One of three lakes within the crater of the long-dormant Bratan volcano, Lake Beratan (Danau Bratan) occupies about 1.5 square miles (4 square kilometers) of highland real estate. The star attraction is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan water temple, but there are also some World War II–era caves, and boat rides on the lake are available.
There is no charge to visit Lake Beratan, although a small fee is required to visit the temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Most people visit Lake Beratan as part of a tour that includes Bedugul and the central highlands, or Bedugul and north Bali. Many tours focus on the temple, though some include a short boat ride. Hiking is also popular, including a challenging route to the summit of Mt. Catur.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The reflective waters of Lake Beratan make it a must for photographers.
- The lake’s name can be spelled either “Beratan” or “Bratan.” The word for “lake” can be written as “Danau” or “Danu.”
- Duck-shaped boats and a playground may appeal to families with young children.
- Lake Beratan is Bali’s most sacred lake, and is essential to the Subak irrigation system that keeps the island fed.
How to Get There
Lake Beratan sits in the caldera of the ancient Bratan volcano, by the town of Bedugul, on the main road north from Denpasar to Singaraja. It’s a 2-hour drive from Kuta. Self-driving around Bedugul can be slow and tiring if you don’t know the roads, so many visitors opt to book a tour or arrange for a private driver.
When to Get There
Lake Beratan is a popular destination for locals and visitors from elsewhere in Indonesia, so the area can become congested on weekends and public holidays. To beat the tour bus crowds and get the best view of the mirror-like waters, aim to arrive early in the morning.
The Lake Beratan Temple
Lake Beratan has been sacred to inhabitants of Bali since time immemorial, and its temple, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, dates back to the 17th century. Dedicated to the goddess of the lake (Dewi Danau), the temple was created by the same king of Mengwi who built Taman Ayun Temple, and the two buildings share a similar style of architecture.