Climbing Mount Batukaru is not the only way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Bali’s central highlands. The foothills of Batukaru are crisscrossed with a number of nature trails leading though the lush rainforest, the UNESCO world heritage listed terraced rice fields around Jatiluwih, coffee and cocoa plantations.
The scenery here is widely regarded as the most beautiful in Bali and with the wide diversity of flora and fauna to see along the way, trekking in this regions is wonderfully rewarding. Noted for its colourful butterflies and birdlife, the area is also home to crab eating long tailed Macaques, leaf eating monkeys, small deer (Kijang), ant eaters (pangolin), civets and their nocturnal cousins called lubak.
There are a range of treks to choose from and with some taking as little as 3-4 hours to complete and requiring only a moderate level of fitness, there is a trek to everyone, including families with young kids. As the maze of trails aren’t marked you really need to engage a local guide or one of the many tour companies offering all inclusive guided walking tours. It takes about 1½-2 hours by private car to reach Jatiluwih from Kuta or Ubud so a half day trekking tour can be easily incorporated into a day trip including the nearby temples or a visit to hot spa. Alternatively, consider staying in the region for a night or more as there are a number of lovely mid-range to high end eco-resorts and retreats nestled among the foothills.