Indonesia is dotted with volcanoes famous for sunrise hikes, such as Mt. Bromo in Java and Mt. Rinjani in Lombok. The Mount Batur sunrise trek is probably the most well-known hike in Bali, and it’s something that almost every traveler has on their Bali itinerary! Indeed, Bali’s own Mt. Batur is the most common volcano to hike for sunrise, primarily because of its proximity to Ubud and other major tourist areas in Bali, but also for its impressive views of Mount Agung (Bali’s highest peak), just east of Mt. Batur. Despite being smaller than Bali’s tallest peak, its 5,633-foot elevation and history of 18 eruptions in the last century make it a significant attraction for visitors to Bali.

When we were in Bali, we wanted to do it independently and decided not to join a tour to do so. Fellow traveler shared his experience on this guest post.

Quick Facts About Mount Batur

    • Mount Batur is a caldera volcano, meaning it has undergone collapse in the past, creating a large crater.
    • Mount Batur has had 18 eruptions in the last century, making it an active volcano.
  • Mount Batur is 5,633 feet in elevation. 
  • There is a ton of wildlife in the jungles surrounding Mount Batur, but most frequently, visitors will see monkeys around the summit.
  • Mount Batur holds spiritual significance in Balinese culture and is considered a sacred mountain.
  • The hike is considered moderate in difficulty, which means it’s suitable for any individual with a reasonable fitness level, but it’s definitely a challenge.

What To Expect: Hiking Mount Batur

Every Mount Batur sunrise adventure typically begins with an early wake-up call around 2:00 am. Despite the challenge of getting up so early, the excitement about watching the sunrise from the top of the volcano is energizing, so there is a lot of anticipation on the way to the base.

Most tour groups start in the south and make their way north towards the volcano, so if you are based in Uluwatu, then you should expect pickup to be around 1:30 am, but if you are staying further north in Ubud, it’s closer to 2:30.

It’s important to note that Ubud is usually the last stop. If you are staying in Munduk or Amed, you’ll need to book a private tour.

After everyone is loaded into the van, the first stop is for breakfast.

There are a couple of small warungs near the base of Mt. Batur, where you will join a few other groups for a quick pre-hike meal.

You should expect something simple, such as some eggs, a crepe, fresh fruit, and a choice of coffee or tea.

Prepping at the Base of Mount Batur

Mount Batur’s base is just a big parking lot, but there are a couple of vendors and a place to use the bathroom before starting the hike.

It’s super busy, and it’s strange to see so much chaos going on in the middle of the night!

Your tour guide will start handing out supplies (typically just a flashlight/headlamp), and then you’ll start walking up the mountain.

Hiking Mount Batur

Initially, the hike is gentle, meandering through local farmland on a paved path. But after about 30 minutes of walking, the terrain shifts to volcanic rock, and the path becomes steeper. This part is much more challenging, and there are even some sections where you’re forced to scramble on all fours!

The guides are usually good about allowing time for breaks when needed, but they also encourage their guests to hurry so that they can get a good seat at the summit.

With so many people climbing the mountain, getting to the top of the hike as soon as possible is crucial if you want a good seat for sunrise.

The entire climb takes about 2 hours, and you’ll know you’re approaching the summit when you can peer inside the Volcano’s caldera.

What It’s Really Like To Hike Mt. Batur: The Ultimate Guide // Sunrise hike - Mt Batur Bali Photo: Aldi Wahid Pixabay

Sunrise hike – Mt Batur Bali Photo: Aldi Wahid Pixabay

Watching the Sunrise

Mount Agung is directly east of Mount Batur, so the first light of dawn appears just over the neighboring volcano, and if there are no clouds, it creates an incredible tapestry of purples, oranges, reds, and yellows.

There are also benches along the side of the mountain where you can sit and take it all in.

The guides will seat your group and quickly go to make a second breakfast, which always consists of hot chocolate and hard-boiled eggs (boiled right in the natural vents of Mount Batur).

Both of these hit the spot in the chilly morning air.

Once the sun is fully above the horizon, the guide will usually allow about an hour for your group to snap photos, explore the summit, and watch monkeys try to steal food from unexpected tourists (no joke!).

