Mt. Batur is Bali’s second tallest mountain standing at 1,717 metres. It’s an active volcano that has a special reverence to the Balinese people.
Climbing the mountain to witness a spectacular sunrise is a popular activity with a lot of agencies on the island being able to arrange a tour for you. Group or private. Whilst you can more or less do the trek yourself without a guide, we used Mt Batur Sunrise Trekking Company for ours thanks to their excellent reviews.
We were blessed to be staying in Ubud before undertaking this trek. It meant that we got to sleep in for another 90 minutes compared to our South Bali based climbers.
Our driver picked us up at 2:30am and we were on our way!
Upon arriving here we met Ayu, our guide who would take us up the volcano. There was an opportunity here to rent a jacket if you hadn’t already brought one.
Before long we started on the trail with nothing but our flashlights and the stars above to illuminate our path forward.
The first 25% of the trek is quite straight forward and not too steep. The biggest challenge during this part is getting used to walking in the dark with your flashlight.
The first challenge comes when you reach a rest stop and are given the options between the easy and hard routes:
Easy Route: This is a straight forward zigzagging path that doesn't require any dexterity with your footing. When you come back down afterwards, this is the route you will take.
Hard Route: This route is actually faster but requires more climbing and the trail becomes quite slippery at times. There are lot's of parts where you have to take big steps and need to find your gripping.
We went for the hard route and were glad we did so as it offers more variety as you go up rather than just being, more or less, a straight path. It actually ends up being faster to get to the top by taking this route as well.
Overall, it was challenging but definitely doable. You'll get the opportunity to take plenty of rests on your way up.
Before getting to the top, both the easy and hard routes meet in another rest area that has a shop selling snacks and food.
The next 15 minutes of walking from here are the most challenging but you will feel extremely rewarded upon getting through them!
We began walking at 3:40am and reached the top viewing area at 5:15am meaning we had around 45 minutes to relax before the sunset.
While we were perhaps faster than average, it gives you an idea of how much time you can spend going up and you can feel free to take lots of breaks.
When you arrive, your gyide will likely offer to make you some tea, coffee or hot chocolate and also prepare a basic breakfast for you.
As for the sunrise itself, you will be at the complete mercy of the weather gods as for how amazing it will be.
Regardless of whether or not a gigantic cloud decides to pop in front of the sun, the views up here are absolutely stunning. You will not be disappointed with your choice to get out of bed at such an early hour.
It felt truly special up here, witnessing the day begin from such a vantage point.
After you've taken a few thousand photos of the sunrise at every creative angle you can think of you can explore the area in more detail.
You get to walk around the crater and enjoy sweeping views all over Bali. You can take a photo with sulphur steam all around you (This is also where the watert hey use to make your hot drinks and boil the eggs).
You can take as much time up here as you like before deciding to being your descent.
It took us around 1 hour to get back down but it was definitely tough on the legs and the steepness is constant.
It was interesting to see where we had walked up in daylight to give context as to where we had started that morning.
Eventually you'll reach the bottom and, depending which tour company you went with, you'll be taken back to where you're staying with possible pit stop on the way.
The Mount Batur sunrise trek is a must-do experience in Bali. We would easily put it in our top 3 things to do here.
Book it in now, you won't regret it!