Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking: a volcano hike

Read more in the Mt Batur blog post!

Mount Batur is one of the two active volcanoes on Bali. With Mount Agung close to eruption, naturally it won’t be possible to go up it. Hence we decided on conquering the less high and still0safe Mount Batur. With Mount Fuji and Stromboli under my belt, I can safely say that climbing a volcano is something that never gets old for me. Although Mount Batur is easily the easiest out of the three (pun intended).

Like Fuji, our goal is to watch the sunrise from the top, also because it would be cooler to do the hike in early hours. Here’s my experience hiking with Lakeview Hotel, booked through MJ Travel Organizer

 

*Note: I was hosted for the trip but all opinions is my own

 

 

Mount Batur Trekking Price

Mount Batur from afar bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
How do I trek up this badass?

While you can hike up Mount Batur yourself, it is not advisable to do so. I’ve read many horror stories about tourist altercation with locals, as the locals can be unpleasant to a self-guided group. And the truth is it’s better to go with a tour company anyway. Since you will be starting early and hiking up in the dark, it pays to have someone to guide you up. Not to mention transport to Mount Batur and back, as well as breakfast on the top and finding the best spot for sunrise.

waiting for sunrise on top of Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
This was our sunrise-awaiting setup

There are many tours that you can book online, and the prices vary along with what’s included. In general, if you are not going to a hot spring after the hike, you should be paying around 600,000 rupiahs per person including transport and breakfast. You can probably get away with cheaper if you try to find a tour on the ground, but as always, time is money so it depends on whether you have time! If you want to book the tour I went on, you can email MJ Travel Organizer.

If you are traveling solo or just wants to make more new friends, Trip Guru offers a sunrise trekking tour too and you can see who has signed up already.

There are tours that add a hot spring option – which was what attracted me to hike Mount Batur over Mount Agung initially. However, due to time constraint, we decided to do just the tour.

 

Mt Batur Volcano

our tour guide going down Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
This is the typical terrain (and our guide)

Located on the northeast side of Bali, Mount Batur is part of two concentric calderas neighbouring the higher Mount Agung. The volcano is still a stratovolcano, which is still active, with eruption observed since early 19th century and the most recent on in 2004. You can still see the basaltic flow as you ascend. The volcanoes of Bali are on top of the plate boundary of the Indo-Australian plate and the Eurasia plate, with the former subducting under it.

The caldera that Mount Batur sat on was formed 23.6 to 28.5 thousand years ago. Caldera forms as a result of magma chamber emptying under the volcano causing the rocks on top to collapse down.

 

Mount Batur Height: 1 717 m

Mount Batur eruption

laava field mount batur bali indonesia | laugh Travel eat
The lava field is the black part!

As an active stratovolcano volcano, Mount Batur has erupted many time in history with lava of many different compositions. This is due to magma differentiation, which happens in the magma chamber as a result of cooling and segregation over time. Hence the name strato. The lava field from previous eruptions can be seen as you descend the volcano.

 

Where to stay the night before

The closest big town is Ubud, however, if you want to get more beauty sleep then staying nearby is a good idea. For example, our tour starts from Lakeview hotel where some of the fellow hikers were staying. They got an extra hour and a half sleep. So yes, I’m jealous.

lakeview hotel bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Lakeview hotel where our tour starts

We were picked up at 2 am at our hotel from Ubud, though we made it to the hotel before 3 and we don’t technically start until 3:15 am as there is a first breakfast served at the hotel. It consisted of simple tea, cake, and fruits, and it definitely helped wake us up.

view from lakeview hotel bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
You can see Mount Batur from the hotel

After eating, we picked up our water and met our guide, who drove us to the starting point. The journey was under twenty minutes and we got there around 3:40am.

 

Climbing Mt Batur: what to expect

night hike up Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Becoming a veteran at hiking up in pitch black!

