Hiking Mount Batur in Bali at sunrise

Worth knowing about Mount Batur

  • Height: 1717m
  • Last eruption: 2000 ash eruption, 1963 eruption with lava
  • Activity: active
  • Start altitude of the trail: ca. 950m
  • Duration of the ascent: approx. 1.5 h – 3 h depending on parking and condition
  • Price for the tour: from approx. 15€ per person
  • Temperature at the summit: approx. 15-20°C

Mount Batur lies on the edge of a caldera. This is the remnant of a volcano that was active about 20-25,000 years ago. In the caldera is also the Batur Lake. On the opposite side is Gunung Abang, behind which you can also see the sun rising. So the Gunung Abang is the mountain that you always see on the pictures of the sunrise on Mount Batur. Behind Gunung Abang, in good weather, you can also see the peak of Agung, Bali’s highest and most active volcano.

The caldera, Lake Batur, Gunung Abang, and Gunung Agun in the background

Organizing a tour of Mount Batur

Many grave drivers in Bali are happy to help you organize a tour. Also all tourist offices in Bali offer the tour. In addition, you can find the tour at much higher prices online on all relevant booking portals. We booked the tour via Airbnb for 33€ per person, which was certainly one of the more expensive variants. However, it was with us a very short-term Schnapsidee in the evening to make the tour the next morning and we therefore had no time still a local tour provider to locate.

From our point of view it makes absolutely no sense to book a private or more expensive tour to book. Whether there are 2 or 20 people in the group makes neither during the hike nor at the summit a difference. People are everywhere anyway. Also the catering at the summit differed, as far as we could judge could judge, only minimally between the individual groups.

The crater of Batur

What should you bring to the tour?

  • Sturdy shoes with a good tread: The trail is sandy and the stones partly slippery
  • Water
  • Warm clothes: It is cold at the summit
  • Rain protection: There is no shelter at the summit
  • Sun protection: for the way back
  • Torch: if you have a bright one
  • Camera
  • Yumyum soups: if you want to make everyone jealous
  • . want to make (ask the guide for hot water, tea he makes anyway)
  • Some money: as a tip for the guide Or to buy drinks on the way

The Experience Report: A Tour of Mount Batur

The hotel pickup and the journey

Our hike starts at 2:30 at night. Our driver picks us up right at our hotel. The car is a six-seater. The back two seats have no seat belt. The driver is quasi in solidarity also not strapped in. For Bali, this is not unusual so far.

About an hour we drive through the night. Despite the early hour, some other cars are already on the road. However, the Streets clearly the dogs. They stand in front of many houses, bark barking at passing cars, running as a pack through various piles of garbage or dozing in the in the ditch.

We notice immediately when we reach the ancient crater, the caldera, on whose edge the Mount Batur lies reach. The so far holey but nevertheless quite usable country road turns into a roller coaster track. It goes over small hills, which are more useful as jumps for cars. Right turns and left turns line up directly one after the other. Quite a few of them have a strong lateral inclination. I spasmodically try to concentrate on the little bit of road that I can make out in the sparse light of the headlights. The road is so crooked and crooked that seeing it tends to intensify my feeling of being drunk. rather still strengthens. By the time we get to the parking lot, I’m nauseous.

The climb up Mount Batur

At the parking lot, our driver hands us over to our guide. Our Guide is 21 and married, he tells us about himself. For Indonesia this is normal. We get flashlights, which, however, have such small light cones that we prefer to use our own flashlights. Each of us gets a bottle with a half liter of water. In addition there is the last toilet here, is explained to us. Before we leave, another local us another native on. He sells drinks on the way and wants to and wants to talk us into the first beer. We decline with thanks.

Then the ascent begins. First it goes a piece of the Way at ground level there. Our first stop is a small Hindu temple in the forest, where our guide says a short prayer. We are climbing an active volcano today Volcano, since this can certainly not hurt.

A little later we see a campfire burning between the trees. burn. Three men sit at a folding table and control the Hiking groups. You are only allowed to climb the mountain with a licensed guide. The serves primarily the safety of the hikers and makes sense on an active volcano. also makes sense. Another reason is that the mountain is sacred. In many reports of a guide mafia that collects hikers without a group and forces them and forces a guide on them. You can think what you want about this, but without a guide one does not come in any case on the mountain.

The next part of the trail is uphill. The trail here is in a relatively good condition and not too steep yet. After a few hundred meters we reach a small camp in the forest. Here all Groups insert a short rest. There are burning campfires and a few dogs run around between the tourists. Our friend from the parking lot is back and tries to talk us into beer again. We refuse again.

Now we have the choice of how to proceed. There is a less steep, but slightly longer path, and a steeper short. On the less steep way are more people and also motorcycles on the way. It seems actually people to give, which can be brought with a motorcycle for 300,000 IDR on the the summit can be brought.

