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Bali Becoming World Leader In Ecotourism

Bali’s countryside is every bit the heart of Bali as its culture. Here mysticism, religion, art and culture are intertwined with traditional farming and village life.
The startlingly variegated countryside of Bali has always been a major attraction for visitors – volcanoes, lakes, rain forest, waterfalls and rivers, exotic equatorial animals, beaches and diving – all packaged handily together in one ever changing tiny island where the changes of landscape can be breathtaking in a minute.
Environmental concerns have prompted the Balinese to take more care of their land – to the benefit of visitors who have responded by creating an eco tourism boom
In fact, Bali is being tipped as an island which is becoming a world leader in ecotourism, hot on the heals of emerging as one of the world’s major centres for yoga and healing – another major transformation of the island’s inexhaustible appeal.
More and more visitors are making the effort to escape from overcrowded, commercial, noisy south Bali to experience the beauty, fascination and tranquillity of original Bali.
Bali’s cultural centre at Ubud has emerged as a convenient holiday bas for those who want to experience the mountains, lakes, forests, villages and farms of the interior.
Village trekking tours anywhere in Bali are usually local taking you into the heart of the homes of villagers and allowing visitors to better understand the way of life and beliefs of the Balinese.
One of the most popular activities is the downhill bike ride from Mount and Lake Batur to Ubud. Breakfast is usually eaten on the volcano rim looking out over one of the most spectacular views in Bali. Then its downhill passing through the entire kaleidoscope of rugged rural beauty that Bali has to offer – with stops at farmer’s homes and passed plantations, orchards, vegetable gardens, bamboo forests, rivers, ancient giant trees and of course colourful exotic birds and butterflies. Another day some people enjoy climbing to the summit of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise.
On a separate occasion you can cross Batur Lake by boat and visit one of the oldest villages in Bali
Just as increasing numbers of people are attracted to make day tours to the countryside many also like to stay there for a few days in accommodation at carefully selected locations where the ecology is at its finest.
The Munduk area, high in the central mountains, is among the best, surrounded by coffee and clover plantations with scores of walks through the forest. The weather here is cooler than in the plains and there is often rain. Witnessing nature’s moods here can be breathtaking.
Munduk is close to the mystical and ancient Lake Buyan which you can cross in a dug out canoe to visit a thousand years old temple.
Some eco stays around Bali offer facilities for retreats reflecting the spiritual impact and energy of Bali’s countryside.
Menjangan in the northwest is famous for the quality of its underwater life although at nearby Pemuteran an extensive biorock project has been put in place to save corals from erosion due to global warming.
From the mystical Mount Batukaru, Tabanan in the west to the exotic water palaces of Bali’s old rajas at Tirta Gangga in the east Bali’s past and present awaits you, now increasingly available as bespoke tours depending on the emphasis of your visit.
Tropical ecology is totally different from what we know in the West and there lies its fascination. Even a simple rice field in Bali seems immersed in spiritual energy. Plus we get to see what we have only known from supermarket shelves – trees and bushes of pepper, coffee, vanilla and even chocolate.
Bali has a bird park and a butterfly park and also the world famous Elephant Safari Lodge at Taro where you can see and even ride elephants rescued from Sumatra. So you can take a short cut by visiting a park or you can penetrate deep into the heart of Bali’s timeless countryside criss crossed by shimmering irrigation channels and dotted with thousands  of temples.
Anyone who visits the countryside or even stays with farmers always says that it was one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. There’s so much to see and do it’s difficult to find the words.

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