Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, having its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth. With world-class surfing and diving, a sizable amount of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and a huge range of accommodations, this really is one of the world’s most popular island destinations. The culture of Bali is one of slow pace, the folks are extremely tolerant and welcoming to visitors, however, they’re also very modest and polite people so dress modestly and behave modestly. Daytime temperatures are pleasant, varying between 20-33⁰ C year-round. From December to March, the west monsoon brings heavy showers and high humidity, but days continue to be often sunny with the rains starting in the late afternoon or evening and passing quickly.Gunung Kawi is an 11th-century complex of courtyards and cliff-carved shrines across the Pakerisan River, near Ubud. Theories and myths surround the ancient Hindu site—legend has it a ferocious warrior named Kebo Iwa carved the intricate reliefs together with his fingernails, for instance—which contributes to its allure.Sukawati Art Market is just a cheaper and quieter alternative to nearby Ubud Market and other popular locales in southern Bali. There is an extraordinary array of handcrafted artworks on the market, from framed paintings of local farm life to large wooden sculptures of Hindu deities.On an island saturated in natural beauty, Mount Baturand its serene surroundings might be probably the most dramatic destination of all. The 5,600-foot volcanic marvel contains Bali’s largest crater lake—a splendid cycling site and slopes ripe for hiking with picturesque villages across the way.This tourist magnet might appear to be an open-air zoo attraction, but Ubud Monkey Forest is really a holy site with a 1000-plus band of long-tailed Balinese macaques inside their natural habitat.Making up the main West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island is just a tiny, less-trodden gem eight miles off the northwestern coast of Bali. Nicknamed “Deer Island” for the numerous Javan rusa deer ambling about, it’s uncrowded and largely uninhabited, and its fringing coral reefs make it the best diving and snorkeling spots in Greater Bali.TirtaEmpul (“Holy Spring”), an essential sacred water temple for more than 1,000 years, includes a warren of shrines, gates, courtyards, and purification pools where Balinese Hindus “baptize” themselves underneath a succession of waterspouts.