Touring Kintamani & Bedugal

baturBali warrants a trip into the mountains. The 2 most popular mountain areas in Bali for day trips are Bedugal, with Gunung Batukaru (2276m), Gunung Pohen (2063m) and Gunung Catur (2096m) in the area, and Kintamani with Gunung Batur (1717m), Gunung Penulisan (1745m) and Gunung Abang (2153m). Main roads from the Kuta area make it possible to access these mountains in 1.5-3 hours, depending on which one you choose.

A 6 hour drive from Kuta using your own transport, will allow you to check out both these areas, never once backtracking. One can usually expect cloudy skies in the highlands, but on a clear day even dull looking Kintamani is a nice place to be.

You could easily drive yourself as main roads are used and sign posting is fairly good. Alternatively you could rent a SUV for the day from any of the street-side places in the Kuta / Seminyak / Sanur / Nusa Dua area for maybe 150,000rp-200,000rp per day. Offer another 60,000-100,000rp for a driver for the day. You pay for the petrol.

One easy route you can take up to Kintamani is to head towards Peliatan / Ubud, but keep heading north towards Tegallalang. On the way you will pass an amazing valley to your right, which drops off from the road. The steep banks are sculpted with some fine rice terraces. You can shop for carved items including interior decorations, the Tegallalang area is known for this. The straight shot to the Batur crater will pass through the green slopping landscape that rises in angle the closer you get. On a sunny day the view is lovely, the surrounding area seemingly a little piece of paradise. Overcast cloudy days often give a visitors a different impression and rain is often present.

Hitting the perimeter road that runs around the western edge of the Batur crater, one will turn left quickly coming to the enormous temple of Pura Ulun Danu Batur. This is a good temple to visit and after a nominal admission and getting sorted with a sarong and sash, you can freely wander the larger complex.

Further along the crater rim heading north is another cool temple. Pura Puncak Penulisan
is sometimes referred to as the ‘highest temple in Bali’. Snack vendors are set up across the street from it making this a handy place for a cold drink. Following the winding road from the crater rim to Dausa, Penginyahan and Kubutambahan, you will swing through forests and see views of the northern coast. This route is good driving but not so much on the tourist map. From where you’ll join the north coast road its just 10km to Singaraja.

Singaraja has its own set of highlights including the lontar manuscripts. If you’ve
stopped at a temple or plan on spending time at Gitgit waterfall you might not have time for a prolonged stop in Singaraja. Still if you need a petrol station, supermarket, ATM machine, or other service, this is your best bet north of Ubud.

The road from central Singaraja heads directly up into the mountains. Just 9km south of Singaraja is Gitgit, probably the best set of waterfalls in Bali. If you haven’t spent a long time exploring temples and feel you can spare and hour or so, a relaxing dip in Gitgit could be a pleasant experience. An hour of curves and climbs will get you to Bedugal and Lake Bratan. On the western bank of lake Bratan is a temple named Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and is in honor of the Goddess of the lakes. The temple charges a nominal fee for parking and entry and is a good place for a picnic. There are also a couple of warungs on site.

Swinging down towards Denpasar the main road straightens and you’ll get great mileage on this section of the trip as the incline is towards Kuta. Passing through Mengwi, the road joins the main road from Tabanan to Denpasar. People staying in Seminyak / Kuta may want to take the turnoff Dalung / Kuta, which will take you through Kerobokan.

Places to eat:

The rice terraces at Tegallalang make a good stop off point for a toilet break and drink, with a few warungs situated along the road.

  •Kintamani / Penelokan
The crater rim between Kintamani and Penelokan has many tourist restaurants. The food is
overpriced, but still good for a rest break and hot drink.

There is a Hardy’s supermarket downtown with places to eat right there.

Candikuning has Crakers Pub behind the art market and some local warungs a minutes or so south of there.

Petrol / mileage:
A full tank of petrol will get you all the way around this route, with some to spare. Best
bet is to put in around 60,000rp and (12 liters).

  • Photo opportunities:
  • Rice terraces in Tegallalang
  • Pura Ulun Danu Batur
  • Batur crater, lake, mountain
  • Pura Puncak Penulisan
  • Coastal views from Dausa – Bondalem route
  • Les waterfall
  • Coastal views from Penginyan – Kubutambahan route
  • Gitgit waterfall
  • Lake Bratan
  • Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
  • Candi Kunuing marekt with local corn sellers
  • Baturiti local market with vegetable sellers