Antosari Road

Antosari Road

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Antosari--800

Although most people cross the mountains via Candikuning or Kintamani, there is a very scenic third alternative that links Bali’s south and north coasts. From the Denpasar–Gilimanuk road in west Bali, a road goes north from Antosari through the village of Pupuan and then drops down to Seririt, west of Lovina in north Bali.

Starting through rice paddies, after 8km the road runs alongside a beautiful valley of rice terraces. Another 2km brings you to Sari Wisata, where a charming family has created what should be the model for roadhouses everywhere. Gorgeous gardens line the bluff and only enhance the already remarkable vistas. (Did somebody tell the rice farmers to wear red so they pop from the fields of green?) Snacks and drinks are available, and outside you’ll find some remarkably healthy and furry bats literally hanging around in the sun.

Once you’re deep in the foothills of Gunung Batukau, 20km north of Antosari, you’ll smell the fragrant spice-growing village of Sanda before you see it. Look for the old wooden elevated rice barns that still feature in every house.

After another 8km north through coffee plantations, you’ll reach Pupuan. From here it is 12km or so to Mayong, where you can turn east to Munduk and on to Danau Bratan or go straight on to Seririt.

Gunung Batukau Area

Gunung Batukau Area

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Gunung Batukau is Bali’s second-highest mountain (2276m), the third of Bali’s three major mountains and the holy peak of the island’s western end. It’s often overlooked, which is probably a good thing given what the vendor hordes have done to Gunung Agung.

You can climb its slippery slopes from one of the island’s holiest and most underrated temples, Pura Luhur Batukau, or just revel in the ancient rice-terrace greenery around Jatiluwih, which would be a fantasy if it wasn’t real. Extend your stay at lodges far up the slopes of the volcano.

There are two main approaches to the Gunung Batukau area. The easiest is via Tabanan: take the Pura Luhur Batukau road north 9km to a fork in the road, then take the left-hand turn (towards the temple) and go a further 5km to a junction near a school in Wangayagede village. Here you can continue straight to the temple or turn right (east) for the rice fields of Jatiluwih.

The other way is to approach from the east. On the main Denpasar–Singaraja road, look for a small road to the west, just south of the Pacung Indah hotel. Here you follow a series of small paved roads west until you reach the Jatiluwih rice fields. You’ll get lost, but locals will quickly set you right and the scenery is superb anyway. Combine the two routes for a nice circle tour.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/gunung-batukau-area

Bedugul

Bedugul

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‘Bedugul’ is sometimes used to refer to the whole lakeside area, but strictly speaking it’s just the first place you reach at the top of the hill when coming from south Bali, and even then, you might not pause long as it’s small.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bedugul

Pancasari

Pancasari

Pancasari

The broad green valley northwest of Danau Bratan is actually the crater of an extinct volcano. In the middle of the valley, on the main road, Pancasari is a nontourist town with a bustling market and the main terminal for public bemo.

Just south of Pancasari, you will see the entrance to Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club, a well-situated (in that, compared with south Bali courses, there’s plenty of water here) 18-hole golf course. It also offers comfortable accommodation in the sterile atmosphere of a 1970s resort, reminiscent of the villain’s grand lair in an old James Bond movie.

Munduk & Around

Munduk & Around

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Munduk-800

The simple village of Munduk is one of Bali’s most appealing mountain retreats. It has a cool misty ambience set among lush hillsides covered with jungle, rice, fruit trees and pretty much anything else that grows on the island. Waterfalls tumble off precipices by the dozen. There are hikes and treks galore and a number of really nice places to stay, from old Dutch summer homes, to retreats where you can plunge full-on into local culture. Many people come for a day and stay for a week.

Archaeological evidence suggests there was a developed community in the Munduk region between the 10th and 14th centuries. When the Dutch took control of north Bali in the 1890s, they experimented with commercial crops, establishing plantations for coffee, vanilla, cloves and cocoa. Quite a few Dutch colonial buildings are still intact along the road in Munduk and further west. Look for shrines nestled in the crooks of hills.

– Danau Bratan Area

Danau Bratan Area

Danau-Bratan-Area

As you approach from the south, you grad­ually leave the rice terraces behind and ascend into the cool, often misty mountain country around Danau Bratan. Candikuning is the main village in the area, and has the important and picturesque temple, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Munduk anchors the region with fine trekking to waterfalls and cloud-cloaked forests.

The choice of accommodation near the lake is limited, as much of the area is geared towards domestic, not foreign, tourists. On Sundays and public holidays, the lakeside can be crowded with courting couples and Toyotas bursting with day-tripping families. Many new inns have opened around Munduk.

Wherever you go, you are likely to see the tasty local strawberries on offer. Note that it is often misty and can get chilly up here.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/danau-bratan-area