NEXT TOUR: Dates TBC
Experience the ‘real Bali’ and have an awesome time on the only Tour of its kind!
This Bali Swashbucklers AdventureTrail Tour is based on our regular tour, but includes a spot in the sold out Bali 10km/Half Marathon/Marathon.
We’ll give you a chance to get used to the warm Bali weather, by showing 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 awesome activities planned for every day, but we’ve specially designed this tour to be a little less physically demanding than usual so you’re not too worn out by race day. And if you want to come along but aren’t interested in the race at the end, just contact us to discuss your options.
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 a very small group – 10 people maximum – and with interest from as far and wide as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa in our past tours, and a spot in the sold out Bali Marathon included, it’s possible the tour could ‘sell out’ quickly. 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!
Even if you’re not interested in doing the 10km/Half Marathon/Marathon at the end of the tour, you’re guaranteed to have a blast. Every day has awesome events and the whole tour much milder than our usual tours. And if you’re a runner, but you have a husband, wife, partner, mum, dad, sister, brother, friend or anyone else you’d like to bring along and 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 experience.
As for you crazy runners though, you are in for something really special and different. With a few extra, early morning runs if you’re keen. We certainly won’t be breaking any speed or distance records and wearing you out before the race, but you will get to run 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 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 a bit of 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!
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.
Day 1: Arrive/Check-in
There’s no adventure today, you just turn up, we get you checked in to your room any time from around 2pm, then you have the rest of the day free. Head down to the beach. Do some shopping. Sit by the pool. Have a massage. Have one of those fancy drinks with the umbrellas in them. It’s up to you.
Day 2: Beach Walk & Temple Adventure
You get the morning off to sleep in, or do whatever it is you want to do. But we meet back at the hotel around noon, have some lunch, an informal ‘meet and greet’ and a briefing of the afternoon’s activities.
Today is the only day we head out in the heat of the afternoon instead of the cooler morning. We’ll head off at around 2 or 3pm for our 5km beach walk. 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 go in the afternoon – our aim is to arrive at the stunning Tanah Lot beach temple in time to watch the sunset. This walk includes some soft sand walking, followed by making our way across numerous stream crossings and rocky areas that can be a bit slippery so you’ll need to have your wits about you. There’s also a few very short rock/boulder scrambles – nothing ridiculous, but this is not a boring beach walk!
After watching sunset at the temple, we’ll 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 3: Head for the Hills
We’ll take off mid morning and drive for a few hours up to Ubud in the heart of Bali where we’ll have lunch at one of the local cafes. In the afternoon we’ll take you to see some of the local rice terraces and visit the monkey forest. So a pretty cruisey day. Nothing too full-on. And a great way to ease into the tour.
Day 4: Jungle River Rafting Adventure
After breakfast we jump on our bus out to the the Ayung River to do some rafting. (If anyone’s feeling particularly enthusiastic or energetic, there’s time for a short walk or run through some light jungle and rice fields before we go rafting.
We’ll then jump into our rafts to paddle down the river for a few hours. 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 you’ll have the rest of the day off to shop or explore Ubud.
NOTE: There is a reasonably big stair hike down to the river, and back up again afterwards, so you’ll need to be relatively mobile and energetic. If you have any concerns, please let us know.
Day 5: The Jungle & Lakes Adventure
We start the day with breakfast at the hotel before driving to Pancasari near the ‘Twin Lakes’ of Buyan and Tamblingan for our adventure. We’ll stop briefly at the beautiful lake temple of Bedugul for a quick look on the way, then hit our 6km hike through some lush, green jungle past both lakes and ending up lakeside where we’ll jump in traditional, wooden canoes and paddle to our finish point at the other end of the lake. The trails on this route vary from nice, wide and relatively flat, to reasonably narrow and technical with a few short steep and often slippery sections.
We’ll then head up the hill for lunch and onto Lovina on the North Coast where you can enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach or some down-time by the pool.
Day 6: The Waterfall Adventure
Today’s another day where there’s a little extra walk or run available for those who are up for it. The route goes through some stunning rice fields and finishes at the Secret Garden of Sambangan to check out some of Bali’s most spectacular, and spectacularly fun, waterfalls! If you want to take it easy, you can skip the walk/run and just go straight to the waterfalls where there’s a nice, natural pool to go swimming in. Or for the more adventurous, there’s a natural, rock ‘waterslide’ and a couple of nice, high waterfall jumps – not for the faint hearted!
We’ll then have lunch at a nearby restaurant with views of the waterfalls in the distance before heading back to our hotel and you’ll have some more free time to put your feet up and relax.
NOTE: There are some uneven/natural stairs up and down, to and from the waterfalls. Not too strenuous, but you’ll need a bit of enthusiasm.
Day 7: Underwater Adventure
After a couple of test runs and rave reviews, this will be the first time we’ve ever included this in one of our tours! We’ll drive about an hour along the coast before jumping on a boat for a short ride out to the island reef where we’ll go snorkeling. The reef and fish here are spectacular and can be seen with minimum effort. A great way to have an adventure without using too much energy.
After we arrive back at our hotel, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon of to relax.
Day 8: Sea Turtle Release
The first half of the day will be spent on the bus making our way back to Kuta. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive but think of it as some more rest time before the race. When we get to Kuta we’ll have lunch, and then send you off for a nice relaxing massage (included) before meeting again 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 – which there usually is this time of year! This should be considered a ‘bonus’ activity though on the off chance Mother Nature is against 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.
Then it’s time to carb load and eat all the pizza before getting an early night as it’s a super early start tomorrow.
Day 9: Marathon Adventure
Today is race day so we’ll shuttle you out to the race start point, cheer you off at the start line, and collect you at the end. Sadly it’s a super early morning as the marathon starts at 5am, the half at 5:30am and the 10km at 6am! So all going well we’ll be back in Kuta in time for lunch and a recovery massage (included).
Day 10: Seeya later
Well, that’s all folks! Today’s the day you check out and do whatever you want. Assuming you can still walk. If you want to stay on longer, need extra accommodation or help with any other arrangements, just let us know! otherwise
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.
- Guaranteed entry to the Bali 10km/Half Marathon or Marathon
- 8 days of adventure
- 9 nights accommodation at clean, comfortable, ‘mid-range’ hotels
- 9 Breakfasts
- 8 Lunches
- Airport transfer (subject to your arrival time)
- Air conditioned bus transfers to and from all activities
- 8 hosted adventures as per itinerary
- Experienced Western host + local guide
- Local guides as required at various locations
- Entry to Tanah Lot and Bedugul temples
- Entry to Lakes National Park & Secret Garden of Sambangan
- Traditional Canoeing on Lake
- Premium river rafting
- Snorkel boat and equipment hire
- 2 x 1hr massages
- Swashbucklers AdventureTrail Tour T-Shirt
- Bottled drinking water during all runs/activities
USD$2,650 (Per person, twin share room)
10% discount applies for multiple bookings (2 or more). Ask us for more information.
Please ask for single supplement costs if you want a single room.
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.