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MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE HIKE: WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

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The image shows Mount Batur at sunrise.
Mount Batur at sunrise

MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE HIKE: WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

A Mount Batur sunrise hike is one of the best things you can do in Bali. Heaps of tourists flock to the summit at any given chance, and once you’ve given it a go yourself, it’s easy to see why.

Before you embark on your adventure, there are some important things to know before you go.

In this guide, we’ll give you some key facts about Bali and about trekking Mount Batur, what to expect on the day and some top tips to bear in mind ahead of your hike.

WHAT IS MOUNT BATUR?

Mount Batur is an active volcano also known as Gunung Batur. The last eruption was in 1999 which led to ash emissions through to 2000, however, no major harm was caused to the island. It’s one of the most popular hiking spots on the island – not just at sunrise – but throughout the day, too.

WHERE IS MOUNT BATUR IN BALI?

Mount Batur is situated near Bangli in the northwest of Bali. Below you’ll find an interactive map so that you can see exactly where it is on the island in comparison to where you’re staying.

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO HIKE MOUNT BATUR AT SUNRISE

The best time to hike Mount Batur is between May and October, as this is when it’s the dry season. This will mean that the hiking conditions on the ground should be safe and easy to trek, and with a bit of luck, the views from the top of the volcano should be clear.

As with any hike, the weather isn’t always guaranteed and it’s quite possible that you could reach the top and not witness a great sunrise. As such, we’d recommend checking a weather app regularly to give yourself the best shot.

IS MOUNT BATUR SAFE?

The image shows Mount Batur Sunrise hike.
Mount Batur Sunrise

Volcanoes are categorised using a volcanic alert level between 0 and 5. If you were to do the Mount Batur sunrise hike today, you’d be climbing at a level 1 state, which is classed as ‘minor volcanic unrest’.

In other words, you’d be pretty safe and there should be no reason for concern. The locals in places like Bali are well educated and would close the volcano paths if they felt it was necessary, as they did in 2009.  

COST OF TREKKING MOUNT BATUR AT SUNRISE

If you’re using a tour company, it will range between £20-£40/ $27-$55 USD depending on your package and if you’re going it alone then it’s free!

MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE HIKE KEY DETAILS

The image shows a girl taking a picture at sunrise on Mount Batur.
Mount Batur sunrise

DISTANCE OF THE HIKE

If you’re heading out with a tour company, you’ll likely end up walking around 5km and will start and finish in a different location.

If you’re hiking solo, then there are a couple of routes to choose from that range from 5 to 20 kilometres. These routes can be found on a platform such as Alltrails ahead of the hike.

DIFFICULTY OF THE HIKE

The difficulty of the Mount Batur sunrise trek will very much depend on your fitness levels and which route you decide to take. If you’re heading on the 5-kilometre route with a tour and you have reasonable fitness levels, then you should be able to handle it. It’s really only the last 20 minutes of the hike that is steep and there will most likely be many people who need to take a rest every 5-10 minutes in your group. The guides are also great and will give you a hand if you need it.

ELEVATION OF THE HIKE

The elevation of the typical 5-kilometre route is 612 meters. This is covered over 3.5 kilometres, so it’s certainly not a walk in the park.

DURATION OF THE HIKE

If you’re hiking the 5-kilometre route, then the walking time will be approximately 1.5-2 hours. However, you’ll also have some time at the top of the volcano to see the sunrise which will add another 30 minutes or so to the trek.

MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE HIKE: WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE DAY

FROM THE CAR PARK TO THE SUMMIT

The image shows the sun rising from Mount Batur.
Mount Batur Sunrise

Upon arrival at the car park, you’ll be handed a headtorch by your guide if you’ve booked a local tour. If you’re doing a DIY trek, then be sure to bring one along with you.

Once you’re all geared up, you’ll begin your walk at around 3:30 am in the pitch-black. You’ll follow a narrow trail that snakes up the side of the volcano, with a long trail of walks in front and behind you that all resemble little blobs of light.

The trail goes on to follow a gradual incline for the first couple of kilometres which doesn’t feel too strenuous.

At around the 3-kilometre mark, the trail starts to narrow and the walk becomes more of a scramble over rocks, mud and dust. If you’re not one of the first climbers of the day, you’ll likely find yourself in a bottleneck of climbers who are trying to reach the top. Whilst this may seem frustrating, you’ll be thankful for the break, given the extreme incline which you’ll be faced with.

