A Full Review Of the Mt. Batur Sunrise Hike
When you get to Bali, Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is one of the things that is always recommended to do.
But it comes with a price of waking up at 2:00 in the morning.
Is it worth it?
You also probably have other questions about what it’s like, how to prepare, how long takes, etc. and I am here to answer them.
This adventure was a part of my Southeast Asia Itinerary.
Where Is Mt. Batur Volcano?
Mt. Batur, also known as The Kintamani Volcano, is an active volcano located in the northeast region of Bali.
Yes, you read that right.
It is the most active volcano in Bali and has in fact erupted 30 times.
The Mt. Batur volcano last erupted in 2000.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: Difficulty
As a mildly active person, The Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is pretty challenging but not impossible.
If you really are trying to catch the sunrise, you have to be able to keep going in a consistent pace because it the second half of it (about 45 minutes to an hour) is all uphill.
Not to forget that you will be hiking in the dark and you will probably be all groggy and tired since it is so early in the morning.
Another added difficulty to keep in mind is the elevation gain of 2,000 ft.
This volcano sits at 5,633 ft.
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Mount Batur Hike Distance
The entire hike back and forth is a little more than 4 miles.
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Mount Batur Trekking Guide
I did the Mount Batur Sunrise trek with my husband and a guide.
The trekking guide was a part of our tour.
We did not go with a group, so we had a legit personal guide.
Do you actually need a guide?
The answer is no because like any hikes, you are able to figure it out on your own.
A lot of locals informed us that it is illegal to not have a guide, but I am thinking that is a sales tactic to get tourists to sign up for tours.
I have seen mixed information on this.
As always, please do additional research.
I had such a great experience with our guide!
He was a young local student in Bali who told us that he was also trying to practice his English.
Tourism is one of the biggest drivers in Bali’s economy and when hiring local guides and drivers, you are essentially contributing to the community’s livelihood.
Reasons you should hire a guide:
- Knowledgeable of the shortcuts to get to the summit
- Can warn you when it will become crowded
- Motivation for you to keep going and can monitor your pace and make sure you are going fast enough to actually catch the sunrise
- Can make sure that you take breaks and knows when and where to take them
- Can provide the history about the Mt. Batur Volcano and the city itself
- Can help you take pictures
Overall, hiring a guide will make your life easier and you will not have to worry about whether you are breaking the law or not.
I highly recommend doing this with a tour since it includes transportation and food.
Yes, we hiked a volcano at 2 am and continued to tour the rest of Bali until about 5 pm.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: The Ascent
Pick up was around 2:30 and we got to the hike around 4:30 am.
We came from Ubud.
Most tours pick up from all other cities Canggu, Seminyak, and Kuta.
The sunrise is a little before 6 am, so we had to hike on a consistent pace.
It’s pitch black, but you will see all the other sleepy group of hikers trekking the ascent alongside you.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is quite flat and rocky for the first half.
Around the halfway point, you will see the hikers gather around a warung.
You will see this all over Bali and Indonesia in general, but a warung is a local restaurant, shop, or café.
You can buy snacks and drinks and take a quick 15-minute rest here.
After you hit this point, it becomes very challenging because it is all incline from here.
This is where it starts to get crazy because you will see motorbikes going up and down this steep climb to the Mt. Batur’s peak.
I honestly thought I was dreaming.
If you are not able to climb anymore, you can hire someone to get you to the top on a motorbike.
I remember it being an extra $20-30 USD.
So, while you continue to hike up, you will have to make way for the motorcycles going up and down.
I have never seen that in my life and did not not realize that was possible.
I wish you could have seen the shock and worry on my face thinking that this is an accident waiting to happen, but it truly is a part of the experience.
The moment we reached the summit, we were welcomed with plumes of steam coming out of the little crevices of the volcano.
We made it.
Unfortunately, as the sun was rising, the clouds decided to block the view and we did not get the full effect of the sun changing colors in the horizon.
By the time the sky cleared up, the sun was already above our heads.
Nevertheless still a magical experience watching the sun illuminate the view all around us including the crater of the volcano.
It gave me some lion king vibes for sure.
You will encounter some monkeys that may or may not steal your food.
Once you are at the peak, you can take pictures, eat, and appreciate the panoramic beauty around you.
You can even boil an egg from the volcanic steam.
Overall it took us about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to the top.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: The Descent
The descent is in a different much easier path.
It also took us about 30 minutes faster than the ascent.
You will encounter some loose gravel and slippery spots, but nothing that is impossible.
The path leads you through the forest and a wonderful view of Mount Agung.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: Accessibility
As I have mentioned above, this is not an easy hike.
However, if this is within your comfort level, you can hire someone to take you up on a motorbike.
Note that you will still have to trek a bit closer to the top as the dirt bikes are not allowed at the summit.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: Food
Feel free to bring your own food and snacks.
There is a small store midway through this Mount Batur sunrise trek where you can buy snacks and drinks.
Our tour included breakfast which was hard boiled egg, fruit, and a sandwich.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: What To Bring?
I wore what I usually would wear to hike which were a shirt and shorts, but it was very cold even at the foot of volcano.
I remember regretting not bringing a jacket.
I remember someone was selling a jacket by the entrance, but my cheap self did not want to spend the money.
I had to use my microfiber towel as a makeshift jacket.
Here are my recommendations on what to bring/wear when doing the Mount Batur Sunrise trek:
Jacket or raincoat
Shirt or long sleeves
Hiking shoes (some parts were muddy, so bring a pair that you won’t mind getting dirty)
Headlight or flashlight (*our guide provided us with a flashlight)
Blanket or scarf (again, it was cold)
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: Cost
The price varies for this tour depending on the tour company that you go with.
Ours was a part of a larger all-day tour, but we still had to pay for a guide to this hike, and we were able to get the local discount.
We paid $45 each which included transportation, food, and guide.
I recommend bundling this excursion with an all day tour.
The prices varies from $35 all the way to $150.
We found our local guide through a friend who has previously toured Bali, so we did not go through an actual tour company.
This is pretty typical in Bali where you can hire a local driver to take you all throughout the island (for multiple days if desired), and they also serve as your tour guide.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: Is It Worth Waking Up Early For?
Despite the fact that it was still cloudy when we summited and did not get the full sunrise experience, I still highly recommend it.
Plus, you get bragging rights for hiking an active volcano.
The weather is something that we cannot control.
I had a friend who did that same hike, and she got rained on so her experience was different.
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Are you planning on trekking Mt. Batur to catch the sunrise?
I hope this in depth Mount Batur Sunrise Trek helped you make a decision.
If it was not convincing enough, you can also always hike the volcano during regular hours.
But there is something about waking up early and getting to the summit at sunrise.
And you definitely won’t know that feeling until you do it.
Let me know if you have any questions, and I am always happy to answer them!
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS:
- Southeast Asia Planning and Itineraries
- Klook to book tours and activities
- Shop My Favorite Travel Items
- How to Save Money For Travel
- How to Plan A Trip
- How to Avoid Overpacking
- How To Travel As A Couple
- Travel Insurance through World Nomads