They have a hotel which is the one behind us at the above photo. Its hotel reception also serves as the resort’s reception. Check their hotel room rates here: Cristina Villas Hotel
But don’t worry for those who just wanted a short day trip as they also cater this type of visit. And it’s cheaper than to check in anyway.
This entrance fee already has the access to all its swimming pools inside the resort. Just avail a cottage fitting to your group size.
There’s only 1 store inside, so you might want to bring your own food.
They also cater events such as weddings and debuts. They also have function rooms for smaller and other events. Check their event rates here: Cristina Villas Events
By the way, while rooming around, we found this point. It seems like they cater team building services as well, though it’s not really listed on their profile (well not at the time of our visit).
They really have a lot of swimming pools inside. So no need to worry to be crowded, even in summer, you can still come here. These pools are kid-friendly, there are slides and cute designs which children might enjoy.
They have a gym and spa inside, however only hotel guests have access to this.
Another nice thing in this resort is that they have this very cute and solemn basilica inside. We’re just not sure when this is accessible, as it was closed the whole period of our stay.
NOTE: Details on this blog is accurate as of May 2017
There you go! You may contact them directly for availability, bookings and updated rates. Just check out on their website here: Cristina Villas Resort
Let’s talk about this resort one by one as we can. We wanted to share its amazingness to everyone.
One of the most important part of a resort is its reception. We may not be so aware that its the one who establishes guests’ connection with the resort, and most of the time, first impression lasts.
And indeed, South Palms has it! Its reception welcomes each and every guest so perfectly awesome! They are very accommodating and so much friendly. It’s like your family is welcoming you from a vacation you went months ago. Job well done in here!
South Palms actually has two swimming pools. One of them is this famous infinity pool overlooking to its beautiful beach. This is located in front of the restaurant, while the other one is just few steps away. Both are open 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.
Their pools are only like 4-5ft deep, very friendly to most of the guests. Pool water’s warm so no need to worry swimming at night. Just worry about its opening time. Hehe
Unfortunately, we were not able to try the other swimming pool, but if you need pictures, you may try here: South Palms Resort Panglao
Though this isn’t as fine as in Boracay, this is as clean as its sea water. Very well-maintained. Clap clap for the resort, another job well done here!
The sad part of our stay was that we had a short time. We had a short time exploring and enjoying this amazing resort. We only had 2 activities done (anyway they are free). But that’s okay as we were able to explore the Panglao Island instead. Read our Panglao Island blog here: Panglao Island, Bohol
Surprisingly, biking in here was so much beyond cool! You might wanna try this as well, rooming around with a bike. And trust me, you’ll love it at night!
Resort at Night
And this was the most romantic date night we had ever since. The resort’s ambiance did the whole thing, making the night very memorable for us.
We just hope we’ll be able to come back in here.
NOTE: Details on this blog is accurate as of September 2017
Panglao has been one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to (well here in the Philippines), particularly its Virgin Island and Balicasag Island.
Now, how do we get here? Fly from Manila to Tagbilaran, and rent a tricycle to Panglao (for your convenience) hehe, I’m not really familiar with other means of transportation going here.
From your resort, you can hire a boat to take you to an island hopping to these two points. Again, for your convenience, it’s better you book an accommodation at the Alona Beach as most boat services can be found in there.
We rented a boat before even flying to Bohol to avoid hassle and inconveniences should there be unavailability of boats (well since we weren’t at the Alona Beach).
Boat rental fee c/o Naldix is at ₱ 1,600 per boat. Our boat is super big for 2 persons, I think it can accommodate 10-13 persons more. You may try to contact him thru his mobile number 0917-324-1511.
The boat rental fee includes just the island hopping transport from our resort to Balicasag Island, then to the Virgin Island, and back to the resort.
There are fixed environmental fee and required guide fee to visit the two islands:
Environmental fee – ₱ 100/head
Guide fee – ₱ 150/head
These are for the two islands already.
The island is best known for underwater activities, specifically snorkeling.
Each activity has a corresponding rate, but you can also avail packages to pay cheaper. We opted to choose the package of turtle watching and snorkeling.
There are available snorkeling gears in the island for rent. But for us, we brought our own. There’s also an eatery, and a store for all of your island necessities.
It’s true there’s already a lot of “virgin islands” in the Philippines currently on the spotlight, but I assure you, this one should be included on your travel list.
Though during our visit, we were not lucky enough to fully experience its sandbar because of the high tide, but still you can definitely see how beautiful this island was. Its sand was pure as white, and its water was as clear as crystal! Definitely one of a travel destination goals!
There’s already some stalls set up in there for the vendors of food, some snacks and drinks.
