TREKKING MOUNT BATUR VOLCANO FOR SUNRISE IN BALI, INDONESIA
There is nothing better than a sunrise above the clouds. No matter where you re staying in Bali, trekking Mount Batur for sunrise should be on every adventurer’s to-do list. The 1.5-hour hike up the volcano in the dark leads you to a view of Mount Agung Volcano as the clouds light up below you at first light. It’s a magical way to spend a morning in Bali, Indonesia. In this blog post, I will share all of the details you need to know before your Mount Batur sunrise trek and detail my experience.
WHERE IS MOUNT BATUR VOLCANO
Mount Batur Volcano is in the north of Bali in the Kintamani District. It is about a 2-hour drive from Canggu/Seminyak and about one hour from Ubud. Mount Batur height is 5,600 feet above sea-level, which is 1,707m of altitude. Also known as Gunung Batur, it is one of the most active volcanoes in Bali along with Mount Agung, which is visible from the summit.
HOW TO GET TO MOUNT BATUR
The best way to get to Mount Batur is by booking a sunrise trek, which will include your transit in the van with the rest of your group. Alternatively, you could rent a moped for $5-6 per day and drive up to Mount Batur. Keep in mind it will be freezing driving in the morning for several hours. Although the weather in the south can be warm at night, it gets quite cold in the north and you can trust me (I’ve made the mistake before) even a big jacket and pants won’t be enough to keep you warm if you are driving at 3 am in the north!
MOUNT BATUR TREKKING COMPANY
Get Your Guide is generally the most reliable tour agency in my opinion and who I use when I book tours. With over 1000 reviews on their Mount Batur trek and daily tours, this is definitely the most popular tour for sunrise trekking up Mount Batur. You can check the latest reviews and see what other travelers think. Your guided tour includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel and a basic breakfast at the top. A headlamp and poncho can be purchased/rented at the hike entrance.
Book your sunrise trekking tour up Mount Batur: Click Here to Book Now
BEST TIME TO TREK MOUNT BATUR/ MOUNT BATUR WEATHER
Bali is a paradise island but it can also be a very wet island. It’s best to plan your Mount Batur sunrise trek for the dry season, which is roughly starting in May until September. That isn’t a hard and fast rule and don’t feel like you can’t visit Mount Batur outside of those months but that is the optimal period. It isn’t necessarily going to be dangerous if wet, it is more so that you might have more clouds and rain at the summit where you are trying to enjoy the beautiful sunrise!
It can get quite cold on the trek so bring a warm jacket but layer up as once the sun has risen it will be hot. A big tip is to bring an extra t-shirt so when you get to the top you can switch out your sweaty shirt and replace it with a dry and warm one. This will help keep you warm in the wind at the top.
MOUNT BATUR DIFFICULTY
Mount Batur is quite short. The first half an hour is relatively flat for a volcano trek. It does get quite steep for about 45-minutes and some people struggled a bit but for the most part, it is a moderate trek. If you take lots of breaks it is quite a moderate trek. You can take a motorbike almost the whole way to the summit but it definitely isn’t necessary. It’s a volcano hike for the non-hikers and much easier compared to the quad-burning Mount Rinjani on Lombok.
The entire hike took us around 5 hours but we took an insane amount of photos and stops. You could really do this hike in 3-4 hours without rushing.
MY MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE TREKKING EXPERIENCE
At 130 am I met the crew in Canggu and we sleepily bundled into the van and headed towards Ubud to pick up the rest of the group. It took us a couple of hours to reach the entrance to the hike. I think it was about 2.5 hours from Canggu until we made it to the jump-off point. Here we assembled, organized our gear, headlamps and had a quick briefing before we set off in the dark at around 4 am.
It was quite cold and most people were wearing a jacket and pants but I was in shorts and took my jacket off to start the hike as I knew it wouldn’t be long before I warmed out and started sweating. A headlamp was necessary as the ground is uneven throughout the entire hike.
The first 20-minutes of the hike is pretty flat and we powered through that section in the dark before having a quick rest. The trail was pretty busy with lots of groups also making the sunrise trek. I think a few hundred people were also on the trail although most are moving at a similar pace so there aren’t too many hold-ups until near the summit.
The second half of the trek gets quite steep and is a good morning workout. The trail turned into a series of natural steps and there were a few slips as we made the final ascent to the summit.
The sky was now starting to show some color and we made it to the summit just in time for sunrise to witness the beginning of the Mount Batur Sunrise. At the summit, there are lots of benches and huts. It’s quite a set-up and not very natural at all but at least it is organized. That doesn’t mean it is clean. The litter on Mount Batur was pretty insane and we were actually up there doing a cleanup and collected 25 huge sacks of trash.
The sunrise turned out to be beautiful. We had a strong layer of clouds below us with Mount Agung peaking out over them and we could even see across to Mount Rinjani. As the sun came up, the layer of clouds turned yellow, orange and red and Mount Batur slowly took some light as well. It was all over pretty quickly but it was a sunrise to remember. I love being above clouds for sunrises and sunsets and they are always interesting.
We had a hot chocolate at the summit and depending on your tour, some people had a basic breakfast prepared in small kitchen huts. Lots of monkeys hang around the summit for the scraps but they are quite friendly compared to the monkeys at the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
The nice part about the hike was that we actually took a different route down and it was incredibly scenic. We followed a crumbly ridge around the edge of Mount Batur sliding our way down. After about thirty minutes we left the ridge and came to a beautiful view of the idyllic Lake Batur. It doesn’t seem like the Bali we know and is almost a forest atmosphere. I almost forgot I was on a tropical island for a little bit.
From this viewpoint, we headed down the switchbacks until we made it back to the parking lot for the long, tired drive home. We arrived back to Canggu just after midday.
Mount Batur sunrise trek was an incredible adventure and for something that only takes a morning, it’s no wonder the expedition is one of the most popular tours in Bali.