70 kilometers northeast of Denpasar city is Bali’s most popular highland called Batur caldera. Shaped like a giant bowl, this area is partly covered by water with Batur volcano jutting out of the central portion. People widely refer the water area as Lake Batur.
Travelers come to this highland is mostly to catch its dramatic sunrise at the summit. With the glimmering Lake Batur on the backdrop, the sunset view is surely the highlight not to skip. But the joy is already started even at the beginning of the hike.
You’ll leave hotel very early in the morning with a torch as the only source of light. The path is steep, the stone is loose and you need a guide to take you to the top safely. It’s an easy hike though, as it only takes 2 hours to get the lookout point.
The morning sunshine unveils the real beauty of this panoramic area. To the south east, you’ll find out that the lake has blue water. And at the north side, volcanic soil undisturbed by lava flows stretches across the entire slope.
From this point, you can trek farther to the west along the caldera rim. It leads to the recently most actives craters with noticeable lava flows. You’ll also found a lot of steaming holes that can even boil an egg. The steam rises everywhere and you can feel the heat all around you. But if you prefer something warmer, you can soak in natural hot spring just next to the bank of Lake Batur.
Without climbing the mountain, it’s quite possible to enjoy as spectacular view of the caldera as that on the peak. Kintamani and Penelokan on the west rim are the best spots to do so. You can eat leisurely at the many options of eco restaurants there while gaping at Mount Batur and its lake. If you want, you can also trek through manicured orange and passion fruit cultivation around the mountain slope.
Farther northwest from Penelokan along the rim, another not-to-miss attraction perches just on the side of the crater. Called Pura Ulun Danu Batur, this temple is actually the replacement of the original Batur temple that got destroyed by eruption. It’s a relatively new landmark but it comes number two after the mother temple of Pura Besakih.
While the west side of Batur caldera is fairly touristy, the east side remains mainly secluded. There is a traditional village called Trunyan at this area that is inhabited by Bali Aga (native Bali). You’ll learn a lot of Balinese culture here but it’s only for the brave ones.
Grave yard here is both terrifying and unique. There are no tombs or coffins but only bamboo cages with the dead bodies lying inside. They are left to rot and moved under huge Bayan trees once they completely turn into bones.