Backed by the volcanic slabs of Mount Batur and Mount Abang, Lake Batur (Danau Batur) is a striking crater lake considered sacred by the Balinese. Besides sunrise trekking, Mount Batur offers hot springs, canoe trips, and tours of Trunyan village, where the local Bali Aga people expose their dead to rot in the open air.
Set in the heart of the Kintamani farming highlands, Lake Batur can be appreciated on a range of levels. One popular option is a buffet lunch at the strip of restaurants set high above the lake. However, a sunrise climb of Mount Batur is probably the favorite stand-alone tour. A visit to the lake as part of a tour is also sometimes combined with excursions to rice terraces and the island's art villages.
Volcanic hot springs feed a series of pools around the lake, which also offer services from Balinese massage to restaurants. Boat trips on the lake typically run to Trunyan village, where villagers practice a type of sky burial unique in Bali. Canoes are also available for rent.
Things to Know Before You Go
While the waters of Lake Batur are cold, the hot springs are toasty warm: Bring swimwear.
Guides are required for the sunrise climb of Mount Batur.
Please dress respectfully, if visiting the dead at Trunyan village.
How to Get There
Set in the highlands of east-central Bali, Lake Batur’s main attractions are spread out along the shore. As such, having your own transport—whether a private driver, self-driving, or an organized Bali day tour—is essential. The easiest place to base yourself for Batur day trips is Ubud, around an hour’s drive from the lake.
When to Get There
Lake Batur can get choppy in the afternoon and evening, so if you’re planning water-based activities, it’s best to visit in the morning. As with most touristic restaurants in Indonesia, the lakeview restaurants are typically full of large groups at lunch time: If this is a priority for you, consider visiting a little earlier or later in the day.
While Mount Batur, an active volcano, is Kintamani’s star attraction, the area around the lake has plenty of charm. Kintamani is a farming country, known for its orchards and coffee plantations. Many Lake Batur tours include stops at one of the plantations that produces Bali’s famous Kintamani coffee, as well as cacao and spices.