Famous for the scaly-skinned fruit known as salak, or snake fruit, Sibetan Village sits in the shadow of the active volcano Mt. Agung, in east Bali. Locals grow at least 14 different varieties of salak, which they transform into a sweet fruit wine. Walks through the orchards and nearby forests are popular, as is sampling and buying wine.The Basics
There is no charge to visit Sibetan Village, and guests can wander at will through its rustic streets and cool forests—although buying snake fruit wine to tote to friends back home is always welcome. Most travelers visit as part of a tour, which are a great way to appreciate the simple, rural lives of Karangasem’s people. Tours usually combine Sibetan with other Karangasem and east Bali attractions such as Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Puri Agung Karangasem, or Ujung Water Palace.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Sibetan Village is a worthwhile stop for anyone with an interest in tropical fruit, traditional farming, or local culture.
- Karangasem is a relatively conservative part of Bali; it’s worth dressing more modestly than you would in Seminyak or Kuta.
- Sibetan is the best place on Bali to try and buy snake fruit wine.
Sibetan sits on the slopes of Mt. Agung in Karangasem, east Bali, about a 3-hour drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport and 30 minutes from Tirta Gangga Water Palace. Most visitors arrive with a private driver or as part of an organized tour that includes round-trip transfers; public transport is virtually nonexistent.
When to Get There
Snake fruit is in season between December and April, which is the best time to visit Sibetan Village—although forest hikes and mountain views can be enjoyed year-round. The village is rarely crowded so you can expect a warm welcome at pretty much any time of day.What Is Salak?
Known as snake fruit for its scaly skin, salak is a hard, segmented fruit that’s most often peeled and eaten fresh. It prefers cooler tropical climates and highland elevations, and has a compelling taste that’s like a hybrid of apricot, pineapple, and lychee, with some astringency. At least 30 different cultivars are grown in Indonesia. Some areas of Bali ferment a rare variety of snake fruit that has a high natural-sugar content into wine.