Adrenaline canyoning in Bali

Canyoning in Bali with Adventure and Spirit

After spending a few months in Bali, I wanted to try something more unique than snorkeling or hiking a volcano. Last year’s canyoning on Filipino island of Cebu didn’t cure my fear of heights, but that didn’t stop me from doing something “worse” in Bali. This time the difficulty increased due to abseiling. Adventure and Spirit offers several canyoning (or canyoneering) tours of various difficulty in the northern part of Bali. I chose Double K Discovery in the Kerenkali canyon, which consists of two separately available parts of Kalimudah and Kali Kecil.

PREPARATION FOR GETTING WET

The meeting in their base camp at the Gitgit Falls was at eight o’clock in the morning. You can choose breakfast from several meals such as scrambled eggs, nasi goreng, or pancake and tea or coffee. Meanwhile, we met an incredibly friendly and entertaining, three-member team of instructors – two of them will take care of your survival and one will document your survival efforts by taking photos and filming. After filling in the personal information document, we were introduced to the canyon profile and the necessary equipment. There was a theoretical and practical briefing on how to handle the equipment and how to move safely in the canyon. We put on our neoprenes, get on a pickup truck, and headed to the start of the canyon.

SLIDES, JUMPING, ABSEILING, AND ZIP-LINE

After about fifteen minutes we arrived, walked another part to the start point through a jungle and suddenly we were walking through a pleasantly cool stream toward the first dose of adrenaline. To warm up, there was a first slide that did not slip very much. The next obstacle was worth it – the first abseiling. Well, my performance wasn’t perfect, but for the first time… Maybe one day I’ll do it in three seconds instead of thirty like instructors. Then the first jump follows, and instructor Rama makes it easier by counting, so if you’re at least somewhat determined to jump those four meters, then you won’t stand there forever. Make sure you propel enough, so you don’t meet the sloping rock below. When you come up to the surface and look back up, you just think it’s not that high. A zip-line was waiting for us at the end of Kalimudah. There we had to abseil a few meters and then enjoy the ride. And the answer to the question how do we stop at the end? The cliff wall will do it for us.

After about two hours, we arrived at the end of the first part where there was the longest abseiling through the waterfall that tried to take my contact lenses. Fortunately without success. Under the waterfall, there are the remains of a temple and a hot spring pond, which has come to hand. We got snacks and tea and went to the second part called Kali Kecil. Even though it is shorter, it certainly isn’t boring. Two water slides, two abseiling, and one jump. Upon completion of the second part, the car was waiting for us in the parking lot, and after a while, we were having a lunch back at the base camp.

YOU WILL BECOME PART OF THE ICOpro COMMUNITY

The whole trip took us a little over three hours, and I wouldn’t mind if it was longer. At lunch, those who survived (all of us) received an ICOpro member card of a Canyoneer Initiation (ICTC/CAI) level. So if you wish to continue with canyoning, it can bring you some benefits, and you can also go for a professional career. You can also view a map of canyons on their website.

Where to book?

At the Adventure & Spirit website, or in their office in Ubud.

Price?

From 110 to 495 USD. 15% discount for ICOpro card holders. The price includes transport, breakfast and lunch, all equipment and photos (take an USB stick or memory card). Videos are for extra 10 USD.

My rating?

I want to do it again right now!

Further information

You can keep your things at the base camp, so if it’s just your stop on the way, you don’t have to worry about luggage. There are also showers and toilets. I didn’t take my phone with me to the canyon on the instructor’s recommendation, but it shouldn’t be a problem with a waterproof case if you place it properly when jumping. So if you want to experience something else than beaches, yoga, rice fields and adrenaline while riding a motorbike, then I can highly recommend getting some adrenaline with Adventure and Spirit in one of the Bali’s canyons.

ADVENTURE & SPIRIT

[fac_icon icon=”globe” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#000000″]|[fac_icon icon=”facebook-official” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#000000″]|[fac_icon icon=”instagram” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#000000″]
[fac_icon icon=”map-marker” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#ff5353″] Headquarters: Jl. Raya Mas No.62, MAS, Ubud | Base camp Gitgit: Jl. Raya Bedugul – Singaraja, Gitgit, Sukasada
[fac_icon icon=”phone” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#ff5353″] +62 853 3388 5598

HOSTEL REVIEW: The Circle Hostel Baler, Philippines

Circle Hostel in Baler, Philippines

WHY BALER?

