Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking | Should You Climb An Active Volcano?
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is something you should not miss when you are in Bali. It is a caldera with an active volcano in the Bangli region of Bali, Indonesia.
For years, it has been a popular choice for trekking tours for the amazing experience of watching the sunrise on top of an active volcano. Others call it Mount Kintamani, or simply Kintamani.
Situated in the northeast of Bali, Mt. Batur is considered one of the most beautiful calderas globally. A caldera is basically a large crater formed from the collapse of a volcano’s mouth.
Batur is 13.8 by 10 kilometers in size. Within mount Batur’s caldera is an active volcano surrounded by a lake.
The volcano itself is 700 meters in height from the base of the surrounding terrain. Last September 2012, Batur Global Geopark was classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO due to its natural scenery and cultural significance to the Balinese.
This is why it is given how this place is so popular among tourists from all over the world.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek Overview
Due to its popularity, there are many trekking tours you can join that will provide a tour guide to hike up Mount Batur.
If you are confident you can wake up early to drive up the mountain towards the trek starting point, you can expect a mildly challenging trek filled with adventure and awesome views.
The hike will start before dawn so expect some dark hours, but it will all be rewarding once you finish the sunrise trek.
Here are a few things you should know before hiking to Mt Batur:
- The highest point of the mountain is 1,717 meters (roughly 5,633 feet)
- The volcano located at the center of the crater is active and can erupt anytime
|Duration||The hike from the base of the volcano towards the peak is about 2 hours.|
|Difficulty||The hike is not very strenuous and can be done by beginners that are physically fit. Some areas can be steep but are not very dangerous overall.|
|Best Time to Hike||The best time to go is during the dry season – from April to September every year. However, some tours are organized all year round since the trail is not very difficult and can be done as long as there is good weather.|
|Accessibility||Mount Batur starting point can be accessed either from Ubud – about 1.5 hours driveSeminyak – about 2.25 hours drive|
|Start Locations||Mount Batur starting point|
|Required Permits/Fees||The retribution Fee or Entrance Fee per Person is IDR 100,000 or 6.5USDTour Guide Fees can range from IDR 350,000 – 1,200,000 or USD 23 – 80Package Tours that include transportation to and from your hotel can start at IDR 1,200,000 or USD 80|
|Hike Essentials||Good walking shoes, appropriate hiking clothing, flashlight or headlight, food, water, and sunscreen|
How hard is Mount Batur sunrise trekking?
You don’t have to be a professional climber to be able to hike up Mt. Batur.
Unlike the challenging Mount Agung, Mount Batur is only a 700-meter climb up. However, it is also not advisable for anyone who suffers from heart problems or respiratory illnesses.
In effect, you still need to prepare for the trek.
How to prepare for your hike to Mount Batur?
- Improve your overall physical health. Even though the hike to the volcano is only 700 meters high above the ground, it is still a challenging activity for the novice. If you are suffering from any cardiovascular diseases, make sure your body is conditioned for the hike. By no means should you arbitrarily do this trek without any kind of preparation?
- Do some cardio workouts like running, jogging, walking long distances, or climbing up the stairs about 2 weeks before the hike. You need to do an activity daily 2 weeks before the actual hike. If possible, prepare even longer if time permits.
- Make sure to set aside time for rest before your hike to the mountain. It is relatively easy for experienced hikers. However, it does not mean it will not tire you out. Resting your body and putting it in good condition before the hike is paramount.
What To Expect in Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking?
Fully-guided hike up the volcano
Apart from the required retribution fee of IDR 100,000 to enter Mount Batur, you basically have free reign on how you want to approach this hike.
The most common route is to get a full trekking package that starts with a pick-up service from your hotel.
You get a professional tour guide and possibly some gear like flashlights or walking sticks. This option is the priciest one, but also the most convenient.
Some opt to get a tour guide once they arrive at the starting base. This means you need to figure out how to get to the base yourself.
This is fairly easy since the ride is not that long and public transportation is available. Moreover, there are also a lot of rental facilities and transport providers that specifically cater to tourists who want to go to Mount Batur.
This is still a good choice as long as you make sure your tour guide is competent and really knows his way around.
Pro tip: Make sure to ask around for typical prices before you actually go on your trip. This prevents overcharging and will also help you prepare some cash in advance. There are no ATMs in the mountains.
Access to the Hot Spring
Apart from the famous sunrise-watching experience, you also get to enjoy a dip in a hot spring.
The volcano in Mt. Batur is active – thus, it creates an endless source of naturally-heated water. At Toya Devasya, you can relax in a hot bath while looking at the landscape of the Batur caldera.
Their main pool is like an infinity pool that connects you to the lake surrounding the volcano.
Toya Devasya is a popular resort in the caldera offering not only the hot spring but a total package of activities that will make your visit to Mount Batur fun-filled.
They have water slides within the resort, offer camping facilities, serve local-inspired cuisine, rent out rides to tour the area, and even provide water sports all within Mount Batur.
