For a list of what to bring please click here: http://www.hikingbalicoast2coast.com/the-details/what-to-bring
Stuff happens. Sometimes lots of it; places get flooded, hotels and restaurants go out of business, whole villages close for celebrations, and volcanoes can be quite unpredictable. Circumstances beyond our control may force a change in our listed itinerary. We will keep you posted as much as we can. But be aware that even after we begin our hike, we may make (hopefully minor) changes if they are required for safety or the sake of a better trip.
Adjusting to Indonesian Culture
Even though we will be walking through paths and places that seldom or never see tourists, this is Bali. The locals have a long history with tourism, and because the Balinese and Hinduism largely practice a “live and let live philosophy” you are unlikely to offend anyone, even if your behavior is decidedly unBalinese. The locals expect you to be odd!
But there are a few things you should keep in mind during the trip:
- Don’t get angry or raise your voice with anyone in public. This causes all parties to lose face. A smile and a joke work better than strong words in much of Asia.
- Dress like a hiker when we are hiking. Overly tight and/or revealing clothing will get stares, catcalls, and a variety of perhaps unwanted attention. At the beach really anything goes (but no topless for women) but keep in mind that most of the local women will go in the ocean almost fully clothed.
- Expect to bargain for most everything you buy. We know the local prices and will help you with daily purchases and essentials. But for souvenirs and major purchases expect lots of good-natured haggling.
- We pass (and can explore) many temples on our route. It is good manners to have shoulders and knees covered when visiting; a sarong is even better. You may bring your own or buy one here.
Physical Fitness Issues
The hiking can be strenuous at times. The terrain is rarely flat and almost all of our time is spent away from paved roads. But with one exception, steep uphill slogs last no more than forty five minutes or an hour at most. With proper footwear (more on that later), a strong will, and a sense of adventure you should be fine if you have some sort of regular exercise routine. Remember, you only need to carry a daypack as your luggage will be driven to our nightly accommodation. Drinks and light local snacks are usually available on a regular basis, and most days we have a “bailout point” where our private van can rescue hikers who have had enough for that particular day.
Included and Optional Activities
On most days the majority of our time is spent on the trail and there will be few scheduled “included activities” per se. However admission to all temples, villages (yes some have a small charge), beaches, palaces and archeological sites is included in the trip price. On our second and third hiking days we will have free time after lunch. We can advise and arrange a number of activities (snorkeling, boating, shopping, massage, etc) and usually provide free transportation with our private vehicle. But payment for the activity itself is not included in the trip price.
The locals in East Bali do not have tipping culture. Vendors at local markets, food stalls, shops and public transport would be greatly surprised if they were offered a tip. So we suggest you don’t tip them—simply agree on fair price and pay that price. But tipping is not unusual, though certainly not required, for personal services and tourist restaurants. Ten percent or a dollar (in rupiah) is a fine tip. Keep local wages in mind if you tip. Skilled construction workers get US$8 – $10 per day and employees in the ubiquitous convenience stores get US$2 or US$3.
Your trip driver would of course appreciate a tip. Kenny and Jeff do not accept tips. However, they would be happy to store any duty free items that don’t seem to fit in your luggage on your trip home.
Money Exchange and Cash
Try to bring some Indonesian Rupiah if you can. While you can exchange money in East Bali, you can’t do it everywhere and rates are not particularly good. Major currencies are easily exchanged at the airport. ATM’s are also frequently available. Note that moneychangers do not accept torn, very old or damaged currency. Also, USD notes older than the 2000 series may not be welcome. Indonesian moneychangers have become so finicky about US currency that the US Embassy in Jakarta no longer accepts payment in USD because its local bank frequently refuses the embassy’s deposit!
Local food and snacks will only cost a few dollars per day, and moderately priced Western restaurants are cheaper than they are in most of the rest of the world. East Bali is an exceptional value. A 650ml (24oz) local beer Bintang beer may cost $3 in a tourist pub or restaurant. However, imported alcohol is quite expensive and money spent on gifts and souvenirs will vary dramatically depending on your taste.
