Serene lakes and surreal mountains fill the area around Bedugul in Central Bali. It’s a captivating sight, the mist rolling in from 2000-metre peaks and the thick green hills reflected in the glassy waters of the three crater lakes. Bedugul makes a wonderful contrast to the beach resorts of South Bali and is a great place to escape into the grandeur of Bali’s central highlands.
Traditionally, Bedugul was a small village on Lake Bratan. It’s developed as the gateway for visiting a surrounding area that also incorporates the lakes of Buyan and Tamblingan, as well as various mountain peaks. As such, Bedugul is now used to signify a broader area of the central highlands that takes in the three lakes and a range of other villages. Buyan and Tamblingan lakes are pure tranquillity, examples of nature untouched. Bratan is also a popular area with a number of water sports possible here. Rewarding hiking trails head into the mountains and around the peaks, with some spectacular vistas coming from the area west of Lake Tamblingan or the slopes around Jatiluwih. Most of the trails pass lush rice paddies and hidden waterfalls, and a guide is recommended as there are no signs.
Bedugul is located 65 kilometres north of Ngurah Rai International Airport and 50 – 55 kilometres from Denpasar or Seminyak. Some visitors come on day trips from the beach resort towns, although the real beauty comes when spending a few nights hidden along the lake, or tucked away in the folds of the forested mountains. There are regular shared “bemo” vans from Denpasar, or from Singaraja in the north of Bali. However, many visitors hire a car and driver for the journey.
The area’s natural history is also celebrated at Bali Botanic Garden, which has seven self-guided hiking routes and contains many of Indonesia’s indigenous plants.