Indonesia (Republic of Indonesia)

Languages: Indonesian

Currencies: IDR · Indonesian rupiah (Rp)

Capitol: Jakarta

Continents: Asia

Borders: Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste

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Area: 1,904,569km2

Population: 273,523,621

Traffic/driving side: left

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +62

Timezones: UTC+07:00, UTC+08:00, UTC+09:00

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Last updated on March 5, 2024

Hiking Mount Agung in Bali is really an extraordinary experience.. I did not expect it’s going to be that challenging but this is a type of an accomplishment hikers are looking for 😉

The hiking path toward the crater rim of the active volcano leads at first through a jungle scenery, bringing you on a rocky trail and eventually on solidified lava slopes. The feeling at the top is undescribable. The view of the massive, smoking crater is magnificent. The landscape spreads accross Bali and surrounding Lombok island with Rijiani peak towering above the clouds.

A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.
A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.

Now – something very interesting – if it happens you are the last to leave the top after sunrise – be prepared to have a fury company 😉 

Wild monkeys come to the crater rim after all people leave the mountain, to search for food remainings. They are totally wild, you won’t be able to get close for a picture (not like in a Monkey Sanctuary), but they would be very happy if you leave some natural food – banana, fruits (perhaps biscuits, just no junk food). 

Here is my detailed reportage from the tallest Bali mountain for all adventurous hikers.

Mount Agung Sunrise Hike via Pasar Agung Temple.

  • STARTING POINT: 1500 metres above sea level.
  • LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Hard to Extreme. Climbing Mount Agung is considered to be a very challenging and demanding trek with climbing sections – there are no ropes and you don’t wear helmets – which I think should be mandatory on this route. 
  • TOTAL ASCENT: 1500 m/or 1700 m via the long route,
  • HIGHEST POINT: 3031 metres/or 3142m if approached by the long route,
  • GUNUNG AGUNG PEAK: 3142 metres (the highest peak),
  • There are no mosquitos at this elevation.
  • Climbing Mount Agung Volcano is not allowed for women during their menstruation period – Mt. Agung is a sacred mountain.
A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.

Gunung Agung - the most sacred and highest mountain in Bali.

Mount Agung is the highest point on the island and holds spiritual significance for the Balinese people.

Gunung Agung is considered the most sacred mountain in Bali and is often referred to as the “Mother Mountain” by the Balinese people. It is believed to be the abode of the gods and the spiritual center of the island.

In Balinese Hindu belief Mount Agung represents the cosmic axis, connecting the physical and spiritual worlds. It holds important spiritual and symbolic significance in Balinese cosmology.

Balinese people believe a god lives on every mountain (just like Nepalese people) – Mount Agung is home to Mahadewa.

A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.

Is it difficult to hike Mount Agung?

Yes – hiking Mount Agung is very challenging. It is the most difficult hiking in Bali and Java, similar to extremely challenging Mount Rinjiani Volcano Hike in Lombok. Do not compare this hike to Mount Batur, which is a short, quite easy hike. 

Taking the shorter route, you are going to hike the elevation of 1500 metres, reaching a height of 3,031 meters (9,944 feet). 

You should be in good physical condition, have hiking experience and be prepared for steep, rugged terrain. The ascent to the summit of Mount Agung involves steep rock climbing with sections of loose rocks and gravel. Mount Agung should be only approached by experienced & adventurous hikers. 

It was one of the most difficult hikes I have ever done, including Everest Base Camp & Telica Volcano (both ways on foot in Tenerife). 

A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.

Do you need a guide for hiking Mount Agung?

I’m going to be honest here – it is said that guide is mandatory for hiking Mount Agung for few reasons: hikers safety and the fact it is a sacred mountain. 

I would never advise to go alone for this hike. It is really one of the toughest hikes I have done in terms of terrain difficulty and additionally it is a night hike. It is highly recommended to have a local guide for your safety and changing weather conditions.

However, I don’t believe anyone would prevent you from doing the hike alone. This is a heavy hike, the mountain is not too popular, there can be few or just one other person hiking the mountain along with you. I heard from local guides some people are hiking it alone. Just remember there is no rescue team at the mountain, in the past there were few fatalities among hikers (including Indonesians and one American who died descenting the mountain).

A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.

Agung is an active volcano.

Yes – Agung is an active volcano with biggest erruption in 1963, which left all the surrounding lava fields. Last erruption took place in 2018-2019 which resulted in hundreds of flights being cancelled and massive evacuation of local people.

