Higher and Higher: Trekking Mount Batur

The most active volcano in Bali, which last erupted in 2000, Mount Batur stands at a height of 1,717 metres above sea level. With sweeping views of the Lake Batur, Abang Hill, Mount Agung, and even Mount Rinjani in Lombok, it is no wonder that trekking to the top of this volcano to see the sunrise is one of the most popular activities in Bali.

HOW LONG AND HOW FAR

The hike up and down the volcano is around 5.5 kilometres and would take around 2 to 2.5 hours depending on your fitness level. Of course, if you are a trigger-happy shutterbug, you might take a longer time coming down.

BEST TIME TO GO THERE

May to July should be the best months to go there as you will have a higher chance of getting sunny skies and a clear view of the panoramic landscape offered by the peak. During the day, the most popular time for hiking up the volcano is before sunrise, which can get a bit crowded. To get a good spot and make sure that you do not miss the sunrise, which is from 6AM to 6:30AM in Bali, start heading up at 5:30AM.

WHAT TO WEAR

For footwear, it may be wise to step out of your flip flops for something a bit sturdier with a lot of grip, like trainers or trekking shoes. Although it maybe sweltering at the bottom, prepare for a temperature drop – With the humidity at the peak, it can get a bit chilly, especially in the early hours before sunrise.

WHAT TO BRING

A camera – It would be sad to miss all the photo opportunities you can get from the top. Bringing a mat and a blanket would also be handy for marking your perch and keeping your bum warm and dry. You can also bring your own flashlight and a bottle of water – Although most of the guides do carry it for you.

WHY GET A GUIDE

Although some travellers have pushed their way through the path up to the peak without a guide despite the large UNESCO signs that specifically states that you need a licensed guide, having a guide makes the trek a lot safer. It’s always good to be someone who knows the way if you are climbing up a mountain in pitch dark. It’s been reported that several tourists have been killed or seriously injured from mudslides and projectile rocks and hot steam spit out by the vents that surround the terrain. Remember that this new terrain is an active volcano and going through the trek safely is worth the money spent.

The guides are also there to make the journey more convenient for you. As tourism is a major source of livelihood for the village, you might end up being hassled by several guides on your way up and may also be misled when you ask for directions. The guides also provide you with flashlights as well as water, soft drinks, coffee, and some nibbles for your journey. As a bonus, they will show you how to cook an egg and a banana using the heated rocks around the volcano.

HOW MUCH AND HOW TO GET THERE

The easiest option is to book with your hotel which would set you back around USD75. You can also walk around Ubud to negotiate and sort out a lower price from other establishments. Take note that this price would include being picked up from your hotel to get to the starting point of the trek, flashlights, and most of the time, the food that the guides will be cooking for you on the top.

HAVE YOU BEEN UP MOUNT BATUR?

Share your experience with fellow travellers by commenting below.

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