Bali Itinerary 2015

Day One, Monday, March 16

Welcome to Bali! Yes, it was a long flight and you’ve been traveling many hours but as you step off the plane, you already feel that something’s different, something’s special. You can’t exactly put your finger on it, but Bali is not like any place you’ve been before and it feels great!

After clearing immigration and customs, you are met by Lisa A. Rizzoli and Laz Daka, your Tour Leaders along with Cokorda Ratih, a real Balinese princess, who is your Professional Guide and cultural ambassador for the next 10 days. Cok (pronounced chō) Ratih greets you with flowers and a warm Balinese smile.

After stowing your luggage, you and the other arriving group members board the van for the late afternoon ride to Tanah Lot, site of a Balinese sea temple. The world famous Pura (temple) Tanah Lot, located 30 meters off shore across a rocky flat at low tide, is one of Bali’s most beautiful and picturesque sites.

You arrive in plenty of time to check into your hotel and then view the sun set over the ocean – your first of many quintessential Balinese experiences. After sunset, you and the other group members gather to get acquainted and share a wonderful Welcome Dinner.

  • Transport from Airport to Tanah Lot
  • View Sunset from Tanah Lot
  • Welcome Dinner

Included:  Dinner
                  Lodging at Sinta Tanah Lot                                                                

Day Two, Tuesday, March 17

Today is an easy, relaxed, day to catch up with yourself after crossing so many time zones. Take your time today. You may feel the need to sleep in or relax by the pool in the morning.

At 10 AM, the group gathers for an orientation and welcome presentation by Lisa and Laz. This will be the first of several Tantra teaching sessions you will experience throughout your journey.

Mid-afternoon the group gathers to meet Cokorkda Ratih, a princess from the royal family of Peliatan and the tour’s professional guide and cultural ambassador. She is your expert on all things Balinese. Cok Ratih introduces you to Balinese and Indonesian textiles, shares with you Balinese religion and spirituality and gives a demonstration on how to dress when you visit the temples. She presents you with a gift from Lisa and Laz of a temple sarong and sash.

Late afternoon, dressed in proper temple outfits, the group proceeds to Tanah Lot Temple. Only the holy fresh water spring, located at the base of the temple, is open to the hundreds of tourists who visit Tanah Lot every day. You, however, guided by Cok Ratih, are allowed into the inner temple courtyard where you experience the Balinese manner of making prayers and offerings before the Gods and Goddesses.

After dinner, you’re off to a performance of the dramatic and highly stylized Kecak and Fire dance. With it’s mesmerizing, syncopated chants, it’s haunting incantations and stark imagery, the Kecak promises to be one of your most unforgettable impressions of Bali.

  • Breakfast
  • Relax by the pool.
  • Orientation by Lisa and Laz
    • basics of meditation, pranayama and Tantra yoga philosophy
  • Textiles, Religion and Spirituality Presentation
  • Offerings and prayers at Tanah Lot
  • Evening Dance: Kecak
  • Late dinner together

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Sinta Tanah Lot


Day Three, Wednesday, March 18

This morning, after the newly established daily regimen of early morning teaching followed by breakfast, you gather your bags and check out of the hotel. Your ultimate destination today is the artistic and cultural capital of Bali, Ubud. Located in the lower highlands in the central region of Bali, Ubud is cooler and sometimes wetter than the coast.

On the way to Ubud, you quickly leave behind the hustle and bustle of the over built, highly commercial tourist areas of the south to find yourself traveling through the lush rice fields, verdant rain forests and magnificent volcanoes of the Balinese countryside. It’s an amazing, magical contrast. It’s almost like stepping back into an earlier, simpler, more tranquil era where daily life unfolds in a gentle, natural rhythm.

Traveling north, you arrive for lunch overlooking the spectacular and astonishingly beautiful rice terraces of Jatiluhwih. The extensive and uniquely terraced sawah (rice fields) of Jatiluwih were nominated as a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage site. The rice terraces of Jatiluwih are a wonderful example of the ability of humans to live in harmony with nature in a sustainable way.

