Verdant rice terraces surround a thriving community of painters, mask-makers, musicians and monkeys in rustic inland Ubud. Spend your days wandering art galleries, markets and boutiques, before watching fire dancers and puppet performances after dark.
Even before Elizabeth Gilbert drew global attention to Bali’s cultural heartland in her bestselling autobiography Eat, Pray, Love, the one-time farming village swarmed with enlightenment-seekers, including A-listers Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Donna Karan. These days, this bustling town’s charm is increasingly felt on its fringes – stroll through the jaw-dropping rural landscapes, explore the shaded jungle and witness the serene Balinese at work and play.
Ubud’s higher elevation may take the edge off the equatorial swelter, but the annual average rainfall is higher here, too. July to September is high season, when the climate is most appealing, but August is also the busiest time of year.