Getting a guided tour to Mount Agung Sunrise Trekking in Bali.

You need to book your tour in advance, you can do it online with this highly rated Mount Agung Sunrise Trekking in Bali.

The tour guide is very experienced, which is highly important for this challenging hike. I have used Klook in a lot of tours across Asia and they are unbeatable, especially in China & Hong Kong (where Klook HQ is located). 

How long does it take to hike Mount Agung?

Depending on a route you take, the shorter one via Pasar Agung Temple takes approx. 3-4 hours to hike up and at least 3.5h hours to hike down. It took me 2.15h to hike down but only because I’m quite strong in descending mountains and I’m quite sh*t on hiking up, which took me 4.5h here. 

The long route – for very experienced hikers – takes 5-7 hours to go up and 5-6 hours to hike down.

IT IS NOT possible to do this hike in a rainy weather – it’s too steep and slippery. 

Hiking Mount Agung via Pasar Agung Temple.

Hotel pick-up: around 00:00 (midnight) from Ubud.

Start of the hike: 1.45am-2am.

Hiking time to the top: 3h-4.5h – for the sunrise for ~ 6am. 

Hiking distance: 4 kilometres (one way).

Hiking down: depending on your skills: from 3h – 8h. I spoke to local guides after the hike, due to the difficulty of the terrain hiking down usually takes more here than hiking up. 

Start of the hiking trail.

There will be just few people hiking the mountain daily. 

There are two stands at the parking place, where you can get your morning (night) coffee, drinks, snacks, anything. You also need to register before approaching the trail, there is a local guy at the starting point with a notebook. 

Set of steps will take you in front of the temple, which looks amazing with the night sky background. 

Stage 1 of hiking Mount Agung.

The first 20% is a jungle hike, the challenging path leads through a tropical forest. It is a hard hike from the start, you will need to use your hands to pull yourself up and hike a muddy route. Once you reach a fireplace – you’re half-way. 

Stage 2 - red lava stones.

The trail leads through a steep and rugged terrain, with sections of loose rocks and gravel. The red lava stones – horribly difficult to hike. There are no trees at this level, just pure rocks. 

Stage 3 - steep rock sections.

At the last stage you are climbing almost vertical rock sections in the dark with a tiny headlight. Be careful here and don’t rush.

My guide said 25% of people resign after first 30 minutes of the hike .. (you got to admit it’s a bit funny, they must know it’s a hard hike right?), but on the other hand it is good they do not push themselves for the ascent. 

Only 10% of all hikers are faster with their decent than ascent. 

He said they never encourage people to hike further, because in a situation of an injury they have to carry people down on their back! Wait.. what??? While it seems completely impossible, he said it happened many times in the past – otherwise they would be left in the mountain. Again, there is no rescue team, no helicopter evacuation available.

Hiking Mount Agung via Besakih Temple.

Pick up at 8.30pm-9pm. Starting point: Besakih Temple.

Pasar Agung can be a starting point for both hiking routes. The trail splits but you would need to know where to turn. 

The difficulty is similar/this route is slightly more challenging comparing to the shorter hike. Covering 7 kilometers in 6 to 7 hours, reach the summit of Mount Agung with last section very challenging. 

You are reaching the highest point of Mount Agung 3,142 meters above sea level. 

Sunrise from Mount Agung.

Once you reach the summit the view at sunrise is truly stunning. You will witness the sky changing colors as the sun rises over the horizon, casting warm light over the island and illuminating the nearby peaks. On clear days you may see as far Rinjani Peak in Lombok.  

What to take for hiking Mount Agung in Bali?

Weather conditions on Mount Agung can be a little unpredictable. Check the weather forecast before starting the hike and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and visibility. It can easily get cloudy and it is not unusual for the temperature to drop to 6-7 degrees Celsius. 

A complete guide on hiking Mount Agung in Bali – the highest and most sacred mountain.

Must have equipment:

  • Headlight (the guide will have one for you, but I prefer to carry mine).
  • Plenty of water
  • Best hiking shoes you can have! This is the most important thing for this trek! There are really steep rocky sections you may consider as climbing. It would be good to have rock boots with smooth rubber soles. I had my long climbing shoes I use for Himalayan hikes.
  • Hiking poles (the guide will have them for you).
  • Few extra layers, windproof & rainproof jacket.
  • Food, high protein snacks, cholocate.
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Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!