Photo: What a sight!


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The mountainous region of northeastern Bali centring around massive Batur Caldera delivers one of Bali’s most dramatic sights — the majestic cone of smouldering Gunung Batur, an active volcano that rises 700 metres from molten black lava flows and overshadows a crater lake below, Danau Batur. A contrasting patchwork of vegetable farms which thrive in the fertile volcanic soil, along with red-roofed villages lining the lake, complete the scene. Crisp and fresh mountain air gives a pleasant respite from the sometimes sweltering coastal regions.

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Keep reading to learn more about Gunung Batur!

In 2012 the area became Indonesia’s first Geopark, part of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network. Commonly the region is referred to as Gunung Batur, however locally it’s widely known as Kintamani, one of the larger towns in the region. Sitting 1,000 metres above sea level, the caldera is approximately 10 kilometres across and is the remainder of a monstrous volcano that reputedly exploded some 30,000 years ago. Gunung Batur has a history of regular eruptions: at least 20 have occurred since the 1800s. It’s monitored, and occasionally closed due to increased activity.

The main event. Photo taken in or around Gunung Batur, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The main event. Photo: Sally Arnold

Every day, busloads of tourists make the trip to the villages edging the crater, Kintamani and Penelokan, admire the view, eat an overpriced buffet lunch and return. An army of pushy souvenir sellers targets all and sundry with a level of hassle unmatched in Bali — hence the area has a rather negative reputation. However don’t let that put you off; we think the region is worth more than a quick day trip and has many interesting things to offer — the number one highlight, climbing Gunung Batur is a moderate trek for someone with a reasonable level of fitness and is really a must-do activity for the adventurous when ... Travelfish members only (Around 900 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Gunung Batur.
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