Planning to tackle the Mount Batur sunrise hike? Read on to discover our experience of the trek, plus everything you need to know before you go.
Since we started planning our trip to Bali, climbing Mount Batur was at the very top of our bucket list. So, when we finally got to trek to the top – in late June – we were excited, to say the least.
We – perhaps stupidly – did zero training before we embarked on our adventure (not even a stairmaster session or two in the gym, yikes). But, as we had climbed the likes of Mount Kilimanjaro before, we figured we had it covered.
Making it to the top with just starlight and head torches to guide us, and getting to marvel at the sun as it makes its way above the horizon, was a once in a lifetime experience we think everyone should try.
Stick around to find out more about our experience of climbing Mount Batur and everything you need to know to make your trek smooth sailing.
About the Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
So, you want to climb Indonesia’s Mount Batur? While it might not be the tallest mountain in Bali (that’s Mount Agung), it’s still pretty sizable, rising to a height of 1,717 metres (5,633 feet) above sea level.
What makes Mount Batur so special? This dormant volcano beckons adventure seekers with its awe-inspiring beauty and the promise of an unforgettable sunrise hike. Though you should know that embarking on the Mount Batur sunrise hike is no easy feat. Prepare to be greeted by an elevation gain of approximately 700 metres (2,297 feet).
The journey begins under the cloak of darkness, guided by the soft glow of headlamps, as you make your way up a well-marked trail. As dawn breaks, the winding path reveals the stunning panorama of Bali’s lush landscapes and picturesque Lake Batur below.
How Difficult is Climbing Mount Batur?
We’d heard that the Mount Batur sunrise hike was easy. That is not the case. Sure, it might not be as difficult as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, but it still poses quite a challenge, especially if you’re not used to hiking.
It has very steep sections (which are even harder on the way down) and plenty of loose volcanic rock. If you have a moderate level of fitness this should be an enjoyable challenge.
But, don’t panic, if you start to struggle you can take a motorbike to near the top (plenty of people zipped past us as we climbed). Just note that even if you do opt for a motorbike to the top (which is an extra 350K IDR, by the way) you still need to walk the very last section, which is extremely steep and slippery.
How to Get to Mount Batur
If you’re travelling to Mount Batur from Canggu, Ubud, or Seminyak, the easiest way to get to Mount Batur is to book a sunrise hike with transport included (we’ll talk you through our favourites in a moment.
This will mean a very early start (usually around 2am if you’re travelling from South Bali) but it does take the hassle out of trying to organise taxis. Otherwise, you can prebook a taxi in advance or use Grab/Gojek, though this is a far more risky option if you’re travelling in the middle of the night (we don’t recommend it).
Staying in Kintamani
Another option for your Mount Batur hike is to stay in Kintamani. This is what we did. We stayed at Volcano Living and, while it was very basic, it was a decent stay in an alright location just ten minutes drive from the Mount Batur meeting point (though, if we stayed in Kintamani again, we would stay at the top of the hill near all the cafes).
We’ll be totally honest, we don’t think it was worth it as there is very little to do here. We were originally supposed to stay for two nights but left after one to continue on to Ubud.
If you do decide to stay in Kintamani, make sure to go and check out the cafe road at the very top. Every single cafe promises incredible views of Mount Batur (that is, if the clouds hold off).
Grab or Gojek won’t work in this area unless you are very lucky and catch a driver as they drop someone off. To be honest, anywhere north of Denpasar you are better off using local taxi services.
We were right around the corner from a taxi company and relied on Tut Wie for practically everything during our stay. We highly recommend him – you can message Tut Wie on Whatsapp to book a taxi with him.
The Best Mount Batur Tours
We used Get Your Guide to book our Mount Batur Sunrise Tour and highly recommend it. It included an optional hotel pickup and drop off (which cost extra), breakfast, a guide, and plenty of water. This was, without a doubt, the most popular option for climbers on the mountain.
In all honesty, we recommend booking the drop off and pick up from wherever you are on the island, as it makes it way easier to get around at 2am. The price might seem a little bit steep, but it works out pretty much equal when you consider having to travel around Kintamani.
However, if you still fancy enjoying the sunrise without the effort of climbing to the summit, there’s a 4×4 option which allows you to enjoy the view from the comfort of a jeep.
This would be great if you’re not bothered about experiencing the actual climb but still want to admire the gorgeous orange hues over Kintamani and beyond.
Mount Batur Sunrise Hike: Our Experience
Prepare for an early start.
We set our alarms for 2:30am and, bleary-eyed, threw on our trekking gear and headed out to our taxi. Alongside plenty of other people, we met the guides at the starting point at 3:30am where we got biscuits, tea, and coffee for a pre-climb boost.
Our guide was Wayan. He was great but, to be honest, all the guides meet you at the start and were lovely. We climbed with three others and, while there wasn’t much time to get to know each other, we loved that we had a small group to reach the peak with.
The Way Up Mount Batur
Once we had received our head torches and trekking poles (AKA bamboo sticks), it was time to climb. The entire climb took around 90 minutes and while Chris found it fairly easy, Loz found the climb pretty tough.
That said, while the guides find the climb stupidly easy (they will climb up in flip flops no problem – not recommended) they will stop as often as you need to on the way up to let you have a water/snack break.
Once you reach the motorbike hut – where you can grab a ride if you need to – there’s about an hour left to the top.
Summiting Mount Batur and Breakfast
Once you reach the summit, it’s time to wait for sunrise. We were very nervous because we had heard that there was a 50/50 chance of it being too cloudy to even see the sun in the distance, though we got very lucky with our climb.
You will also get breakfast at the top, which consists of banana sandwiches, a chocolate bar, eggs, and fruit. It was pretty decent (we had seen some horror stories on TikTok but the food was fine. There are people selling hot drinks and Bintang at the top too, though you’ll need to pay for this.
You’re at the top for about an hour depending on how fast you climb and when sunrise is. You’ll also get plenty of time to take photos. Be warned, the guides are extra AF and will get you the perfect shot (they know all the camera tricks of the trade).
The Way Down Mount Batur
After a quick detour to the steam vents on the mountain, it was time to climb back down Mount Batur. This, in many ways, was far more difficult.
It took around 90 minutes to descend the mountain and we were SO happy to reach the bottom. You’ll spend over an hour in a half-crouched state as you desperately try to remain on your feet as you scramble over loose rock.
The next day we were very sore and tired (Loz spent most of the day waddling around and hissing in pain) but nothing could take away from the sense of achievement we felt after making it to the top.
Do we recommend it? Hell yeah.
Mount Batur Sunrise Hike: What to Know Before You Go
How long is the Mount Batur hike?
The length of the Mount Batur hike depends on how quickly you and your group make it to the top. You’ll start your climb around 4am with the hopes to be at the summit before sunrise (which is usually around 6-6:30am).
Ideally it should take around 2 hours to climb, though our group made it in 90 minutes and had plenty of time to take photos at the top.
Can you hike Mount Batur without a guide?
Technically yes, but it’s not recommended. There are mountain mafia who make it very difficult for solo climbers to reach the top. We would always recommend going with a guide and felt very safe the entire time.
What to take on a Mount Batur hike?
Wondering what to take with you when climbing Mount Batur? Guides will provide breakfast, head torches, poles, and water, though there are a couple of things you definitely need to remember to bring:
- Extra water (you’ll need it, we promise).
- Sensible hiking shoes/trainers. The guides will climb in flip flops but you definitely should not.
- Layers, as it gets very chilly at the top of the mountain and pretty moist)
- Snacks for the climb. We grabbed some sugary treats and energy bars from the nearest Circle K.