If you can manage to peel yourself off the sand for a few hours, day trips with private drivers (who are also de facto tour guides) are a wonderful way to strike out and see more of beautiful Bali. Prices vary, but half- to full-day services generally start at RP$500,000 (US$38), not including tip.
Here are three of the best places to take a day trip from south Bali:
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: You know those rolling, impossibly green, steeped rice terraces you often see when scrolling through photos of Bali? There’s a good chance they were taken at the majestic Jatiluwih terraces, which are truly one of the most breathtaking sights in Bali. It’ll take two to three hours to get there, and the trip commonly includes stops at Hindu temples of note along the way, too.
Ubud: Roughly an hour from Kuta, depending on traffic, Ubud is the island’s artistic and cultural heart. Popularized by the book (and later film adaptation) Eat, Pray, Love, Ubud is home to many Balinese artisans specializing in woodwork, ceramics, jewellery, and painting. The central area is easily walkable and packed with boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
If you don’t wish to spend a full day in Ubud—and you probably don’t need to—it’s possible to visit a number of other attractions during the trip, including the sacred Tirta Empul temple and the Tegalalang rice terraces.
Uluwatu: From Kuta it’ll take about an hour to reach the cliffside Uluwatu temple, one of the most-photogenic temples in all of Bali. Wild monkeys roam the grounds freely—and they’re not bashful. Don’t feed them, and don’t leave anything out that they could grab. Kecak dances are held here nightly, and while you’re in the area stop at Jimbaran Beach on the way back for a beachside seafood dinner.