Check with your Embassy or Consulate for up to date information as these matters are subject to change and the responsibility of the individual traveler. However, as of July, 2014, virtually all Western European citizens, as well as citizens of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa are eligible for the Visa on Arrival program at the airport in Denpasar. These 30 day visas are easily and efficiently obtained for US$35. Travelers on ASEAN nation passports do not need visas and normally will be issued 30 day stay permits. Please make sure that your passport does not expire within 6 months of your arrival in Indonesia. While it is theoretically possible that you may be asked to show an onward ticket or proof of sufficient funds, this would be extremely uncommon.
Departure tax from Bali is 250,000 IDR. This amount varies by airport, so if you are departing from elsewhere in Indonesia the amount will be different (lower). Only Indonesian Rupiah is accepted.
The maximum group size is you and 11 other trip participants. (12 total)
Special Considerations of a Group Tour
With no offense intended to the big tour companies, every other trip we’ve seen in Bali can be easily done independently by any traveler with a guide book and internet access. Not ours. No way. The only way to see this side of Bali is with Bali Coast 2 Coast’s small group tours. And we think trekking in a group of new and hopefully diverse and fascinating friends enhances your adventure. Just remember that with group travel we have to take everyone’s needs and preferences into account—not just yours. Patience and good humor go a long way in building positive group dynamics. Your most important obligations to the group are to have an open mind, speak honestly and be ready on time. Just do that and we’ll take care of the rest.
Our trips are designed for double occupancy and there is no single supplement if you are willing to share accommodation with another same gender trip participant. But we know this doesn’t work for everyone, so single rooms can be arranged for an extra fee. Contact us for details.
You don’t need to step into a car or ride a motorbike the entire week that you hike Bali Coast 2 Coast. You walk from one night’s lodging to the next with your luggage transported ahead of you. So feel free to bring (much) more than you want to carry. But our clean, safe, AC van is available to bring you to a range of optional sites and activities. Transfers to and from the airport are not included but can be arranged. Contact us for details and prices. Alternatively, prepaid taxis are available at the airport to our first nights lodging for approximately US$45.
The leaders of your hike will be one or both of the founders of Bali Coast 2 Coast; Jeff Samson and Kenny Peavy. Since they put together the hike, they are intimately acquainted with what you will see along the way. For more details see the ABOUT US page on this website.
All of our accommodation is small scale and locally owned and operated. You can expect friendly, personalized service without the excessive formality that can be characteristic of larger operations. Check the itinerary for day to day particulars on our lodging; but be assured that our standard is higher than that of other tour operators at this price point. Accommodation is double occupancy; but single occupancy can be arranged with an additional single supplement.
All breakfasts at our hotels are included in the trip price.
Our van brings us an included lunch on our first hiking day, and on our final day we provide a packed, included lunch that we carry with us. Other lunches are not included and there will usually be a variety of lunch options.
Dinner will always have a variety of choices. You are free to eat individually, in small groups, or with the group as a whole.
East Bali is a great place to hike year round. The best weather is May to October when rainfall is scarce, the breeze is brisk, and humidity and temperatures are both relatively low. Daytime highs are in the high 70’s to low 80’s (26-28 C) and evenings and mornings are wonderfully cool. November to April is the wet season, with a bit more humidity and slightly higher temperatures. Many days are dry and most of the rain falls in late afternoon and early evening, leaving us ample time for hiking. Bali is an island of microclimates and our weather is substantially cooler than Denpasar’s. East Bali is nowhere near as hot and humid as Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur. Check out this site for good weather information:
We try to give you an accurate idea of just what Bali Coast 2 Coast is all about. Please read the information carefully and make sure you are healthy and fit enough for this style of travel. East Bali is a healthy destination and our trails are tough, but never dangerous. We never hike anywhere where a wrong step would be likely to result in serious injury and in fact, we have rerouted our hike to avoid such places.
The large majority of visitors to Indonesia experience nothing more debilitating than a mild case of Bali belly. However, Bali does have both malaria and dengue fever, although their incidence is fairly low. Please consult a medical professional about vaccinations and/or anti-malarial medications if you are concerned. Bali also has several species of venomous snakes and rabies has not yet been fully eradicated. Bites are very rare, but you might want to explore the possibility of a pre-exposure rabies vaccine with your personal physician.
