NEXT TOUR: April 10-15
Experience the ‘real Bali’ and have an awesome time on the only Tour of its kind!
This Bali Swashbucklers AdventureTrail Tour is five day tour that goes beyond the Bali you may have heard of that consists only of busy tourist beaches and Bintang Beer.
On this tour we’ll show you parts of this stunning tropical island the majority of tourists never even know exist let alone see. Sure, there’ll be some of the must-see sights included, but we’ll also go off the beaten track (sometimes literally!) so you can experience the ‘real Bali’ and have an adventure you’ll never forget.
An Amazing time for everyone.
There’s a run/walk planned for every day, but we’ve specially designed this tour even if you choose not to run or walk and simply meet up with us afterwards to join in the rest of the activities. Whether that’s a tree-top-high-ropes adventure, a sunrise dolphin boat trip, rafting down the mighty Ayung River, swimming in spectacular waterfalls.
Places are limited so register now.
It’s taken us 20 years of visiting this wonderful island to discover some of these Amazing things to see and do, and months of planning to put this tour together. Due to the nature of this tour and the practicalities involved, it will be limited to quite a small group – probably around 6 to 10 people – and with interest from as far and wide as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa in our past tours, it’s possible the tour could ‘sell out’. Which would be awesome for us, but not so awesome for you if you miss out. So let us know if you’re interested now and we’ll make sure we ask you first while there’s places still available.
Join the Facebook Group here.
This tour follows parts of the official Swashbucklers AdventureTrail and has a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a whole lot of awesome.
It’s designed to be enjoyed by almost everyone – and if you’re not a runner, most of the non-running activities require only a moderate level of fitness. We’ve gone out of our way to make sure you’ll have an amazing time, even if you decide to do the bare minimum of physical activity.
Everyone will have a blast!
Whether you run or not, you’re guaranteed to have a blast. Almost every day has a shorter, hosted walking option available and non-runners are able to join in the extra activities when the running is over. So if you have a husband, wife, partner, mum, dad, sister, brother, friend or anyone else you’d like to bring along but they’re not interested in the running part, rest assured they’ll still have an adventure filled week of fun they’ll never forget. Ever.
A totally unique running experience.
As for you crazy runners though, you are in for something really special and different. We won’t be breaking any speed or distance records, most of the runs are relatively modest and around the 10km mark, but you’ll be running in some truly beautiful and spectacular places most people never get to see.
Please understand, if you’re looking for a multi-stage race type event, this is most definitely not it. Or if you’re looking to show off your super-human powers of endurance over ridiculously long distances, this probably isn’t for you either. But don’t worry, each day will have its own challenges, and certainly with a run planned for every single day, on varying surfaces and in what may well be some pretty warm and possibly humid weather conditions at times, this will definitely give you the chance to test yourself.
It’s mostly about having an Amazing time.
But most of all, this Tour is about having adventure-based fun and a truly Amazing holiday. There’s enough running to keep runners happy. Enough adventure to keep those who want a more interesting and active holiday happy. And enough fun to, well, keep pretty much anyone happy!
Pre-day: Turtle Release (optional pre-tour day)
This is an optional day and actually has a fairly major variable that is beyond our control. But our plan is to meet in Kuta at 4pm with the view to help release baby sea turtles into the ocean at approximately 5pm. As you can imagine, this is subject to there actually being some baby sea turtles ready to be released! This should be considered a ‘bonus’ activity on the off chance the timings don’t work for us and we are not able to do this while we’re there. At the very least, we will be able to show you the baby turtle hatching area and with any luck some baby sea turtles – even if they’re not quite ready to be released.
If you happen to fly in earlier than the official tour start date and require accommodation, please contact us and we will do our best to help you out with this. If you can’t find a flight that arrives by lunch time on the 10th April, we recommend flying in at least one day earlier to make sure you’re in town in time.
Day 1: The Beach Adventure
We start with lunch, an informal ‘meet and greet’ and a briefing of the day’s activities.
