With a reputation as being one of the most beautiful and diverse tourist spots in Asia, Bali attracts almost 1,000,000 visitors a year, from all around the world. Geographically, Bali lies between the islands of Java and Lombok and is one of more than 17.000 islands that make up the Indonesian Archipelago.
Bali is small, stretching approximately 140km from east to west and 80km from north to south. Running east to west and slightly off center, are a string of volcanic mountains, the tallest and most recently being active Mount Agung, which reaches 3.142m at its highest point and last erupted in 1963.
The Balinese people have strong spiritual roots and despite the large influx of tourists in recent years, their culture is still very much alive. The main religion is Agama Hindu Dharma, which arrived in Bali with the spread of Hinduism through Sumatra and Java during the 11th century. Although originally from India, the Balinese religion is a unique blend of Hindu, Buddhist, Javanese and ancient indigenous beliefs, with customs that are very different from the traditional form of Hinduism practiced in India today. With the arrival of Islam in neighboring Java during the 15th century, a large member of courtiers, artists, musicians and craftsmen fled to Bali, creating an artistic renaissance.