While people flock to Bali and Ubud runs rampant with tourists (and for very good reason), there are still many off-the-beaten-path places you can find zen and local culture. These are four magical places I promise you’ll fall in love with.

About a 2 hours drive from Ubud, make your way up the mountains to BALI ECO STAY. I spent three weeks here and it changed my life in 2010. You’ll really get the experience of interacting with locals and the only other tourists you will see are those renting out the other two bungalows on the property. Surrounded by small villages, you can explore Bali like it used to be.

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Just up the road, you’ll find SARINBUANA ECO LODGE another great option for lodging. Permaculturists Linda and Norm Vant Hoff own this sanctuary space up in the mountains. A real way to take on responsible tourism. If you’re looking to stay a while and give back, check out their volunteer opportunities.

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BALI ECO STAY: Making Coconut Oil for Cooking

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BIG TREE FARMS: 11-11-11 Grand Opening Party

Located between Denpasar and Ubud, you’ll find the magical place of  BIG TREE FARMS: Take a tour of the worlds largest bamboo chocolate factory, an indescribable taste you must experience for yourself. There’s a really special story behind this company who now work with over 15,000 organic certified farmers. Watch a short film I produced telling their story  in 2011 by HERE.

Just a short walk away, visit THE GREEN SCHOOL, started by John Hardy in, a school that is fully sustainable and a great promise to educate our future generations.

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