While famous for its blissful beaches and celebrity-endorsed getaways, Bali has another secret.
Set amidst sprawling rice paddies and Hindu temples, therapeutic thermal waters bubble in hot springs that have long been revered by the local people. These natural baths soothe, cure and easy away the body’s aches and pains.
Where better to soak your tired bones and indulge in one of Earth’s natural remedies, after a long day of hiking, or as a holiday reward for months of hard work?
We bring you a selection of Bali’s best hot springs, in both luxury-chic and back-to-basics rural settings that will delight you more than a hotel spa ever could.
1. Indulge in luxury at the Toya Devasya Hot Springs
Are you craving for a luxurious hot spring experience?
Photo via andraaditya
Toya Devasya in Kintamani has earned a reputation as one of the most upmarket places to submerge your bones in.
Set in elegant landscaped gardens, the pools offer immaculate facilities and the waters are clear blue and odourless – no sulphur gases here!
Also, Kintamani in the island’s northeast is a spectacular highland region where adventure is the name of the game.
Spend the day hiking up the dramatic slopes of Mount Batur or just sipping cocktail overlooking Lake Batur, then ease your muscles in the curative powers of Toya Devasya’s soothing waters – the perfect luxury remedy!
Have you ever heard of any place where time stands still?
The Tabanan Hot Springs sit on the banks of the flowing Yeh Panas River, and are fed by healing water flowing off Mount Batukara. You can bathe in the main pool on the river’s edge or dip into one of the smaller pools that terrace up the hillside.
Photo via ekakikukekok
Photo via bayu_adyputra
The hot springs are set within a landscape of sprawling emerald rice paddies dotted with local farmers hard at work, with the sacred Hindu temple of Batukara nearby.
Not only will your mind be refreshed, but your spirit will be equally revived in this retreat!
Photo via zulsdesign
3. The magical healing waters of Banjar Hot Springs
With lush, jungle-clad slopes surrounding the sacred hot springs of Banjar, also known as ‘Air Panas’, these pools are one of the island’s most popular.
Having problems clearing your pores?
Sulphuric water, believed to cure skin disease, spills from the mouths of some stone-carved naga – mythical, dragon-like creatures – into three pools at a tempting temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.
A short drive from the black sand beach in Lovina (which is similar to those you can find in Amed), you can access the pools through the village of Banjar.
It’s a steep (often slippery) climb and a bumpy horse-and-cart ride up the hillside, but it’s an adventure worth the effort! Gardens bursting with tropical foliage surround the pools and a small restaurant serving Indonesian favourites overlooks this tranquil scene of running water.
A little tip from us: If you want to beat the crowd, arrive before 10am and you can have the therapeutic paradise almost all to yourself!
4. Enjoy a private bath at Angseri Hot Springs
Don’t want to soak in hot springs full of tourists?
If you want to enjoy your hot spring bath in privacy and seclusion, Angseri Hot Springs offer private baths surrounded by luminous rice paddies.
You can even watch Balinese farmers tend the fields between forests of bamboo, palm and fern trees from your personal cabin.
A waterfall spills down a leafy cliff side into one of the public pools, offering a natural water massage. Fresh water showers are also on-site if you want to have a soapy scrub.
These springs are actually lesser-known among tourists, and half the adventure is getting there! It’s a bumpy ride along twisting, pot-holed roads and a slippery climb down the hillside to the milky green waters of the pools.
If you want to live like a local, visit on a Sunday when the Balinese gather at the pools to play and feast at the nearby warungs (small traditional local cafes).
If not, during the week you might just have the place all to yourself – raw and natural indulgence!
5. Get all heated up at the hot springs of Belulang
So you like it hot?
Then venture to the springs of Belulang, which is said to be the hottest springs in Bali!
Located in the middle of an enchanting rice paddy, the pools are fed from water heated deep in the Earth’s crust that seeps up beneath the nearby Beji Temple, and its temperature reaches up to 40 degrees Celsius.
Photo via larrycouchy
As the waters are rich in minerals believed to rejuvenate the body, locals traditionally used it to cleanse themselves before visiting the temple.
You can jump on a jeep tour or ATV bike to explore this rugged landscape – off-road along muddy tracks and through rural villages, before relaxing in the pools of Belulang in the Mengesta Village.