After lunch and a further drive to Ubud, you check into the historic Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa. Designed in the uniquely Balinese style, the hotel blends into the serene beauty of its natural setting, a verdant hillside overlooking the Oos river. The hotel is the site of the home of the famous artist, Walter Spies. In the 1930’s Spies was instrumental in establishing both Bali’s modern art scene and its profile as an international tourist destination in the mid-twentieth century.

After settling in to your hotel, you have a final adventure organized for the day. A short walk from the hotel is an historic bridge that overlooks the confluence of the Oos and Campuhan rivers. Below the main bridge, a smaller foot bridge takes you across the Campuhan river to a small but important temple that overlooks and blesses the joining of the waters. From the temple there is foot path that follows the crest of the ridge created by the land dropping away into the deep ravines formed by the two rivers, This delightful hour long hike is known as the Campuhan Ridge Walk. You join your comrades around 5:15 to enjoy the hike just before sunset.

  • Tantra Yoga Class
    • Authentic Communication
  • Breakfast
  • Check out
  • Lunch at Jatiluwih rice terraces
  • Transport to Ubud
  • Check In at the Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa
  • Campuhan Ridge Walk
  • Dinner together

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa

Day Four, Thursday, March 19

After teachings and breakfast, it’s another full day of exploring the magic of Bali. We start with a beautiful morning drive north through the Balinese countryside to the most important and sacred ceremonial site on the entire island, the Mother Temple of Besakih.

Pura Besakih is a grand complex of 22 temples spread over one square mile rising high on the flanks of the sacred volcanic mountain of Gunung Agung, Bali’s highest peak where the Balinese people believe the Gods and spirits of their ancestors dwell.

Pura Besakih is the one site on all of Bali where all the Balinese come together to worship. You are warmly welcomed here and have the opportunity to pray and make offerings to the Gods. Prayers from Besakih are potent. You may want to prepare for this moment before you arrive to truly identify your deepest heart’s desires…

After Pura Besakih, you take a beautiful drive along the rim of the huge caldera or volcanic crater of nearby Gunung Batur to have lunch in Kintamani with a stunning view of the still active volcano and beautiful Lake Batur. It’s nice to have the view of Gunung Batur from this distance and perspective because a few days later you will be climbing it in the middle of the night!

After lunch, you head back toward Ubud, stopping at the sacred springs of Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring. Here, from the base of a huge banyan tree, an artesian spring gushes forth flowing into pools and fountains. In a special pool, thirteen spouts direct the water for special ritual ablutions and purification. This powerful ritual is your opportunity to release old, emotional/mental/spiritual baggage that no longer serves you. Again, thoughtful preparation in advance is a very good idea…

Then it’s back to the hotel for dinner together and if you still have any energy left, a free evening to explore the Ubud nightlife.

  • Tantra Yoga Class
    • Intention setting, manifesting, and releasing
  • Breakfast
  • Mother Temple at Besakih – offerings and prayers
  • Lunch at Kintamani overlooking Gunung Batur
  • Purification ritual in Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring
  • Dinner together for processing and integration
  • Free evening

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa 

Day Five, Friday, March 20

After teachings and breakfast, the rest of the day is devoted to learning about Sacred Sexuality and Sexual Healing led by Lisa and Laz.

We will have dinner together followed by a very special treat – the annual Ogoh-ogoh parade, Bali’s New Years Eve celebration.

Today is the day before Nyepi, the Balinese New Year and the focus is on the underworld and addressing demonic energies. During the day throughout Bali, households and businesses scare away the demons and evil spirits by banging pots and pans and making a huge racket. In the evening, giant, brightly painted, papier mache ogres, called Ogoh-ogoh, are paraded through the streets of each village accompanied by the loud percussive music of gongs and drums.

Ogoh-ogoh are meant to purify the natural environment of any spiritual pollutants. At each intersection the Ogoh-ogoh are rotated counter clockwise three times to further bewilder and confuse the evil spirits so that they will go away and cease interfering with the humans. At the end of the procession, the Ogoh-ogoh are burned in a further symbolic purification. In Ubud, it’s a huge, joyful celebration with dozens of Ogoh-ogoh made by different community organizations in competition to see who can create the scariest ogre. Everyone comes out to join in the fun.

