The sun was climbing over the horizon revealing Lake Batur and the caldera hundreds of meters below. Mist hung low over the lake, hugging the hills. I had woken up at 4am, climbing Mount Batur in the darkness to reach the top of the crater. Sitting at the top of Mt Batur with a cup of hot tea in my hand I felt privileged to be here.
Mount Batur volcano is located in the province of Kintamani, Bali. Its peak is 1,717 meters above sea level. Mount Batur trekking is one of the most popular activities for adventurous tourists visiting Bali (and with good reason). Let me share with you exactly what to expect and how much you should pay if you decide to climb Mount Batur yourself.
Mount Batur Trekking
The most popular time to trek Mount Batur is for sunrise. The trek to the top of Mount Batur starts at 4 am. You can read about my experience hiking the volcano here. If you are staying in Ubud and joining a Mount Batur tour you will need to get ready at 3 am. If you are joining an arranged tour from Kuta or Seminyak then you will need to wake up between 1 am to 2 am.
Preparing for the Hike
Mount Batur is not a very hard climb, however you do need to be reasonably fit to attempt the climb. It takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half to summit the peak of Mount Batur. Here are a few things that you should think about as you prepare for your Mount Batur trek.
- Bring a Headlamp: You’ll be provided with a torch by the guides for the climb, but a good headlamp leaves your hands free (which is good as the grounds very rocky).
- Wear Layers: You won’t get cold as you climb Mount Agung, but it’s cold at the top of the volcano. Make sure to bring a coat or a warm jacket for the top while you wait for sunrise.
- Wear Good Shoes: You don’t need special hiking shoes (running / fitness shoes are ok) to trek to the top of Mount Batur, just make sure that you don’t bring flip flops.
- Bring a Snack: Bring a snack/energy bar or some water for the climb. It will give you some energy when you get to the top. If you don’t bring a snack you can always buy food at the top of the volcano (careful with the price!).
Arranging a Guide
Mount Batur has an official Trekking Association. To climb Mount Batur you will need to hire a tour guide through the Trekking Association. The Trekking Association has an office at the base of Mount Batur. If you are arranging the hike yourself you will need to visit these offices before starting the climb. If you are joining an Mt Batur hike then you will meet your guide when you arrive at the volcano.
The cost for a guide for Mount Batur is around Rp 600,000. The ratio for guides to tourists is roughly 1 guide for every 3 tourists. Although it is possible to hike Mount Batur without a guide I’d definitely recommend having one for the walk to the top of the volcano, especially if you’re hiking Mount Batur for the sunrise.
Climbing Mount Batur
Depending on your fitness level the climb from the base of Mount Batur to the peak takes between 60-minutes to 2 hours. On a starry night it’s easy to see where you’re going as you climb. The first part of the climb has a gentle slope, though the surface is uneven, rocky and sometimes sandy.
Mount Batur volcano actually has two peaks. It takes about an hour to climb to the first peak. There’s a small building where you can rest and relax. Some people will relax a bit too much and never carry on, but that’s ok.
From the first peak to the second peak is another 30 minutes to an hour. This part of the climb follows the ridge of the volcano. The path is no more than a few meters across and it gets tiring as you near the top of the volcano. I managed to do the whole climb to the peak in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
When you finally get to the peak of the volcano it’s time to relax and unwind (a bit). Most people gather in groups close to the edge of the crater so they can get a good view of the sunrise. There’s also a volcanic steam (people usually boil eggs here) and small warung where you can buy a hot cup of tea and some noodles. It’s overpriced, but if you’re cold it could be just what you’re after.
The view from the peak of the volcano is really special. From the top you can see the whole caldera and the crater Lake. Watching the sun slowly creep up over the horizon and the changing colors of the landscape makes the whole experience worth it.
Sunrise from the top of Mount Batur volcano is over quite quickly. Within 15 minutes the sun has risen over the horizon and the temperature starts to slowly rise. If you joined one of the longer treks you will start to walk the entire circumference of the volcano after the sun rises. For most of us though, this is the end of the adventure and it’s time to return slowly to the base of the volcano.
As with most climbs, the return journey to the base of Mount Batur volcano is a lot easier and quicker than the trek up. Even after stopping to take photos, it took a little more than an hour for me to get back down to the bottom of the volcano. As you climb down you’ll see a lot of monkeys that live on the slopes. They are good for photos, but I wouldn’t recommend getting too close.
By the time that you reach the bottom of Mt Batur volcano you’ll be quite tired and the temperature will have started to get quite hot. It’s a good idea to bring a sun hat, though this really isn’t essential. As an insider tip, I’d definitely recommend visiting one of the hot springs around Batur Lake. It’s the perfect way to relax after a long climb.
Hiking Mount Batur
I hope this article gave you an overview of what it’s like to Hike Mount Batur. If you like a beautiful sunrise I’d definitely recommend Mount Batur trekking. The Kintamani region looks amazing and from the top of Mount Batur you can see everything. I’d definitely recommend this experience if you’re visiting Bali and you like climbing.
If you want to join a sunrise tour of Mount Batur I can help. I’ve teamed up with a local travel agency and independent local drivers to offer to offer a complete Mount Baur sunrise trekking package.
Included in the package:
- Pick up at Hotel
- Transport to and from Mount Batur
- Knowledgeable local driver
- Local guide
Press the button below to find out more.
I reply to every enquiry personally and only ever recommend tours I would join myself. Look forward to hearing from you.
Have you climbed Mount Batur? What did you think about the experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.