Climbing an active volcano is usually not part of a typical Bali itinerary. For most travellers Bali is all about pristine beaches, temples and architectural marvels, but for me, it was hiking up Mount Batur, an active volcano, located in the Bangli region. I had to tick it off my bucket list and this August, I did. It left me both breathless and speechless.
A midnight hike is the most physically challenging task but watching the sun rise, standing on top of Mount Batur is the best thing I have witnessed so far. This wasn’t my first trekking experience, but was the most taxing. We started from Kuta at 2amand it took us an hour-and-a-half to reach the Mount Batur base camp in Kintamani. Luckily, it wasn’t cloudy and a sky full of stars welcomed us.
The moment we got off our transport, we realised that a sweatshirt wasn’t enough to fight the nip in the air. As the climb began, the wind grew stronger - it not only was cold but had a bite to it. We kept climbing in pitch darkness and I could feel the rough edges of the volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks beneath my feet. Our trek guide Made was my North Star for the entire journey. He helped us across the rough terrain, waited patiently when we ran out of breath and never left our side even for a minute. He held my hand throughout and helped me through that challenging path.
The steep trail up is uncomfortable but alluring at the same time. The dawn drew near with the sun rays finding their way through the clouds. I paused to witness the most spectacular view - a bright dash of yellow sandwiched between broad orange strokes served on a dish of puffy white clouds. Below the cloud veil was a bed of twinkling lights of a sleeping village.
However, that was just the teaser. Finally, after three hours, there we were - 5,633 ft above the sea level witnessing the most stunning sunrise. We waited with bated breath as the sun peaked its head behind Mount Agung, another active volcano that last erupted in 2019. I stood there admiring the magical colours. It was worth the physical challenges. I have never before witnessed such a spectacle and if you’re still contemplating whether you should include Mount Batur trek in your itinerary, think no further, just do it. It’s going to be the most exhilarating experience of your life and the highlight of your Bali trip.
The trek can be done faster depending on one’s fitness level, but the terrain is tough so don’t underestimate it. If it’s your first trek, the difficulty level is relatively higher, and you have the motorbike taxi to your rescue. To avail this facility, you will have to hike for an hour till the motorbike point. It takes 20 minutes to the drop point, from where you need to hike for another 15 minutes to reach the sunset point. They charge approximately IDR 500,000 (Rs 2,676) per person, round trip. Personally, I was too scared to ride a steep volcano on a bike, so decided to continue on foot. Also, this is the first time I have completed a trek without injuring myself (a pat on my back for that).
How to reach
It’s an hour drive from Ubud and about two hours from Kuta, Canggu and Seminyak. You can either book a cab through gojek app or ask your hotel to arrange a drop for you. Pickup timings are usually between 1 am to 2 am, depending on your location. You don’t need to book months in advance, you can even book two days prior. A local guide is highly recommended.
Trek Cost: IDR 500,000 (Rs 2,676) per person (excluding motorbike charges)
What follows next is the perfect end to your trek - a relaxing dip in the natural hot spring to comfort your sore muscles. We recommend Toya Devasya that features a hot infinity pool offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mount Batur caldera lake. If you aren’t done admiring the majestic beauty of Mount Batur, head to this idyllic infinity pool spot where you get to marvel at the beauty while healing your muscles and cramps.
Address: Central Batur, Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Cost for one: IDR 250,000 (Rs 1,340)