Things to do
Bendega Villas’ manager, Harsana, has a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask the staff about the local area. Many of them live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.
In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villas.
- The Beach House at Echo Beach is a ten-minute drive, or a pleasant walk along the sands from the villas. This is a great place in the evenings for watching the legendary sunsets. The restaurant has a large eating area that spills out onto a beachside bluff offering a casual international menu, and at weekends has a daily seafood barbecue. Also at Echo Beach are popular breakfast spots Grocer & Grind and Dian Café.
- Other local places to eat include the grandly titled Deus Ex Machina Temple of Enthusiasm, which serves a wide range of Asian food with cold beer in a combination art gallery, clothing store cum motorcycle repair shop, and the rustic Betelnut, which makes a great coffee or juice stop after an early morning walk. There are several smaller restaurants serving Asian cuisine within walking distance, including one at the Ametis villas that serves only organic produce. Monsieur Spoon and Lacalita (great Mexican food) are also highly recommended.
- At nearby Batu Bolong is the wonderful Tugu Hotel, a living museum of priceless antiques and rare cultural artefacts and, almost opposite, one of the newer kids on the block and a definite favourite with the young and beautiful (despite its name) – Old Man’s.
- Bustling Seminyak, just 20 minutes’ drive away, has a huge choice of international restaurants. Our favourites for world class dining include the legendary Ku De Ta, The Living Room, La Lucciola, Sarong, Sardine, Metis, and MAMA San. More casual restaurants include the Bali Deli, La Sal, Cafe Moka, Made’s Warung I & II, Biku, Naughty Nuri’s, Hog Wild in Bali, Watercress, Bumbu and La Plancha. There’s no shortage of chic cocktail bars (try the Hu’u Bar late at night), exciting nightclubs, lavish spas and elegant boutiques either.
- About 15 minutes’ drive from Bendega Villas is the most famous temples in Bali, Tanah Lot Sea Temple.
- Other sports available nearby include Kuda P riding stables, Aquamarine scuba diving, off-road quad biking, surfing schools and fishing.
- For a day out with the kids there’s Bali Treetop Adventure Park, Elephant Safari Park, Bali Zoo, rafting and Waterbom Bali with its 16 water slides (including The Climax with its 360 degree loop) to entertain the young and the young at heart. Go early to beat the crowds!
- Drive westwards to explore the charming Tabanan regency, revealing terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black-sand beaches dotted with fishing communities. At 850m above sea level, the view from the Jatiluwih rice terraces, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, is one of the finest imaginable. Alternatively, head north to explore the volcanic lakes near the mountain town of Bedugul, including Lake Bratan with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.
- Bold and brave bargain hunters should head for one of Denpasar’s markets within the heart of Bali’s bustling provincial capital, for an exciting and rewarding shopping experience.
- Borrow one of the villa’s bicycles and explore the scenic rice-field landscape and rural villages – a great way to get under the skin of the ‘real’ Bali. Stop off at a local warung (café) to sample some basic Balinese fare or cool off with a cold drink.