Mount Abang and Mount Agung behind
According to the Hindu believe, Mount Batur, an active volcano is one of the sacred mountains, stands at 1717 above sea levels and it is located in Batur village in the Kintamani region.
Who is it for?
You might wish to put this trek on your Bali travel itinerary if:
1. You like outdoor activities.
2. Have an average level of fitness without wanting to go to your physical limits.
3. You are an avid poster on Instagram, a hobby or professional nature photographer
4. Or you are simply curious to explore new adventures and the natural beauty Bali has to offer.How the trek started
Our day started early, very early and the pick-up from Kuta was at 2 am in the morning.
It took about 2 hours to get to our starting point. If you climb Mount Batur you will not be alone, so do not expect a “I am the only king of the world” moment once you get to the summit.
If you want to be one of the first on top of the mountain, leave earlier, by 1 am, but in that case, you will have to wait for the sunrise in the dark and this means COLD, so do bring warm clothes and gloves.
Getting a tour guide
1. Should I get a guide? – At Gunung Batur car park we met our guide and needed to register. If you booked with an agent, they will do the registration for you, which was our case. Not sure if they let you climb without a guide – to avoid any long discussions, we would recommend to just take a guide and go with the flow.
2. How much? – The price for the trip was IDR 800.000 for 3 people (it varies of course, but this gives you an idea) and included the private transfer, registration and the guide until 1 pm.
We had a good fitness level, but even If you are a person of average fitness the first part of the climb will be easy. Our guide had a torch, but we still recommend to bring your own to avoid stumbling in the dark.
3. Ask questions – Our guide started off very quickly and took the first break after only 20 minutes. Do not hesitate to mention to the guide if you do not need a break (trust us, the guides are very fit and they need far less breaks than you do) and ask questions about the terrain and everything you want to know.
Many guides are happy to share information, but might not be assertive enough, unless you ask them and show interest.
How to find a good tour guide?
1. Book through a reputable agency (some hotels have tour desks) and be careful with the small street agencies that drag you inside. They come across as very convincing and will surely tell you that their guides have done this trek many times before and that they are their own guides.
From our experience we would say, the small street agents are organized and reliable (drivers were always on time and very polite), but do not necessarily believe if they tell you they know the guides personally, because often they don’t and also hire them through third parties, so be careful.
2. We would recommend you check Facebook groups, TripAdvisor and other social media platforms, because nothing works better than word of mouth.
3. Pay also attention if an agency does just sell the tour without warning that it depends on weather conditions if the trek will go ahead.
How it’s like hiking up Mount Batur
It was a beautiful clear night, we saw Lake Batur and admired the starlit sky. Just breathing in the fresh air, enjoying a beautiful walk, listening to silent whisper of the jungle, made the trip already worthwhile.
Mount Abang and behind Mount Agung and in front lake Batur. We are not professional photographers, but it is difficult not to make amazing pictures.
We had our own drinks in our rucksack, but if you don’t want to carry heavy drinks you can buy drinks on the way, because there are catering guys carrying backpacks with drinks up the mountain.
Once we got to the second part of the climb it got a bit steeper, we just walked more slowly and paid attention to where we put our feet.
The average fit person will reach a small platform, which is not yet the highest point, in about 1.5-2 hours. Many people waited here for the sunrise, but we preferred to keep going to the very top which took another 30 minutes along a steep sandy trail and we would recommend it, because it was less crowded.
The Mount Batur sunrise trek is not a “secret” trek for the people in the know, it is very popular among nature loving tourists and of course the Balinese were able to make a business out of it, so you will find a warung at the top where you can get hot drinks (IDR 50.000), as well as fried bananas (yummy) while you are waiting for the sunrise.
Photo via flyingthenest.tv
Sitting there in the dark, being cold, hot drinks were more than welcome.
Seriously, do not underestimate the cold at that time of the day on the top of the mountain and wrap up.