Into the mouth of the volcano of Mount Batur in Bali

Mount Batur and the lake inside it is a place that one must visit and preferably stay one or two nights. 

We all know Mount Etna, our dangerous neighbour to the north. Active as it may be and charming in its own way, it is not exactly something we would call exotic. If you would like to explore a range of volcanoes, all unique to one another and some deadlier than others, then you must take yourself half way around the world to the Indonesian islands. One volcano that I would describe as exotic, spiritual and unique from most of its neighbours is the active Mount Batur, located close to the infamous Mount Agung, in northeast Bali.

In my opinion it is one of the most spectacular ones simply because it is a volcano that is situated in a massive caldera that also harbours a massive lake. A lake in which one may bathe, go to the thermal springs found on the banks of this lake and enjoy the many vistas available. 

It’s a pretty straightforward place to get to and if you are not going to get there with your own transportation, there are many tours that leave from Ubud, Lovina and Kuta. If you do have your own transportation, just head onto the Jalan raya kintamani, Jalan raya tegal suci or the Jalan raya sekardadi, which all lead directly to the Kintamani area of lake Batur. Other options would be with day drivers that will take you there and to other spots. The best option though would be to literally sleep either up on the caldera rim or down next to the lake. I would push you towards the lake option, the views are simply stunning and a jump into the lake just after waking up is one of the most refreshing things one can do. 

Apart from the major attractions such as the Mount Batur trek and the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple, there is also the temple down on the lake and the second oldest settlement in Bali, which can only be reached by boat, to visit. On top of these you can relax and check out the hot springs by the banks of the lake and there are countless other chill out areas that you can walk around and explore, then relax at. All these activities can be seen within two days, three days comfortably if you want to really take it all in. 

The Mount Batur trek itself is the most major attraction in the area, more than Agung simply because it is a more variable trekking level than Agung. You start from down next to the lake or on another path that passes a very old temple ruin. It would take between 1 and 2.5 hours to ascend up to the sunrise spot, depending on your level of fitness. 

The sunrise spot itself has some stunning vistas of the lake and the other side of the caldera, overshadowed by Agung behind it. In the distance, you can see the ocean and the infamous Mount Rinjani, found on the island of Lombok. Skip back a few editions of Vida to view the information on Lombok. On the other side of the sunrise spot is the volcano crater, which offers more stunning views and depending on the volcanic activity, a steamy and eerie effect. You will then have the options to proceed up and around the crater itself, head to the caldera lookout or simply head back down. If you venture on, you will come across a couple of hive-like spaces, cut into the rock, that emit a high volume of hot steam. Here the guides cook breakfast every morning for their guests. If you get a chance to turn your eyes away from the stunning sunrise, try and get a view of this in action. 

The village across the lake, called Trunyan, is Bali’s second oldest settlement. It is nowadays famous for its cemetery and the way the village laid their dead to rest. A method only found in about three or four other places in Bali. They cover their dead in a special balm that keeps the stench of a rotting body away and they then lay them to rest under a special and holy tree only found in this village and the other villages that use this same tradition. The body will then decompose naturally into the roots of this tree, exposed to the elements. Definitely a must see for those who are into learning about cultures and old traditions. 

Mount Batur and the lake inside it is a place that one must visit and preferably stay one or two nights. 


How to get there:

Emirates offer regular flights between Malta and Densapar, Bali with a stopover in Dubai. Flights departing from Malta on 20 October and returning on 2 November were priced at €1,137 including tax at the time of going to print. Total flying time is approx. 24 hours