Today is the only day we run/hike in the afternoon instead of the morning. We’ll head off at around 2pm for a 5-17km Beach Run. (Distance is variable based on varying starting points.) The exact time will depend on the tide as we need specific conditions to make it where we’re going. Even though it’s likely to be quite warm and with almost no shade along the way, there’s a reason we run in the afternoon – our aim is to arrive at the stunning Tanah Lot beach temple in time to watch the sunset.
A shorter distance 5 & 10km run and hike is also available.
We’ll then head back to Kuta by bus where you can either join us for a casual dinner or do your own thing which is how most dinners during the tour will work.
Day 2: The Jungle Adventure
We’ll head off quite early – probably around 7:30am, (right after breakfast) – as we have a few hours driving to get up into the mountains and start our Jungle Adventure. This will be through the stunning Botanic Gardens before venturing out the back of the gardens into a more untouched, jungle environment. This route is almost entirely on paved, bitumen roads and paths. Total distance is a hilly 10kms but with a ‘Figure 8’ route you can easily choose a shorter distance or go at your own pace and explore the garden attractions along the way.
Afterwards we’ll regroup at the Tree Tops Adventure Course where you can enjoy a series of tree top ropes challenges.
(Note: We may actually end up doing the tree top course before the run on this day depending on weather conditions etc.)
After this we’ll have lunch, visit the Bedugul lake temple and head to our hotel in Lovina.
Day 3: The Lake Adventure
We start the day with breakfast at the hotel before driving to Pancasari near the ‘Twin Lakes’ of Buyan and Tamblingan for our Lake Adventure. This 9km route will take us on trails through some lush, green jungle past both lakes and ending up at the village of Tamblingan where you can go for a ride on the lake in a traditional, wooden canoe. The trails on this route vary from nice, wide and relatively flat to reasonably narrow and technical, and can also be walked – we can even arrange a canoe to meet you at the half way point and you can canoe the rest of the way if you like!
We’ll then head up the hill, (in our bus), for lunch and views of the lakes!
After lunch we jump back on the bus and head back to Lovina where you can enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach or some down time by the pool.
Day 4: The Waterfall Adventure
After breakfast we’ll have a Waterfall Adventure through stunning rice fields up to the Secret Garden of Sambangan to check out some of Bali’s most spectacular, and spectacularly fun, waterfalls! There’s a nice, natural pool to go swimming in, or for the more adventurous there’s a natural, rock ‘waterslide’ and a series of waterfall jumps – ranging from ‘not too bad’ to ‘holy shit!’.
We’ll then have lunch at a nearby restaurant with views of the waterfalls in the distance before heading back to our hotel. Be warned, you’ll want an early night as we have a very, very early start the next day.
Day 5: The Volcano Adventure
Sorry, but there’s simply no way around this – we head off at the incredibly uncivilized time of 2am in order to make it to the base of Mt Batur in time to start our Volcano Adventure at around 4am. We head up in the dark and if you want to push yourself and blast your way up (mostly ‘fast packing’ on what is a reasonably steep and technical ascent, especially in the dark), this will take a little over an hour, but more likely closer to two hours for most. Once we’re at the summit (approx 1700m above sea level) we’ll settle in with a nice, hot cup of tea and wait for the sun to rise. If it’s a clear morning we’ll enjoy magnificent views over nearby Mt Agung (Bali’s highest and holiest mountain) and as far as Mt Rinjani on the neighboring island of Lombok.
Breakfast will be eggs cooked in the steaming, hot, volcanic soil and ‘banana sandwiches’. Probably not the finest meal you’ll enjoy in Bali, but a fun one for sure.
If you’ve had enough by this stage, you can just turn around and head back down, otherwise we’ll be making our way around the edge of the crater, running across to the secondary crater and site of some of the more recent eruptions, and visiting the holy ‘Bat Cave’. If you’re game enough, you might even go inside. Good luck with that!
Our descent will be down a slightly different route, passing through a small forest along the way, (which will provide what is likely to be some welcome shade), and finishing at the local hot springs where you can have a swim in the Olympic sized pool, soak in the hot water pools and refuel with some lunch.
