The first things to pop up in your head when you hear the word “Bali” is probably the beach or surfing. Indeed, this island is full of amazing beaches and great waves but, if you are open to other ways to ‘submerge’ yourself, you will find that Bali also has many natural hot springs to explore. The best part is, Bali’s hot springs also promise to bring natural ways to heal and nurture your body!
It is believed that by bathing in a hot spring, skin conditions such as psoriasis or muscular pains, and arthritis may be relieved. These bubbling waters are composed of a variety of different, identified minerals, which may be beneficial for circulatory disorders and also attract many people with bronchial disorders who claim the combination of steam and minerals provides breathing relief. Now, what could be better than relaxing in a natural hot spring while healing your mind and soul at the same time? There are many iconic things that come to mind when you picture hot springs, but my last journey took me to two of Bali’s best.
My first stop was Banjar Hot Spring. Settled in the midst of the jungle, this has to be penciled into your schedule if you are travelling in the north side of the island. Banjar Hot Spring is located in Buleleng, a 3 hour drive from Denpasar. It’s easy to find, with clear signposts to the hot spring visible from the main road of Banjar Village. Keep an eye out for the words “Permandian Air Panas”, or hot spring baths. Before the entrance, you’ll notice an abundance of shopkeepers trying to sell you handicrafts, souvenirs, shirts, etc. Don’t feel obliged to buy anything, just prepare IDR 5.000 in your pocket for an entrance fee for the hot spring.
There are three bathing pool areas here where you can swim in 38-degree Celsius of sulfuric water. The top area is the hottest, with spring water coming out of the “dragons’ mouth”, which then overflows to the second bath located in the lower pond with slightly cooler waters. The last pool has water falling from about three meters high, here the cascading waters make for a wonderful, natural back massage.
As you look around at people relaxing in the steamy pools, you simply can’t help but relax along with them. Soaking in that positive energy to keep you going for the rest of the day. Visitors are welcome to move around from one pool to another, though note to mind your step when climbing down the stairs inside the pools themselves, as they are hidden below the murky water. Best time to visit the hot spring is in the morning. Avoid visiting at midday because it starts to get crowded after lunchtime.
The following day, I went to Batur Natural Hot Spring in Kintamani. Located right next to Batur Lake, this hot spring has a jaw dropping view of the lake and mountain. The entrance fee is IDR 60.000 for local tourists, but IDR 100,000 for foreigners. The price includes a welcome drink, fresh towel, shampoo, and locker facilities to leave your personal belongings. Entering the bathing area feels like stepping into an unknown world, where everything is clouded by the steam. The sound of running water around you will calm your mind instantly.
There are 4 pools available for you to choose, varying temperatures from the warmest reaching up to 50-degrees Celsius. Here there is also a kids pool where the children can splash around and simply have fun, whilst you find a good spot in the deeper pools and submerge yourself in the heated springs, or experience the main pool with water gushing out from pipes above. There is a restaurant here at the Batur Natural Hot Spring, as well as a natural therapy spa, for those after maximum relaxation. You might as well make the most of the relatively long journey to this hot spring.
Soaking in the healing waters of a natural hot spring is one of the most effective ways to relax and rejuvenate in nature, and both of the places mentioned above are perfect for those seeking a mixture of a wellness experience tied together with a bit of sightseeing. Bali has no shortage of natural hot springs. Whether you’re looking to experience a resort-like hot springs complex just off the forest, soak in an undeveloped pool in the woods, or unwind in the seclusion of a hot spring accessible only by water, this beautiful island has it all.
Banjar Hot Spring
Jalan Banjar, Banjar Village
Batur Natural Hot Spring
Jalan Toya Bungkah Kintamani, Pekraman Batur Village, Bangli Regency