Introducing Gunung Batur Area
The Gunung Batur area is like a giant bowl, with its bottom half covered by water and a set of volcanic cones jutting out of the middle. Sound a bit spectacular? It is. On clear days – vital to appreciating the spectacle – the turquoise waters wrap around the newer volcanoes, which have old lava flows oozing down their sides.
In 2012 Unesco honoured the area by adding it to a list of more than 90 geologic wonders worldwide and naming it the Batur Caldera Geopark (www.globalgeopark.org). So far this has meant little on the ground, although some interesting signs detailing the unique geology of the area have started to appear along roads in the region.
The road around the southwestern rim of the Gunung Batur crater is one of Bali's most important north–south routes and has one of its most stunning vistas.
Day trippers should bring some sort of wrap in case the mist closes in and the temperature drops (it can get to 16°C).
The villages around the Gunung Batur crater rim have grown into one continuous untidy strip. Kintamani is the main village, though the whole area is often referred to by that name. Coming from the south, the first village is Penelokan, where tour groups first stop to gasp at the view.
Batur & Kintamani
The villages of Kintamani and Batur now virtually run together. Kintamani is famed for its large and colourful market, which is held every three days. The town is like a string bean: long, with pods of development. Activity starts early, and by 11am everything's all packed up. If you don't want to go on a trek, the sunrise view from the road here is good.