After lunch we have one more little, and rather unusual, side trip for you – a trip across the lake to the unique cemetery of Trunyan. We won’t ruin the surprise by telling you too much about it suffice to say besides being something a little different, and potentially slightly unsettling, this is a great insight into original Balinese culture and tradition.
Then we’ll drive to Ubud for the final night and whatever time is left will be all yours to have a look around.
APRIL 15: The River Run
After breakfast we jump on our bus and head North to the start of our nice, gentle, downhill run (with a few, slightly less gentle, inclines!) on a mixture of roads and trails through local villages, some light jungle and the rice fields Bali is famous for.
This River Run will also be approximately 10kms with a shorter option available and the finish line is at the Ayung River where we jump into rafts to do another 10kms down the river. This is quite a modest river ride and not really ‘white water rafting’ so while it’s plenty of fun, there’s nothing to be too worried about and there’s sensational jungle views along the way.
We finish up with a delicious lunch (you’re bound to have worked up an appetite by then) before making our way back to the hotel where, time permitting, you’ll have the afternoon off to explore, shop or visit the nearby Monkey Forest.
In the evening, we’ll have a final, farewell dinner at a local restaurant before spending one more night in our Ubud hotel. The next morning is check out and you can either stay in Ubud or take our bus back to Kuta or the airport.
Sputnik is Chief Swashbuckler at The Swashbucklers Club and will be your ‘host’ on the Bali AdventureTrail Tour. He has been to Bali more than 20 times over the past 25 years and is ridiculously passionate about showing people the ‘real Bali’ away from the usual tourist hot spots.
In February 2013 Sputnik visited Bali to help establish the official AdventureTrail and personally do every single thing that now makes up this tour. It has to be said, there were a number of things he did, places he ran and hotels he stayed in that have not made it into this tour so if it’s in here now, you can be sure it deserves its place!
A few things you should know about Sputnik: He is not a world champion ultra runner. So if you are thinking about coming on this tour to break the land-speed record, you’ll be doing that on your own. As a former Nike Run Club Leader he is, however, experienced at running with, supporting and guiding runners of varying abilities – particularly those of more ‘modest’ abilities. And after running many of the planned routes himself he made the decision to make the majority of them more manageable to less experienced runners – often with shorter alternatives.
Because many of the courses will not be marked the runs will predominantly be ‘group runs’ where runners run together and will be speed-limited by Sputnik’s own pace or the slowest runner in the group. To give you a reference point, here’s a few details of Sputnik’s running in 2012:
Adelaide Marathon: 3:44
Tarawera 100km trail race (Rotorua NZ): 14:35
The North Face 100 (Blue Mountains, Australia): 19:30 (injured)
Manaslu Multi Stage 212km Trail Race (Nepal): Completed 3 stages of 7/(approx 90km) in just over 22hrs before suffering altitude sickness and recording his first ever DNF (Did Not Finish). Thankfully there will be no altitude issues on this trip!
Since 2010 Sputnik has completed numerous trail ultra marathons, road marathons and half marathons.
The gear list is a constant work in progress but here’s most of what you will need to know:
- Two pairs of running shoes in case one pair gets wet. Due to the humidity it can take a while for things to dry, so unless you like putting damp shoes on the next morning, bring two pairs.
- A pair of trail shoes. It would be a good idea if one of your pairs of running shoes were trail shoes. We’ll be running on everything from soft sand to bitumen to dirt to volcanic rock and the extra grip and protection of trail shoes will definitely come in handy. In fact, from experience, trail shoes will be the best all-round option so you could even bring two pairs of trail shoes. If you bring road and trail shoes, we can tell you which days will be best suited to which shoes. (There are generally more trails than roads though, so we usually take two pairs of trail shoes that can handle some road.)
