We all know that Bali is a bargain paradise destination once you get there, but airfares are often the one big stumbling block. But if you are planning on traveling during the month of April (April 1 to 30, 2008) have we got a deal for you. Cathay Pacific puts out a special "Deal of Month" and February's is particularly appealing: Book by February 29, 2008 and pay only $761 plus taxes (ranging from $64 to $117) for a round-trip flight to Denpasar, Bali from Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York (via Hong Kong). This rock-bottom fare also includes fuel/insurance surcharges of over $160. This deal is certain to sell out quickly, so be flexible with your dates and take advantage of this sensational price. This fare can only be purchased online at the special "Deal of the Month" section by U.S. residents with a valid U.S. credit card billing address and U.S. mailing address.
Pacific Holidays Inc. (tel. 800/355-8025; www.pacificholidaysinc.com) is currently offering an Idyllic Bali deal of its own. Depart in February, March, April, May, October or November, 2008 and pay $1,300 per person for a package that includes round-trip international airfare from Los Angeles on Singapore Airlines (via Singapore); six nights' accommodations at the four-star rated Grand Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur Beach (or add $240 for the five-star Ayodya Resort in Nusa Dua); airport transfers; breakfast daily, one lunch and one dinner; a half-day tour of Ubud (including a traditional Barong dance performance), Celuk and a batik workshop in Tohpati; a full-day tour to Mt. Batur volcano, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) in Bedulu, the rice terraces of Sebatu and Gunung Kawi Temple; and a sunset tour to Uluwatu Temple. Single supplement starts from $405. Other travel dates are available for additional cost.
Asian Affair Holidays (tel. 800/742-3133; www.asianaffairholidays.com) has a Bali Spectacular package that features round-trip airfare on Singapore Airlines, round-trip airport to hotel transfers, five nights' accommodations at a four or five-star property (Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa, Le Meridien Nirwana Golf and Spa Resort, Melia Bali Villas and Spa Resort or Nikko Bali), breakfast buffet daily and a full-day Barong Dance and Mt Kintamani tour with lunch. The package is priced from $1,298 per person from San Francisco or Los Angeles based on double occupancy for travel from now until March 31, 2008. Add $60 for a New York departure. Add $80 fro departures from April 1 to June 5, 2008 (plus an additional $50 from New York). These prices include $318 security and fuel surcharge imposed by the airline but do not include government-mandated taxes and fees, including international departure tax and customs fees of approximately $70.
Want to spice up your Indonesian beach vacation? Gourmet on Tour (tel. 646/461-6088; www.gourmetontour.com) has a delicious culinary program that would make an ideal add on to your Bali experience. Alila Manggis (www.alilahotels.com/manggis) is a secluded, stylish resort located on a tranquil beach in eastern Bali, near Candi Dasa and away from the tourist throngs of Kuta. All rooms are housed in traditional two-story thatched Balinese pavilions facing the ocean across a coconut grove. The Alila Manggis' Cooking School course focuses on Indonesian but essentially Balinese food and offers participants an opportunity to spend half the day in the kitchen and the other half exploring Bali from a culinary and cultural point of view. Learn how to make sambal, classic satay, Balinese fish dishes, curries and traditional sweets. A two-day cooking course package is priced at $590 per person and includes three nights' accommodation, a cooking classes, daily breakfast, two lunches, one dinner, excursions and related refreshments, a 20% discount on spa treatments, tax and service charges. The five-day course is priced at $1,190 per person and includes six nights' accommodations, five-days of cooking classes, daily breakfasts, four lunches and two dinners excursions and related refreshments, a 20% discount on spa treatments, tax and service charges.
Bali is known as a surf oasis and Wave Hunters (tel. 760/994-4861; www.wavehunters.com) can get you there with one of its specialized packages. Each adventure includes round-trip airfare on Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York (add-ons from other U.S. cities available); round-trip airport transfers; seven nights' accommodations at a Bali resort; breakfast daily; six days of ultimate surfing with a Bali surf guide; an air-conditioned vehicle with driver; fruit, lunch and soft drinks and entrance fees. Staying at the Bounty Hotel in Kuta, this package is priced from $1,655 from Los Angeles or San Francisco and $1,725 from New York plus $35 for extra nights. At Patra Bali Resort, pay $1,850 from the U.S. west coast or $1,920 from New York with extra nights starting from $60. At the Blue Point Villas in an ocean view room, the prices are $2,240/$2,310 with extra nights costing $113. And at Uluwatu Resort, $1,900 and $1,970 respectively plus $75 each for extra nights.
Wave Hunters also has surf trips based on the neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan. They include round-trip airfare on Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York, seven nights' accommodation at Lembongan Island Beach Villas in a two-bedroom villa, eight days with a Nusa Lembongan surf guide (two sessions by boat with a personal surf guide each day), round-trip airport or Bali hotel transfers by fast boat to Nusa Lembongan and a full breakfast daily. These trips are priced from $2,410 from Los Angeles or San Francisco or $2,480 from New York. Guests can hire surfboards for a little over $8 per surfboard per day including leg rope and wax, which will save you the hassle of lugging one with you. Surf lesson packages are also available. Add $200 to each package for high season departures (June 6 to August 20, 2008)
And for a package that sounds like it was custom-designed with me in mind (and anyone else dreaming of a bit of serenity and indulgence), Perfect Spot Tours (tel. 800/499-8250; www.perfectspot.com) runs a Deluxe Spa and Healing Tour to Bali priced from $2,650 per person. The trip combines charming hotels in three diverse areas of Bali -- the mountains around Ubud, the un-touristy northwest coast, and the luxurious enclave of Nusa Dua Beach -- with a leisurely itinerary designed to promote a sense of well-being, featuring spa treatments, yoga-healing sessions, leisurely guided walks through the countryside, and an opportunity to be immersed in Balinese culture. A sample itinerary includes round-trip flights from Los Angeles on Singapore Airlines; private airport transfers; private transportation for tours and for transfers between resorts; nine nights' accommodations (the Pita Maha, a luxurious villa set in tropical gardens in Ubud, Taman Selini, a boutique resort on the black sand beach of Pemuteran and the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel); breakfast daily, two dinners and one lunch; a full-day tour visiting some of Bali's oldest temples and monuments; a guided country walk from Payangan to Ubud, snorkeling in the crystalline waters off Menjangan Island with your own guide and a traditional healing massage demonstration. Itineraries can be personalized.
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