Actually, that’s an understatement. The top is freezing, and without the hot chocolate, it might be unbearable! Make sure you pack enough warm clothes for your trip to Bali and have pants and a jacket to wear at the top of Mount Batur!

After The Hike

The descent offers a new perspective of the volcano, and the guide will usually follow a shorter path but even steeper than the ascending path.

By 9 a.m., you’ll find yourself back at the base of the mountain, at which point the guide will either drive you back to your accommodation or take you to the next stop.

The next stop is only on specific tours, which include a visit to Mount Batur’s Hot Springs. These natural hot springs are down by Danua Batur (Lake Batur) and offer a place to soak your sore muscles and continue enjoying the views of the highest peak in Bali.

Once you get back from the hike, It’s best to take it easy for the day. Most people are ready for a long nap or a session at the spa. But either way, you’re sure to be filled with a sense of accomplishment.

What It’s Really Like To Hike Mt. Batur: The Ultimate Guide // Mt Batur Bali Photo: The Pazook Travel Journal

Mt Batur Bali Photo: The Pazook Travel Journal

How To Book A Mount Batur Hike

Planning your Mount Batur hike is a crucial part of the trip since you can’t just rent a scooter in Ubud and drive yourself.

Luckily, there are many companies to choose from, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find one that best suits your needs and preferences. We recommend booking online, just so you know you’re getting the best price, and you can see user reviews and customer ratings for each company.

Klook, Viator, and Get Your Guide all offer tours, but choosing a quality company with at least a 4-star rating it wise. You should also try to find one with over 100 reviews.

You should also not know what’s included in the price. Most tours worth booking will offer transportation to/from your accommodation, a guide, entrance fees, and a light breakfast at the summit. Some may also include additional amenities like flashlights or hiking sticks.

You should also seek out a smaller group. It’s best to find a group with a limited size of 8-10 people. This ensures it won’t take forever to get up the volcano.

This tour is an excellent option if you don’t know where to start!

How Much Does Hiking Mount Batur Cost?

Hiking Mount Batur with a tour guide usually costs between $30-50 per person, but it depends on the type of tour.

For example, booking a large group tour while visiting Ubud is cheaper than booking a private tour from a region in the south.

You should also prepare to tip the guide well. The tips they receive are their paycheck and livelihood. The companies pay less than $10 to guide the tour ($2/hour). So remember to bring cash, and if they treat you well and create a good experience, be generous.

What to Wear at Mount Batur

The most important thing is to wear sturdy footwear and to dress warm despite getting very cold at the top of Mount Batur, especially between November and March (rainy season).

This includes:

  • tennis shoes or hiking sandals (no flip-flops)
  • lightweight, warm pants
  • a waterproof, lightweight jacket (just in case it rains)
  • a warm hat/beanie.

You should also back a daypack with some additional snacks, a camera, an extra t-shirt, an external battery pack, and a GoPro if you want to record the journey!

Final Thoughts: Hiking Mount Batur

The Mount Batur sunrise trek is more than just a hike; it’s an unforgettable experience you should do if it’s your first time in Bali.

The view of the sunrise over Mount Agung is worth every step up the mountain, and while the crowds can deter some people from booking the tour, most people are still glad that they chose to book it!

If you’re looking for a quality tour to book, this tour of Mt Batur is one of the highest-rated available!

Remember to bring warm clothes, and try to sleep a little before you leave since the hike is certainly challenging!

Guest Post Author

Caleb and Sarah Pasiuk are co-founders of The Pazook Travel Journal, an adventure travel blog for couples who want to make travel a lifestyle. They started writing about their travels three years ago while living and teaching in South Korea but have since quit their jobs and travel full-time.

Caleb and Sarah love slow travel. They have visited Bali multiple times over the past few years and love creating destination guides and travel tips for people on their way to Bali. You can read about more of their adventures on their website, The Pazook Travel Journal.”

Have you been to Bali? Did you hike Mt Batur? How was your experience?

If you want more trip ideas in Indonesia, check out our posts on Indonesia travel blog articles. Or, if you are looking for other Asia trip ideas, check some of the below Asia blog posts!

Interested in other hiking trips? Check out our Mongolia Altai Trek, Papua Baliem Valley Trek, or other top treks in Asia!

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