Indonesia (Republic of Indonesia)

Languages: Indonesian

Currencies: IDR · Indonesian rupiah (Rp)

Capitol: Jakarta

Continents: Asia

Borders: Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste

More useful information

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

I’m a mountaineer with endless love for volcano hiking. Exploring and conquering volcanoes around the world is a fascinating experience. Volcanoes can be unpredictable but the views from the top are usually unbeatable and the fact you are hiking an active mountain, which might/or might not let you in on the top of the crater is thrilling. Remember – the last word always belongs to the mountain ;))) I have a huge respect for any mountain. Is hiking Mount Batur a rewarding experience – definitely is, however if you ask me would I do it again, the answer would be NO.. After accomplishing this hiking tour I feel it’s important for people to know, that this attraction /apart from amazing sunrise views/ is quite poorly organized, overcrowded and the level of guidance service is almost zero.. they just bring up as many people as possible. I’m sharing here all information on what to expect from the hike, what to wear, advantages and disadvantages of the attraction, etc. 

Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

Volcano hiking in Bali.

Hiking volcanos in Bali, such as Mount Batur or Mount Agung, is a very popular adventure for visitors to the island. 

Mount Batur Sunrise tour is one of the most popular volcanoes to hike in Bali. It is known for its relatively moderate difficulty level, short route and stunning sunrise views from the summit. Don’t forget it is still an active volcano, with the most recent eruption in 2000. 

Mount Agung is incomparably more difficult and targeted by experienced hikers due to long and difficult ascent. Check my adventure and if you are fit enough GO FOR IT!

Guided tours are highly recommended when hiking Mount Batur. They say experienced guides are familiar with the trails, weather conditions, and safety measures… bla bla bla!! Our tour guide, although nice local fellow, was nothing but a guide. I’ll risk to say probably like most of the local guides at the top.

Hiking Mount Batur tours?

Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

Mount Batur Tours are are one day sunrise hiking tours from Ubud or Denpasar, which means you hike the summit early in the morning. You are picked up around 2.00-2.30am to arrive at your starting point for 4am and reach the top for 5.45-6am.

In February sun rises around 6.25am. 

Typical Mount Batur Tour Package: pick-up & drop-off, Bali style breakfast and coffee, English speaking tour guide and sometimes a visit to a Coffee Plantation. 

Prices for Mount Batur Sunrise Hike range between: $25-$35. 

I bought the tour on the street stand in Ubud – and I highly advise NOT to do it. I support you buying a package online with high reviews and positive opinions! WHY? Not because I’m dropping tour links here, but because our tour was crap at almost any level. Now when I see all the amazing tour reviews, I wish I purchased one of the package deals online.

Klook is top leading tour and travel booking website in Asia and I’m a huge fan! The experience has always been fabulous. Highly rated Mount Batur Sunrise Hike tours booked by tens of thousands of travelers are:

Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

Pick-up is usally around 2.30am. So you are trying to get an early sleep. So was I but our driver started whatsapping me at midnight with all pick up instructions. Secondly, he wasn’t nice at all and the first thing he did was collecting the rest of the money for the tour. I was told there’s going to be 12 people in the van but there was only 6 and I was the last to join. Lucky ones who went with other operator.

Two top rated (recommended by 99% of travelers) Mount Batur Sunrise Hike tours from Tripadvisor are:

You might also like: Individual Tour in your Chosen Route with a Private Driver and Free WiFi.

Mount Batur Tour Summary:

  • PICK UP: 2-2.30am
  • DRIVE from Ubud takes: 1-1.5h.
  • SUMMITING: 6am.
  • SUNRISE: 6.25am
  • DESCENDING: 7.30-9.00am.
  • BACK TO YOUR STAY: 10am.

The trail to Mount Batur.

FIRST STAGE of the hike leads along an asphalt road – easy (45min-1h).

SECOND STAGE which takes about an hour leads through a steep rocky terrain but the trail is well maintained and it is not possible to skip the path. Besides there are hundreds of people hiking and you will see a line of lights to the top. 

There are two VIEWING POINTS for the SUNRISE – lower and upper – at the top of the mount. From the lower point of view with benches, it takes another 20 minutes to reach the top – DO IT, don’t stay at the lower viewing point.

TOTAL ASCENT: 700 metres.

MOUNT BATUR CRATER: 1717metres above the sea level.

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My realistic experience of hiking Mount Batur in Bali.

I’ll be very realistic in this part – since it is quite easy and short volcano hike with magnificent views from the top, this hiking attaraction is highly popular. You are hiking among hundreds of people, tours, guides. There are cars and motorbikes driving the same asphalt road to the higher parking, so trust me this isn’t the most pleasurable part. 

We stopped at the main car parking to have a cup of coffee and fried banana. Coffee was ok but the number of flies on any kind of food served in the spot, made it impossible to eat. 

