Information before you go
Mount Batur/Gunung Batur is considered by the Balinese the second important mountain on the island, after Mount Agung. The temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur is therefore of great importance to the local people. Most visitors come here for the spectacular view of the volcano and the inner crater.
On a clear day you can see this active volcano so clearly that it feels like you can reach out and touch it. But if you are a bit out of luck the clouds can cover the whole lake, leaving not much to see. Don't forget to bring something warm with you as it can get cold and cloudy here.
The best view is at Penelokan village, which means 'place to look', but basically along the main road all the way to Kintamani you can see the entire Lake Batur (Danau Batur).
Another excellent look-out point is at Pura Puncak Penulisan in Penulisan, the highest temple in Bali. Here you can see rice terraces for kilometers on end plus the northern coast.
Besides watching the spectacular view from above you can also take the road from Penelokan down to the inner rim. Travellers who plan a longer visit to this volcanic mountain usually go hiking up to the summit. The villages near the lake are an ideal starting point if you want to see the sunrise from the mountain top.
Great views on the crater lake accompanied with wonderful mountain air
Every day hundreds, if not thousand of people make a pit stop at one of the villages along the crater of Batur. The most popular is Kintamani and Batur, while Penelokan is known for its great views too.
The landscape and its surroundings has been created by the eruptions that took place in 1917 and 1926. In the past, life mainly evolved down in the crater. The village Kintamani and Batur used to be located there too, but after the eruptions these villages were completely destroyed and thousands were killed.
So after these dramatic events, the villagers decided to relocate more up the crater where it is a bit safer.
The lava streams of these eruptions are clearly visible when standing on the outer rim. When looking at the landscape, you can only imagine what an impact the eruption must have had on the people and the area.
Villagers moved to the edge to cultivate vegetables and fruit
Today the stunning view is the main attraction here as there isn't much else to do. The whole rim is pretty much lined up with restaurants which are located all along the main road. Here, you can have lunch with first class views of the lake and mountainous area.
Unfortunately the food isn't as good as the view. Most bigger restaurants offer set buffet lunches only, leaving you no choice then to join the queue. But luckily if you look closely enough there are also little places that offer simple yet tasty local dishes. Mie Kuah (noodle soup) is a good choice since it can get pretty chilly there.
Enjoy lunch with a terrific view
Since the climate is far cooler here then in other parts of the island, you will see little stalls selling produce from the surrounding mountain area such as fruit. If you are early enough then you can also visit the lively Kintamani market, that is held 3 days in the week.
Besides vegetables and fruit there are many street hawkers selling souvenirs too. Women will run to the tourist buses carrying dozens of sarongs and T-shirts while children try to sell postcards and many guides offer to take you to the the top of the mountain.
They can be pretty aggressive and their persistence has led to many annoyances among travellers who visit the area. The best thing is to ignore them after kindly stating you don’t want to buy anything. Try to remain respectful considering the sellers are desperate to make a living too.
Besides hopping on a big bus or arranging a driver to take you for a quick look, you can also join activities that include a visit to Kintamani and Batur such as cycling tours with Bali Baik Tours or Bali Eco Cycling, White Water Rafting with additional Mountain biking tour option, Exofly Paragliding Tours or Bali Photography Tours (contact Yande Ardana for possibilities)
My mom buying fruit from the many stalls along the road of
Kintamani and Penelokan
A small road takes you down from Kintamani to the inner crater where there is practically nothing growing. Just a barren landscape with rocks and some shrubs. The remaining villages are located on the edge of the lake where they mainly cultivate vegetables and fruit.
The lake plays an important role in cultivating their crops; however other villages much further away are also dependent on this deep crater lake as a water source.
Every year the rice farmers from the villages nearby Ubud gather around the lake to offer a buffalo to ensure the lake provides sufficient water and irrigation but above all fertility for the next year...
The dry volcanic landscape around Lake Batur
Climbing Mount Batur is a popular thing to do here, especially to witness the sun rise at the summit. There are a couple of routes that take you to the tip of the Batur volcano, some longer then others.
The first route can be taken from Kintamani. There is a road leading from this village that ends close to the top of the mountain. From there you need to walk a bit.
Active hikers will enjoy climbing this mountain from the starting point located near the lake. You can choose between the shortest trail (2h up, 1,5h down) from Purajati which is located on the west side of the lake or the somewhat longer trail starting from Toya Bungka village, located a bit further from Purajati.
The latter is the most popular trek to the summit but either way if you leave just before 4am you will be rewarded with an amazing sun rise.
If you arrived without an organized tour and you want to go trekking around the area then it is best to ask your accommodation or home stay for a guide. They know the local guide fees the best so you don't need to negotiate a price.
The lava streams are visible on the mountain slopes
There are also guided tours up mount Batur that leave from other villages in Bali. For instance Bali Cycling Tours (part of Bali Budaya Tours that offer various tours) organize sun rise trekking tours which include transfer and breakfast. C.Bali also organizes hikes and if you want, you can also join their canoe tour to admire the lake up close.
After a hike (you can also skip the hike of course ;-) you can head to the Toya Bungkah bubbling hot springs to relax the aching muscles. Hot mineral spring water flow into the various pools that range from 37 degree Celsius and 43 degree Celsius.
While hiking is the main activity here, you can also opt to visit the little village Trunyan located along the eastern shore of the inner caldera. Just like the Bali Aga village Tenganan near Candidasa, the villages of Trunyan are considered the first descendents of Bali. However the Bali Aga of Trunyan are very poor compared to the villagers in Tenganan as the village is located beneath the steep slopes of the volcano which makes that little bit of agriculture almost impossible.
Hardly any agricultural activity is possible
on the other side of the lake
An interesting aspect of the Aga of Trunyan is that they do not cremate their dead like the other parts of Bali. Instead, the remains of the deceased are placed slightly covered by rattan under a big banyan tree for the birds and wild animals to eat.
After a while, all that can be found are the skulls and bones. The Bali Aga believe that the birds will take the soul of the deceased with them to heaven and so encourages reincarnation. The bodies are also placed under the banyan tree for a very good reason as the trees obscures the smell of decay.
In the past Trunyan was pretty isolated and the Aga people were weary for outsiders. However, today there is even a road connecting the village with the outside world.
If you want to visit, best to arrange a guide to take you since the villagers are pretty isolated and might not greet you with a big smile, like they would in the rest of Bali.
Mount Agung and Batur are probably the most popular hiking trails in Bali. But there are many more taking you to waterfalls, through rice fields and villages.Read more
Not far from Bedugul within the Botanical garden you can find the Bali Tree Top. Here you can climb up trees, walk over ropes and admire the forest from above.Read more
There is an abundance of fruit available in Bali. Some you might not have seen before. Grab you chance to try some. Buy them at the market or order it as a fruit juice.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
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