Bustling Denpasar and the sloping hills of the south are temporarily home to the majority of Bali's millions of annual tourists. They are lured by the region's abundant white sand beaches, boutique shopping and fantastic eateries – from the Sulawesi-style point and eat diners, to cafés good enough to give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money.
In the fishing bays, there are a hundred tiny fresh fish restaurants, where barracuda, snapper and lobster are barbecued over oil drums filled with coconut shells.
If you fancy a bungee jump, a pub crawl or a cheap massage, Kuta’s the place to find it. But it’s also where you’ll get an exploding cherry sunset, so it’s not to be dismissed out of hand.
Geger Beach, in hotel-saturated Nusa Dua, has calm waters and temple views on the horizon. The Bale has a private beach club here (pictured).
The Uluwatu coastline is draws surfers from around the world; Airpoint Rights and Padang Padang beach offer thrilling surf breaks.
Take a walk on Seminyak's wide sandy Petitenget beach to catch the sunset at world-class nightspot Ku de Ta, or a sun-downer at breeze-cooled La Lucciola.
Home to countless monkeys, Uluwatu’s clifftop temple is one of the holiest on the island and offers breath-taking Balinese sunsets from its west coast outcrop.
The island temple of Tanah Lot, in Canggu, is also popular (pictured). Brave the tacky stalls that line the route there to capture the sunset shot of a lifetime.
Bali's capital city and main gateway to the islands, many pass quickly though Denpasar without spending much time here. But it's worth the stop. This bustling, multi-cultural city is brimming with beautiful temples, palaces and museums, and is easily navigated on foot. The shopping is excellent - silks, jewellery, handicrafts and the famous Batik cloth - and the vibrant dance performances are out of this world.