There are almost no mosquitos on the way since the hike is above 1000 metres above sea level. 

Around 4am we were given flashlights (I used headlight which is much more practical) and started walking the asphalt road. Our guide was rushing so much, that we took over about 10 groups within first 15 minutes. And the road goes steeper and steeper but there are few points were you can take a rest.

Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

Look, I’m a hiker, but the group was rushing so much it was really difficult to cope. To the point, I wondered if there is something wrong with me that night but after 25 minutes of this insane race one of the lovely, fit looking girls from our group stops and refuses to go further. She wants to go back and says the pace of this tour is insane, she doesn’t enjoy it and is not able to cope with the pace.

RED flad no 1: the tour guide should maintain the pace of the group. Should look after the last person and make sure everyone feels comfortable with existing pace. 

RED flag no 2: He tells no stories, no facts about the mountain, views, landscape, doesn’t inspire in any way (pitty!). How nice it would be if we stopped to admire the sky full of stars! That night the sky was a beautiful field of stars, black, a bit cloudy but still pretty. 

This is the time I’m deciding to use my voice and I’m asking why are we racing, what kind of a tour this is? The guide promises to slow down and encourages the girl to continue. After 45 minutes the asphalt road ends and most of the groups are taking a short break ahead of the rocky section. 

Is it hard to hike Mount Batur?

Now it is very important to be clear about difficulty level of hiking Mount Batur.

Mount Batur is a volcanic mountain made up of lava and piles of rocks. Second stage of the hike is steep, narrow and doing it in the dark is challenging!

A lot local guides told me that Mount Batur is not a hike but an easy trek! This is a big lie. I agree it is relatively short hike but it requires a lot attention and effort in night mountain conditions and huge humidity. Secondly – crowds don’t help on any mountain, everyone is minding his own business, so don’t be surprised if people are trying to take over and are constantly blinding you with their flashlights. Since the guide doesn’t really care about the group, you need to take care of your own safety. Few people on the way up were very scared, their companions were calming them down, slowly leading up. 

Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

Do you need a guide for hiking Mount Batur?

There are TWO SIDES OF THE STORY. This is relatively easy hike, totally doable alone. BUT.. the area is ‘mafia controlled’. Some people say these guys are not guides, they are Mafia Guides – and sadly – I completely agree. The guides have no skills neither vocation for leading any tourist groups.

I don’t recommend hiking Mount Batur without a tour guide because there are many reports the locals may abuse or attack you for going alone, or damage your motorbike while you are on a mountin.

The other side of the story:

  • you need to remember Mount Batur sacred ground for the locals, it is important for Bali culture to maintain visitors behaviour entering the sacred land,
  • this is highly poor area. The poverty level in Kintamani is huge/maybe extreme. Guiding jobs are often the only income stream for the locals and their families,
  • I’m not sure – but I heard Indonesian government recently introdused new regulations that everyone needs a guide for Mount Batur and Mount Agung.
Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

What to wear for hiking Mount Batur?

  • Very comfortable hiking shoes. The hike is doable in trainers, a lot people are wearing them, but since it is a challenging night hike you would feels safer wearing proper shoes.
  • Headlight to free your hands.
  • Windproof and rainproof jacket – it will be cold on the mountain. I was very cold once we got to the top, so I would advice to take one extra dry layer to change at the top. I was so envy seeing people with blankets.. 
  • Water and snacks.
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen if you are hiking in summer months.

At the top of Mount Batur.

The sunrise view along with Agung Volcano towering above the clouds are spectacular! 

But still Penanjakan Sunrise Hike, Bromo Volcano Hike and Ijen Crater are way better in my opinion. 

You’ll be able to get some snacks and drinks at the top: tea/coffee costs 30 000Rp, chcolate 30 000Rp.

After about 45 minutes of the sunrise watching we slowly started descenting the top toward the crater. 

Everything you need to know before hiking Mount Batur in Bali – my day tour experience.

Monkeys at Mount Batur Crater.

Mount Batur Crater is 5-10 minutes hiking down from the top. The area is owned by monkeys – be careful as these monkeys are not as friendly as city monkeys. There are many written signs to keep a distance from the monekys as they might get aggresive. One monkey was shaking my bag quite aggresively.

Mount Batur Crater – 1 717m from sea level and 686m from Lake Batur level.

Attractions near Mount Batum.

Kintamani is a very beautiful and untouristic area. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Ceking Rice Terraces (a must trekking! entry 25 000Rp) and also one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the country Tukad Cepung (entry 30 000Rp).

Recommended places to stay:

BATUR HOMESTAY AND LODGE – great stay close to hiking trails.

If you want to treat yourself with more luxury for very affordable prices these three are for you:

BAMBOO MOUNT BATUR – with hot water pool and jacuzzi.

UMAH NANDA – conveniently situated in the Kintamani.

PANDOK BALI COTTAGE – beautifully designed.

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!