You’ve found yourself in central Bali, near Munduk in the Buleleng Regency, and looking for things to do? One of the must-see attractions is the ‘Twin Lakes’, the lakes of Buyan and Tamblingan which became separated in around 1800 as a massive landslide cleaved the original lake in half. Whether you’re just looking to get a photo at the viewpoint, want to check out the nearby Wanagiri swings or actually keen on trekking the area, we’ve got you covered with this guide to the Twin Lakes Bali.
We’ve separated out this guide for those looking just for the viewpoint details, those trying to do a trekking or hiking tour around the lakes and also for people looking for other activities in the area.
Read next: The perfect one week Bali itinerary!
History of the Twin Lakes
Okay, geography lesson about to commence!
Indonesia’s islands were created by volcanic activity. In many volcanic areas you’ll find that eruptions created ‘calderas’ – large cauldron-like hollows (that look like craters), which are formed when large volumes of magma leave the volcano’s chamber and the chamber collapse in on itself.
The Twin Lakes of Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan form part of a caldera made by the Bedugul volcano. So, when you’re standing at the Twin Lake Viewpoint you’re actually standing at the rim of an extinct volcano!
The twin lakes themselves used to be one lake before a huge landslide separated the two in the 1800s.
How to get there
Generally most people wanting to visit the Twin Lakes of Buyan Lake and Tamblingan Lake are spending a night or two in neighbouring village, Munduk and visit some of the other attractions we’ve listed at the bottom of this article.
However, you can also include the lakes as part of a Bali island tour. In this case, they are handily located near four other main tourist landmarks: Pura Ulun Danu Beratan temple, The Handara Gate, Wanagiri Hidden Hills (the selfie park) and the Munduk Waterfalls.
We’d really recommend getting a private driver or a full day tour package for Central or North Bali– we’d recommend this one from Get your Guide for their impeccable service and customer support.
If you’re coming from further afield, getting to the Twin Lake Bali will take about 45 minutes – 1 hour from Lovina, 2 hours from Canggu and 90 minutes from Ubud (in case you need it, we’ve got the perfect 3 day Ubud itinerary for you).
In terms of its location, it’s pretty hard to miss in the area. However, if you’re looking for details of the viewpoint itself, it’s marked on the map below.
The viewpoint is actually on the same road as Wanagiri Hidden Hills and is called ‘Bali Twin Lake Trekking Point’.
Note: If you’re travelling on a scooter or motorbike, be warned that Munduk is relatively hilly so you should feel very comfortable on a bike if taking this route!
Entrance fee for the Twin Lake
We’ve got a bit of good news for you. The Bedugal Twin Lakes is absolutely free! Whether you’re wanting to just visit the viewpoint or actually hike around the area, there is no fee to enter.
It’s a nice change from the rest of Bali where every waterfall and activity has a guy in a booth awaiting your hard-earned Rupiah, that’s for sure!
The Twin Lakes Bali Viewpoint
First up, the viewpoint. To be honest, the Twin Lakes lookout is little more than a concrete platform – but, perhaps, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Located just off the main road near Wanagiri Hidden Hills, the viewpoint is a raised concrete structure that gives you a fantastic view across the two lakes. And bonus: you don’t even need to take more than 5 steps from parking your motorbike or car!
The viewpoint is really just a photo spot but its an easy stop, so worth it.
As above, you can find the specific viewpoint near Wanagiri Hills and marked as ‘Trekking Point’ on the map.
Hiking the Bali Twin Lakes
If you’re up for a bit of a hiking trip, you can of course walk around the lakes themselves. Either this can be done as a guided tour – either booked through your hotel in Munduk (preferred if you are staying there), or through a local Twin Lake Bali tour operator like Bali Jungle Trekking – or you can self-guide it.
It’s usually better to pay for a guide, since they’ll organise a dugout canoe which takes you to two ‘hidden’ jungle temples – the Telaga Aye Temple and Dalem Temple. To get to these hidden gems is usually not possible without a guide.
If you do decide to do it sans local guide, you’ll still see lush jungles, local birds and perhaps even some naughty macaque monkeys hanging in the trees.
Looking for more to do in the Twin Lakes? You can rent a kayak or even go fishing near the lake. Talk to your hotel, driver or guide to organize this for you.
When to go
The best time of year to visit the Twin Lake and its nearby attractions is between June to August, when it’s not very hot and also not raining. We visited in October and while it was a bit warm, most of the walk is in the shade and so quite bearable.
If you are going in the rainy season make sure to wear sturdy shoes (the paths can get quite muddy) and pack a rain jacket or poncho!
Where to stay
We’d highly suggest you spend a few nights staying in the area near the Twin Lake, in Munduk Bali. It’s one of the less touristy parts of Bali and full of fantastic things to do. It doesn’t have too many luxury options but is well worth a few nights, at one of these locations:
Luxury: Top of the pile is the breath-taking Munduk Moding Plantation. The spectacular views from the pool, the well-appointed suites and the impeccable service make this the property of your dreams.
Mid-range: Lesong Hotel is the pick of the bunch. It’s not located right in the village, instead located in nearby ricefields but this means it has a serenity you won’t find in the centre (which has quite a lot of barking dogs and morning roosters!)
