A small, friendly lakeside resort in the
middle of the central highland southwest of Gunung Catur,
an hour's drive (48 km) from Denpasar on the main road north
(30 km) to Singaraja. Bedugul is the name given to a whole
string of villages along the lake's western shore.
With its comfortable accommodations, wonderful fresh fruit
and vegetables, lakeside views, blankets of fog, beautiful
mystical quality, and an average temperature of 18-24°
Centigrade, Bedugul has been a popular weekend retreat since
Dutch times. It's a welcome change from Bali's tropical
Serene Lake Bratan fills the ancient crater of long-inactive
volcano Gunung Catur, which towers over the lake. Over 1,200
meters above sea level, Bedugul is nearly as cool as the
Gunung Batur region only 20 impassable kilometers directly
to the east. The cool ride up to this valley through terraced
mountain vegetable gardens of cabbage, onion, and papaya
is even more scenic than the ride to Penelokan.
Across the lake are three 25-meter-deep caves (Goa Jepang)
dug out by Indonesian slave laborers for the Japanese during
the war. It is said that after the caves were constructed
the workers were all shot. The caves are accessible from
the rim trail to Gunung Catur. You can walk there from Taman
Rekreasi in about 45 minutes.
Don't pass up the beautiful hikes along the exquisitely
cultivated lakeshore and through the steep, jungle-covered
rolling hills and pine forests surrounding the lake. Bedugul
and the mountains around it start to cloud over in the afternoon.
Overcast skies or rain cause the area to become severely
cold (down to 11° C at night), so bring a sweater.
It's really crowded here on holidays and weekends and during
the vacation season, 20 December to 5 January. At other
times, the lake is a quiet refuge nearly devoid of tourists
both domestic and foreign. Along the pier in front of Hotel
Bedugul are moored boats of every size and description.
Powerboats stand ready to pull water-skiers and parasailors
around the lake, or you may hire a small 'perahu' and paddle
around the placid waters under shady trees, and glide through
reflections of steep mountain slopes and fleecy clouds.
Lake swimming is chilly, but early in the day when the sun's
out the waterskiing on the lake's glassy surface is enough
to attract international competitions.
Getting There and Away
A good road runs from Singaraja's western bus station to
Bedugul, using 'bemo' or minibus. If heading north to Singaraja,
take a 'bemo' from Denpasar's Ubung Station to Bedugul-a
faster route to the north coast than via Kintamani.
Bands of dark, heavy-coated monkeys are often seen along
this road. If coming into Bedugul from the south, the first
right turn is to Taman Rekreasi.
If you go straight ahead the road passes through the villages
of Candikuning and Pancasari on the west shore of Lake Bratan
before climbing through the pass of the water at Puncak
to begin its steep winding drop to the northern plains.
By 'bemo' to Mengwi, Singaraja or Denpasar. If you're heading
back to Denpasar, start early in the afternoon because 'bemo'
tend to fill up fast above Bedugul; by the time they reach
you there's no more seating room. At the Denpasar 40 km
sign below Baturiti, a dirt road via Apuan and Jatiluwih
emerges at Wangaya Gede, but it's so full of boulders it'll
shake the guts out of anyone on a motorcycle.
In Jatiluwih, for a sweeping 360-degree panorama over rice
fields. At an altitude of 850 meters, the air is cool and
fresh. A Rangda temple and parking lot are beside the viewpoint.
A two km walk into the woods will bring you to unique Pura
Petali, as old as the village of Jatiluwih itself. The houses
in this traditional village are still built with thatched
roofs, and the farmers still work 'padi bali', traditionally
grown rice which reaches 120 cm in height.
Three km beyond, in the southern end of the village, are
more unobstructed rice fields and-if the sky is clear-a
view of the curved southern tip of Bali. At Wangaya Gede,
head north for Gunung Batukaru. South takes you down to
the cultivated plains.
Another nice experience is to walk the 25-km-long track
from Bedugul to Kintamani. You're also within striking distance
of the mountain area or Munduk. Just head north by road
to Gitgit, then turn east. Stop in at pristine Danau Tamblingan