Bali's second highest mountain is, much of the time, mainly overlooked. Batukaru is either accessible from Tabanan in the southwest or through a mountain road, the turn off just below Bedugul. The Bedugul road where you turn off at Pacung and pass through Jatiluwih is one of the most enchanting low roads in Bali. The Jatiluwih area has been designated a UNESCO natural world heritage site. You pass centuries-old rice paddies with a long unspoiled view, perhaps the most spectacular of them all in Bali, to the mountains of Agung and Batur on one side, while skirting the slopes of Batukaru on the other. The ancient terraces stand as they have for hundreds of years.
The water from the natural Penatahan Hot Springs (Yeh Panas; about 9km/5 1/2 miles north of Tabanan; Jl. Batukaru, Desa Penatahan; tel. 0361/725489; admission Rp20,000; daily 8am-6pm) near the bank of the river Yeh Ho contains sulfur, potassium, and sodium, which are effective for curing skin and some other diseases. Penatahan village has a waterfall and the hot springs comes up in the middle of a temple under the big banyan tree. According to the local lore, King Jaya Wikrama suffered from a serious skin disease. Upon the minister's suggestion, the king was taken to a traditional meditation healer who received god's blessing that a hot spring should pour from the ground. The healer asked the king to take a bath until completely recovered. To express his gratefulness, the king then built the temple on that location.