Many tourists make a quick, guided daytrip to see this 5,000-foot, still-active volcano near the northwestern village of Kintamani—but it’s a much better idea to rent a car and driver, and take your time getting there. This will allow you to stop along the way at the artistic villages of Celuk, Mas, and Batubulan where Bali’s famous sliver-workers, wood-carvers, and stone carvers practice their crafts. You’ll know it’s time to park and get out the camera when you see a sign for “Penelokan”; follow it, and you’ll come to a viewing area set at the edge of the crater. From here, you’ll look out across the spectacular Lake Batur, green coffee and clove plantations, and the soaring, still-smoldering cone of the volcano.
Tip: Avoid the mad lunchtime rush, when the crowded “Kintamani Tour” looses crowds of tourists on the viewing area. Instead, arrive after 3 pm, and you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.