Although hiking has never been my forte, when we first heard about the Mount Batur sunrise trekking tour, I was convinced easily to accept the challenge. Staying close to the volcano, we just couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity. No, it wasn’t easy, yes, it made our muscles scream, but we made it and seeing the sunrise from the top of an active volcano was nothing to compare with!
If you visit Bali, doing the Mount Batur sunrise trekking tour is a must! Even if you don’t have much hiking experience, challenge yourself, the activity level of this tour is moderate and it takes 4 hours in total to reach the summit and get off the volcano.
Our driver picked us up in the middle of the night, at 2.30 am from Ubud center. After a one hour ride and a short coffee break, we arrived to Mount Batur (Gugung Batur), the 1,717 m (5,633 ft) high active volcano. A local Balinese guide assigned to our group was already waiting for us in the parking lot. He provided us flashlights and informed us that depending on our speed, the climbing to the summit will take us around 2 or 2,5 hours.
The sunrise trekking tour started in full darkness, our guide and a flashlight was the only help along the way. We started the climbing at 4.00 am in pitch black having no idea what was surrounding us. Without the flashlights I think this challenge would have been impossible. Once we started to climb up, all we could focus on was not to fall off or trip over the slippery rocks.
In the blackness all we could hear was the sound of the heavy breathing of people forming a single line up. One step after another, in the dark we had no idea where we were and how much farther we needed to get. Surprisingly, the last part of the hiking was the most difficult since the rocks and gravel here were more loose than before.
On the top
After two hours of climbing, with some unavoidable missteps and bruises we made it to the top! It was still dark, but we could already see the lines of Mount Agung starting to stand out slowly.
As soon as the sun started to come up, we realised that we were sitting above the clouds and the view looked like heaven on earth! The colours of sunrise changed with every minute, it was like a natural light show we could enjoy from front row seats. Our guide served us with bread and fresh boiled eggs cooked by the steam of the volcano.
All the pain and suffering vanished during that hour we spent sitting on the top of Mount Batur watching the tiny houses in the valley and the highest point of Bali, Mount Agung surrounded by clouds. The pictures speak for themselves, but for us, beginner climbers, it was a fantastic experience!
Descend back down
We thought that the way back down will be much more easier, but actually I managed to fall six times thanks to the slippery rocks. On the way down we saw the huge crater and also could feel the hot steam coming out of the active volcano. With the sunrise monkeys wake up as well, so be prepared to meet a lot of hungry monkeys looking for breakfast!
Looking back to Mount Batur from the valley made us proud. We woke up in the middle of the night, climbed a volcano, had our breakfast cooked by active volcano steam, descended with monkeys around us, it was a totally unique experience we will never forget.