It turns out Mount Batur climb isn’t as difficult as I thought. It took us about two hours to get to the top, and I would say it’s easier than our climb up Temple Hill in Hong Kong. However, you should bring a windbreaker or wrap of some sort because it’s a bit chilly at the top.

sign going up to Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
The sign that marks the start of the trail – but it was too dark to see it (took it on the way down)

Our guide gave us a torch each and I also got a bamboo stick to use as a walking stick, but check to see if your tour include these (or just book the one I did, ha). Since we have a private guide, we can go as fast or as slow as we want. My advice is to take it slow because you have plenty of time.

temple on the way up to Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
We walked passed the temple in the dark at the start and our guide did a guick prayer

The terrain is mostly sandy, although you will encounter some lava flow (i.e. rock) that you have to climb through. There aren’t many steep places, so don’t worry about that. Although I do suggest wearing at least trainers to go up for grip.

There are two rest points on the way up, although one is practically on the summit. But don’t expect any toilets.

 

Essentials:

  • Trainers
  • Windbreaker or wrap of some sort
  • Water, torch, walking stick etc are provided by my tour and also food

 

Second Breakfast on Mount Batur

Our tour includes a second breakfast on top of Mount Batur, so after finding us a bench (yay for getting there early! We arrived on top around 5:30 am), our guide disappeared to prep.

hot chocolate at the top of Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Warming up with hot choco (actually it’s not that cold)

It was extremely cloudy on our hike day, so we were basically just looking into the clouds. On a clear day, however, you can see all the way to the Lombok Island as well as at Mount Agung. For those who want to take timelapses, this is the perfect time to start.

breakfast on top of Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Breakfast spread~

Our breakfast consists of boiled eggs, banana sandwich, and cake, as well as a steaming cup of hot chocolate (you can also have coffee or tea). Pretty fancy!

 

Mount Batur Sunrise

before sunrise on Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Initially, this was all we saw

Sunrise was around 6:15 am for us, and by a stroke of luck the cloud clear just long enough for us to see the sunrise! It was eerily majestic to watch the sun behind clouds, too.

sunrise behind clouds Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
After sunrise, all we got was this…

After sunrise and breakfast, our guide took us around the volcano top. There are monkeys who live in the area, so be careful of your belongings.

monkey on top of Mount Batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Monkey!

 

We were able to see a mountain temple, which is located inside a lava tube (form when the outer layer of lava solidify but the inside flow is gone).

temple atop mount batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
The temple in lava tube – and yes, there were a lot of people

The crater is shrouded in clouds so we can’t see far into it, and our guide told us that’s where the monkeys live. There’s also a sign in front of the caldera:

sign on top of Mount Batur from afar bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
If you want an official landmark to say you have reach the top – this is it!

You can also see where steams are rising from the ground and smell the Sulphur, and thus concluded our tour of the volcano top. We began to descend around 6:50am.

 

sulfur rising from Mount Batur from afar bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
We were able to feel the steam too!

 

 

Descending Mount Batur

lake view from mount batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
Once we got out of the cloud we could see everything!

We go down the same way we go up, but now that we can actually see it offers up some great panorama as we descended away from the cloud. To the right further back is the huge lava field, and in front is the lake.

It took us about an hour to get down so we arrived at the bottom around 7:50 am. From there, we headed back to Lakeview hotel and stopped for a few snaps of Mount Batur along the way.

 

Return to Hotel

From the hotel, we were driven back by the driver who picked us up and got back to the hotel before 10 am, which gives us some time to shower and nap before our check out time!

 

Verdict on Mount Batur sunrise trekking

group photo on mount batur bali indonesia - laugh travel eat
We’ve made it (yeah… it was easy though haha)

Overall, for those who love sunrises and volcano, it’s a good hike. While it’s not comparable to Stromboli and Mount Fuji, the difficulty level of this hike is low and makes up for it.

Mount Batur sunrise trek is one of the top activities to do for nature lovers in Bali. Here's the load down on what to expect:
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Mount Batur sunrise trek is one of the top activities to do for nature lovers in Bali. Here's the load down on what to expect:
Pin me!

Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.

2 Comments

  1. This is really helpful, such as the complete guide for Mt. Batur Hiking. I like this article and the picture of the sunrise are stunning.

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