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Mount Batur Sunrise Trek Tour to Volcano in Bali

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About Mount Batur

Mount Batur is one of the three volcanoes on the iconic Bali Island of Indonesia. It is a sacred mountain for the local people and should be treated as such by everyone. Rising 1,717 m / 5,633 ft above sea level, it is far from being the tallest mountain on the island. As a matter of a fact, it is not even the highest point of the Batur volcano system. The highest point of it is Mount Abeng at 2,151m / 7,057 ft, also known as the twin peaks. The mountain is the most dominant feature throughout the whole Mount Batur Sunrise Trek, standing right in front of the tallest mountain in Bali – Mount Agung (3,031m / 9,944 ft).

Another dominant feature of the scenery is Lake Batur. It is situated between Mount Abeng and Mount Batur in the caldera of the latter. If you look closely you can clearly see the mountain ring surrounding the holy volcano, and Mount Abeng is also a part of it. In fact, about 30,000 years ago, Mount Batur was about 4,000 m / 13,123 ft tall mountain. It was much higher even than the Mout Agung itself. The caldera we see today is the perimeter of the ancient Mount Batur before one unfortunate day when it did explode. We can only imagine the force capable of destroying such a big mountain. The current day Mount Batur is just a result of the further volcanic activity in the area. Unsurprisingly, Mount Batur, and other volcanoes in Bali, are a part of the volcanically active area known as the ring of fire.

Mount Abang is actually a part of the Batur caldera. I was once a part of the greater Mount Batur. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Geologically speaking, Mount Batur caldera is a truly exceptional place. It was recognized in 2012 by UNESCO, which added the caldera to Global Geoparks Network. Even if you are not interested in science, these geological processes resulted in fascinating landscapes, whose beauty could be appreciated equally by everyone.

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Trek Details

Map of Nusa Penida

Crater of Mount Batur. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Is Mount Batur Sunrise Trek Difficult?

In short, the trek wouldn’t be considered a trek but a hike by the people who are more experienced and love spending time in the mountains. To others, it might be a bit more difficult, depending on your physical shape and stamina. Generally, I think anyone can do Mount Batur Sunrise Trek, just a bit of self-confidence and wisdom is required.

Probably the hardest part of Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is waking up in time. How much you get to sleep depends on the location of your accommodation. For example, it takes about 1h15min to reach the sunrise trek starting point from Ubud. Given that during the season, the sun sets in Kintamani between 6h15 – 6h40 AM, you’ll be picked up between 2h00 – 2h30 AM. If you live further from Mount Batur than Ubud, you’ll have to wake up even earlier. If you want to sleep as much as possible, you should consider taking accommodation in the Kintamani area.

The trekking company is going to organize a driver to the foot of Mount Batur where you’ll meet your guide. Before starting the sunrise trek to Mount Batur, he will do a short brief while you enjoy your morning coffee and use a bathroom if required. Most likely you’ll be provided with a flashlight and trekking pole, but there is no guarantee. If I was in your place, I would make sure that this is the case.

In the mountains, the right pace is always the safe pace. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The Sacred Mountain

People who are used to Hiking in the mountains might be unsatisfied with the fact that you need to hire an agency and a guide to climb the mountain but this is not only about giving jobs to the locals. Mount Batur is a sacred mountain to Balinese people. If something bad happens to anyone on this mountain, the locals will have to perform some rituals to cleanse it from the bad spirits. Further on, it is not only about your safety but making sure that the tourists are respectful of the mountain. Like it or not but this is how it works in Mount Batur. If you are in Rome, act like Roman.

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The lava field from the tragic 1968 eruption is still clearly visible today. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

How Long Does it Take to Climb Mount Batur?

The climb should start between 3 – 4 AM. It will be pitch dark until you reach the peak of Mount Batur because that is the whole purpose of the trip. For inexperienced people, it might sound complicated and dangerous but that is not the case. The road up to Mount Batur is relatively easy and most of it could be done by a crossroad motorbike. The main danger from a technical point of view is not to get too relaxed because it is still possible to slip if you don’t look where you walk. Everything is possible in the mountains if you are not careful.

