You’re full of wanderlust but wanna escape the crowded beaches? Then it’s time to visit Bali’s incredible volcanic landscape. Among several volcanoes, Mount Batur offers by far the best conditions for climbing, even for non-experienced hikers.
A few facts about Mount Batur before we dive in:
- Its height is 1717m.
- The last eruption was 2000.
- It was formed almost 30.000 years ago.
- It’s still considered an active volcano (no, there is no flowing lava).
Here’s the thing. Climbing Mount Batur isn’t too challenging. The walk is a bit demanding, but you don’t have to be a professional mountaineer or athlete. Or even doing regular exercise. Your muscle may scream a bit later but that’s about it. Even kids can go up. It takes max. 2 hours to reach the top peak.
Getting to the top can be done anytime, the most popular and recommended time however is 4 a.m. as the sunrise from here is absolutely breathtaking. This means you’ll be picked up from your hotel between 2-3 a.m. It takes about 90 minutes to reach the summit, depending on your physical level it might take more or even less. Worth to mention that Mount Batur has actually two peaks, it takes about 30-40 minutes from the first peak to reach the top peak.
What you should bring:
Bring a jacket: it’s quite fresh on the top, make sure to bring a jacket / pullover or any kind of preferred extra layers that keep you warm
Suitable shoes: you don’t need to wear any special hiking/trekking boots just solid closed shoes (no flip flops).
Snacks/drinks: that might be included in your tour package (make sure to check before), but it’s always good to bring more. Don’t forget that you’re burning a lot of energy.
How to get a good tour guide:
Book through your hotel’s reception or concierge. If you want to book direct trough a reputable tour operator check TripAdvisor and Facebook groups before. Small street agents (mostly in tourist areas) are not recommended as they will try everything to sell you the trip and might even tell you that they know the guides (which they in most cases don’t).
Explore the cave:
Yes, there is even a cave at Mount Batur. Not very spectacular and you can only visit a small part around the entrance. It’s not well explored yet and nobody really knows to where it leads.
Mount Batur’s lava field:
This natural phenomenon looks pretty much like the moon’s surface with enormous grey-black rocks as far as the eye can see. Although there is a trail leading through the entire field to the other side of the volcano, you can only access it by 4×4 or motorbike. It’s super fun if you have the right vehicle as many visitors have not the chance to experience the lava field
Photograph the abandoned floating house on Lake Batur:
Nobody knows how this wooden house ended up partially submerged in the middle of the lake but it’s weird yet beautiful. There are several private tour operators around the lake that drive to the house and other spots around the lake.
Also called Aga Village, Trunyan is probably the most remote inhabited area in Bali as it’s only accessible by boat. The Trunyan are descendants of those Balinese who lived on the island long before the Hindu kingdom of Majapahit arrived here. What makes this village even more unique is the open cemetery here: unlike the rest of Bali, the Trunyan do not cremate or bury but simply lay the dead bodies on pieces of bamboo below a huge mysterious banyan tree where they rot. Not for the faint-hearted. Locals around the lake offer private boat tours there. Make sure to haggle prices.
How to get to Mount Batur:
As public buses traveling infrequent, it’s best to join a tour or rent a car. The roads are well paved, although you’re welcome by some steep grades. It takes about 30 minutes from Ubud to Mount Batur and roughly 90 minutes from Kuta, Seminyak or Canggu to get there.