Pura Lempuyang Temple In Bali: Gates Of Heaven & Volcano View
The Pura Lempuyang Temple has become an internet legend, thanks to the epic ‘Gates of Heaven’, which look like a picture frame for the sky and Bali’s Mount Agung volcano.
Aside from being one of the most prized Instagram photo spots in Bali, the Lempuyang Temple is also considered one of Bali’s oldest and most revered temples. It’s definitely worth a visit even if you aren’t an Instagrammer.This travel guide will explain how to get there, and everything you need to know before you go!
Pura Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang Temple sits on the steep slopes of Mount Lempuyang, with great views of the Mount Agung volcano in the distance, framed by a striking stone gate (dubbed ‘Gates of Heaven’).
Sadly, the great view also means it draws crowds of tourists every day. There’s a queuing system now, and (unless you get lucky) you may have to wait 1 or 2 hours to get pictures taken at the gate here. It’s crazy.
If you’re seeking peace and quiet, the good news is that there are other temples in the Lempuyang complex (7 total) that you can visit by hiking further up the slope. They also have great views of the Agung volcano too, although not quite as iconic as the first gate.
If you do the full loop hike to all the temples it takes several hours, but the main temple with the famous gate and stairs is just a 5 minute walk from the parking area at Pura Lempuyang.
When I first visited Lempuyang as a solo traveler in 2017, it was completely empty except for a few locals. I was the only tourist! The social media effect has changed things rapidly.
We came back to Lempuyang during the 2020 Corona virus pandemic (when the Indonesia borders were closed and tourists were mostly gone from the country), and it was another rare opportunity to enjoy the temple without crowds.
Lempuyang is considered one of Bali’s most sacred Hindu temples, and I think it’s one of the most photogenic too. Even the stairs (above) are great for photos.
The Mirror Trick
You’ve probably seen pictures of this place on Instagram showing the gate and clouds with a perfect mirror-like reflection (the ‘Gates of Heaven’).
I hate to break it to you, but there is no pool of water here. Those reflection pics are all trick photos done with a pocket mirror. An ingenious local guy sits here all day and takes the same picture for everyone that comes through.
Still, that doesn’t make the photos look any less amazing, in my opinion! I say go for it, but consider giving the guy a little tip for his help.
Best Time To Visit
If you want the very best photos, you’ll need to come to Lempuyang before sunrise, when the Mount Agung volcano isn’t hidden by clouds yet. There will be lots of other tourists at that time, so you’ll need to arrive well before sunrise, probably around 5 AM.
If you’d like to avoid the crowds and still get some good photos, then the best time to visit is in the late afternoon before sunset, when most of the Instagrammers are gone.
There’s no entrance fee as of 2020.
Instead, you’ll be asked to give a donation of your choice. We gave 20k IDR (~$1) for two and this was okay.
If you ask one of the locals to take your pic using the mirror, you might want to give him a small tip too!
How To Get There
Lempuyang Temple is located in Karangasem, in the far eastern corner of Bali island.
The best place to base yourself for this is the Amed coast, since it’s only a 30 minute drive to Lempuyang. If you start from touristy places like Ubud and Canggu in south Bali, it’s a full 2 hour drive to Lempuyang.
Keep in mind the last part of the road to Pura Lempuyang is steep and winding, so take it easy!
Bali Private Driver & Motorbike Rental
If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with a driver, my top recommendation would be Klook.
Their price is 450k IDR ($30 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a steal.
If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 85k IDR (~$6) and include a helmet, rain coat, and pickup in the south Bali area.
We've used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.
What To Wear To Temples In Bali
You’ll need to wear a sarong to enter most temples in Bali, including this one.
A sarong is a traditional skirt you tie around your waist, that can usually be rented on the spot for a small fee like 5,000 Rupiah (less than a dollar).
In this case, the sarong is included for free in the ticket price for the temple.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Valomia Beachfront hotel on Amed Beach for 265k IDR (~$18 USD) per night and loved it. We got a clean double room with cold A/C, good WiFi, and a very comfy bed.
Best of all, the hotel is located directly on the beach near the good restaurants, massage places, etc. When you walk out the door, you're literally standing on the beach staring at a volcano!
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.
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