Also keep in mind that Kenny is a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) in the USA. We will carry a first aid kit for minor medical issues and will have access to a vehicle for emergency evacuation to the nearest hospitals and clinics. Sanur is also home to an International SOS for those that require more serious medical attention.
On a personal note, please bring an adequate supply of your personal OTC type medical products like aspirin, sunscreen, antibiotics, etc. They are available in limited quantities and selection in East Bali.
In general Bali, and particularly rural east Bali, is a very safe place to travel. Please check with your embassy for any travel warnings or advisories they may have issued. Bear in mind, however, that embassies are notoriously conservative with their travel advice!
Try to bring lockable luggage so that while you are on the trail the luggage you leave in the hotel will be securely closed and as safe as possible. Almost all thefts in Bali are small scale crimes of opportunity—you leave your cell phone out and someone walks by and makes off with it— and the chances of a large scale or violent robbery are small indeed.
A money belt is a good idea for your passport, credit cards and cash. Try and leave real valuables in your home country; there is really no need to be particularly flash on the trail. Valuables that you can’t leave behind may be placed in hotel safety deposit boxes when they are available.
A few particular safety issues:
- Water sports and activities are available in many parts of the trip. We are familiar with local sea conditions and can offer suggestions and advice, but of course the ocean is changeable and always potentially dangerous. Life jackets may not always be available or in perfect condition and boating safety regulations are not up to Western norms.
- Bikes are available in several locations. Maintenance may be suspect and helmets may not always be available or up to Western safety standards.
- Traffic can be heavy on main roads and medians and shoulders may be less than optimal. Since we hike totally away from these conditions, this is only an issue when joining and leaving the trip, when journeying further afield for dinners or optional activities. Americans will note that Indonesians drive on the wrong side of the road.
- Seat belts are available in our private vehicle. However, not all taxis will have usable seat belts, particularly in the back seats. Buses and other forms of public transport will not normally have safety belts.
- Swimming pools are available at most of our hotels and several places we visit along the route. Lifeguards are not available.
- Fire safety rules and regulations may differ from those in first world nations. All of our accommodation is in small, detached structures away from heavily built up areas; thus the risk of fire is minimized and emergency exit options are plentiful. Additionally, all of our accommodation is on the ground floor. Fire extinguishers and fire alarms are rare.
Every traveler must have travel insurance covering medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Other coverage like trip cancellation and lost luggage reimbursement is your personal decision. We need to see printed proof of your insurance as well as your carrier’s international emergency contact phone number. Coverage through a credit card provider is acceptable; however we need the details from the participating insurer concerning extent of coverage, policy number and telephone contact information. It is best to do this well before you arrive in Bali.
A Couple of Rules
Actually, one. Bali is a laid back travel destination and pretty much anything goes, at least in the main tourist destinations. However, marijuana and harder drugs are illegal in Indonesia and their use is not acceptable on our trips. It’s not a moral judgment; drug use exposes every member of the group to potential fines and jail terms. Enough said.
Giving Back to the Local Community
Bali Coast 2 Coast is locally owned and operated and uses local hotels, transport options and restaurants. So we make sure that as much money as possible stays in local hands and benefits the local community. As we build our business, we also want to support worthy local charities or NGO’s that help the truly needy right here in Bali. We of course have an idea or two, but if you know of any organizations that deserve a look please drop us a line.
About Your Booking— Guaranteed Departure
Once you pay for your trip, it runs. Period. We do not cancel our trips for any reason other than medical and weather emergencies, wars, and other assorted acts of god. Cross your fingers.
About your Booking— Lifetime Transferable Deposit
We understand that personal emergencies of various sorts may prevent you from coming on a trip you have already paid for. While we are not able to refund your money (some of our costs must be paid up front and are not refundable), you may apply 100% of you payment to a future trip for you or a friend.
We truly value your opinions and want to hear from you. Whether it’s about your trip or our website, let us know what you think. Everyone who leaves feedback will automatically be eligible for a US$250 travel voucher for Bali Coast 2 Coast. Use it yourself or it makes a great gift. Drawing is held monthly.