Banjar is a small village in the hills above Lovina, where travelers can find natural pools fed by a hot, sulphur-rich water source in the middle of a tropical garden. At the Banjar Holy Hot Springs, or Air Panas Banjar in Balinese, steaming water is poured on the heads of bathers from the mouths of mystical stone statues and locals and tourists alike can be seen enjoying a soothing soak in the holy water. At first, it might seem strange to hop into an 89-degree (F) pool in the 93-degree heat, but the greenish water is supposed to have many healing properties. These are not only ideal for people suffering from rheumatic diseases, but the hot water is also perfect for a relaxing bath to cure sore muscles after a hard hike or a busy cultural tour. It’s recommended though that visitors shouldn’t wear anything white or bright colored and shower off any remaining water from the baths before leaving the complex, as the sulfur in the water can stain textiles a green-brown hue.
After passing through about 200 meters of cumulative Balinese sales force, a gateway marks the entrance to a lush tropical park, which houses not only a system of three bathing pools, but also changing rooms, lockers and a small restaurant, where one can get a refreshing ice cream after the hot soak. Right where the naturally heated spring water bubbles out of the ground, a small temple was built, from where it is guided through a system of pools to make soaking and swimming easier. The upper pool is the hottest and from there, the water flows from basin to basin through the stony heads of nagas, the dragon like snake creatures from Balinese mythology. The resulting jets of water are subsequently often used for relaxing shoulder, head and back massages, but also make for a beautiful sight.
The Banjar Holy Hot Springs open daily from 7am to 6pm, but it’s advisable to avoid the busy weekends as well as afternoons and instead, show up as early in the morning as possible. You can find the hot springs about 16 kilometers from Singaraja and 7 kilometers from Lovina Beach. To get there, take a moto taxi or taxi directly to the hot springs parking lot, or hop on the public bus to Banjar village, from where it’s a 1-kilometer walk up the hill.