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What To See and Do in Kuta - Beach Life and Beyond

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Many come to Kuta for its rolling surf breaks and high-energy nightlife, but the resort has plenty more to offer families, culture-lovers, and adventure seekers. You can parasail over the Java Sea or scuba dive beneath it, while the carved idols and lush courtyards of an atmospheric Hindu temple will plunge you deep into Balinese history. At the end of every day, the famous Kuta sunsets look like watercolour paintings.

Kuta's golden sands

 

The Balinese coast is lined with miles of golden beaches. Kuta's main beach teems with backpackers, surfers, and freelance beauty therapists offering to give you a massage or braid your hair. It's a little less hectic at Legian Beach, where you can buy a cold beer from one of the vendors under their umbrellas and find your own quiet corner of sand and surf. Quieter still is Seminyak Beach, fronted by high-end spas and boutiques. At the top end of the shoreline, Petitenget Beach might be the perfect place to sit and watch that spectacular Balinese sunset.

Water sports and water parks

 

The Java Sea is just warm enough to feel like a tropical balm and just cool enough to offer relief from the Bali heat. colourful fish and coral make for eye-popping snorkeling and diving on the coral reef at Nusa Dua. Experienced divers can go deeper to explore the wreck of the USAT Liberty at Tulamben Bay, though Kuta has plenty of professional dive schools if you're keen to learn. For families, Waterbom Bali water park in the heart of Kuta is home to 9 elaborate water slides and tube rides, with intensity levels ranging from mellow to extreme.

 

  • Scuba Duba Doo Dive centre, Jalan Legian Kelod, Gg Melani 3B, Kuta; Tel: +62 361 750724; Website: Scuba Duba Doo Dive centre
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  • Waterbom Bali, Jalan Kartika, Kuta; Tel: +62 361 755676; Website: Waterbom Bali

 

Exploring the temple of the dragon god

 

Bali's most sacred temple sits high on the slopes of Mount Agung and is an easy day trip from Kuta. The Mother Temple was so named after the dragon god said to inhabit the mountain, and it remains a site of pilgrimage for Hindus of all castes. The steps lead you up through 6 terraced levels and into the massive complex of 23 temples, all inlaid with courtyards, carved stone gateways, and statues of the gods. There is a strict dress code so be sure to bring a sarong - even men may need to wear one over their legs.

 

  • Pura Besakih, Jalan Raya Menanga, Besakih; Website: Pura Besakih

 

Visiting Bali's endangered turtles

 

Once a common sight on Balinese beaches, the sea turtle is now an endangered species, hunted for its eggs and meat. Serangan Island's Turtle Conservation and Education centre (TCEC), a 15-minute drive from Kuta, makes a great day trip for families. Parents and kids can learn more about these creatures while watching them swim and feed in pools of clear water. You might even see an egg hatch in the breeding area. If you hire a driver for the trip it's a good idea to make sure they take you to the official turtle centre.

 

 

Bali bombing memorial

 

Near the centre of town you can't help but notice the moving memorial to those who died in the Kuta nightclub bombing of October 2002. The intricately carved Ground Zero Monument was erected a couple of years later near the site of the tragedy. A large plaque displays the names and nationalities of all 202 victims, and most visitors tend to stop there for a quiet moment of reflection on an otherwise fun and sunny vacation.