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
- 1 Mount Batur Trekking Price
- 2 Mt Batur Volcano
- 3 Where to stay the night before
- 4 Verdict on Mount Batur sunrise trekking
Mount Batur Trekking Price
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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:
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.
Descending Mount Batur
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
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.