For Julian & Co.

June 2014.

Surf, spa, and stretching

Dear Julian,

Indonesia is a destination that specializes in laidback fun and relaxation—a perfect fit for you and your friends. I know, however, that you hunger for more than just a typical vacation. With this in mind, I have designed an itinerary that blends excellent surfing, classic sightseeing, and cultural exploration, allowing you to connect with the beauty of Bali and the authentic life beneath the surface. With your time split between the surf, the spa, towns unchanged by time’s steady march, and visits with local artisans, this trip truly offers a bit of everything, stretching your imagination and soul in unexpected and revitalizing directions.

Day 1: Bali

Arrive Denpasar, and meet your expert surfer guide, Bryan Harvey—who is also a world class photographer—and drive to your beachfront hotel in Nusa Dua. After your long flight, you may wish to have an iconic Balinese massage but, if you feel up to it, grab your board and head out for an afternoon surf session to one of the seven different surf breaks, all within a 10-minute walk from the hotel.

Day 2: Tabanan highlands excursion

Rise at daybreak to catch the morning glass. Your private water taxi will pick you up out front and whisk you out to the legendary Nusa Dua reef. Nusa Dua has many faces—it can offer playful hotdog waves for surfers of all levels or, if the swell is up, it can be a scary barreling, world-class right hander where you may score the ride of a lifetime. Nusa Dua is the most consistent wave in all of Indonesia, so there is always a ride to be found here.

After a beachside breakfast at the hotel, you will head off for a four-hour excursion into the Tabanan highlands. Have your cameras ready to capture some of the most beautiful terraced rice paddies you will see anywhere in the world, the majesty Gunung Agung, the Mother Mountain, raging rivers and stunning waterfalls. Bali’s beauty is legendary and, if you simply turn off the main road, you will find yourself in a cultural and natural environment that has, in some respects, hardly changed by the passage of time. Lunch will be served perched cliff side and overlooking a spectacular vista. This day will end back at sea level in the fashionable beach town of Canggu. Squeeze in a sunset surf session or go for a romantic sunset horseback ride down the beach.

Day 3: Ubud

The morning is at leisure, so you may enjoy the spa, one of the man-made lagoons, or the white sand beach at your hotel. Then you will transfer to Ubud, the spiritual, artistic, and cultural center of Bali. Armed with our incomparable shopping list, you will explore the many galleries and shops Ubud has on offer. We have also arranged for an afternoon visit with friends of ours who are involved in Bamboo Conservation, jewelry design, fashion and interior design. They will show you how local artisans work, and what the traditions are.

Day 4: Lombok

Start the morning with a yoga class followed by a massage and spa treatment. Then, take a 15-minute flight to Lombok, the neighboring island just east of Bali. Some say Lombok is the Bali of 30 years ago. Far less developed, Lombok is truly a magical place that offers visitors a chance to go back in time. From traditional Sasak villages with their woven mat houses, to pristine beaches and many world-class waves, Lombok is truly a surfer’s paradise. It is home to what many surfers consider the best left in the world, Desert Point, where 10-second tube rides are common.

Day 5: Surfing Desert Point

Awake early and board your private surf charter boat for the ride out to Desert Point. A long-walled and incredibly-hollow left-hander that on its day can break up to 300 meters, growing in size from takeoff to end, Desert Point provides the chance to surf some of the best waves you will find anywhere in the world. A full lunch will be provided aboard, so you may take a break, take some photos from the channel, and then paddle out again for the afternoon session.

Day 6: Kuta coast by motorbike

The magic of Lombok is found in the unexpected, so there’s no better way to cultivate discovery than to head off for a day of exploration by motorbike on the quiet back roads of Lombok’s sparsely populated south coast. Here the journey is truly the reward, with nothing between you and the stunning landscape. Vivid green rice paddies, empty white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and distant volcanoes all blend together as you ride the open road ahead. Countless bays, points, and reefs create endless opportunities to find that magical spot where you may surf perfect waves all to yourself. Enjoy the serendipity of the day, stopping roadside for a chat with a local farmer tending his water buffalo, or pull off and join an impromptu beach soccer game—the Lombok locals are welcoming and friendly.

Day 7: Departure

As your last day on the trip, you will have time to rest before you head home.

Julian, it has been a pleasure to plan this itinerary for your trip to Indonesia. If I can be of any further assistance to you before, during, or after your adventure, please do not hesitate to contact me.