The Danau Bratan region, also just known as Bedugul, refers to the large area in the central highlands of Bali and is famed for imposing mountains, picturesque lakes, beautiful trekking routes and impressive temples. Bedugul region encompasses many villages including Bedugul itself, Pacung, Candikuning, Wanagiri, Pancasari, and others. The area lies at an altitude of 700 m or higher and is usually visited by the tourists seeking a respite from the hot, humid conditions of the coastal regions of Bali.
Most of the tourist activities in Bedugul region center around the three beautiful lakes: Danau Bratan, Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan. Danau Bratan, surrounded by rolling lush green hills, provides a wide array of water sports activities to tourists. Local Balinese farmers worship the lake goddess at an ancient temple that sits near the lake. The smaller Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan lakes are located northwest of Bedugul village and are easily accessible by means of good, motorable roads.
Where is it
To take in the natural beauty of the region while getting indulged in lots of adventurous activities at the same time. If you want a break from hot, humid conditions of coastal Bali, Bedugul is a perfect destination to head for.
When is the best time to go
Nights at Bedugul are cooler compared to the coastal areas of Bali. The dry months of May to August are considered the best months to visit Bedugul. The rainy months of October to March are generally avoided by tourists. Christmas and New Year time are usually the exceptions when a large number of domestic and international tourists arrive at Bedugul to enjoy their vacations.
What to see
Bali Botanical Gardens. One of the four official botanical gardens of the country, the picturesque Bali Botanical Gardens are situated in Candikuning area. These gardens are spread over an area of about 160 hectares across the slopes of Gunung Pohon and give visitors an opportunity to spend a whole day in close proximity to more than 400 species of orchids, 650 species of trees, and over 80 species of birds. A massive “corn on the cob” stone statue at the entrance road is amazing to watch. The gardens remain open between 8 am – 4 pm daily.
Lake Bratan Temple (Pura Ulun Danu Bratan). As of the Top 10 Temples to Visit in Bali, this immensely attractive temple stands on the shore of Lake Bratan. The temple is devoted to Ida Batara Devi Ulun Danu and dates back to 1633. It is also one of the top most photographed temples of Bali. Its close proximity to lake creates an illusion that the temple is floating on the lake.
What to do
Trekking in the mountain slopes and around the lakes. Trekking in Bedugul area is a highly rewarding experience for most visitors. Many groups organize regular trekking tours for Mount Catur, around Lake Tamblingan, Jatiluwih, and Munduk area. These tours allow trekkers to explore the hidden areas of central Bali while enjoying the spectacular views at the same time.
Taking a dip in one of the secluded waterfalls. There are several beautiful and secluded waterfalls dotted around Bedugul, and if you can try to find one of these secret spots and take a dip in one of the clearest waterfalls you’ve ever seen.
What and where to eat
Bedugul is known for a variety of restaurants serving a local specialty called Ayam Taliwang, which is a spiced and grilled/fried chicken. Bedugul Lake View, located near Lake Bratan, is known for its delicious local dishes. You can also find several inexpensive places lining the road to the Botanical Gardens. Ngiring Ngewedang near Lake Tamblingan lets visitors enjoy tasty Indonesian food as well as views of the beautiful surroundings at the same time. Restaurant Batukaru (between Mount Batukaru and Jatiluwih), Strawberry Hill (Bukit Strobeli), Strawberry Stop (between Lake Bratan and Lake Buyan), and Warung Bukit Hexon are some other popular restaurants in Bedugul area.
Where to stay
Candikuning village in Bedugul is known for providing the best tourist facilities to visitors. Some nice budget options in Bedugul include Ashram Guest House (near Lake Bratan), Ibu Hadi Homestay, Penginapan Cempaka (Jalan Kebun Raya), and Sari Artha Inn. Among mid-range options, Atres Villa * (Banyuatis Village), Aditya Homestay * (Munduk) and CLV Hotel & Villa * are some of the popular names. Handara Golf & Resort * (Pancasari), Puri Candikuning Retreat * (near Bratan Temple), The Kalaspa Health Retreat (Banjar Asah Panji), and Saranam Eco Resort (Pacung) cater to luxury tourists in the region.
How to get there
Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, is the nearest airport to Bedugul. The airport is served by several domestic and international airlines including Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, etc. You can hire a prepaid or a metered taxi from the airport which usually takes not more than two hours to get to Bedugul. Regular bemo (minibus) for Bedugul are available from Batubulan terminal in Denpasar and Singaraja town. Taxis are readily available from different parts of Bali. You can also rent a car and drive up yourself to enjoy the wonderful roads in the region. However, make sure that you have a good map of Bali and Bedugul region before you start your journey.
How to get around
Using a motorcycle is a perfect way to get around the Bedugul area. Many of the places of interest in this area are located too far to be explored on foot. You can ask your hotel staff to arrange for a rented motorbike for you. You’ll also find many taxi drivers willing to take you to nearby attractions for a fixed price. Local bemo (minibus) are generally available, and you can find them around the car parking place in Candikuning market as well as in Pancasari village.
Where to go nearby
Munduk, one of the off the beaten tracks places with its own local charm.
Singaraja, the former capital of Bali, featuring lots of imposing monuments and colonial structures.
Lovina, the coastal town of North Bali, famous for lovely beaches and early-morning dolphin trips.