Lake Bratan, Indonesia

Lake Locations:

Indonesia -

Also known as:  Bratan Lake , Beratan Lake, Danau Beratan

Lake Bratan’s water temple, the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, is one of the most-photographed cultural features on the Island of Bali. The Hindu temple, built in 1663, appears to float on the lovely lake. In actuality, the temple is sited on dry land with parts of the structure on small islands. That is only fitting as the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Balinese water gods. The second-largest lake in Bali, Lake Bratan provides much of the irrigation waters for the large numbers of vegetable farms and rice paddies in the Bedugul region of Bali’s central highlands. A cool and refreshing change from the lower and more humid coastal beaches, the Lake Bratan area is a must for any Bali visitor desirous of green forests, waterfalls, mountains and natural scenic views.

Lake Bratan is embraced by the ancient crater rims of the extinct Mount Catur volcano. The caldera lake is nearly a thousand acres in size and surprisingly shallow for a crater lake; the maximum depth is only 72 feet. At 4,039 feet in elevation, Lake Bratan occupies a cool niche excellent for regional farming. The area grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, coffee and strawberries. The remaining peak of Mount Catur rises to the east of the lake and is a popular spot for tours and hiking. The village of Bedugal on the southwest side of the lake acts as a local tourism center. Along the south shore of the lake, a number of boating and water sports facilities offer boat rides, boat rentals, and rental equipment for water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing and paddle sports. The lake is used for swimming, but there is little information on local public beaches. Locals fish in the lake but it is not recorded as to what species they ordinarily catch.

The Village of Bedugal holds a few modern hotels and numerous small homestays and guest houses. Many restaurants and cafes offer a variety of traditional cuisine. Just west of the villages of Bedugal and Candikuning, the Bali Botanical Gardens stretch across 389 acres of plantings including over 2000 species. Besides being dedicated to conservation, research and education, the Bali Botanic Gardens also offer the Bali Treetop Adventure Park with six circuits of ziplines, bridges, nets and ‘Tarzan’ jumps, some suited to children as young as four. The park is often chilly and weather conditions can change rapidly, so warm clothing is advised.

No one leaves Lake Bratan without a stop at the Bukit Mungsu Market located in Candikuning. Here, visitors can buy fresh spices, fruits, vegetables and locally-handcrafted art. The area also has ‘pick-your-own’ strawberry fields, along with a variety of terraced fields growing cool-weather fruits and vegetables. Most visitors tour some of the most scenic sights in Bali’s highlands by renting motorbikes to tour the many narrow mountain roads. A car and driver can also be engaged. Public transportation is somewhat unreliable and often overcrowded with people carrying food products and small livestock to and from markets in the area.

Nature tourism is on the rise in this area of Bali; many visitors arrive to hike in the lush green mountains. Mount Catur is a well-known and reasonably easy hiking destination; easier access is available to those who cover part of the distance by car. Mount Lesong and Mount Pohon are also popular for trekking. Opposite Bedugal on the other side of the lake are three large caves dug by forced labor at the direction of the Japanese during WWII. Local drivers acting as tour guides can usually be found to take tourists to the infamous spot. The Bali Botanic Gardens are a popular birding spot, with numerous species enjoying the wide variety of plantings and carefully cultivated ecological spheres. A growing number of homestays and guest resorts cater to eco-tourists, offering a wide variety of activities and treks geared to any interest area.

Most visitors will want motorized transportation available so they can visit the other two large lakes in the Bedugul region. Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan are also caldera lakes located not far away. At one time, the two lakes were one water body, but a landslide separated them around 1800. South of Lake Tamblingan, most visitors make a trip to the mountain village of Monduk. From the Monduk Market, one of the most breathtaking accessible waterfalls is less than a mile’s walk away. The 650-foot falls are most impressive during the wet season, with the sulfur-laden waters favored as a natural treatment for skin diseases. The views over the mountain landscape are everything one could imagine mountain Bali to be.

South of Lake Bratan about 14 miles, the Angseri Hot Springs offer warm bathing both in the public pool and in private bath cabins. Several picturesque temples can be seen in the area in addition to the one at Lake Bratan. Another temple dedicated to the water gods is located near Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan, although not quite as eye-catching as the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. And, although this is primarily a Muslim country, there is a small bar near the botanical gardens. No proper resort area would be complete without a good golf course, and Bedugul is no exception. The Bali Handara Country Club northwest of Lake Bratan offers a world-class golf course and luxury lodgings to visitors.

Lodgings are plentiful near Lake Bratan-and in a wide range of accommodations. Lower-cost lodgings are often in the form of homestays and small guest cottages. Visitors should be forewarned that many such lodgings do not include heat, so bringing a sleeping bag is always a good idea. For more reliable amenities, it may be best to work with a reputable tourism agency to make reservations. Camping is allowed in several areas, but local expertise should be relied upon to find the best-and safest-areas. The Lake Bratan area is a place where your visit may be most enjoyable if you can stay a few days to see all of the sights, rather than the usual whirlwind, one-day tour from the south coast. Many a foreign visitor has fallen in love with the area and found a local villa to rent or buy in the area. There are even lakeview condos that may offer lodgings for a week or more. Now is the time to cross that Bali visit off your bucket-list.

Things to do at Lake Bratan

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Parasailing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Birding

Lake Bratan Photo Gallery

Lake Bratan Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 928 acres

Shoreline Length: 8 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,039 feet

Maximum Depth: 72 feet

Water Volume: 161 acre-feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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