  • Tantra Yoga Class
    • Conscious Touch
  • Breakfast
  • Sacred Sexuality
  • Dinner together for processing and integration
  • Evening: Ogoh-ogoh Parade and Celebration

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa

Day Six, Saturday, March 21

Whereas the night before Nyepi is raucous, rowdy and fun, Nyepi itself stands in stark contrast. Nyepi is the Balinese New Year and is known as the Day of Silence.

At 6:00 AM, the entire Island essentially shuts down for 24 hours. This is the day to apply what you have learned in your White Tantra practice. Everyone, including visitors and guests, stays indoors, no one is allowed out on the streets. No fires or cooking are permitted. All outside lights are turned off and inside lights are dimmed and concealed. TV and radio stations do not broadcast and there are no flights in or out of Bali’s international airport. Both working and sexual activity are prohibited. That’s right, you really can’t do anything.

For most Balinese, Nyepi is a day of fasting, meditation and prayer. It is a day of going inward and renewing the spiritual connections with the gods and ancestors.

Very quickly, you realize that the Day of Silence is actually the day of human silence. The wind still soughs through the palms. The roosters still crow and the ducks still quack and squawk. Frogs and insects heed no prohibitions and maintain their boisterous chorus. Nature is noisy!

What is different, however, is that all human sounds have ceased. No buzzing motorbikes or traffic noise, no airplanes droning overhead, no work sounds or music from the neighbors. Only the sounds of nature. And the chattering thoughts inside your own mind.

Today is your day to go inward. To pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. To strengthen your spiritual connection. You and the rest of the group are asked to honor the spirit of the day by observing silence and the other prohibitions. You may choose to fast today but if not, you will have a silent dinner together.

  • Day of Silent Meditation
  • White Tantra Feast together in silence

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa

Day Seven, Sunday, March 22

After teachings and breakfast, the rest of the day is again devoted to Sacred Sexuality and Sexual Healing led by Lisa and Laz. There will be a special homework assignment.

At dinner time, everyone comes together to share a meal and share their experiences. Highly recommended: tonight turn in early. You have a very early morning wake up call.

  • Tantra Yoga
    • Sacred Sexuality and Sexual Healing
      • Men’s Circle
      • Woman’s Circle
      • Special Homework Assignment

Included: Breakfast
                 Lodging at Tjampuhan Hotel and Spa

Day Eight, Monday, March 23

Yaaaawwwnnnn… It’s a 1:00 AM wakeup call and hotel check out. At 2:00 AM you and your companions depart for the trek to the top of Gunung Batur at an altitude of 1717 meters (5633 feet). Your hike begins around 3:00 AM with a professional local guide who expertly escorts the group through the rugged climb.

Arriving at the top of the cinder cone, you arrive in plenty of time to greet the rising sun. From here, the view is magnificent. You can look down into the mouth of this still active volcano which erupted as recently as 1994. Looking to the east you can see all the way across the straits to Gunung Rinjani towering over the island of Lombok. Spectacular views to the south east, reveal nearby Gunung Abang and Gunung Agung.

What could be more perfect? Sun salutations at the top of the mountain! Lisa and Laz will lead the group in morning yoga practice and sharing with each other the power, spiritual insights and blessings of this moment.

By now you’re probably feeling a little hungry. There is a small warung near the top where you can stop for a well deserved breakfast of eggs that are cooked in the hot, steamy fumes escaping from the earth’s interior. In the light of day, the hike back down is faster, easier and with the expansive views, even more fun.

You’ve had a strenuous, tiring but profoundly gratifying morning, how about bit of relaxation and pampering for those tired (maybe even sore) muscles?

