Ubud Palace Ubud Palace
    7:30 PM The Peliatan Masters (Legong Dance) Arma Museum
    7:30 PM Womens Gamelan with Child Dance Peliatan
    8:00 PM Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet Play) Oka Kartini
     
    MONDAY 6:45 PM Raja Pala Story Pura Desa Kutuh
    7:00 PM Barong & Kris Dance Padang Tegal
    7:30 PM Kecak (Monkey Chant Dance) Jungjungan
    7:30 PM Ciwa Ratri Dance Pura Dalem Puri
    7:30 PM Legong Dance at Ubud Palace Ubud
    7:30 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Pura Dalem Ubud
     
    TUESDAY 7:30 PM Legong Dance (Sekaa Gong Karyasa) Pura Dalem Ubud
    7:30 PM Ramayana Ballet Ubud Palace
    7:30 PM Spirit of Bali Pura Desa Kutuh
    7:30 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Padang Tegal
    7:30 PM Legong Dance Peliatan
    8:00 PM Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet Play) Kerta Accommodation
     
    WEDNESDAY 6:45 PM Legong and Barong Dance Peliatan
    7:30 PM Legong and Barong Dance Ubud Kelod
    7:30 PM Legong and Barong Dance Peliatan
    7:30 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Padang Tegal
     
    THURSDAY 7:00 PM Calonarang Dance Mawang Village
    7:30 PM Gabor Dance Ubud Palace
    7:30 PM Kecak (Monkey Chant Dance) Puri Peliatan
    7:30 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Pura Batukaru Ubud
    7:30 PM Barong Dance Raja Peni Pura Dalem Ubud
     
    FRIDAY 7:00 PM Barong Dance Ubud Palace
    7:30 PM Legong Dance Peliatan
    7:30 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Pura Dalem Ubud
     
    SATURDAY 7:00 PM Calonarang Dance Mawang Village
    7:30 PM Legong Dance Ubud Palace
    7:30 PM Legong Dance Pura Dalem Puri
    7:00 PM Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Padang Tegal
  • Nature & Adventure Park Bali Safari & Marine Park | Gianyar (South of the villa)

    Bali Safari and Marine Park is located on 40 hectares south of Gianyar. There are 60 species represented amongst the 400 animals here, many bred in the park. Combining Balinese cultural ambience with African savannah, Bali Safari and Marine Park is home to Sumatran elephant, Sumatran tiger, white tiger, leopard, komodo dragon and cheetah - just some of the fascinating animals that can be seen at the Bali Safari and Marine Park.

    Distance from TMV: 25mins.

    Recommended visit time: Half to full day.

  • Taman Nusa Architecture Cultural Park | Blahpane Kelod, Gianyar (Southeast of the villa)

    Situated on 15 hectares, visitors can explore and experience Indonesia’s journey throughout the ages beginning from the prehistory through the bronze age, various kingdoms, and an archipelago of Indonesian cultures. The emphasis is on indigenous architecture, with a dazzling collection of traditional wooden homes. The journey continues to the early national era, independence, modern times and finally to the nation’s future.

    Distance from TMV: 25mins.

    Recommended visit time: 4 hours.

    Visit tips: Best visited early, the park involves considerable walking to see all the buildings. Elderly can ask for a golf buggy and driver (they don't officially give tours, but a smile helps!). There are two restaurants here so a morning and then lunch is recommended. More information (and discount tickets at time of writing):

  • Bali Bird Park | Singapudu, Batubulan, south of Ubud (Southwest of the villa)

    The Bird Park of Bali is a wonderful place to learn about these beautiful creatures close up. The Bali Bird Park is spread over two hectares of botanical gardens and has ornamental lakes, a traditional Toraja feature building and a restaurant. The park is home to around 250 different species and has the largest collection of Indonesian birds in Indonesia as well as many species from other tropical areas of the world.

    Distance from TMV: 35mins.

    Recommended visit time: 2-3 hours+

    Visit tips: Visit earlier in the day when it is cooler and the birds are more active and then have lunch here or head up to Ubud for lunch and shopping afterward. Open 9am – 5.30pm every day. More information:

  • Bali Zoo | Singapadu, south of Ubud (Southwest of the villa)

    Breakfast with the Elephants, spend a day with an Elephant and their 'Mahout' (including swimming) and see hundreds of other species at this respected zoo. By night the zoo comes alive with nocturnal animals, offering a very different experience.

    Distance from TMV: 35mins.

    Recommended visit time: 2-3 hours+.

    Visit tips: Open daily 9:00am to 6:00pm. Night Zoo is open every evening 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

  • Adventure & Activities

    There are range of adventure and activities available on Bali, many within driving distance of The Mahogany Villa.

    We recommend contacting our villa managers Individual Bali Hospitality who also can arrange all your adventure activity and tour bookings. They can book these activities for you to get the best rate and inclusions and they will interface with your driver (most likely you'll be using a driver from Bali Individual's subsidiary company Bali Midori Transport Services, making planning seamless and easy for you).

    Some of the adventure & activities available include the following:

    • White Water Rafting (Ayung River, Ubud)
    • River Tubing (Pakerisan River, Tampaksiring)
    • Kayaking
    • Cycling
    • Guided walking tours
    • Trekking (including volcanoes)
    • Paragliding
    • Helicopter tours
    • Paintball
    • Yacht cruises
  • Other sites & centers of interest on the island

    If you have hired a car through Bali Midori Transport Services you can ask your driver to take you to a range of sites in addition to those away from the villa.