Volcanoes are the spine of Bali and for many they are the soul. As you climb up any of the
many roads that traverse Bali's mountains, at a certain point you'll notice that palm trees
have been replaced by pines and you'll realise that yes, you are entering another world.
They divide the broad plains of the south from the narrower strip of the north. Starting
as an outcrop in the east near Amlapura, the volcanoes march west. The island's 'Mother
Mountain' Gunung Agung (3142m) is in the east and northwest is Gunung Batur (Mt Batur;
1717m), with its lunarlike double caldera, lake and numerous smaller craters.
In the Danau Bratan (Lake Bratan) area, vegetation covers a complex of long dormant
volcanic craters, interspersed with several lakes. After Gunung Batukau, the second-highest
mountain (2276m), a string of smaller mountains stretch off into the sparsely inhabited
Opportunities for visitors abound. Amid too many hassles, there are stunning geologic
spectacles around Gunung Batur, especially at sunrise. Much more relaxed hikes exist aplenty
in the lakes and hills around Danau Bratan.
At Munduk in the west, a dense landscape of waterfalls, jungle and coffee plantations
draws ever-more visitors for hikes and stays at some beautiful and culturally aware hotels.
To the south, Gunung Batukau shelters a beautiful and important temple while some of
the island's most stunning ancient rice terraces grow their stuff around Jatiluwih.
You can visit the mountains as part of day trips or on longer, circular itineraries. One look
at the trees tells you, it's like no place else in Bali.
Enjoying the superb views and lush
waterfall-filled landscape in and around
Munduk ( p252 )
Finding your favourite rice terrace at
Jatiluwih ( p254 )
Feeling the energy at one of Bali's holiest
temples, Pura Luhur Batukau ( p253 )
Hiking around Danau Buyan ( p252 ) and
Danau Tamblingan ( p252 )