No matter what time of year, we always find ourselves dreaming of some far-off tropical paradise. (Apparently our perpetually sunny SoCal weather just isn’t enough.) Favored by the adventure-seeking set, Bali has been on our radar for some time now on account of its lush greenery, beautiful beaches and rich island culture. We turned to model and wellness enthusiast Natascha Elisa, who splits her time between Los Angeles, Australia and Bali, to spill her best-kept secrets on the dreamy locale. From where to eat to what to explore, consider her top tips to navigating the Indonesian paradise. All that’s left to do is book a flight.
Natascha's Guide To Bali
Photos: Courtesy of Natascha Elisa
Where To Eat
"I highly recommend trying local Indonesian food. Stop by a warung, point at what you like from the spread and they will pile up your plate with tasty flavors. It's easy for vegetarians in Bali, as there are lots of veggies and tofu/tempeh options. Also, you can get a coconut from just about anywhere there—I love to drink one at a beach shack with a view! For fine dining, head to Seminyak, and find great organic fare in the town of Ubud."
The "Swiss Connection" breakfast at organic cafe Bali Buda, which consists of coffee, a smoothie and fruit salad with muesli and activated almonds.
Where To Catch A Wave
"I love to go surfing in the Bukit or Lombok. Stand-up paddleboarding on Nusa Lembongen is a blast, or if you want to relax, simply take in the beautiful views at Uluwatu beach."
The rocks at Ulutwatu beach.
Where To Explore
"I recommend going on day trips! Bali is awesome, but there are also plenty of surrounding islands to visit that have beautiful white-sand beaches and clear water. My favorites are Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and the Gili Islands. Head to Ubud for a complete change of scenery (but no matter what anyone tells you, avoid the monkey forest) to visit art galleries, eat organic food, do yoga, visit local temples and get a taste of culture. And wherever you are, checking out the local markets for some fresh and tasty tropical fare is always a must."
Natascha at a local banana stand.
Where To Stay
"The bungalow accommodations at Gili Air are amazing—they're made of gorgeous wood, plus come equipped with the essentials: a mosquito net, fan and hammock."
The view of Natascha's Balinese bungalow.
What To Do At Night
"The best thing to do at night is head to a beach bar for a sunset drink, then go dancing after (if you're feeling up for it)."
The sunset scene at La Plancha's beach bar.