The day I hiked Mt. Batur was one of the best days I had in Bali. Mt. Batur is an active volcano with an elevation of 1,717m and its last eruption was way back 2000. In 2012, UNESCO made Mt. Batur a part of the Global Geopark Network.
How to Book the Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek Tour
My new-found friend (I met him on the plane to Bali!) and I scouted for the Mt. Batur sunrise trek tour in the traditional market vicinity. You will find lots of stalls offering this tour in Ubud. After several hours of looking around, we found one stall we liked and we were able to haggle for a bit. Eventually, we got the tour for 325,000 rupiah.
You can also find several agencies offering this tour online.
What to Expect during the Trek
On the day of the tour, I was picked up by a shuttle bus from my hotel at 1:45am. Pretty early, right? I didn’t mind it at all. I was excited and ready.
We had a pre-breakfast stop in the middle of our journey where we had wrapped fried banana and a cup of hot tea. At around 3:45am, we arrived at the base of Mt. Batur where we were met by our guides (2 locals).
By this time, I was already surprised (and disappointed) by the number of tourists huddling around with their guides. There were hundreds of us still at the the foot of the volcano and I could also see several hundred others who have started ascending hours before.
After a few minutes, we were handed our flashlights and breakfast packs (1 boiled egg, 2 sliced bread, 1 banana, and a bottled water) and we started our hike at around 4am. (No proper orientation?!)
I have done a bit of mountain trekking in the past, and I’d have to say that the Mt. Batur trail is my least favorite. I am one who enjoys a peaceful scenery. This trail was quite the opposite of that. Because there were a lot of tourists along the trail, there were several huffing and puffing; slipping and sliding on the way to the top. At one point, I actually thought that we were like sheep being herded. I also found the trail to be a dangerous one: the volcanic soil was very, very loose and slippery and the rocks were unstable, too.
The trail was a combination of both easy and hard parts, but everyone can make it to the top. Of course, you can pause along the way (the second guide was the sweeper). Since the folks from my group were hardcore, we only paused twice – and they were both one minute each. I did take a break, though, when we were on the last (yet the hardest) part of the climb. The rest of the team went ahead. I arrived at the sunrise point a good 15 minutes after.
Fitbit Check: By the time I reached the sunrise point, my fitbit logged 30,499 steps, 10.88km, 2,355 calories burned, 162 floors, 198 active minutes.
When we made it to the top, 4 from my group remained at the sunrise point while the other 3 climbed another 20minutes to another sunrise point. The 4 of us found a spot where we put our cameras for stability. A few minutes later, sky started to give a bit of a saturated, sunrise hue. I was super excited.
We were told that the views are never guaranteed. However , it was an awesome day.
Another few minutes later, the sky started to brighten up a bit. The sunrise was beyond beautiful and mesmerising.
Behind this was the crater. We heard a little “roar” from the ground. It turned out to be a little landslide and we saw smoke coming out from the crater.
Black lava from the volcanic eruption.
When the sun came up, the monkeys showed up as well. They’re a bit aggressive. Make sure sure to hold on to your backpack and food. They are very cheeky!
Monkeys make great subjects for photos.
Monkey looking chill on top of a little temple.
On the way down, we took a different route. It was longer, but more scenic than the first trail. We passed by the Batur village on the way down. We saw farms and different vegetable plantations.
It was already hot when we left the foot of the mountain. The view on the way back to Ubud was beautiful! I believe the place is called Kantamani. We saw Mt. Batur from a different perspective.
We passed by Tegalalang rice terrace (I wasn’t impressed) and we also stopped by a Luwak farm (I’ll write about this one soon). Having luwak coffee was a great way to end the Mt. Batur sunrise trek experience.
-You can only find restrooms at the base of Mt. Batur. The restrooms were super dirty and stinky! If only I could relieve myself behind the bushes, I would.
-Wear proper attire. I wore my yoga leggings and drifit shirt. On the way up, I took off my shirt off and only wore my sports bra because it was too hot. It’s a bit chillier at the top. A jacket will come handy.
-Give yourself a favor and wear a good pair of shoes. I wore my trusty vibrams and it didn’t fail me.
-If you’re like me who is always hungry and thirsty, bring extra snacks and water. I didn’t like what were served but I still ate them anyway.
-Stay awake as much as possible on your way back to Ubud. The Kintamani view is magnificent!
Overall, the Mt. Batur sunrise trek was an unforgettable experience. I’ll probably do it again, but I will only do it with people who have the same pacing as mine. Perhaps, I will also consider doing the downhill bike tour. I heard it’s great, too!
I can only hope that the government will impose strict rules on littering. Tourists who go there should also be mindful of their trash.