como shambala baliComo Shambala

Known as the ‘Island of the Gods’, Bali has become one of the most popular destinations among young travellers. The setting of Charlie Chaplin’s enchanting black and white movies, and the venue of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall’s wedding, Bali has attracted bohemian visitors for decades.

It’s a paradise of idyllic beaches, jungles and volcanoes, and you’ll find thousands of Hindu temples dotted across the landscape. Sadly, the very elements that attract travellers to Bali are slowly damaging this Indonesian isle; mass tourism has resulted in rapid and unsustainable development.

By choosing an eco-friendly stay, you can experience the true beauty of Bali while supporting its preservation and upholding the islanders’ traditional way of life.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Carry a reusable water bottle with you. There are already mountains of plastic in Bali, don’t add to the problem.

Rent a scooter or a driver; the roads are wild with scenery (and crazy drivers), and you’ll either want the wind through your hair or air-con when the traffic piles up.

Coconut oil is a hero beauty product, and organic cold pressed formulas are widely available on the island. Use it as a moisturiser and conditioner. If you’re feeling brave, add some to your morning juice for a dose of well being.

Use a certified money exchanger or visit the bank; Bali is infamous for a sleight of hand trick where half your money disappears on the recount.

Carry a sarong everywhere. Use it to cover up in the temples, shield your shoulders on cool evenings or even as a makeshift bag on unexpected shopping trips.

Take time to learn about, appreciate and respect the Balinese culture and people. Watch the road during ceremonies and take care not to step on offerings that lie in doorways. The Balinese are some of the friendliest people in the world and your consideration will often be rewarded with an invitation to a ceremony or home.

Guide by Electra Gillies,  who is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Eco Gypsy. Currently living between Bali, Indonesia and Europe, she was inspired to set up The Eco Gypsy by “a gap for a beautiful, inspiring and informative portal dedicated to travelling sustainably.”

To Stay

Como Shambala Estate

The villas at Como Shambhala are nestled within a 23-acre jungle with treatment rooms sitting alongside the Ayung River. Guests can swim in the natural spring pool, practice yoga in the bamboo pavilions and indulge in treatments. Unsurprisingly, there’s a big focus on nutrition here, and you can get your fix at one of their two eateries. Your stay will support the local kindergarten and provide electricity for surrounding villages. Rooms from £525 per night

  • +62 361 978 888
  • Go to Website
  • Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod
    Payangan, Gianyar
    Bali
    80571

Alila Uluwatu

Built on a cliff in the south of Bali, Alila Uluwatu provides panoramic views of the ocean. The cage-like lounges that border the infinity pool have won awards for their ingenuity; they sustainably capture rainwater. The open-plan architecture ensures an unobscured view of the outdoors, so you can sip a cocktail and watch the sunset from the comfort of your villa. Villas from £498 per night

  • +62 361 8482166
  • Go to Website
  • Belimbing Sari, Banjar Tambiyak
    Desa Pecatu
    Bali
    80364

Bambu Indah

Originally guesthouses for friends of Green School Founder John Hardy, Bambu Indah is now an eco-friendly boutique hotel. Situated on Sayan Ridge, the traditional wood houses overlook rice paddy fields and the Ayung River. Swing on a rope across the natural swimming pool, feast on organic food and watch the sun rise over the volcanoes. Houses from £62 per night

Temple Lodge

This bohemian escape is situated on the cliffs in the Bukit Peninsula, overlooking the world famous Impossibles surf break. Each suite is its own private mini-property and they have all been sustainably built – choose the Eagle’s Nest for unrivaled ocean views and a private outdoor deck. We suggest a morning yoga practice followed by an afternoon of surfing. All food is homemade and organic. Rooms from £66 per night

  • +62 857-3901-1572
  • Go to Website
  • Jalan Pantai Bingin
    Bukit Pecatu, Kuta Selatan
    Bali

Desa Seni

The cabins and houses at Desa Seni in Canggu surround a saltwater pool and are located within stunning gardens. Open to guests and the local community, the daily yoga lessons are not to be missed. The traditional Javanese Lulur treatment is another highlight. Rooms from £82 per night

  • +62 361 8446392
  • Go to Website
  • Jl. Subak Sari #13
    Pantai Berawa, CanggU
    Bali

Como Shambala Estate

Alila Uluwatu

Bambu Indah

Temple Lodge

Desa Seni

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