At the bottom of the trek down, there is a wonderful hot springs and spa. Now is a great time to loosen up and unwind with a leisurely soak in the warm waters and a great massage. Hungry? Lunch is included. Take your time, enjoy the view, the relaxing hot soak, the restorative massage and the delicious food…

When you’re completely sated, you take the afternoon drive south to Tanjung Benoa on the Bukit peninsula and check in to the Mata Hari Terbit hotel. Feel free to snooze along the way…

  • Early morning wakeup
  • Hotel check out
  • Trek to see the sunrise at Gunung Batur
  • Yoga on the mountain top
  • Breakfast on Gunung Batur
  • Hot springs and massage
  • Lunch at the hot springs
  • Transport to Tanjung Benoa
  • Hotel check in

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Mata Hari Terbit

Day Nine, Tuesday, March 24

This morning after teachings and a quick breakfast, the group boards a shuttle to the ferry landing to catch the boat to Nusa Penida. Directly to the east of south Bali, across the Badung Strait, between Bali and Lombok, are the three sister islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida is the largest of the three and for the Balinese Hindus it is an important spiritual destination.

Nusa Penida is known as the black magic island. According to Balinese tradition, in the distant past it was inhabited by demons and ghouls and in particular by the powerful evil spirit I Macaling, the source of disease and misfortune. Priests were sent from a neighboring kingdom and a metaphysical battle of light against darkness was fought.

I Macaling was defeated but not entirely banished. To this day the Balinese blame floods, outbreaks of disease and other misfortunes on I Macaling’s power. Every Balinese Hindu is expected to visit Nusa Penida at least once in his life to honor the balance of light and dark.

Arriving on Nusa Penida, you take the short ride to the temple of Goa Giri Putri – goa means cave. From the parking area you climb 110 steps to the entrance which is a small opening in the rocks. The entrance is so small, in fact. that only one person can pass at a time. After passing 10 feet down and in, this symbolic birth canal opens into a huge, magnificent cave.

Capable of holding up to 5000 people, the cave is nearly the length of 3 football fields with a ceiling almost 500 feet high and contains 6 important shrines. Next to one of the shrines is a lingga and yoni formed naturally from stalactites and stalagmites. Toward the end of the cave system there is a shrine devoted to Dewi Kwan Im (Kwan Yin) Goddess of mercy and compassion.

After saying prayers, making offerings and exploring this sacred site, you return by shuttle to the sleepy port village for lunch and the the ferry ride home.

  • Tantra Yoga Class
    • Release Ritual
  • Breakfast
  • Shuttle and ferry ride to and from Nusa Penida
  • The temple of Goa Giri Putri

Included: Breakfast
Lodging at Mata Hari Terbit

Day Ten, Wednesday, March 25

After early teachings and breakfast, our group gathers for pickup and transport to the docks of Tanjung Benoa. Today is the group’s final day together and your final adventure is a day of snorkeling among the teeming reefs and pristine waters off Nusa Penida, considered one of the best snorkeling sites in all of Bali.

Nusa Penida’s rich bio-diversity is one of the factors makes it such an attractive dive and snorkeling destination. Expect to see a myriad of different species of marine life in these crystal clear waters.

Keep your eyes open for emperor angel fish, schools of glittering neon damsels, clown trigger fish, puffer fish, bat fish, parrot fish, moray eels, turtles and the occasional reef shark. Though seldom seen this time of year, you might get lucky and spot the amazing Mola Mola, or Ocean Sunfish. Weighing up to 5000 lbs., it’s the world’s largest bony fish.

After an extraordinary day of exploring the incredible beauty of Nusa Penida’s unspoiled reefs, with plenty of time to relax and top up your tan, it’s time to head back to Tanjung Benoa and the hotel. A very special Farewell Dinner awaits you and the group.

Good byes are bitter sweet, especially when you’ve shared so much with each other and made such deep friendships. Lisa and Laz will make sure that email addresses and other contact information is shared so that your connections can continue in the ‘real world’ back home.

  • Tantra Yoga Class
    • Embodiment Puja
  • Breakfast
  • Transport to the dive boat from the hotel
  • Snorkeling at Nusa Penida
  • Includes transport to boat, equipment, dive master, lunch and return to Benoa
  • Farewell Dinner

Included: Breakfast
                 Lodging at Mata Hari Terbit