The steeper climb

We therefore decide to take the steeper path. The path is in rather poor condition. There are numerous places where he is strongly washed out. Some parts of the path consist only of stones that are are wet and somewhat slippery. Sometimes you can only get ahead on all fours. The way is definitely steeper than we expected and our guide sets a brisk pace. pace. I haven’t eaten anything yet today, it’s the middle of the night and so my circulation decides to strike. Although the path is not more strenuous than many tours, which I have already mastered without problems, I need clearly more breaks than usual, I am dizzy and my pulse races. Not the best conditions for the climb, of which we have just made half according to our Guide we have just made half. But there is fortunately actually no reason to go so fast. We still have plenty of time to get up the mountain before to get up the mountain before sunrise. With a lot of pauses, loud snorting and and trying to ignore the worried looks of the rest of the group, I fight my way up the mountain.

When we have climbed about three quarters of the mountain, we hear a we hear a rumbling from above. Concerned, we look at the mountain. But the silent and sleeps. Therefor a thundercloud piles up above us, which flashes flashes dramatically. Again and again bright lightning flashes through the night sky and illuminate the forest around us and the figures of the other hikers ghostly.

There is quite a bit of activity on the trail. Partly we overtake we overtake other hiking groups – although I am really slow today, partly we are overtaken. But it is still really so full here that one gets the impression that the path is overcrowded. On the flat way the Situation, however, already look quite different.

Shortly before the summit we hear motorcycles. Here the flat path meets the steep one. The last hundred meters to the summit now have to be really everyone run.

The summit of Mount Batur

The summit of Mount Batur does not exist as such. Instead, there are benches and a few small huts set up along the Crater rim are set up. In front of them are the slopes of Batur, behind them it goes steeply down into the rocky crater. When we arrive the scenery can only be guessed. Only when the sun rises, we see how narrow the ridge is the ridge is, on which we sit.

The view is gigantic from the first moment. Behind the Gunung Abang the first clouds are just turning pale blue.

Little by little, more and more tour groups are trickling in. Our Guide sets us down on the ridge on a small wooden bench. We get a High Five – I get it with a rather doubtful look that looks like a a “that you still make it even high I would not have thought”. Then our guide disappears to get tea.

For the next two hours we sit on our bench at the Crater of Batur and watch the sunrise. We get tea, untoasted Toast with banana on it and a boiled egg for breakfast.

We shiver a little. On the summit it is nevertheless clearly colder than in the valley and we are also still neat wet sweat. I am glad about it my Hoody and a rain jacket to have thereby.

 Every now and then people show up show up trying to sell us drinks or wristbands. They’re a bit annoying. On the other tourists, on the other hand, we do not bother much, while it is meanwhile really full here. But the crowds distributed well and everyone stares at the Gunung Abang in front of us. One comes therefore hardly in the Quere. When the sun is above the mountain, the hour strikes for selfies. Now it becomes nevertheless at the best photo points partly a little bit full and one must wait a few minutes to have a clear view of the mountain. All in all All in all, however, it is quite civilized.

The Monkeys on Mount Batur

It’s quiet on the summit – until the monkeys come. Whole packs of macaques suddenly appear out of nowhere and pounce on everything edible that they can get hold of. The tourists, who just looked so had looked so comfortably into the distance, now only few seconds remain, to bring their belongings to safety. The monkeys are insolent and unscrupulous. Even our flashlights and water bottle do not bother them much. The guides now start to feed the animals with the leftover toast. The animals are so overeaten that they only eat the middle of the toast and the rest and throw the leftovers carelessly on the side. What the monkeys leave behind, get the dogs that roam around at the summit.

The descent with a view

After the monkeys have driven away the silence and now begins the descent. We go down the flatter path. Since all groups about at the same time it jams at the way fast. In between there are motorcycles around and even scooters, which transport people from the mountain down. The view on the way is very beautiful. You can see the entire Lake Batur, over which which still hangs the remains of the morning fog. In it float numerous enclosures of the fish farms which Furthermore, one sees halfway up into a lava field, which originates from the last big eruption of Batur in 1963. The dark color of the cooled lava stands out clearly against the surrounding meadows.

The further we descend from the mountain, the more distributed The hikers, however, again. When it becomes flatter again, our group is already again alone on the way.

At the parking lot already waits our driver for us and we start the return journey. Unexpectedly we stop on the way still on a coffee farm, which also produces the famous Kopi Luwak. But that is another Story and it is told another time.

Our conclusion to the tour on Mount Batur

Although we read in advance that the tour is very touristic is, we are glad to have made it. One must definitely not expect to be to be alone on the mountain. Due to the fact that you stare into the distance, everyone from the climb is broken and quietly sitting there, the other tourists did not bother us. Some of the guides were a bit annoying and so were the vendors. The monkeys at the summit were equally annoying as well as funny. We are glad to have made the tour have. What one must emphasize however clearly, is that one should bring a certain physical fitness should bring and must not be afraid to tell the Guide to say when you need a break.

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