The Twin Lakes: One of The Grand Landscapes of Bali
Lake Buyan (the bigger one, on the left) and Lake Tamblingan (smaller one, on the right), separated by a thin strip of land, are logically known as the Twin Lakes. This fantastic landscape is the result of the forces of nature.
A Volcanic History
Indonesia is a volcanic archipelago. Indonesian islands were deeply molded by volcanic activity and Bali is no different. What we are actually looking at here is the northern part of the caldera of the extinct Bedugul Volcano. The road and this viewpoint are on the rim of this caldera.
What’s a caldera, you ask? A caldera is a depression (most of the time with a circular shape) that is present in many volcanic complexes. When a major eruption occurs, the magma chamber get drained partially or fully. The now empty magma chamber can no longer support the weight of the top of the volcano, and it collapses. Another good example of an Indonesian caldera is the one of Mount Bromo.
For a complete picture, I must mention the third lake of this caldera, Lake Beratan. With its temple, it is one of the most visited spots in Bali.
Originally, the Twin Lakes were one single lake but around the year 1800, a massive landslide cut it in two parts. Today, the two lakes are about 2 km from each other.
The whole area is covered by pristine rainforest, sustained by the rich volcanic soil and a constant humidity. We are here on the Balinese Highlands – the Twin Lakes are located at an altitude of about 1200 m (4,000 ft). This results in a cooler climate that is very appreciated by the visitors who can escape the tropical heat of the seashore and the rice fields.
Lake Buyan is Bali’s second biggest lake, the first one being Lake Batur (in the caldera of the Batur Volcano).
Address: Jl. Raya Pancasari, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia
GPS: 8°14’48.10″S, 115°6’0.96″E
Best way to go: Include it in a tour with car and driver or rented car
Duration of visit: Photo stop
Best season: April to October
Visiting The Viewpoint
Coming from the southern developed areas of Sanur, Denpasar or Kuta, here we realize what Bali really is about. Grand Nature, like about the whole Indonesian Archipelago. It was a choice of the authorities to dedicate the south of the island to cities and large scale tourism, and leave the rest of the island less urbanized.
This stop over the Twin Lakes is often part a tour in the northern part of Bali, frequently including the Gitgit Waterfalls, the Banjar Hot Spring pools and the Brahma Arama Buddhist Monastery.
You can also visit the Twin Lakes with Lake Beratan for a full tour if the caldera. The humid jungle-covered mountains are often caught in the mist and the atmosphere is very special and peaceful.
For geographical convenience and therefore to limit the time spent on the road, this tour is best done from the north coast. A good option is Lovina, which is a popular place to stay for tourists. Ask your hotel or guesthouse to call a driver and negociate a good price for you. Renting a car with driver in Bali is very common and it is probably the best way to tour the island. For a day, expect to pay from 40 or 50 USD.
Visiting the Twin Lakes
I am showing here the viewpoint but if you have some time and want to explore the Twin Lakes a little more in depth, it is possible! Its preserved nature makes this area a wonderful playground for all kinds of activities. Trekking in the forest, canoeing, fishing… all these can be done with most local travel agencies.