If you’re in Bali and feeling adventurous, seeing Mount Batur is a definite must do. Mount Batur is an active volcano and you can trek to the summit to catch a beautiful sunrise.
Most hotels will offer a Mount Batur trekking tour and will arrange your whole day for around 300,000 IDR, or about 25 USD. This will include a mini van to and from the volcano, a guide and breakfast at the summit. You can also find tours that will take you to a coffee plantation, waterfall and rice paddies after the trek. They’re all beautiful spots worth seeing but keep in mind, you’ll probably be exhausted after the hike.
You’ll be picked up from your hotel in the middle of the night; times vary depending on how far from the volcano you’re staying, but plan for a pick up between 1 and 2 AM. Definitely try to get some sleep before hand.
The trek itself takes about two hours to get to the top. It’s a moderately difficult hike, but if you’re in decent shape it should be no problem. You’ll be climbing in the dark so it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp if you have one, otherwise your guide will provide flashlights.
The trail starts at a low incline and gets increasingly steeper and more difficult as you near the top. It will take around two hours to reach the summit, with lots of rock climbing and views of the dimly lit town beneath. The last 30 minutes of the hike are spent climbing up slippery sand on a steep incline so be prepared to get lots of sand in your shoes!
Once you reach the top, you can find a spot to sit and watch the sunrise. Your guide will offer tea and coffee and breakfast and you can relish in a very welcome break. You’ll be hot and sweaty during the hike, but it’s a good idea to take a jacket and scarf with you, as it gets pretty cold at the top.
Then, if you’re lucky, you’ll see one of the most beautiful sunrises of your life. Don’t forget your camera! Be on the lookout as there are also some monkeys that hang out at the top.
After sunrise and breakfast, you’ll start to make your way back down. You can either go back down the same way you came up, or you can ask your guide to take you around the ridge of the volcano and down the other side of the mountain. This is recommended for some seriously stunning views!
If you take the alternate route down, be warned that the hike down is almost (if not more) challenging than the hike up. It’s steep, slippery and flanked by cliffs on either sides. If you’re afraid of heights, it will definitely be a challenge, but the views are so, so worth it.
On the way down, you’ll encounter hot steam from the inside of the volcano where you can cook some eggs and enjoy a second breakfast. This is a fun experience and a great way to get some protein in on a long, sweaty hike.
By the time you reach the bottom, it will probably be around 9am and you can then decide whether you have the energy to continue to the waterfall, rice paddies and the coffee plantation. If you do, be warned that there are 300 steps you need to climb to reach the waterfall!
If you’re after a rush of adrenaline, an amazing sense of accomplishment and some stunning views, the sunrise trek up Mount Batur is bound to be one of the best things you do in Bali. Although a challenging hike, it’s fine for kids and grandparents as well. Enjoy the adventure!