Lake Beratan, also called Lake Bratan or Danau Bratan, is located in the center of Bali and is one of the island’s four crater lakes, resting in the caldera of an inactive volcano. The water of the lake is murky and deep and the surrounding mountain slopes are often covered in tendrils of mist. Due to these mystical surroundings as well as the fact that the lake is the main source of irrigation in the area, it is not surprising that Lake Beratan is a religious center and the site of one of the major water temples in Bali. On the western shore lies the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple complex, which was built in the 17th century and combines both Buddhist and Hindu features. The temple is consecrated to the water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, who is supposed to provide the surrounding rice fields with water, and thus, in addition to the many tourists, local farmers travel here to ask for a good harvest as well.
The temple, with the two multi-tiered shrines and thatched roofs, seems to float on the water in front of the beautiful highland backdrop and surely belongs to the most photographed motifs on the island, but apart from learning about the cultural importance of Lake Beratan, the area also offers a lot of outdoor activities. On the lake, water sports are popular and boats can be hired out for tours, fishing and parasailing. The caldera slopes themselves can be climbed and hiking trails offer anything from short, rather flat strolls to strenuous hour long ascents.
The lake is located in the center of Bali about 50 kilometers from the capital along the main road crossing the island from Denpasar to Singaraja. Many public busses as well as tours make a stop here, so the area is easily accessible. If you want to visit the temple, tickets to the Pura Ulum Danu Bratan are sold from 7am to 5pm.