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Guide to Kintamani: Bali’s Highland Gem

Updated 05 Jul 2024
Guide to Kintamani

Kintamani, located in central Bali, is a highland gem known for its stunning natural beauty. With dramatic volcanic landscapes and breathtaking vistas, Kintamani offers a peaceful escape from the busy tourist spots on the island. If you’re seeking adventure, culture, or relaxation, Kintamani provides a unique and enriching experience.

Kintamani is situated in the central highlands of Bali, about 1,500 meters above sea level. This elevated region is famous for its cool climate, offering a refreshing break from the island’s tropical heat. The area is dominated by the impressive Mount Batur, an active volcano that adds a touch of raw, natural beauty to the landscape. Surrounding the volcano are lush forests, traditional villages, and terraced rice fields, all contributing to Kintamani’s enchanting atmosphere.

Must-See Attractions in Kintamani


Mount Batur

One of Kintamani’s main attractions is Mount Batur, an active volcano standing at 1,717 meters. A popular activity for visitors is the sunrise trek to the summit. Starting in the early hours of the morning, hikers are rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise that illuminates the entire region. The trek is moderately challenging and takes about two hours to complete, making it accessible for most fitness levels. The panoramic views from the top are truly unforgettable, with the shimmering Lake Batur and the surrounding mountains creating a stunning backdrop.

Batur Lake

Lake Batur, located at the foot of Mount Batur, is the largest crater lake on the island. Its serene, turquoise waters are a sight to behold, and the lake holds great significance for the local community. The surrounding area is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful boat ride, allowing you to soak in the tranquility and natural beauty. The lake is also an important source of irrigation for the region’s fertile agricultural land.

Toya Bungkah Hot Springs

After a trek up Mount Batur, there’s no better way to relax than by soaking in the Toya Bungkah Hot Springs. These natural hot springs are located near the shores of Lake Batur and offer a soothing retreat for tired muscles. The warm, mineral-rich waters are believed to have therapeutic properties, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

Read more: Mount Batur Hiking Guide: Essential Tips for a Safe & Rewarding Climb

Cultural Insights to Lookout For

Subak System

Kintamani is also home to the Subak system, an ancient irrigation method that has been used for centuries to support the region’s rice terraces. This traditional system, recognized by UNESCO, showcases the ingenuity and harmony between the local community and their natural environment. Exploring the rice terraces gives visitors a glimpse into the agricultural practices that have sustained Bali’s lush landscapes for generations.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur

One of the most important temples in Bali, Pura Ulun Danu Batur, is located near Lake Batur. This lakeside temple is dedicated to the goddess of the lake, Dewi Danu, and plays a crucial role in the island’s spiritual life. The temple complex consists of several shrines and pavilions, each adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant decorations. Visiting Pura Ulun Danu Batur offers a profound insight into Bali’s rich cultural and religious heritage.

Traditional Villages

Kintamani is dotted with traditional villages where visitors can experience local customs and crafts. Villages like Penelokan and Toya Bungkah are known for their warm hospitality and vibrant culture. Here, you can witness traditional dance performances, visit local markets, and see artisans at work creating intricate handicrafts. These villages offer a genuine glimpse into the daily lives of the Balinese people and their enduring traditions.

Activities and Adventures You Should Try in Kintamani


Sunrise Trek to Mount Batur

For adventure seekers, the sunrise trek to Mount Batur is a must-do activity. Guided tours are available, providing experienced guides who ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. The trek usually begins around 3 AM, allowing hikers to reach the summit in time for sunrise. Along the way, you’ll walk through lush forests and rugged volcanic terrain, making the journey as memorable as the destination.

Cycling Tours

Exploring Kintamani on a bicycle is a fantastic way to take in the scenic countryside. Numerous cycling tours are available, ranging from leisurely rides through villages and rice fields to more challenging routes that take you up and down the region’s hilly terrain. Cycling allows you to connect with the landscape and the local community in a unique and intimate way.

Coffee Plantations

Kintamani is also known for its coffee plantations, producing some of the finest coffee in Bali. Visiting a coffee farm offers a fascinating insight into the cultivation and processing of coffee beans. You can learn about the different stages of production, from planting and harvesting to roasting and brewing. Of course, no visit to a coffee plantation would be complete without sampling the rich, aromatic coffee that Kintamani is famous for.

Read more: Start Your Holistic Healing Journey : 6 Best Traditional Bali Healers

Practical Tips During Your Visit

Getting There

Kintamani is about a two-hour drive from Bali’s main tourist areas like Ubud, Kuta, and Seminyak. The most convenient way to reach Kintamani is by car. You can hire a private driver, rent a car, or take a taxi. If you prefer public transportation, you can take a bus from Denpasar to Kintamani, though it may take longer and be less comfortable.

Getting Around

To make the most of your visit to Kintamani, consider booking a tour package. These packages often include transportation, guided tours, and entry to key attractions, making your trip convenient and hassle-free. Alternatively, renting a car allows you to customize your itinerary and explore at your own pace. For those on a budget, motorbike or scooter rentals are a cost-effective option, providing flexibility and easy access to the region’s sights.

Weather Considerations

Kintamani’s highland location means it can experience sudden weather changes, especially during the rainy season from November to March. Roads can become slippery, so it’s important to take precautions if you’re driving or cycling. Pack appropriate clothing and gear, including rain jackets and sturdy footwear, to stay comfortable and safe.

Accommodations and Dining

Kintamani offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. From cozy guesthouses and homestays to more luxurious resorts, there are plenty of options to choose from. For dining, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and cafes serving both local and international cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional Balinese dishes, which are rich in flavor and often made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Things to Keep in Mind in Kintamani

  • Start Early: If you plan to trek Mount Batur for sunrise, start early to ensure you reach the summit in time.
  • Respect Local Customs: When visiting temples and traditional villages, dress modestly and respect local customs.
  • Stay Hydrated: The high altitude and physical activities can be dehydrating, so carry enough water.
  • Cash is King: Many small establishments in Kintamani may not accept credit cards, so it’s wise to carry some cash.
  • Safety First: Always follow safety guidelines provided by guides, especially when trekking or cycling.

Kintamani’s allure lies in its natural beauty, cultural richness, and diverse activities. Whether you’re hiking up Mount Batur, exploring traditional villages, or simply relaxing by Lake Batur, this highland gem offers an unforgettable experience. Escape the crowds and discover the serene and captivating charm of Kintamani, Bali’s volcanic oasis.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kintamani

1. What are the must-do activities in Kintamani?

Hike Mount Batur for a sunrise view, explore cultural sites like Pura Ulun Danu Batur and Trunyan village, relax in Toya Devasya hot springs, and savor a cup of local Balinese coffee while taking in the scenery.

2. How do I get to Kintamani?

For convenience and exploration within Kintamani, hire a private driver. For an adventurous option, rent a scooter (be comfortable riding and wear a helmet) for self-paced exploration. Public transport is limited.

3. What’s the best time to visit Kintamani?

Kintamani has pleasant weather year-round. Dry season (April-September) offers sunshine but expect crowds. Shoulder seasons (March/April & October/November) balance good weather with fewer crowds. Wet season (December-February) has rain showers, lush landscapes, and lower prices.

4. Does Kintamani itself have an entrance fee?

No, entrance to Kintamani itself is free. However, specific attractions within Kintamani do charge entrance fees, such as Mount Batur (around IDR 100.000 for foreigners, although the prices are subject to change) and temples (may require a small donation or sarong rental). Other costs to consider include parking fees, hot spring entrance (varies by location), and guided tour fees.

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Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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