CHERRY PICKED BALI EXCURSIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Ubud is close to a range of famous Balinese attractions, spiritual and historical sights and breathtaking nature. A couple of the attractions featured below are included in our 2 signature programs: Detox and Yoga Retreat and Transcendental Meditation Retreat.
And if you are hosting your retreat at Villa Gaia, we extend 2 selected complimentary trips for you and your guests to experience more of Bali.
Kecak Fire and Trance Dance
A mesmerizing theatrical experience, the Kecak is essentially a choir dance performed by a large moving mass of bare-chested male dancers in concentric circles, simulated to the sounds of the Gamelan Suara, enacting a battle from the epic, Ramayana. It gets its name from the hypnotic and repetitive chorus that these men chant rhythmically in perfect unison - 'chak-ka-chak-ka-chak.'
Kecak has roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance. The chorus waves their arms in the air, or sways in unison, dancing while seated to the rhythmic sound of their own voices to show battles and other plot points in the story.
Tirta Empul Holy Water Spring
Take part in a spiritual cleanse at Tirta Empul, one of the largest and busiest water temples in Indonesia. The temple was founded in 926 A.D. and is dedicated to Vishnu, who is the Hindu god of water. The name of the temple actually means ‘holy water spring’ in Balinese.
The Jaba Tengah is the most famous part of Tirta Empul temple. This section contains the two purification pools. The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese and touristscome here to purify themselves under the 30 water spouts that feed the pools. Not to be missed.
Private 1-1 blessing (holy water purification) at Villa Gaia
Melukat is a spiritual cleansing of the mind and soul in a man. This ceremony is practiced for generations by Hindus to this day. Melukat is derived from the word "sulukat" ie "su" which means good, and "lukat" which means purification. This tradition is usually held at a holy spring. For privacy, we bring the holy water to Villa Gaia to have you blessed by a Mangku (a priest).
The offerings such as "prayascita" and "bayuan" are prepared then given special mantras. After the completion of the mantra process, you will be purified with holy spring or ocean water and sometimes also with a young ivory coconut. We will then pray and work on stabilizing your body energy with the healing energy of the universe. After this purification, you'll feel refreshed, at peace, more aligned with your body and soul for a deep night's sleep. This spiritual blessing is best done in the evening or night time to attract and produce maximum energy of the universe. This private blessing is open for 1-2 pax maximum.
Included: offerings, 2 priests, holy water, Balinese assorted aromatic flowers, aromatic incense, and further personal blessing by the priest.
What to wear: sarong to cover your body which we can provide.
Historical Temples & Chambers of Gunung Kawi
Gunung Kawi is one of the oldest temples in Bali located next to Tirta Empul. In fact, it’s not just one temple, but a series of 15 temples set in a beautiful deep river valley next to towering cliffs and you can spend half a day exploring here.The site is most famous for the five main funeral shrines that are carved into a tall cliff at the centre of the complex - unlike anything else you are likely to see in bali and it really towers over you.
Being so close to the shrines you get a sense of just how much hard work, and how long it must have taken, to carve the shrines out of the cliff face.
Cahaya Mutiara Shiny Pearl Foundation Villa Gaia Charity Partner
Why 'Shiny Pearl'? Imagine a sea shell. Although the shell may not be as beautiful as a flower, if you let it grow and support it with a good environment, it will produce a very beautiful pearl. This shining pearl can become useful and beautiful. At Cahaya Mutiara, the foundation strives to be like that seashell.
"While we may have physical disabilities and our lives are challenging, when given the chance and support, we will become unique and beautiful pearls. We would like to offer the opportunity of joining our Foundation to everyone with a physical disability. We do not have paid staff, we manage and administer our own Foundation. Please come visit us when you are in Bali". - cahayamutiaraubud
Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest
Ubud Monkey Forest, is one of the most popular attractions; a natural forest sanctuary that is home to over 700 playful monkeys free in their natural habitat, 186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares of a leafy nutmeg forest to breath in plenty of fresh, clean, crisp air. There are beautiful ancient temples with guardian statues covered in moss throughout the forest to admire.
The site is well preserved thanks to a community-based management program and the monkeys here are said to be spiritual animals that guard the temples.Takes around 2 hours to complete a tour and is 10 min away to Ubud markets for shopping and dining afterwards.
Tegenungan Waterfall is one for nature lovers conveniently located only half-hour away from Villa Gaia in Ubud. Getting to the falls is a pleasant drive down paved village roads lined with stretches of green rice fields on both sides.
The waterfalls are several minutes’ walk down the path past shops and stalls, where you’ll enjoy the vibrant green valley panorama along the way. You can go down to the vast pebbly base and enjoy a refreshing dip in the plunge pool.
Making Canang Sari (Flower Offering) with Devi Larasati
When you are in Bali, you see so many offerings being placed all over the island called Canang Sari where canang means basket and sari means essence. They are offerings (banten) made 3 times per day as a symbol of thanks for giving peace to the world and bringing prosperity and good health to the family.
Making Canang Sari is a therapeutic ritual (think, meditation in motion) that will encourage your artistic side and creativity while learning more about Bali's rich culture. Under the guidance of our Detox Retreat manager and a local Balinese herself, Devi Larasati, will empower you with this daily ritual using an assortment of colourful flowers, bamboo strips and busung (young coconut leaves) to create a canang sari as a gift to take back home with you while learning the purpose behind it.
This labor of love and devotion takes approximately one hour for 1-3 pax.
Sunrise Rice Paddies Walk
with Pak Ngurah
A healthy light sunrise stroll into the beautiful rice fields of Ubud led by our Balinese Villa Manager, Pak Ngurah, takes around 1.5 - 2 hours, starting at around 6:10 am from Villa Gaia.
You may spot birds of season such as the Kingfisher while being enlightened about the herbs and their benefits as medicine along your walk.
This is a great add on to your retreat to bring movement to the start of your day!
Jamu and Boreh Body Scrub Class by Nadis Herbal
Jamu and Boreh are made from roots, leaves, bark, fruit and traditional Balinese herbs, to treat the body. Jamu, one of the most popular drinks in Indonesia, is made out of turmeric and galangal, boiled with palm sugar and sweet tamarind. It is incredibly refreshing and a powerful cleansing elixir.
You will learn how to prepare this drink and create Boreh body scrub made out of cloves, ginger, red rice, galangal and turmeric which will be scrubbed on your back before making your own body mask and oil using frangipani, jasmine, pandan leaves, aloe vera, sweetcorn and coconut.
This 3hr organic experience is also included in our 7 and 10 day Detox Yoga Retreat
Copyright© Gaia Retreat Center