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Hot springs are a rich source of sulphur and other minerals. This, combined with the heat of the water, results in calming effects on the mind and body, as well as tension-reducing, painkilling healing powers that have been used for thousands of years and are widely accepted as natural treatment options for various common ailments. The healing benefits of sulphur include the relief of skin disorders and irritations such as eczema, psoriasis, and rashes caused by allergies. A soak in these bubbling hot waters is known to increase circulation and stimulate the immune system. It will also help your body relax, which benefits many aspects of your health, including sleeping patterns and nutrient assimilation. The relaxation promoted by the heat and buoyancy of the water also helps increase the range of motion of your muscles and joints, making the soaking beneficial for those suffering from arthritic pain. People with bronchial disorders also claim the combination of the steam and minerals provides breathing relief.
Bali has no shortage of therapeutic thermal waters, which bubble up in hot upwellings, and have long been revered by the local people. Blessed by spectacular scenery, these natural baths soothe, cure and easy away the body’s aches and pains. What better way is there 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.
Many people come to the village of Toya Bungkah, near Kintamani, to climb Mount Batur and then ease their aching limbs by bathing in the mineral waters, which are heated by the belly of the volcano, and bubble up beside the lake. There are two main spots here, the Batur Natural Hot Springs and Toya Devasya. The Batur Natural Hot Springs, run by the local community along with mountain treks and adventure tours, offers tranquil mineral pools resting on the edge of Lake Batur as well as a lakeside pier. This is a great spot to take in the majestic beauty of the lake against the backdrop of Mt Abang. The more modern Toya Devasya Resort enjoys the same eye-boggling views and has four pools of varying temperatures, which – combined with the fresh mountain air – will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The best time to visit is in the early morning before the place gets too crowded.
The sacred hot springs ‘Air Panas’ of Banjar are set in the midst of the jungle in a beautifully landscaped tropical garden, close to Lovina Beach. Here, sulphurous hot water gushes out from the mouths of eight carved ‘naga’ (mythical, dragon-like serpents) into three pools at an enticing temperature of 38 degrees C. From the hottest, upper pool, the water overflows from the mouths of five more naga into the largest of the three pools. Adjacent is the third and smallest pool, into which healing water cascades from three-metre-high spouts, at perhaps 200 kilos per minute to provide the ultimate back massage. There is a small temple at the spot where the water wells up from the ground. Again, if you want to beat the crowds, arrive before 10am, and be sure to remove your silver jewellery as the sulphur in the water will turn it black.
The Tabanan Hot Springs in Penatahan Village, Penebel, sit on the banks of the flowing Yeh Panas River, and are fed by healing water flowing off Mount Batukaru. Locally known as Yeh Panes or Air Panas Penatahan, this is one of a collection of hot springs around the village of Penebel, with magnificent rice terrace panoramas, approximate 13km from the main town of Tabanan. 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.
Air Panas Angseri hot springs are located in the central highland district of Baturiti, Tabanan, approximately 5km northeast of Batukaru Temple. The site is locally run by the Angseri village administration. There is a main hot water swimming pool, and you’ll find a waterfall spilling down a steep foliage-lined cliff, offering a natural water massage. Alternatively, if you want to enjoy your hot spring bath in privacy and seclusion, you can opt for a private bath, of which there are several, bordered by rice fields and forests of bamboo.
Off the beaten track and surrounded by rural beauty in the village of Mengesta, 10km from the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, the hot springs of Belulang are said to be the hottest in Bali with temperatures reaching 40 degrees C. The pools are fed from water heated deep in the Earth’s crust that seeps up beneath the nearby Beji Temple. These waters are uniquely high in mineral concentration and sulphuric content, but without the strong sulphur smell. The springs are locally run by the villager administration.
Finally, the hot springs of Banyuwedang in Northwest Bali are located right beside the beach. A concrete structure has been created to contain the spring-water and form a hot water pool, making this a popular bathing spot for local villagers. The neighbouring Mimpi Resort also offers hot spring-water pools, which are open to non-staying guests. From here, you can enjoy a spellbinding vista that extends across the gentle waters of Banyuwedang Bay to the lowland forests of the West Bali National Park.
InterContinental Bali Resort’s unique brand concept ‘In the Know,’ is proud to offer insider Bali destination tips, as well as guided day trips incorporating therapeutic soaks in the hot springs of your choice.