Your dream of hiking an active volcano might come true with Mount Batur. In Bali, Indonesia, Mount Batur is the second-highest peak on the island. Stationed northwest of Mount Agung, Mount Batur is located between two concentric calderas. Mount Batur is considered one of the most sacred places in Bali and dates back 29,300 and 20,150 years. Also called the Kintamani volcano, the Mt Batur volcano is famous for its sunrise hike that begins a little after midnight.
How To Reach Mt Batur
You can take a flight to Bali and reach Kuta. Mount Batur volcano is around two hours away from Kuta. You can take a taxi at around 2 AM if you opt for sunrise hiking.
You can also take a bus from Ubud to Kintamani which is deemed to be the fastest way. The bus ride usually takes an hour and you can book your tickets with any travel agency.
If you are on a budget, then your best option is to go to the Batubulan minibus terminal in Denpasar and take a minibus. This ride makes stops along the journey so it might take two or more hours and costs around 3 USD.
You can also hire scooter rentals from Ubud that come up to 5 USD per day but it is not advisable to do so if you are not comfortable with driving long distances in the dark.
You must reach Kintamani a day early if you are taking a bus or minibus, as when you reach at sunrise nothing will be open.
Best Time To Visit Mt Batur
Since Mt Batur volcano is active it is very important to check the most recent state of the volcano. Since 1804 there have been 22 eruptions with the most recent being between 1999 to 2000. Check for volcanic activity—even if there is the slightest chance of anything happening, then it is better to cancel the trip.
The best time to visit Mount Batur in Bali is from May to July as they are the dry months. The monsoon starts in December and extends up to March. The rain makes the surface slippery making the hike risky and the clouds might also obstruct the view.
Also Read: Do Not Miss These Places To Visit In Bali
All About The Hike
You can book an organised tour and hire a guide for the Mount Batur trek. You can travel without a guide but since it is an active volcano and the locals respect the mountain it is advisable to take along someone familiar with Mt Batur. The organised tour usually covers a minivan pick up and drop charges, bottled drinking water, flashlights, the Mount Batur entrance fee of 20 USD, an English speaking guide, and a porter. These things might change based on the company you choose, so make sure to compare and get the best deal. The guides usually tell you about the history and significance of Mt Batur but it is better to also do some research. Some of the guided tours also offer a trip to hidden waterfalls, hot springs, black lava cycling, and rafting.
There are two ways to reach the summit of Mount Batur— an easy and a difficult one. The easy one is a long route and has winding trails around the mountain. The difficult one is the fastest route as it is a straight and a steep inclined route towards the summit. The hike covers a distance of 11 kilometres and Mt Batur’s summit is at a height of 1,717 metres. There is a possibility you might feel altitude sickness, so prepare yourself. As you reach the summit you will be served breakfast if it is included in your tour. As the sun rises the monkeys around the area might join you so it is better to stay clear of them.
The Mount Batur trek starts from the villages of Pura Jati or Toya Bungkah. The hike from Pura Jati can be challenging and you might have to tread your way through lava fields. Starting from Toya Bungkah is the easy way and takes about two hours. Since the peak is famous for sunrise hiking, it will be crowded. Most of the tours stop before you reach the summit and find a rock to sit on and view the sunrise. If you want a better view you can hike till the summit and meet fewer people.
Few Tips To Make The Hike Easier
Since you will be hiking at 2-3 AM it is recommended you wear multiple layers of clothing, since the temperature can drop to 14 degrees Celsius. As the sun rises, the temperature gets warmer and you can adjust your jackets accordingly. You are also required to have adequate trekking shoes as the surface is made of hard volcanic rocks. You can also rent a jacket at the base. Additionally, please take other essentials like a headlamp, few snacks, water, rain jacket, dry bag, money, sunscreen, and a swimming costume if you want to get into the hot springs.
In Reverence For Mount Batur
You can also visit nearby villages and experience traditional Indonesian culture. You can get familiar with their craft of silver, wood and stone works. An important detail is that Mount Batur is treated with respect and part of their culture. Try not to disrespect the peak in any way. Also do not litter during the hike or when you reach the summit.