Climbing Mount Batur in Bali (A 2020 Guide)
Climbing Mount Batur to watch the sunrise is one of the most popular things to do in Bali. It’s easy to see why. A two-hour trek by torchlight, a spectacular sunrise at the summit and views of nearby Mount Agang and Mount Agung are just a few things that make this climb so special. So if hiking an active volcano in the middle of the night sounds like an adventure to you… Read on to find out everything you need to know!
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Climbing Mount Batur at Sunrise – our experience
We booked our Mount Batur sunrise hike from Ubud, as it’s the closest main tourist area from the volcano. However, this didn’t mean we avoided an early start. We were still picked up from our hotel at 2 am! The drive to the base of the volcano was two hours which included a stop off at a local cafe. When we arrived at Mount Batur at around 4 am, our small group was paired up with our climbing guide and we were all given torches before setting off on the trail. The first part of the hike was the easiest, gradient wise, yet the darkest. Yet there was something very peaceful about walking up the side of a volcano in the pitch black. And watching the long line of torch lights twinkling along the path ahead was really quite magical.
Not soon after we started the climb, the first glimmers of dawn started to appear, so we no longer had to use our torches to guide to way. The climb got progressively steeper the closer to the summit we got, with it taking just under 2 hours to reach the top in time for sunrise.
Now this was the really special part. The sunrise from the top of Mount Batur was amazing! The sun rises from behind the opposite Mount Agung, Mount Agang and the lake below creating a magical scene that truly rewards you for your hike. This was also where we ate our breakfast and where you can buy tea, coffee and hot chocolate (a very welcome treat!)
After watching the sunrise, our trek wasn’t over. We continued the hike around the crater of the volcano, some parts which we could see steaming! Now the sun was fully up we could also fully appreciate the stunning views of the landscapes all around, before beginning our two-hour descent back down to base.
How hard is it to climb Mount Batur?
Climbing Mount Batur isn’t too tough, but you do need to have reasonable fitness to do it. You need to be able to walk at a steady pace for 2 hours both ways and be quite agile as there are lots of rocks on the path. Be aware that the first part of the hike will also be in pitch black with just torchlight to guide you.
Top tips for climbing Mount Batur
- It might seem obvious, but make sure your torch is properly working before setting off on the trail. You’ll really need it once you get away from the lights of the car park
- Layers layers layers! It will be pretty cold when you start your climb, so wear a jumper or hoodie that can be shed later on.
- Don’t try and do the Mount Batur hike in flip flops or sandals. A decent pair of trainers will do though.
- Take some extra snacks with you. You will thank me when you’re at the top, I promise!
Where can you book a Mount Batur trek?
You can book a Mount Batur sunrise trek from most tour operators in Ubud. They all offer the same itinerary so it doesn’t matter too much who you go with. I booked through Ubud Sunrise Trekking who I had no issues with.
How much does climbing Mount Batur cost?
There’s no set price on what you pay to do a Mount Batur sunrise hike. It depends on which tour agent you book through and your haggling skills. I paid 350k IDR for my tour which included transport, breakfast, snacks and our trekking guide.
Climbing Mount Batur was definitely one of the top highlights of my month in Indonesia. Bali might be a great for relaxing, but if you’re wanting something to satisfy your adventurous spirit, this is one’s for you.