Lake Batur is one of those places on Bali where tourist masses and blissful silence are just minutes apart from each other – if you just know where to look! We combined it with a visit of Pura Besakih and Goa Gajah, as do many tours advertised in Ubud and South Bali, yet we were still able to avoid the crowds!
As we approached Lake Batur from Pura Besakih, we had the first glimpses of the lake with the active volcano, Mount Batur to the West and the highest peak on Bali, Mount Agung (3,031m) to the East. We arrived before lunch time and enjoyed blue skies and only a few clouds starting to gather around the peaks! There are a number of viewing spots along the road and they are very popular with visitors and tours – you get great photos/selfies and only have to stop briefly.
We had a more relaxing spot in mind and continued down the little road to the town Kedisan on the shores of the lake. If this were a town in the European Alps or the US Rockies, you’d have thousands of tourists enjoying the gorgeous views along the lake, making it the destination for their vacation. Yet, here on Lake Batur, you had few tourists making their way down to the lake. We stopped at the Floating Restaurant for lunch and enjoyed the views. It is built on pontoons linked with wooden bridges to the shore and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Despite the million dollar views, the prices at the restaurant are reasonable and the food is good! If you have had enough of the tourist crowds in South Bali, this might be a great place to leave it all behind. The Floating Restaurant has some (non-floating rooms) with great views – I wouldn’t mind waking up to them. You can come here to relax on the shores of the lake – for a meal, an hour or a few days! You can also make it your base for a hike up Mount Batur – it requires a very early start and guides are mandatory!
Lake Batur is in the North East of Bali, just over 2 hours drive from Kuta. The streets are in good condition, so it’s easy to get there. There is a tourist fee collected along the road of IDR 15,000 per person. While it seems kind of random, it’s a small contribution to the local economy and the views are certainly worth it! Like other parts of Bali, Lake Batur is best visited with your own driver on your own time, allowing you to drive down to the lake and enjoy the peaceful shore! I’ll add it to my list of places to stay a little longer on a future trip to Bali!