Hiking up the Mount Batur volcano is one of the top trekking options on the island of Bali. A climb that begins in the middle of the night up to the crater rim for sunrise is unlike other experiences you will have on the island.
This Mount Batur sunrise trekking guide will go over all the details you will need to know to complete a climb up Batur and what to expect along the way.
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1) Mount Batur Facts
Mount Batur is an active volcano located in the northwest part of Bali. It is one of several volcanoes on Bali and is one of the only ones you can actually climb up safely at the moment.
The volcano used to be much more active in the 1920’s and 1970’s however, it hasn’t seen much activity since its last eruption back in 1999-2000.
Today you are are able to join a guided tour and head up to the crater rim to experience Mount Batur and a sunrise over Bali.
Below are some facts about the volcano and the sunrise hike:
- Trail Name: Mount Batur
- Starting & Ending Point: Toya Bungkah Village
- Length: 10KM / 6.2 Miles
- Duration: 4 hours of trekking + time spent for summit sunrise
- Elevation Gain: 530 meters / 1,740 feet
- Height of Batur: 1,717 meters / 5,633 feet
- Terrain*: Packed Dirt and/or Rocks/Dirt
- Difficulty*: Medium / Difficult
- Time of Year: April to October (avoid rainy season)
- Guide Required: Yes
*There is an intersection at the beginning of the hike where you can choose between two routes up to the Mount Batur crater rim. One is marked easy while the other one is marked more difficult.
Essentially, the easy route is a packed dirt path all the way up to the top (motorcycles can actually go nearly all the way up). The difficult path is less trafficked and is a steeper incline on dirt, rocks, and branches.
During my time on the mountain, I hiked up the difficult path and then down the easy path.
2) Mount Batur Hike Map
Below is the Mount Batur trekking map to give you a better idea of what the route up and down would look like. You will start the hike in the Toya Bungkah Village and begin the ascent up the mountain from there.
At one point you will have the choice to go right or left. The right route is more difficult and quieter (steeper and uneven terrain) while the left route is easier but busier (packed dirt with motorcycles and more people).
You can decide with your guide which route you would like to go up. Once you reach the crater rim, you can enjoy a nice sunrise before continuing counter clockwise around the rim and then back down to the bottom.
3) Mount Batur Difficulty
When it comes to volcano hikes, Mount Batur is on the easier end of the spectrum. That doesn’t mean this is necessarily an easy hike – you are gaining over 1,700 feet of elevation.
But when it comes to the terrain of the hike, it can be pretty manageable based on which route you take. Like I said, depending on what trail you go up can dictate how hard the hike will be.
Less than a mile into the hike, you will come across an intersection that shows the sign below (right more difficult and left easier).
The route to the right is a more direct trail that goes straight up the mountain. That means it comes with a steeper incline and more uneven terrain. You will need to climb up uneven rocks, dirt, tree branches, etc. until you reach the crater rim.
If you decide to head on the left route, you will have more of a snake path going up to the crater. This means the path will be less steep but a bit longer in length to reach the top.
The easier route is mostly packed dirt, meaning you wont need to worry as much about your footing during the trail. Here you may also come across motorcycle taxis, who can take visitors all the way up.
You will want to think about your physical abilities when deciding which route to go on as well as the fact that you will be hiking at night with headlamps / flashlights.
On the way down Mount Batur, one of the highlights is hiking alongside the edge of the crater rim. Once sunrise is complete, you can continue counter clockwise around the rim and take in some new angles of the volcano and surrounding landscape.
This part of the trail can be a bit dangerous as the path is mostly small loose rocks and dirt on a downwards slope.
If you think going around the crater rim will be too difficult for you, then you can speak with your guide and just head back the same way you initially came up.
4) Mount Batur Weather
When it comes to visiting Indonesia one of the most important topics you will want to think about is the weather.
Indonesia is split up into two main seasons – rainy and dry. The rainy season lasts from November to March while the dry is from April to October.
Just because you visit in the rainy season, doesn’t mean every day will be full of rain and just because you visit in the dry season, doesn’t mean every day will be perfectly clear.
On average though, you will see more rain and clouds during the rainy season and that can certainty impact your visit to Bali and a Mount Batur sunrise trekking experience.
So, when it comes to Mount Batur weather and enjoying a rain and cloud free sunrise, your best bet is to head there during those dry months.
I would also take a look at the Mount Batur weather forecast as you get closer to your time there. If you do have flexibility, try to avoid any days that forecasts a lot of morning rain and clouds.
While the weather can come and go (especially with volcano weather), choosing the best weather day will give you the best chance to fully enjoy the trek and sunrise.
5) Can You Hike Batur Without a Guide
The answer is no. You must have a local guide with you during the duration of the hike up and down the mountain.
I have seen a lot of controversy with this in the past, with many people getting upset that they are being forced into paying for a hike up a mountain.