Baler is a place where surfing started in Philippines. Because of the filmmakers of war movie Apocalypse Now who left there surfboards after filming so locals could start to learn. Over time Baler has become a surfing destination where surf competitions are also held. I stayed for only one day and two nights at The Circle Hostel because of my flight from Philippines back to my country. It definitely worth for a longer visit.

THE CIRCLE HOSTEL

The Circle Hostel is a network of hostels in Luzon island and you can find them in surf destinations. Besides Baler they are located in Zambales and La Union.

[fac_icon icon=”globe” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#000000″]|[fac_icon icon=”facebook-official” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#000000″]|[fac_icon icon=”instagram” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#000000″]
[fac_icon icon=”map-marker” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#ff5353″] Buton Street, Brgy. Sabang, Aurora, Baler, Philippines
[fac_icon icon=”phone” color=”#ff5353″ color_hover=”#ff5353″] +63 917 501 0235

STAFF, FACILITY AND ATMOSPHERE

You will feel really comfortable during your stay and you will be surrounded by friendly atmosphere of staff and other travelers who had headed there also for surfing. The staff can advise you with current surfing conditions, trips around or transportation to Manila. I found my surfing buddies (from Sweden and Philippines) right in the morning so it was not boring in the waves even I sucked that day. But as they say at the hostel “The best surfer out there is the one having most fun!”. And I had. I really liked the colorful interior full of creative drawings from travelers. And you can also enrich some free spot with your work! I did not manage to make it so maybe next time.

You can stay in a classic mixed dorm room with three bunk beds. Each is equipped with mosquito net for a quiet night without unwanted visitors and you can also find lockers in the rooms. But you have to have your own lock. They offer also female dorm rooms. Other options are rooms for two persons or sleeping in hammock. There are a lots of bars around thanks to their loud music and karaoke you will not get much sleep. So bring your own earplugs. Another disadvantage of the rooms is absence of power outlets but you will find them in common areas in sufficient quantities. Check the rates and availability on http://www.baler.thecirclehostel.com/#reservation.

Tidy and clean showers with toilets are shared by all guests and they are divided for men and women. And you can enjoy shower with hot water!

If you want to cook your own meal you can use the furnished kitchen, just remember to clean up after yourself. For relaxation you can use hammocks, a place with beanbags next to the small skating U ramp or you can climb the stairs to the spacious chill area full of beanbags, hammocks and tables. At both places there is plenty of power outlets. You will not find WiFi there, you need to use your mobile data.

 The price includes breakfast which is served from 6:30 (surfers need to wake up early) and it consists of pastry, peanut butter and bananas. There is also free drinking water so don’t worry about buying bottles. They will also gladly prepare coffee for you and you can buy some other refreshments from the current offer at the reception.

Since this is a surf hostel you can rent there surfboard  and the offer surf lessons with instructors. During my stay the surfboard was for 200 pesos per hour and lesson for 350 pesos per hour.

SURFING AND SURROUNDINGS

As I wrote, the main activity in Baler is surfing. The main season is from October to April but you can surf there during the whole year. If you can not get the required equipment at the hostel you can borrow it at many other places around the beach. The Sabang beach is only few steps away and there are four spots nearby: Sabang Beach (beach break, suitable for beginners), Cemento Beach (reef break, for advanced surfers), Charlie’s Point (beach break) and Lindy’s Point (rivermouth break).

And if you don’t surf you can visit 65m tall banyan fig tree in Aurora (Giant Balete tree, Millenium tree), Ditumabo Mother falls, exploring nearby beaches or go hiking to the nearby mountains.

 HOW TO GET TO BALER

In Manila take a bus from Cubao bus terminal (there are more terminals according to bus company). Direct connection should be offered only by Genesis at unpleasant times: five connections between 12:30AM and 5:30AM. You can book the tickets online on https://www.pinoytravel.com.ph/ (at the latest 3 days before departure), the price is around 700 pesos, as an origin choose Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila and as a destination choose Baler, Aurora. But you can get to Baler also during the day. Also from one of the terminals in Cubao or Pasay (I went with Five Star company for 185 pesos but Victory Liner and Baliwag Transit also should go there) take bus to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija where you will change to shuttle bus/van to Baler for 200 pesos. Just ask the driver or local people. From the bus terminal in Baler take a tricycle to the hostel for 15 pesos.

From Baler to Manila there is also five direct buses. The first at 4:30AM and the last one at 3:30PM. You can buy the ticket in advance at the bus terminal in Baler. Or you can go with the change in Cabanatuan again.