NOTE: Details on this blog is accurate as of September 2017
Note: This itinerary, budget and expenses were based and computed on 5 people travelling together.
FLIGHT TO BALI
We managed to book a discounted price via Cebu Pacific, though not really the cheapest you can get, but still discounted. 😊
Our flight ticket includes PH and ID travel tax already, with one-way 20kg baggage allowance. Details of this can be found on the Bali Indonesia Travel Guide.
Travelling from NAIA T3 Manila to Ngurah Rai Airport Bali will take roughly 3 hours and 45 minutes. On board, you will be given an arrival card to fill in for customs purposes. You will just have to declare your items. This is to avoid illegal import and export of goods to/from Bali. For more details about this, you can check their immigration site here: Bali Indonesia Immigration and Customs.
Indonesia uses a currency of Rupiah or IDR (sign: ‘Rp’). Its exchange rates as of September 2018 are as follow:
1 USD ($1) = 15,028.55 IDR (Rp15,028.55)
1 PHP (₱1) = 276.54 IDR (Rp276.54)
As we will go on full tours each day, and thought that we may not have enough time during tours, we decided to exchange currency at the airport upon our arrival. We exchanged USD to IDR.
Note that there’s only a very few foreign exchange who accepts PHP, so to avoid hassle, exchange your PHP to USD before departing from Manila. Then USD to IDR upon arrival at Bali.
HOME STAY ACCOMMODATION
We opted to book for a homestay instead of a hotel or apartment, since we initially wanted to socialize with the locals. And besides, it’s a lot cheaper.
So we browsed Airbnb and found this Canang Sari Homestay located in Denpasar, just 20-30 minutes away from the Bali airport.
It is hosted by the very kind and accommodating Ngurah and Ayu. The place was neat and tidy, very comfortable, with kitchen and bathroom necessities and very good wifi connection, the food was delicious. And above all, hosts were very interactive, understanding, and kind. Plus its cheap rate of around PHP 1,500 per night. For more information about the place, please click here: Canang Sari Home Stay in Bali Indonesia
Since this was only our first international travel, we decided to contact someone from Bali to guide us for our tour and itinerary. Made Adayasa was very recommended by a Philippine travel group in Facebook, so we did the negotiations. He helped us arrange our itinerary and he provided us some helpful info and tips about the trip. For more information, you may visit Made or Galih Bali Tours profile thru the following links:
We were serviced and guided by Rai on the 4 days of our tour. He actually has his own tour servicing agency, however he still works part time with Made, that he was the one Made sent for us. Indeed he’s been a very good driver and guide to us. He drives safe and knows the whole place well. He’s funny, and as well as informative, he shares their culture and provides some trivia. 😉
For more information about Rai’s services, you may reach him thru the following links:
7:50 AM Bali airport to Home stay (check in luggage only)
8:40 AM Home stay to Bali Bird Park
12:00 PM Bali Bird Park to Keramas Aero Park (lunch)
2:30 PM Keramas Aero Park to Tanah Lot Temple
6:15 PM Tanah Lot to Grocery mart (buy supplies for daily dinner)
7:30 PM Grocery mart to Home stay
10:00 AM Home stay to The Edge Bali (lunch)
3:30 PM The Edge Bali to Uluwatu Temple
7:15 PM Uluwatu Temple to Home stay
6:00 AM Home stay to Tegallalang Rice Terraces
8:50 AM Tegallalang to Gunung Kawi Temple
10:00 AM Gunung Kawi to Batur Toya Devasya (lunch)
3:00 PM Toya Devasya to Ubud Market (buy souvenirs)
6:00 PM Ubud Market to Home stay
6:00 AM Home stay to Bali Swing
12:00 PM Bali Swing to Wanagiri Village
3:00 PM Wanagiri to Handara Temple Gate
4:15 PM Handara to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
6:00 PM Ulun Danu Temple to Home stay
Before departing to Bali, our last knowledge is that Handara does not have any entrance fee. However, upon our visit, they now charge Rp30,000 per adult just for a photo opportunity with the iconic gate. They even put a gate barrier to stop people and collect entrance fees first. We then opted not to push through anymore, and we just had a “low budget” or “no budget” photo opportunity with the temple gate 😂😂😂.
Our budget just met the actual expenses. Bali is inexpensive to travel to, and everything is negotiable (one of the many things we liked in Bali).
We spent a total of PHP 110,593.05 for all 5 of us at PHP 21,000 to PHP 23,000 per head including everything. Full details of this budgeting and the list of expenses and prices in Bali can also be found in the Bali Indonesia Travel Guide.
