A lovely trip is guaranteed if you travel to North Bali and choose to follow the road over the mountains via Kintamani. Here you find all aspects of Balinese nature, passing rice fields, volcanoes, lakes, forests and small villages.

Bali, Bangli, Kintamani. Kintamani is a location on the western edge of the larger caldera wall of Gunung Batur. Hindu Temple. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Bangli, Kintamani. Kintamani is a location on the western edge of the larger caldera wall of Gunung Batur. Hindu Temple. (Bjorn Grotting)

You can easily drive from south Bali to Singaraja in one day, but to be able to stop and see everything on the way there, you could easily spend many days or weeks. There are 4-5 alternative roads to Kintamani from South Bali, many choose to go via Ubud or Bangli, where you can spend the night.

If you start from south Bali the road will slowly ascend on a sloping plain all the way to Kintamani, with a great view over Gunung Batur (1.450 m), an active volcano which had it’s last eruptions in 1917 and 1926.

Bali, Bangli, Kintaman. Rice fields. Even the steepest terrain has been cultivated, northern part of Kintamani. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Bangli, Kintaman. Rice fields. Even the steepest terrain has been cultivated, northern part of Kintamani. (Bjorn Grotting)

Kintamani actually sits on the edge of the caldera. About 1.000 people here and in the surrounding area died during the eruption in 1917. If you have some spare time you can travel from Kintamani to the top of Gunung Batur or to Lake Batur in the bottom of the crater, following a very steep road in bad condition. You better not go there with a car or a driver you don’t trust. Most people use the more common road from Penelokan further south (see Gunung Batur).

There are a few hotels and restaurants in Kintamani and surrounding villages. The village itself is located at an altitude of 1.500 meters, and the relatively cold climate makes it possible to grow for example oranges. There is a large market here that attracts traders from a wide area.

Bali, Bangli, Kintamani. Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) is an active volcano located north west of Mount Agung. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Bangli, Kintamani. Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) is an active volcano located north west of Mount Agung. (Bjorn Grotting)

Continuing north from Kintamani the steep and narrow road curves down to the lower landscape of Bali’s north side. It is however easy to tolerate the bad road when all this beautiful scenery passes by. In a sharp turn north of Kintamani you will see a steep stairway leading up to the highest temple on Bali, Pura Puncak Penulisan (at 1.745 meters). The temple sits on the rim of the Batur caldera. The view from here is magnificent, on a clear day you can see large parts of both north and south Bali.

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Bjørn Grøtting

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Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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