But unfortunately, that is the way it is now. The locals around the mountain essentially control the rules there and you will not be allowed near the entrance without a guide with you.
The local guides there are some of the friendliest and hard working people I have come by in my travels. If you have a good experience with them, don’t forget to tip at the end!
6) Mount Batur Trekking Price & Guide Companies
An average Mount Batur trekking price is around $50 – $75 USD depending on group/private tour options.
There are a ton of companies out there that will offer guide services for Mount Batur. For the most part, these will be pretty standard and you won’t find too much of a difference between services on the mountain.
Essentially, you will be picked up from your hotel by a driver, head to Toya Bungkah Village, meet your guide and hike the volcano. Once complete, you will head back down to the starting point and your driver will take you back to your hotel.
However, you will find some tours that offer additional stops after the Mount Batur hike. These may include a stop at the hot springs, a coffee/tea plantation, or a waterfall.
Below are some of the highest rated Batur trekking options out there to choose from:
- Bali: Mount Batur Sunrise Hike and Natural Hot Spring
- Bali: Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek & Jungle Swing Private Tour
- Bali: Sunrise Mount Batur Hike with Breakfast
7) What to Bring on the Hike
Since this is a sunrise hike, I thought it would be helpful to mention a few main items to bring along with you:
Clothing Layers – it may get hot as you are walking up the volcano and using all your energy, but once you are sitting on the crater rim waiting for sunrise, it does get quite chilly. Bringing layers for both your upper and lower body is a must.
Hiking Shoes – while I did see plenty of people wearing tennis shoes, having a solid pair of hiking shoes can go a long way with comfort. Recommendation | Keen Targhee
Headlamp – odds are your guide will have a flashlight or headlamp for you, but you may want to bring one just in case. Recommendation | Foxelli Headlamp
Rain Jacket – you never know when it may start raining. Having a packable rain jacket is always a smart item to bring along. Recommendation | Columbia Waterproof Rain Jacket
» Feel free to also take a look at some of the other essential items I like to bring along on a hike in this Hiking Packing List.
8) Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking Experience
Your day will start in the darkness as you wake up in the middle of the night, get that hiking gear on, and head off to the base of Mount Batur. Your pickup time will depend where on Bali you are coming from.
If staying in the Seminyak/Kuta/Canggu area pickup will be around 1:30AM and if staying in Ubud around 2:30AM. Since sunrise in Bali is always around 6:00AM – 6:30AM, there isn’t the biggest difference of pickup times throughout the year.
Around 3:30/3:45AM, you will be dropped off at the start of the hike, meet your guide, and begin the ascent up the mountain.
Remember, the ascent will be done in darkness (along with your headlamp). Due to this, on the way up you wont fully be able to enjoy the landscape that you are walking through.
At one point more towards the beginning of the trail, you will come across the intersection, where you decide between the easier or more difficult route.
After making your decision, continue your hike up the trail until you begin to get closer to the crater rim.
Most of the hike will be done in the trees and surrounding forest until you reach a point where the trees begin to thin out.
As you get closer to the Batur crater rim, you will be able to see the faint lights of the surrounding villages out in the distance. Below are a couple pictures of the trail when I was hiking down in the daylight.
When I arrived at the crater rim, we still had a little over an hour until sunrise. Since we had some time to spare, our guide took the group closer to the crater rim, where we could see the volcanic fumes coming out from underneath the ground.
Here, he took some eggs and tucked them into the ground, right above where the heat was coming out from. We left them in there until sunrise, when our guide brought them to the group for breakfast.
After leaving the eggs to cook, we found a nice spot on the crater rim to relax, and slowly saw the sun begin to rise above the horizon.
This began to happen around 5:30AM and we stayed there just past 6:00AM when the sun was up.
From the crater rim you are able to enjoy the view of the Danau Batur lake down below with Mount Agung out in the background. It is a beautiful landscape to enjoy after making the sunrise trek up.
After sunrise, it is time to head around the crater rim to enjoy some new views and angles of the crater. Remember from before though – this route can be a bit tricky since it is made up of small slippery rocks and sand.
However, as long as you take it slowly, you should be good to go. By walking the edge of the Batur crater you can see the landscape on the other side of the volcano along with the reflecting shadow of Batur.
Once you make your way all around the crater, you will meet back up with the original trail, which you can take back down to the bottom. Here I would recommend just taking the easy trail down as walking down the steeper more difficult section can be a bit dangerous.
Now that it is light out, on the way down you will be able to enjoy your walk through the forest and soon enough you will be back at the starting point of the hike. Head back into the car after completing a successful morning of Mount Batur sunrise trekking.
Up next is either back to your hotel or if you joined a longer tour, you may be heading to the hot springs, a tea/coffee plantation, some Bali waterfalls, or another Bali attraction.
I hope this guide has helped you out with any questions you may have had about a hike up Mount Batur. If you do have any additional questions or comments, feel free to write them in below.