Climbing Mount Batur could be separated into two parts: First, crossing the forest; Second, traversing up the mountain above the treeline. During the latter, you’ll start to see the potential of the jaw-dropping vistas but they’ll appear clear only when the sun has risen.

The whole climb should take up to 2 hours. The speed depends on your strategy. I’ve seen people climbing very fast but it only works if you can do it without taking extensive breaks. My style is slow, therefore I climbed Mount Batur with ease and made a few stops just to drink or embrace the views. Mount Batur has a big crater, offering enough space for everyone.

Every morning, about 300 people gather on Mount Batur to embrace a magical sunrise. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

On the Top of Mount Batur

Every night, about 300 people gather on Mount Batur to be the first in Bali to see the Sun. The ones who get there too fast are in danger to get cold before the Sun is able to warm them. The peak of Mount Batur reaches 1 717 m / 5 633ft, the temperature here is much lower than in the towns and resorts situated closer to the sea level. In case you are not prepared for the temperatures, there will be local people renting blankets and selling hot drinks. Your guide is probably going to provide you with some breakfast, while you watch the spectacle of nature.

Once the run has risen, you’ll have some time to explore Mount Batur caldera and make some photos of the beautiful scenery. It is very likely you are going to see some monkeys before going down. They come for breakfast as well.

People hiking on the edge of Mount Batur caldera. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The Descend

Going down the mountain was more difficult than going up. Mostly for big crowds heading down at the same time but also the lack of experience kicked in as well. Many people were not keeping a safe distance. Maybe out of stupidity or ignorance of the fact that the ground at this hour was much more wet and slippery than during the night. Going down always sounds easy, therefore many people get too relaxed. All factors combined, people were slipping and even falling left and right. In the mountains, the correct pace is always the safe pace.

Once you get down the mountain back to the starting point, the guide will lead you to the driver, who’ll return you back to your hotel, or place of choice. Combining the Mount Batur sunrise trek with hot springs after the trek is very popular but not mandatory. I, personally, went straight back to my hotel in Ubud to which I arrived just in time for breakfast at about 10 AM before taking a nap to regain my strength.

Jungle forest on the foot of Mount Batur has a different feel and smell compared to the usual jungle found elsewhere in Bali. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

After 2 hours of sleep and a relatively easy ~700m / 2,300 ft climb and 4 km / 2.5 mi hike to Mount Batur, you get to enjoy a sunrise in the setting which is not that easy to find anywhere else in the world other than Bali – Lake Batur, Indian Ocean, Mount Abung and, of course, Mount Agung. Everything from an active volcano crater.

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Photos of Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

After all, I believe most people climb the sacred mountain for the breathtaking views and only photography can capture a fraction of this magical show of nature that happens every morning on Mount Batur.

How to Pick Mount Batur Sunrise Trek Tour?

Though there are different options, most people do the same route from the western foot of the mountain, which happens to be the easiest one. If you don’t have much experience in the mountains, or if it is your first time on Mount Batur, I would suggest taking this route. Further on, you can choose from two different options for Mount Batur Sunrise Trek. 

Both options are curated by the trusted tour company – GetYourGuide. Not only do they guarantee the quality of these tours but offer a free cancelation up to 24h before the tour date and a refund if you are not satisfied with the tour.

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Personal Trekking Experience

I loved the views, even if the weather was not perfect. I loved hiking up the mountain at night and descending through a jungle forest in the morning. The setting is just perfect for nature lovers. The only thing I didn’t like was crossroad motorbikes on the same road as trekkers.

I, for once, got to enjoy Bali in my way. The serene mountain forest silence is like music to my ears. The best meditation you could get, no need for rituals or religious stuff, but, of course, that is just my cup of tea, not necessarily yours. Luckily, Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is the most famous thing to do in Bali for many different reasons. I’m sure you’ll be able to find yours.

Yes, I’m eating an egg boiled on a volcano. Photo by A.L. [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots
All content and photos by Alis Monte, unless stated differently. If you want to collaborate, contact me on info@ctdots.eu Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

What Can I do to Protect Mount Batur?

Unfortunately, it is up to monkeys to clean up the mess that we leave on Mount Batur every day. Shouldn’t be the case. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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