Mt Batur used to be Bali’s biggest volcano. That was until a huge eruption blew chunks of the crater off. We had booked the sunrise trekking tour months before we departed for Bali. As the time of departure was creeping up we were a bit concerned that we might not be able to participate as Mt Agung’s risk of erupting was not calming down. Luckily however, Mt Batur was in the classified safe zone and the eruption threat was minor when we arrived.
It was an early rise and shine. We were picked up from our accommodation not long after midnight. It took 1.5 hours winding through the alpine roads before we reached the Batur Village in the Kintamani District. It was still pitch black when we met our guide, Ari. He provided us with flashlights and we were underway. Within not even 10 minutes of walking we came across a run down temple shining under a spot light. We stopped here as Ari said his morning prayer. It was such an awesome thing to witness but little bit eerie at that time of the morning.
Continuing, with nothing but the small lights we clutched to guide us. I found myself stumbling a few times as I lost my footing on the loose volcanic soil. It was definitely a hard climb especially as the altitude increased, but it was the view we were about to see which pushed us through. The entire climb to the summit took no more than 2 hours. While approached the top were greeted abruptly by thick fog, clouds and showers. Luckily there was a hut at the view point for us and the other hikers to huddle in. Ari began to prepare breakfast while we warmed ourselves with a hot cup of coffee.
It took a while for the clouds to blow over but the timing was faultless. As soon as the sun broke the skyline the clouds evaporated. There was a roar of cheers. I suspect it was the noise which woke the monkeys because not long after, we were observing the horizon together.
Everyone were in high spirits as we munched on some banana sandwiches and boiled eggs. As if the view was not entertainment enough, the tour guides amused us with an acoustic melody. We did not want to leave the summit but nature called so we made our way back down the volcanic track. Although this time we had the sunlight to guide us, I lost my footing more times on the descend. My jell-o legs and distracting view were the culprits.
To know before you go:
Bring a jumper – You will cool down very quickly as you wait at the summit. If you are like me and did not consider the possibility of being cold, not to worry, you can hire some jumpers at the starting point.
If you cannot be bothered lugging water up the hill or you forget, there are a couple of pitstops which you can purchase something to drink. Someone will also hike to the summit with a few bottles to sell.
No, you are not the king-of-the-castle. Expect there to be a crowd of people at the summit – who are all there for the exact same reasons as you.
Have an early night sleep – or at least get some sleep on the bus.
Tip your tour guide – The tour guides are locals of the Batur Village and know the terrain well. They give you a ton of information about the volcano and their village. Our tour guide was amazing, very charismatic and friendly. Many on the guides rely not only on tips but actually reviews of your tour. The better reviews they get the more job opportunities are presented. The trek and the views are amazing that there is no reason we all cannot take the time to give those five-golden-stars.
From there our drivers droped us back to ubud, but not before stopping for some much needed Luwak coffee. To learn more about the world’s most expensive coffee read my post.
NOTE: We booked our tour with viator!