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There's more to Bali than just pretty blue beaches; for those travelers who are looking for an adventure or a challenge in Balinese nature, Mount Batur is the answer. Mount Batur is a 1,717 m high active volcano in the north of Bali that’s popular among tourists for its magnificent sunrise trek. So if you’re an adventure traveler who’s into hiking and you happen to be in Ubud or nearby, you’d probably be interested to include that hike in your itinerary. 

What should I expect?

Well, for starters, this is a sunrise trek. So, when you book, expect that your driver will come to pick you up at 1:30 or 2 AM, depending on where you’re staying. The mountain is between an hour to an hour and a half ride from central Ubud. Your driver will drop you off near Lake Batur which is the assembly point for all groups and their guides. The local guides are very professional and do this hike every day, so need to worry about anything; you’ll be in safe hands.

The hike will start at 4 AM and it should take you around two hours to reach the summit. Then, you’ll have some time to enjoy the beautiful sunrise up there while having breakfast. On your way, down you should be able to see all the beautiful views you missed the night before in the dark.

Is it hard?

I found the hike pretty average. At first I couldn’t understand why a mountain only 1,717 m high would take two whole hours to hike. When I went, I understood; it was the massive crowds! Near the end of the hike, I literally stood in a queue to be able to reach the summit, and honestly, I found this to be pretty disappointing and frustrating. I wanted to rest when I felt like I needed to, not when I was forced to stop every couple of steps

Other than that, the hike was actually easier than other ones I’ve done; however, this really varies from one person to another. I’m used to hiking – I hike every now and then, but I wouldn’t say that I’m physically fit. I walk a lot, I’m energetic, but I don’t exercise that often. So, at least for beginners, I’d say it’s doable even if they find it difficult. The only challenging aspects of the hike were that the mountain was pretty steep – expect an intense workout for your quads, and that it's quite slippery. Other than that, you shouldn’t really worry. Just stay hydrated, take breaks when you really need to, and keep a steady pace.

What do I wear?

The most important thing is that you wear suitable shoes; if you don’t have hiking shoes, bring along a pair of running shoes. Don’t wear something fashionable – you need something with a strong grip and something that won’t get worn out easily.

What do I bring?

The company you go with will provide you with a flashlight, a bottle of water, and breakfast for the summit. We were given a boiled egg, a banana, bread, and jam. I had my own snacks and water, so if you’re picky when it comes to food, you can always pack your own snacks.

Other than food and clothing, you can't forget your camera! Whether it’s a DSLR, a GoPro (and whatever needed kit), or even your iPhone – or, of course, your drone if you’re lucky to own one. I had my Canon 600D and my GoPro Hero 5 that I recently bought off of Amazon, along with its accessory kit. For the hike, the octopus tripod, the head strap, and the monopod came in handy.How do I book?

You can book online, through your hotel, or walk into one of those tourism booths scattered around the center; I booked via Tunjungsuci Trekking, which my driver recommended.

How much does it cost?

The hike normally costs between $40-$70 for the guide, transportation, and breakfast. I paid IDR 700,000, which was around $47.

What about the view?

The view was spectacular! I was ahead of my team and I lost them, so when I reached the summit it was pretty crowded and I couldn’t enjoy the view nor set up my camera anywhere. However, my guide came and found me, and it turned out that they hiked to the other side of the summit. It wasn’t blocked with any hills or people, and had the best views. You will literally be over the clouds and you’ll definitely witness an breathtaking sunrise.


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