Budget: We’re big fans of Nadya Homestay, the highest rated budget accommodation in the area. Wonderful, helpful staff, a great on-site restaurant, killer views and a comfy bed. What more could you ask for?
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a local guide to visit the Twin Lakes?
No. It’s cool to get a trekking guide but you can do it yourself.
Insider tip is to download maps.me beforehand and download the offline area map, which is very helpful when navigating. Or, make like us, and just ask the locals you encounter, who are all very helpful!
What should I pack for the Twin Lake Bali?
We recommend a few key things if you’re doing the trekking:
- Hiking sandals or shoes. You can get away with flip flops but it’s not advisable. Similarly, sneakers would work fine but might get soaked during your waterfall visit.
- Sunscreen. It’s hot in Bali and the sun is quite fierce.
- Waterproof bag or camera cover. If you’re heading to the nearby waterfalls, you’ll want to get some of the cracking shots close-up, you’ll want to ensure you have a waterproof casing for your phone or camera, or that you can quickly dry it off and put it in your bag.
- Water. Keep hydrated on the hike.
Can I buy food or drink at the Twin Lakes?
There are a number of food and snack stalls along the main road, near the viewpoint. These are great in that they have raised seating platforms so you can even admire the view for the price of a Bintang.
Bonus: Activities near the Twin Lake Bali
If you’re made it to the Twin Lakes, you might as well use your time to visit other places in the area. Here are a few ideas to add onto your day tour.
Wanagiri Hidden Hills
It’s on the same road as the viewpoint, so why not make a stop at the selfie park, Wanagiri Hidden Hills.
Are you a keen instagrammer? You can get ALL the shots you need with one swift trip to Wanagiri Hidden Hills, a selfie park a few kilometres drive from Sekumpul waterfall.
It has bamboo nests, Bali swings, wooden boats – you name it! At time of writing, it cost about 100,000 IDR (7 USD/5.50 GBP) per person, which includes someone to help you take your photos. You can check out the full guide to Wanagiri Hidden Hills here.
Munduk Waterfall Hike
Some of the most beautiful (and untouched) waterfalls in all of Bali are in nearby Munduk. More than this, they are really walkable since you could see all four in a two hour hike.
Even if you’re not staying in Munduk village, you can walk the waterfalls: Golden Valley Waterfall, Red Coral Waterfall, Labuhan Kebo Waterfall and Melanting Waterfall. If you need more info, you can check out our full guide to the Munduk waterfalls.
Recommended: What’s the best waterfall near to Ubud?
Want another Instagram shot? Head to the Handara Gate. Essentially this is the entrance to a golf estate that became pretty renowned for photographs using a reflective surface or ‘mirror’ as an optical illusion.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
This famous water temple near the Bali Botanical Gardens is an easy stop on an itinerary near the Twin Lakes. The Ulun Danu temple is great for photographs (it is set out on the lake), and for walking around the grounds for an hour or so.
Entrance is 10,000 IDR (0.75 USD / 0.50 GBP) per person.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Okay so maybe you’re already heading to Tegalang Rice Terraces near Ubud? Well you should still visit Jatiluwih as well! 600 hectares of rolling rice fields; it’s known as the ‘king’ of rice terraces in Indonesia.
The entrance fee is 40,000 IDR ( 2.75 USD / 2.25 GBP) per person.
Luwak Coffee Plantation
Keen on tasting coffee that’s been digested through a ‘civet’, a cat-like animal that loves to chew on coffee beans? Head to a coffee plantation in the area.
Even if you’re not keen on the ‘cat poop coffee’, you can do a normal coffee and tea tasting, including delicious variants like hibiscus tea, peanut coffee and even even a ginseng coffee that is absolutely dreamy!
We loved the plantation tour since the whole experience was entirely free. They only ask for a tip for the waitress and if you decide to purchase a cup of ‘cat poop coffee’, that usually sets you back around 50, 000 IDR.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour
If you’re interested in volcanoes and trekking, you’re probably keen on the trekking near Mount Batur, the highest volcanic crater in Bali. Usually this involves a very early morning pick up so you can watch the sunrise – think 2am!
It’s worth the money – you’ll trek for about 90 minutes to the summit and be blown away by the vistas below.
One of the best tours for Mount Batur is this one – it usually gets sold out quickly, so book your tickets ahead.
Lovina Beach Dolphin Tour
Disclaimer: We didn’t do this one ourselves. We did head to Lovina Beach but we didn’t love the idea of chasing dolphins in the water. That said, many people make the dolphin watching at Lovina beach part of their North Bali tour itinerary.
The Lovina Dolphin Tour price is usually 50 GBP / 65 USD if you include it with the nearby waterfalls and temples – check out this option here.
What camera equipment and other gear do we use?
We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.
- Main Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
- Drone: DJI Mavic Air – Fly More Combo
- GoPro: Hero 7 Black
- GoPro Dive Case: Go Pro Housing
- GoPro Case: Smatree GoPro Carry Case – Small
- Packing Cubes: Eagle Creek Packing case
- Backpack: Osprey Farpoint 70
- Powerbank: Anker Powercore
- Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9
- Hard drive: Transcend Slim Storejet 2TB
- Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad 720s
- Headphones: Bose Quiet Comfort 35
- Wifi Hotspot: GlocalMe G4
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