The Kintamani Region of Bali is a far cry from the coastal regions of Bali and generally far less explored. It’s no less beautiful, but as it’s a very long drive from the south of the island, many tourists end up missing out.
The area comprises of one huge volcanic crater, within which lies the still active, Mt. Batur volcano and a large lake (Danau Batur). For the vast majority of tourists, the biggest attraction is the view of Mt. Batur from the top of the outer crater rim. There are a variety of restaurants and cafes along the outer edge and they all offer incredible views of the volcano. It’s definitely worth stopping here for a tourist shot of the volcano.
On a side note, if you want good food, our recommendation is to avoid these restaurants. The buffet we had at the recommendation of our driver was very sub-par and expensive and we got the impression that the only reason we stopped there was because our guide got a free lunch out of it downstairs. On the other hand, eating here supports the local economy so at least you’re supporting the local economy.
Toya Bungkah Natural Hot Springs
The other major attraction to the area is the Toya Bungkah Natural Hot Springs which we visited last time. These hot springs are actually down inside the crater and are naturally heated by the geothermal activity in the area. We’re obsessed with hot springs so were happy to go, but it’s very busy and very touristy. Tourists seriously get shipped in by the bus load.
Kintamani is without doubt one of the best places to see a sunrise in Bali. Along the rim of the crater, the view of Batur and Agung as the sun rises is absolutely stunning. We came out one morning and it was great to see a little puff of smoke from Agung as the sun came up!
This is one of the lesser known gems in the Kintamani region. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to roam another planet, this is about as close as you’re going to get. It’s other worldly and it was breathtaking to wander around the obscure shapes and rocks. Interestingly, we were anecdotally told that this area is where all the black bricks on the island get their colour. It’s an enormously important and mystical area that few ever venture into.
Time to visit:
Sunrise – it gets incredibly hot once the sun’s up, so getting there early is a good idea. Tell your driver to take you down into the crater and start exploring! Alternatively you can just hop out of the car on the way to the hot springs as you pass right by another part of the lava fields.
Here are a couple more shots from our adventures in the lava fields:
What to wear for sunrise
Surprisingly, mornings in the northern region of Bali are a little chilly, so it was our first opportunity to wear some warm clothing since arriving. Our recommendation is to wear layers that you can quickly lose once the sun comes up. It takes seconds to go from freezing to boiling, so bringing a flexible outfit is crucial.
In the shot above, I was wearing the Houdini Men’s Sherlock coat, layered with a men’s Pitch jacket that zips together into one jacket. Underneath I was wearing a Volcom Tshirt and some Houdini Men’s MTM Thrill Twill Shorts. Puma runners were some nice lightweight but sturdy shoes for running around the sharp rocks in. All the gear for this adventure was provided by Sporting Life Canada.