- Your usual warm weather running gear – whatever that consists of for you. Keep in mind most days it will at the very least be warm, possibly flat out hot and/or humid. Socks, shorts, tops etc. Even though there’s a slight chance of rain, it’s likely to still be warm so a rain jacket is unlikely to be necessary for an adventurous soul like yourself. We suggest steering away from ‘killer cotton’ as it tends to hold too much moisture and take ages to dry, regular tech gear is a much better option although it gets pretty stinky pretty fast, so we’re big fans of merino which stays comfy and is stink-resistant. Again, as with the shoes, bring enough so that if your gear doesn’t dry overnight you have something else dry and comfy to wear. (Especially when we’re on the move between hotels, there’s less chance to wash and dry gear.
- Some warm clothes. On The Volcano Run it can get quite chilly at the top. We get up there before sunrise (hopefully!) and while you’ll sweat like a pig on the way up while you’re moving, when you get to the top and stand around, it can be uncomfortably cool if you’re standing around in sweat-soaked shorts and t-shirts. A light to medium sleeve top will be a good idea here. If you’re really soft in the cold, a buff/beanie, dry t-shirt and possibly even ‘tights’ for your legs might not go astray either. There’s not really anywhere too private to get changed, but if it’s still dark, you should be able to find a dark ‘corner’ to change quickly and reasonably discreetly. Just keep in mind once the sun is up, it will warm up fast and you’ll probably want to strip back down again.
- A hat/cap. It gets hot. And it’s likely to be sunny. Enough said.
- Some sort of water carrying device. We HIGHLY recommend a hydration pack with a small amount of extra storage space. If you’re hell bent on running without one, you could probably get away with a ‘fuel belt’ or even ‘hand held’ bottles, but a hydro pack will give you the best flexibility. You can carry more water, a few snacks and supplies and the warm clothes you’ll need on The Volcano Run. If you need suggestions of brands/models etc, please ask. We will always do our best to supply you with water along the way wherever possible, but we are often in difficult to reach places and it’s simply not possible.
- Sunglasses. It will be sunny. So sunglasses will keep the sun out of your eyes. If you forget to bring your favourites, you can always buy a pair for about $5 while you’re there.
- Bathers and a towel! Duh, it’s Bali! All our hotels have swimming pools. Plus there’s the beach. And the waterfalls. And a river. (On The River Run there’ll be a chance to change into something other than your running gear before we go rafting, but basically just wear whatever you want as long as you don’t mind if you get a little wet.)
- To the best of our knowledge, it’s not easy finding ‘running nutrition’ etc in Bali. Bali is changing FAST so who knows, by the time we get there you may be able to find these sorts of supplies, but if in doubt, bring it with you. We can’t comment on specific Bali customs rules but we can confirm that last time we checked there is a box on the customs declaration that requires you to declare “Animals, fish and plants including their products (vegetables, food etc)” so running gels and powders would fit in this category. Traditionally, they have absolutely no problem with sealed packets of food that are easily identifiable but this part truly is up to you.
- First aid supplies. Bali has some great chemists where you can buy all sorts of things over the counter – including what would be ‘prescription only’ in many countries. But if there’s something really specific you need you may want to consider bringing it with you. If you’re worried about Customs it may be possible for you to get a note/letter from your doctor confirming you need these supplies – particularly less recognisable things like syringes for diabetics etc. There is some official information on this subject here but if you can understand it, you’re doing better than us.
- Sunscreen. Many things are much cheaper in Bali, sunscreen isn’t one of them. You can buy it there easily enough, but at best it’s no cheaper than in places like Australia. And usually, the good stuff is imported and can be a bit expensive.
- A small ‘day bag’. Generally speaking, once we leave the hotel in the morning, we’re gone for the day. So anything you need for running, or the after-run shenanigans, you’ll need to bring with you. Dry clothes, toiletries to make yourself look beautiful etc. We’ll brief you the night before on what you’re likely to need so you can pack accordingly. Rest assured, you won’t have to walk/run/ride with everything, you’ll be able to leave your extra stuff in the car/bus.
