Friday, February 26, 2010

Bedugul, Lake Beratan & Bali Botanical Gardens

Bedugul is an area in the mountain range of Central Bali. Bedugul is the name used to cover a large area of the central highlands of Bali around the villages of Bedugul itself, Candikuning, Pancasari, Pacung and Wanagiri (amongst others). This is an area of great natural beauty. The focus point of the area centres on the three crater lakes of Bratan (Beratan),

Buyan and Tamblingan, and the nearby botanical gardens. The whole area is at an altitude of 700 metres or more, with the tallest mountain peaks above 2,000 metres, and it can be distinctly chilly here. This article covers the Bedugul area as well as the village of Munduk to the west, and areas between Bedugul and Mount Batukaru to the south west. Mount Batukaru itself is covered in the Tabanan article. Bedugul is located about 50 km north of Denpasar on a main route from South Bali to North Bali.

The area is served by regular bemos which depart from Batubulan terminal in Denpasar in the south, and from Singaraja in the north. The Perama bus company [1] has no local office in Bedugul so if you planning go further from Bedugul, buy ticket in Kuta, Ubud or elsewhere.

A common way for visitors to appreciate this beautiful mountain region is to hire a car and driver for the day from their base in South Bali. Make sure you have a driver who knows the area well (ask questions to determine this), and fix the price for the day in advance. Depending on the class of car, expect to pay between Rp 500,000 and 600,000 including petrol. Car parking fees and any entrance charges will be extra, and it is always appreciated if you offer to buy the driver lunch.

Another option is to hire your own car and drive up here. Be sure to bring a good map though, and when in doubt, always ask locals for directions.

If you are staying in Bedugul, hiring a motorcycle is a good idea as some of the distances between areas of interest are quite long. Your hotel will be able to arrange this and you should expect to pay from Rp 50,000 to 80,000 per day.

The physically fit will enjoy mountain biking here. There are no formal taxis but you will find plenty of drivers willing and able to transport you for a fixed price.

The area is well served by local bemos, and the central gathering points for these are in and around the car park at Candikuning Market, and in the vilage of Pancasari just before you reach Lake Buyan. Be prepared for the local users to be carrying all sorts of market produce, including live chickens and other animals.

Bali Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Eka Karya), ☎ +62 368 21273, . 8AM-6PM daily. One of Indonesia's four official botanical gardens. Located in Candikuning. The entrance road is identified by the presence of a giant stone corn on the cob statue! From the information centre buy a copy of an excellent little pamphlet called Six Self Guided Walks in the Bali Botanical Gardens and set off on your way. The gardens are huge covering some 160 hectares and any visitor with an interest in plants and trees could easily spend a whole day here. Also, an informative library and gift shop. Rp 10.000

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Lake Bratan Temple), Lake Bratan, Bedugul. 7AM-5PM daily. After Tanah Lot, this is perhaps the most photographed temple on the island and is certainly one of the iconic images of Bali. The temple sits on the western shore of Lake Bratan and it can give the illusion of actually floating on the water. Built in 1633, the temple is devoted to Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu, goddess of the lake. A beautiful temple in a truly stunning setting. Rp 10.000

Explore the mountain roads and take in the wonderful views. The area around Munduk to the west of Lake Tamblingan is especially spectacular, and you can continue the drive through Munduk village to Banyuatis and then all the way to Seririt near Lovina on the north coast.

Play golf at Bali Handara Kosaido Golf and Country Club, +62 362 22646 [3]. At an altitude of 1,142 metres and surrounded by green mountains, crater lakes and ancient forest, this Peter Thompson designed course is considered one of the very best in Asia.

Birdwatching is good in this area around the lakes, and in the botanical gardens where some 97 species have been officially recorded. A number of scarce montane species are to be found here.

Water sports on Lake Bratan. Parasailing
, speedboat rides and jetskis are all available if you are comfortable with polluting such a beautiful lake. The more environmentally conscious may wish to restrict their lake activities to renting a rowing boat. These are all controlled from Taman Rekreasi Bedugul (admission Rp 10,000) on the southern shore of Lake Bratan.

Trekking in the mountains and around the lakes is very rewarding. There are regular, organised group departures from Taman Rekreasi Bedugul at Lake Bratan and the Botanical Gardens. If you require an individual guide for your own planned trek, your hotel will be able to help or ask at Taman Rekreasi Bedugul. Popular organised treks include:

Climbing Mount Catur (2,096m), starting at Taman Rekreasi Bedugul. This is quite a stiff climb.
- Around Lake Tamblingan, returning by canoe. A very leisurely trek.
- Around Jatiluwih with options from a 2 hour stroll to a stiff 8 hour trek.
- The Munduk area is also popular and extremely scenic.

Angseri hot springs lies about 20km to the south of central Bedugul. From the main market head directly south. It is well sign-posted.

Understand the crops. Interesting crops grown in this area include coffee, vanilla, cloves and cacao. Once you know them, you will see clove trees everywhere at the side of the highland roads. There are several coffee plantations on the roads north of Lake Bratan and around Munduk.

Bali Treetop Adventure Park, at the Botanical Gardens,. The park includes six main circuits that stretch from tree to tree, as well as nets, Tarzan Jumps, and bridges. Each run also features "Flying Fox" zip-lines of up to 160 metres, providing heart-pounding thrills to guests as they fly through the air. Two circuits are designed for young children from 4 years old.

Visit to Begudul Area, please click our tours package here

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