We recently ran a special feature on eating your way around Italy, à la author Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the runaway bestseller Eat, Pray Love. (In case you haven't heard, it's now a movie starting Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem). We've also showed you a way to travel through India. This week, we're at the final destination of Gilbert's trip -- Bali, a land of gracious people and authentic culture. This week's Smart Deal comes from Spirit Quest Tours (tel. 877/406-5206; www.spiritquesttours.com), from $1,986 per person for six nights in Bali. Airfare isn't included in this price.
Spirit Quest first ran its "Eat Pray Love: Bali" package in May, and the testimonials on the site rave about it. (Fun celeb connection: Spirit Quest's website features a photo of its founder, Halle Eavelyn, with Gilbert herself).
There are many ways to make this trip a soul-searching success. Practice yoga or meditate -- or both -- each morning. Check out markets and craft studios. You can also add on a visit with Ketut Liyer, Gilbert's Balian healer and teacher, or enjoy a vitamin lunch at Wayan's tiny restaurant. And people who have read the book know that Gilbert traveled around the island with Yude Andiko, a musician. If he's in Bali during your trip, Andiko will play a concert for the tour group.
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Six nights in a five-star hotel The Royal Pita Maha in culturally-rich Ubud; all breakfasts, two lunches and two special dinners (including a welcome Italian meal and a farewell seafood feast); one spa treatment; daily meditation; visit to authentic Balinese village Gulingen (to dine on local food and make flower offerings); and a visit to Taneh Lot Temple.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Airfare to Denpasar, Bali, although Spirit Quest can help arrange.
Book By: As soon as possible to ensure availability; the trip caps out at 35 people.
When: Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2010 (from $2,442); June 20-27, 2011 (from $1,986)
Other Details: There are tons of add-ons you can select, including a Balinese cooking class (add $45); dinner at the Lotus Cafe (add $10), and a morning yoga class (add $20). It wouldn't be a trip that traced Gilbert's footsteps without visits to Wayan's restaurant (prices will vary) and healer Ketut Liyer (add $40).
You can extend the trip in the fall until Oct. 5 in Nusa Dua for an additional $831. The June 2011 trip starts at $1,986 for the same inclusions except you'll stay at the four-star, eco-friendly Alila Hotel.
All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Bali & Indonesia Forum.