Kintamani is great for day trips, trekking or simply for getting away from it all for a few days. At Penelokan you can view the panorama of Mount Batur set in a huge volcanic crater basin. Stop here on the way to Singaraja to climb to peaceful Pura Tegeh Kuripan. Try to arrive at Kintamani in the morning, as it’s often overcast in the afternoon, especially during the rainy season.
Prices in US dollars. Telephone code is 0366.
There are two possible options for staying near Lake Batur: up on the ridge or down inside the crater. The villages within the crater tend to have a rather unpleasant atmosphere with a lot of people hassling you. The views, however, are stunning. The main reason to spend the night in the crater is to climb Mt. Batur at dawn.
There are several attractions from Penelokan, starting with the view from the crater rim toward Lake Batur. Rim temples include Pura Ulun Danu Batur and Pura Tegeh Kuripan, both on the main road. A visit to the crater might include a boat trip to the traditional village of Trunyan, the lava fields, the hot spring at Toya Bungkah, or climbing Mt. Batur.
The best way to visit the crater is with your own transportation or chartered minibus. Walking is possible, but distances are long and the descent into the crater is very steep. You might want to finish your visit with a dip in the lake.
Penelokan and the crater villages are rather “un-Balinese” with vendors hassling you and people approaching you in the street to book accommodations.
There’s a local authority charge of Rp550 per person for any car with tourists crossing into the region, plus Rp250 for the car. A similar fee is charged in Toya Bungkah.
Kintamani is the end-point of several tour itineraries heading up from the lower rice plain in the south. Most buses come up the good, scenic road via Tampaksiring, with stops on the way at Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul, then going back down through Bangli and Pura Kehen. But there are other interesting routes. One leads from Peliatan in the Ubud area through the wood-carvers’ villages of Tegallalang, Pujung and Sebatu. The views along the way are superb. Other roads from Ubud to
Kintamani run through Payangan or from Denpasar through the Sangeh monkey forest, Plaga and Lampu, arriving to the north of Kintamani.
Bemos to Kintamani are available from Ubud via Sakah (notable for its huge “Baby” statue). They also run via Tampaksiring and Bangli.
From Denpasar bemos leave for Kintamani from the Batubulan terminal until late afternoon. The normal fare from Batubulan is Rp2,000 and from Singaraja Rp4,000. Rent a motorbike or car if you want to explore the great back roads in the Kintamani area.
Shuttle buses which run between Ubud and Singaraja stop in Penelokan. From Ubud $4.50-$7, from Singaraja $9-$11.
Alternatively, you can also join a day tour and ride up in air conditioned comfort, lunch included. On such tours, however, you will only see the view of Penelokan and then return, missing the caldera and the lake down the Kedisan road.
Charter bemos from Penelokan to Kedisan cost Rp5,000; Kedisan to Toya Bungkah Rp. 1,000 by bemo or Rp.20,000-Rp.25,000 for charter bemo, depending on your bargaining skills.
To Trunyan from Kedisan
Down inside the caldera you can cross to the lake village of Trunyan either from Kedisan or from Toya Bungkah. Be warned that the people here can be quite aggressive and the government has long advised tour operators not to send tourists to Trunyan.
In Toya Bungkah, the normal “tourist” price is $16 (including insurance) for the round trip for a ful I boat of seven. Don’t expect to pay the local price. In Kedisan, the round trip costs about $20 per boat, with a price per person decreasing to $3 per person is the boat is full. If you are tired of bargaining hassles, simply hike around the crater to Trunyan.
Eating In Kintamani
The better places are attached to the hotels in Penelokan up on the calderas and down in Toya Bungkah by the hot springs. Penelokan has choices ranging from very simple and cheap places with good local food to big fancy restaurants, which cater to tour groups from the expensive hotels on the coast.
The local lake fish is a tasty variety called be mujahir, available fried or grilled. It’s best fried crisp-more of the fish is edible.
A good place for lunch (and one of the few on the rim open for evening meals) is the Lakeview. Prices here are moderate, but they are geared up for tour group buffet lunches.
The Batur Garden Restaurant has an interesting menu of Chinese and Indonesian dishes, as well as Western bar drinks. Friendly and reasonably priced. Lunch only.
Gunawan Restaurant is very popular with a great view on the edge of the crater. There are many other giant, palatial restaurants on the other side of the street, but most overlook South Bali. Buffet or menu. Great mujahir soup. Approx. Rp 7000 per entree; buffet $4.50, plus 21% tax.
Down in the crater at Toya Bungkah, most losmen have small restaurants (warung), and new eating places are springing up all the time. Our recommendation is Nyoman Mawa’s Under The Volcano. His lake fish with homemade sambal matah is worth the trip to the mountains alone.
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If you’ve always wanted to walk around inside the crater of an active volcano, here’s your chance. Mt. Batur is 1,717 m high, but the upper cone itself is only several hundred meters above the level of the lake and can be climbed and descended in a few hours. At the top, there’s a warm crust of ground over the cauldron. Be sure to hire a guide, as it can be dangerous.
Each home stay can recommend a guide. Under the Volcano has guides for $12 per person; other home stays charge $18-$19.
It’s best to start very early in the morning, around 4 am: it’s cool and you’re likely to see a wonderful sunrise. Your guide will probably find you before you find him. Choose someone friendly who is not charging a ridiculous amount of money: $4-5 is a fair price. Gede at Gede’s Trekking near Kintamani market is a helpful contact. Another professional trekking guide service is Panorama Tourist Services, located near the Toya Bungkah Hot Spring. They also organize other trekking trips in the area.
There are several well-marked approaches to Batur. From Pura Jati, near Kedisan (where a large sign announces “Klim Prom Here-Please Polow, Wite Plag”), and from Toya Bungkah where the climb up and back takes about three hours. The latter route is notably easier.
Wear high-top shoes: the slopes are covered with fine dust. Other necessary supplies are drinking water and a snack or two. On reaching the summit your guide will boil some eggs (in the sand) and make coffee. If you’re fortunate, a great view stretching all the way to Lombok will be revealed as the sun rises.
Going down is much easier than climbing up and it’s possible to take another route down, via the hot spring at Toya Bungkah. Ask your guide to have a car ready to bring you back to the original starting point once you get down. The spring, set in a concrete pool, is not overly spectacular. Entrance is $1
This trip is not recommended during the rainy season (November-April).
There’s a good new road that circles the volcano rim from Penulisan east to Pinggan and Blandingan, where it comes to a dead end. Another route is to drive past Toya Bungkah to Songan and follow the sign west to Air Mampeh. The road leads to Penelokan through the caldera behind Batur. It is sometimes difficult to pass because of volcanic sand and stones
The public bathing spot at the Toya Bungkah Hot Springs is free and frequented mostly by Indonesians. There is now a large swimming facility, Tirta Sanjiwani, set in a lovely garden just above the lake. Two hot spring pools plus a huge regular swimming pool. You can take a personal spa for $25, including a massage in your own little spa and bale. $10 adults, $7.50 children.
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