Spare time to learn a little of Balinese or Indonesian language to interact more with the locals, though you won’t have problem in communication as English here is almost as good as in the Philippines.
Prepare to spend some for donations in certain areas/places, consider that we are just visitors, and we help them for maintenance of their tourism.
As everything in Bali is negotiable, prepare yourself to bargain most of the time, but of course do it nicely and reasonably.
Read more of most recent blogs to get updated information of the rates, operation hours, etc of the places you want to visit.
Try Balinese food!!! They taste awesome! But be prepared for its spicy-ness! 😂
Bali’s mostly hot all year round, so pack your appropriate clothes.
THINGS TO BRING:
✓ Sarong or Malong (optional: if you have issues using free sarongs in temples)
✓ Shawl (optional: to cover your shoulders, and for sun protection as well)
✓ Dry Bag (it’s a must to waterproof gadgets and cash if you will have water activities or travelling thru boats)
✓ Mosquito repellent
✓ Re-usable water bottle (as Bali is mostly hot all year round, so you won’t have to buy each time)
✓ Remember to bring USD instead of PHP
✓ Cap or Hat
The island is the largest among the 3 Nusa islands, others are the Nusa Lembongan and the Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan are closer but are also more developed, while Nusa Penida is described otherwise.
The island is located at the south part of Bali, with only the Badung strait in between, in which it just make 45 minutes of a boat ride from the Sanur Beach.
The Sanur beach by the way has no port at all, so you gotta board at the shore itself.
There are tents lined up in there selling boat ride tickets, their prices are generally all the same, even their boat sizes. It’s just the time of departure that matters. But actually they have mostly the same boat schedules, but of course there are some who experiences late boarding.
We availed a tour package from Made Adayasa of Galih Bali Tours, which divert us to the El Rey Fast Cruise boat services.
At the center is Made, the boss, and at the upper left is Moxer, the “second boss” 😂 according to him. 😂😂😂
We were at the Sanur Beach around 6:30 AM. Our boarding was super late that we depart at passed 8:00 AM, when the schedule was supposed to be at 7:00 AM. Right from here, we were already 1 hour late than our itinerary. We arrived at the Nusa Penida at almost 9:00 AM.
We only have 4 destinations today but its distance to each other really kills so much time. Our first stop is the Angel Billabong, it is like 1 hour car ride from the port.
Our guide said “Billabong” means pool as it has a pool-like naturally formed in there. You can see in the pictures below.
Sadly during that time, it is not allowed to go and swim down there because of those super big and aggressive waves.
There are no entrance fees to all the destinations here in Nusa Penida, there are just some who will ask for donations, or some picture platforms you have to pay if you want to use.
Just beside the Billabong is the Broken Beach, just a few walks away. In here, no one is still allowed to go down and swim. So this is just another picture taking spot for us.
The good thing is there are few stores in here that sells cheap but very good foods! We liked it so much!
Kelingking Secret Point
The next stop is the Kelingking Secret point, which is a little far from the first two destinations, for like around 1 to 1.5 hour away. So we decided to have lunch first on the way. We ate at the Sebuluh Restaurant, and their food was so great!!! It was already cheap for that tasteful food! 😋😋😋
We arrived in Kelingking around 1:00 PM, and we only have 1 hour to explore this one if we still want to go swimming at the Crystal Bay. Of course we want!
This is the only platform we’ve tried that we paid as I have mentioned above. It’s Rp5,000 per person. This platform overlooks the sea but not clearly the Kelingking Secret Point.
Now the secret point has a very very long queue going down! Our driver said that going down to the Kelingking Beach will take 30 minutes then 30-45 minutes going back up. And yes, we do not have time! 😩 Clearly you would not want to do a day trip in this Nusa Penida island. It’ll break your heart just like what happened to us.
We were not able to go down and even just the picture point we were not able to reach on queue because we ran out of time! 💔 We were only able to take these shots.
A very very picture perfect secret point indeed!
Crystal bay ends up to be the only destination we were able to swim on. Fortunately, it did not disappoint us with its white sand, though it’s not very fine, and with its very very crystal clear water!! It’s very aqua in color and very embracing!
There are several beach umbrellas set up on the shore but all were occupied during our time, so we just leave our things anywhere 😂
There are toilets available with a minimal fee, but bathing is not allowed. So we go home all wet with the beach water. Thankfully the car’s seat was leather 😂😂😂
For more pictures, please visit our instagram account on the sidebar 😊 NOTE: Details on this blog are accurate as of September 2018
Galih Bali Tours
Should you need an arranged tour, you may try Made’s service, he’s very kind and negotiable. You may reach him thru these links: