Your dream of hiking an active volcano could come true with Mount Batur. In Bali, Indonesia, Mount Batur is the second highest peak on the island. Stationed northwest of Mount Agung, Mount Batur sits between two concentric calderas. Mount Batur is considered one of the holiest sites in Bali and dates back between 29,300 and 20,150 years ago. Also called Kintamani Volcano, Mt Batur Volcano is famous for its sunrise hike that starts just after midnight.
How to reach Mount Batur
You can take a flight to Bali and reach Kuta. Mount Batur Volcano is about two hours away from Kuta. You can get a taxi around 2am if you opt for the sunrise hikes.
You can also take a bus from Ubud to Kintamani which is considered the fastest way. The bus ride usually takes an hour and you can book your tickets with any travel agency.
If you are on a budget, the best option is to go to the Batubulan minibus terminal in Denpasar and take a minibus. This ride makes stops along the way, so it may take two or more hours and costs approximately USD 3.
You can also rent rental scooters from Ubud which go up to USD 5 per day, but it is not recommended to do so if you are not comfortable driving long distances in the dark.
You need to reach Kintamani a day in advance if you take a bus or minibus, as when you reach at dawn nothing will be open.
Best time to visit Mount Batur
As the Mt Batur volcano is active, it is very important to check the latest status of the volcano. Since 1804 there have been 22 eruptions with the most recent between 1999 and 2000. Check for volcanic activity – even if there’s the slightest chance of anything happening then it’s best to cancel your trip.
The best time to visit Mount Batur in Bali is from May to July as they are the dry months. The monsoon starts in December and extends till March. Rain makes the surface slippery making the hike risky and clouds may also obstruct the view.
Read also: Do not miss these places to visit in Bali
All about the excursion
You can book an organized tour and hire a guide for the Mount Batur trek. You can travel without a guide but as it is an active volcano and the locals respect the mountain, it is advisable to bring along someone familiar with Mount Batur. The organized tour usually covers the cost of picking up and dropping off the minivan, bottled drinking water, flashlights, Mt. Batur entrance fee of USD 20, an English-speaking guide and a porter. These things could change based on the company you choose, so be sure to compare and get the best deal. Guides usually tell you about the history and significance of Mount Batur, but it’s best to do some research as well. Some of the guided tours also offer a trip to hidden waterfalls, hot springs, black lava cycling, and rafting.
There are two ways to reach the top of Mount Batur: an easy one and a difficult one. The easy one is a long route and features winding paths around the mountain. The hard one is the fastest route as it is a straight route and a steep inclined route to the summit. The hike covers a distance of 11 kilometers and the summit of Mount Batur is at an elevation of 1,717 meters. There is a possibility that you may feel altitude sickness, so be prepared. When you reach the summit you will be served breakfast if it is included in your tour. As the sun rises, the monkeys around the area may join you, so it’s best to stay away from them.
Mount Batur trek starts from Pura Jati or Toya Bungkah villages. The hike from Pura Jati can be challenging and you may have to walk through lava fields. Starting from Toya Bungkah is the easiest way and takes about two hours. As the peak is popular for sunrise hikes, it will be crowded. Most tours stop before reaching the summit and finding a rock to sit on and watch the sunrise. If you want a better view you can hike to the summit and meet fewer people.
Some tips to make the excursion easier
Since you will be hiking at 2-3 in the morning, it is recommended that you wear multiple layers of clothing, as the temperature can drop as low as 14 degrees Celsius. When the sun rises, the temperature gets warmer and you can adjust your jackets accordingly. You also need to have proper hiking shoes as the surface consists of hard volcanic rocks. You can also rent a jacket at the base. Also, please bring other essentials such as a headlamp, some snacks, water, rain jacket, dry bag, money, sunscreen, and a bathing suit if you want to enter the hot springs.
In respect for Mount Batur
You can also visit nearby villages and experience traditional Indonesian culture. You can familiarize yourself with their craft of silver, wood and stone work. An important detail is that Mount Batur is treated with respect and is part of their culture. Try not to disrespect the peak in any way. Also, don’t litter during the hike or when you reach the summit.
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