- Bug spray. OK, this is a tricky one. We’ll be supplying you with a can of our favourite bug spray on arrival. It will be our welcome gift to you. BUT, we do need to remind you we are going to a tropical destination and the mozzies can be right bastards. And at various times there is an increased risk of diseases like Dengue Fever. Most of these things aren’t fatal, but aren’t very pleasant either. So protecting yourselves from mozzie bites is actually pretty important. Usually, we rely on the spray. But if you want to try one of those mozzie-repellant bracelets or any other form of protection please go your hardest. (Please keep in mind you can’t bring aerosols etc on the plane!)
- Torch/Head torch. It will basically be pitch black when we’re going up the volcano so a torch, even just a basic one, is going to be real handy. We’ve done it with nothing more than the torch function on our phone, but something a little more powerful is a good idea. Even better if you have a basic head torch so you can keep your hands free to fight off the killer monkeys. OK, there are no killer monkeys but having your hands free is nice.
- ‘Lady Clothes’. OK, this is a slightly delicate one for anyone who’s not been to Asia before. We’re not sufficiently qualified to go right into the ins and outs of local religions, customs and etiquette, but if you’re a person of the female variety, it’s worth keeping in mind that in some places, particularly temples etc, there are sensitivities to exposed female flesh. So while you’re 100% cool to go for a run in shorts and a singlet, you most likely won’t be allowed into a temple that way. If you have a light sleeve etc this will come in very handy. We’ll do our best to alert you of any impending need for such a thing, and even carry a spare sarong etc for you wherever possible, but even outside of our tour, it’s worth remembering to carry something with you if you plan on going somewhere this may be relevant. Please know, this is not relevant in the more touristy parts of Bali where basically anything goes.
- Plastic sandwich/zip-lock bags. If you plan on running with something that needs to stay dry, (like a phone, camera etc) make sure it’s in a bag. Even if it doesn’t rain, it can be warm/humid enough for things to get damp so a dry bag is the best idea.
- Power adapter. At the risk of stating the obvious, they have different power plugs to many other parts of the world. If you have anything you want charged, you may want to buy one of those power adapter thingies. Or ask us really nicely to charge it for you overnight.
- Liquid restrictions. OK, we’re no experts on this, but please also remember, you can only take certain amounts of ANY kind of liquid on the plane with you. Whether it’s perfume, drink, moisturizer, your own urine to drink in case of emergency etc. Click here to read more about that cause the last thing you want to do is pack something awesome to bring with you, and then have to leave it at the airport.
Other Notes: It’s worth noting there are several big department stores and sports stores (Nike Store, Adidas store, etc) in Kuta. So if you forget to bring something, there’s an opportunity to buy regular running gear before we head off into the more remote areas.
- 6 days of adventure
- 6 nights accommodation at clean, comfortable, ‘mid-range’ hotels
- 5 Breakfasts (Days 2 to 5)
- 6 Lunches (Days 1 to 6)
- Airport transfers (subject to your arrival and departure times)
- Air conditioned bus transfers to and from all runs/activities
- 6 hosted runs as per itinerary. (Beach Run, Jungle Run, Lake Run, Waterfall Run, River Run, Volcano Run.)
- Western host for running group (English speaking Balinese host for walking group.)
- Local guides as required at various locations
- Entry to Tanah Lot temple
- Entry to Botanic Gardens
- Tree Top Ropes Adventure
- Traditional Canoeing on Lake
- Picture fee with animals (with your own or our camera – no prints, just digital files.)
- Sunrise Dolphin Tour
- River rafting
- Mountain bike hire on River Run (if required)
- Local guides at Mt Batur as required by local regulations
- Entry to Hot Springs at Mt Batur
- Swashbucklers AdventureTrail Tour T-Shirt
- Bottled drinking water during all runs/activities
USD$1,750 (Per person, twin share room)
NOTE: 10% discount applies for multiple bookings (2 or more) or early bookings (before 1 March 1 2016). Ask us for more information.
A percentage of all profits go to a local Balinese Orphanage.
Does not include:
Drinks at ANY meal (other than water during runs/activities)
Flights – to be arranged at your own expense.