ALONG THE VOLCANO RIDGELINE

The image shows the run rising in Bali.
Mount Batur sunrise
The image shows a monkey sat on Mount Batur.
Mount Batur monkey

After around 1 hour of climbing, you’ll have made it to the summit of Mount Batur and hopefully be greeted by a stunning sunrise, as well as a few hopeful monkeys who will be hanging around for some of your leftover breakfast.

Here, you’ll spend half an hour or so marvelling at the views and recovering from your early start and strenuous hike. If you’re hiking with a tour company, then they usually provide some breakfast or snacks, too.

DESCENDING MOUNT BATUR

The image shows a trail of people descending from Mount Batur.
Mount Batur

Once the sun has risen, it’s a race against time to make it down to the base before it gets too warm.

It’s an incredibly steep descent along a dry and dusty path initially. You’ll need to be super careful at this point, as there will be many people trying the descend at the same time, and if one person slips, it will be a domino effect.

The route then begins to flatten and zig-zags down the side of the volcano through woodland. This is a welcome bit of shade as the island quickly begins to heat up once the sun is up.

Before long, you’ll reach a large area where guided tour trucks will be waiting to collect walkers to take them back to their drop off location.

TIPS FOR HIKING MOUNT BATUR AT SUNRISE

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE INSURANCE FOR THE TREK

Not all travel insurance companies cover the Mount Batur sunrise hike, so make sure you check if you have a policy in place that covers this. If you’re looking for a policy that does cover it, then check out SafetyWing.

BRING SNACKS AND DRINKS

If you’re doing the Mount Batur sunrise trek with a tour company, then they will likely provide snacks and hot drinks at the summit of the volcano. However, you’ll need to bring your own whilst you’re walking. As already mentioned, it will be super hot once the sun has risen, so be sure to take on plenty of fluids throughout the walk.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Mount Batur is over 1700 meters high and once you reach the summit, you may feel some level of altitude sickness. We’d recommend picking up some tablets from your local pharmacy ahead of your hike to avoid any sickness as this will really ruin the experience.

The image shows cloud lifting from Mount Batur.
Mount Batur

PACK THE RIGHT GEAR

Whilst the air temperature is cool when you begin hiking, you’ll quickly heat up as you get higher and higher. That being said, once you reach the top of the volcano, it’s cold. Very cold. You’ll want a warm coat at a minimum and if you’re lucky, there may be some blankets provided by your tour company.

The ground is uneven and at times quite slippery, so hiking boots are recommended for this trek. However, we appreciate that these aren’t the smallest things to carry around, particularly if you’re backpacking. A sturdy pair of trainers will do the trick for this hike since the typical route is a little over 5 km.

CHECK MOUNT BATUR WEATHER BEFORE YOU CLIMB

Before hiking, we’d recommend checking the weather to see what the cloud coverage looks like for the following morning. The last thing you’d want to do is to set your alarm for silly-o’clock and be greeted with nothing but cloud.

MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE HIKE GUIDED TOURS

Monkeys at the top of Mount Batur
Monkeys at the top of Mount Batur

You don’t need to use a tour company if you don’t want to, however, we’d highly recommend it for the following reasons:

  1. Wherever you’re staying, it’s likely to be at least an hour away from Mount Batur. You need to be there at around 3:30 am to reach the peak for sunrise, so organising transport for this can be a bit of a faff. A tour company will pick you up from your hotel and drop you back afterwards.
  2. They will provide you with equipment such as a headtorch as it will be pitch black at the time you start your hike.
  3. No matter what your fitness levels are, you will likely need a hand at some point. The guides are great and will push and encourage you to the top when you feel like giving up. Your legs will also be tired from the hike, so they will also support you on the way down and ensure you don’t fall over!
  4. Most tour companies give you blankets, hot chocolate, and a banana sandwich at the top!

EXPLORE BEYOND MOUNT BATUR IN BALI

If you loved the sound of Mount Batur sunrise hike, then you may also enjoy the below posts:

Read more: BALI ITINERARY: THE ULTIMATE 2-WEEK GUIDE FOR AN EPIC TRIP
Read more: UBUD MONKEY FOREST: WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Read more: THE PYG TRACK (SNOWDON): THE COMPLETE GUIDE (2021)
Read more: PANORAMA ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA: BEST PLACES TO STOP

Disclosure: any links within this blog are affiliated. This means we receive a small commission; if you use any of these links it really helps support our blog, so thank you!

SWT x

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