A Visit to the Coffee Plantation
After a beautiful sunrise on top of the volcano, you can also add a coffee plantation tour to your itinerary.
You will head over to the area after your descent and will have an exclusive tour around the plantation. You can learn how coffee beans are grown and processed.
There is the local staff that is always happy to answer your questions about their products.
Naturally, you also get to taste different kinds of Balinese coffee that they offer without charge. While drinking your coffee, you can learn about the history and local culture of Mount Batur from the staff.
It is a good side trip for those who like to interact with the locals. Your tour guide will also be able to provide some added trivia about the areas you visit.
If you want to taste their special coffee like the Luwak variety, you will need to pay around IDR 50,000 per cup.
White Water Rafting
Another add-on to your Mount Batur trip is white water rafting. This is considered an extreme sport so it’s not for the faint of heart. You will need to get insurance and sign waivers for this activity.
Not far from the base of your descent from the top is the Ayung River – where you can experience white water rafting at its finest.
After paying the fees, you will get a guide, a raft, and some safety equipment. You cannot proceed to the activity if you do not wear a helmet and life jacket.
You will get your own paddle and locker for your things. If you want to bring them with you, there is also a waterproof bag you can use.
Once you have all your gear, a shuttle will pick you up and take you towards the riverside for about 10 minutes.
You get to walk through a rice paddy and then your adventure begins. Once you are done, a car will pick you up to the changing area and restaurant where you can relax after collecting your things.
You can also enjoy local food while waiting for your ride back to the hotel.
10-minute Volcano Steamed Egg and Monkeys
A novel activity some tour guides in Mt. Batur cooked up is the preparation of snacks for its tourists. Instead of the typical sandwiches or ready-made meal packs, you are presented with freshly boiled eggs.
There are several volcanic steam vents at the top of the volcano that can cook up a batch. After about ten minutes, you get to satiate your hunger with a nutritious and unique snack.
Another really rare but fun experience is meeting some playful monkeys during your hike. Some are friendly enough to get close enough to you for a photo.
Thus, make sure to get your camera ready at all times because you never know what may happen during your adventure.
Tips to Make your Mount Batur Trekking Experience Unforgettable
Don’t forget your camera! While it is romantic to say that experience in itself is enough for memories, a few dozen of photos couldn’t hurt. The first tip is to bring a really good quality camera. The sunrise view at the top is really breathtaking – also ever-changing in just a matter of minutes. As the sun goes up, you will notice changes in the shades of color, giving you a different sight every time. Our second tip is to not bring a tripod. Why? Imagine dozens of people crowding at the peak, some your tour mates, and others from other tour groups. It can be quite hectic so a handheld camera should do. Besides, it’s added weight too.
- Waterproof all your items, including your clothes. Not that this is a must, but the weather can sometimes be unpredictable especially when you’re 1700 meters closer to the sky. Even if it doesn’t rain, it’s good to protect your stuff from your sweat or any liquid that may come across it while you hike.
- Wear comfortable, workout-suitable clothing. If you can be picky, choose one that is light and doesn’t accumulate sweat. A breathable top should do. Bring along a jacket in case the weather turns cold all of a sudden. Wear comfortable workout leggings or pants. Anything that will give you good mobility but also protection from the sun’s rays and anything you might pass by on the way to the top. And most importantly, use hiking shoes with a good grip.
- Use a medium-sized knapsack or backpack. Do not bring too many unnecessary things. Keep your luggage to a minimum. This will save you some added effort going up the trail too. The heavier your baggage, the harder the climb. Choose a sturdy and waterproof or water-resistant bag. It may not rain, but it doesn’t hurt to prepare.
- A tour guide is a must! Do not even attempt to do this solo or with friends without any local guide. Even If we mentioned that the hiking trail is not very challenging, it is not easy enough to do without experience. First, make sure you get a guide so that you can communicate easily. If it’s English you speak, be sure to get an English-speaking tour guide. Second, get someone from a reputable agency or tour provider. Third, join a group if there are only a few of you. Part of the experience is to mingle with other tourists and possibly locals. You will find there is new to learn through new interactions too.
- Have breakfast at the top. It’s a chance to rest your tired feet and a good way to prolong your stay. The views change dramatically over several minutes due to sunrise. The longer you stay, the more changes you will notice. It is a fun but relaxing way to have your breakfast, don’t you think?
In conclusion, is Mount Batur worth it?
Definitely! The chance to be able to see a UNESCO world heritage site up close and experience its impressive sunrise views is not short of majestic. You can visit Bali just for this and still think your trip is worth it.
The wonderful thing about this hiking route is that there are a lot of side trips you can add – all of which provide a unique experience of Bali’s culture and heritage.
Not to add the playful elements of the monkeys and the boiled egg. Thus, if you are contemplating a trek in Bali, Mount Batur should be first on your list.