The tranquil Sidemen valley is also a hub for local adventure treks. You can choose from a wet and wild rafting experiencing on the Telaga Waja River or join a guided trek up Bali’s highest peak, Gunung Agung. Guests can book these tours through our staff at the Villa Sing Ken Ken.
Sideman is dominated to the east by the brooding presence of Mt Agung, an active volcano which climbs to an impressive, 10.308 feet. Often its peak is obscured by cloud but the foot of the mountain is only about an hour away from the village. Scaling Mt Agung however involves a serious 4-6 hour climb but once at the summit, trekkers are rewarded with one of the most breathtaking views in Bali.
There are two main routes up the mountain and the sunrise tours are the most popular. You will need a guide to help you negotiate the steep track to the summit and tours are usually organised in small groups. Trekkers set off at 11pm from the guest house to make sure they are at the summit when dawn breaks and the mountain mist parts to reveal a stunning 360 degree view of the island with vistas out over the Lombok strait and beyond. After a simple breakfast on the top, you will begin the climb back down arriving at the guesthouse around six hours later.
Gunung Agung last erupted in March 1963, covering the entire island with ash. Villages and of course the rice fields nearest to the volcano were destroyed by the flows of lava and volcanic mud that spewed from the mountain. Today, the mountain is safe but the huge jagged crater at the summit is a reminder that Agung remains a sleeping giant.
To prepare for the climb make sure you have proper walking shoes, cold weather and/or wet weather jacket as the temperature during the night can be cold. Your guide will have torches but it’s wise to have your own and take water and snacks to help keep you going during the climb. Take a hat and sunscreen for the descent.
On the southern slope of the mountain at around 3,000 feet, sits the Pura Besakih, known as the Mother Temple. Comprising a series of 23 separate temples, Pura Besakih is the most important temple in Bali and dates back to the 14th century. Miraculously, the temple was not destroyed during the eruption of 1963. The temple is visited by Hindus from around the world and many ceremonies are held there throughout the year given its status, the temple is an extremely popular tourist destination so be prepared for crowds of visors, hawkers and guides.