Leaving from Gua Jepang (the “Japanese Cave”) and crossing the rainforest through mountain plantations, water falls, lakes and sanctuaries, on a hike that is relatively easy, you can reach Mount Catur (the Bratan Caldera), a 2000-metre-high dormant volcano situated in Northwest Bali in a lush and uncontaminated area where the view is absolutely spectacular, particularly right as the sun begins to set. It takes about three hours to reach the volcanic peak with its enchanting view of Bratan Lake, Bali’s second largest lake and its principal source of fresh water. On the western side of the lake is one of the island’s true gems, the Temple of Bratan Lake (Pura Ulun Danu Bratan), dedicated to the water goddess Dewi Danu, which attracts droves of visitors daily, all looking for a shot of the famous “temple reflected in the lake”. Built in 1633 in the traditional Balinese style with the typical multi-levelled straw roofs (meru), the complex of Ulun Danu Bratan is, in part, built on the shore and, in part, floating on the water. The principal temple, dedicated to the goddess Shiva, is an eleven-level tower placed on a tiny island named Lingga Petak. On the facing shore is the rest of the temple with a seven-level structure dedicate to Brahma. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to visit during the anniversary celebrations, an occasion for festivities that occurs twice a year, during which the temple is completely adorned for the occasion. Also highly recommended are the tiny local strawberries, available from vending booths lining the street.
An ancient Hindu pilgrimage destination: the Tanah Lot Temple
Thousands of religious pilgrims, visitors and photographers crowd the area of the legendary Tanah Lot, the Hindu temple which floats over the sea, built on a rocky island which can only be reached at low tide.