Start in Bali at Amanusa, just 15 minutes from the Denpasar airport; youll already have flown long enough and theres no reason why your vacation shouldnt start straightaway (Amans included Indonesian Concierge Service will help with this, and youll smile as you skirt the listless visa and custom lines). Spend the day and night at Amanusas stately soccer-field-sized-pool, or at its Beach Club, or spa. Amanusas in new Bali, so this is also your chance to visit the ex-pat friendly towns of Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Legian. Or even play a round of golf.
Still, chances are youve come for something else, and that something is almost definitely Amandari, in central Bali, just outside the artistic center of Ubud. Its hard to imagine a more comfortable resort with lush green spilling everywhere you look even if the real thumping heart of the island lies beyond Amandaris walls. Cycling trips and treks will get you a quick eyeful of the areas emerald-green rice terraces, but youll also want to shop for textiles and wooden crafts in town and stroll its eponymous Monkey Forest. Fortunately, the resort will give you a driver for this.
Or, visit Amankila, in East Bali, a cross between cultural and beach Bali, where you can divide your time among more rice paddies, temples, water palaces, and a black-sand beach. If youre a scuba diver, this is also your chance to see an ocean sunfish, better known as a mola mola. The average-sized ones grow to six feet in length and weigh 2,200 pounds. Theyre the largest bony fishes in the world and look like mammoth swimming lumps of flesh. They also just happen to lurk by the islands off East Bali.
For even more exuberant diving, keep heading east to Amanwana on Moyo Island (youll need to take a plane to get there). The luxury tented camp will be your base for exploring the underwater life of the Flores Sea, with its 1,000 species of fish, where the coral easily outdoes the most refined Balinese textiles and where hordes of long-tailed macaques scamper across the grass. Or, instead, head west to Amanjiwo in Central Java, which overlooks 8th-century Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Either way, consider spending one more night at Amanusa before heading home, so you can stretch your vacation to the last minute.