Inside the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

Ah yes, the famous Mount Batur sunrise trek. A must do for anyone who likes hiking or sunrises in Bali. I should preface this post by explaining that this was not an easy trek for me at all.

  1. I’m a night owl, so I was never going to get enough sleep for a 2 a.m. wake-up call.
  2. My current fitness levels leave much to be desired.
  3. I don’t hike that much, despite have one or two or three mountain posts. I want to be a person who hikes, but I’m not there yet.
  4. I’m not 100% sure I had appropriate shoes, but I also saw people in Keds and Converses, so I wasn’t the most unprepared person.

Anyhow, after successfully completing this gorgeous sunrise tour, I wanted to shed some light into it what exactly the Mount Batur sunrise trek was like.

mt-batur-sunrise-hike

For starters, doing this hike was entirely Elissa’s idea. She grew up near the foothills of southern California, so she always did hikes with her family, including much harder ones than this. She also does taekwondo regularly. Yes, Elissa’s current fitness levels > my current fitness levels by a landslide. At first, I hemmed and hawed when she added it to our list, but after I saw the pictures from Nicola at Polkadot Passport, I decided I could suck it up and hike an active volcano to get such a beautiful view.

Guys, it’s gorgeous up there. You spend a good hour and a half to two hours getting to one of the three main points in the dark with only a flashlight and, hopefully, an attentive guide to help you. It’s freezing cold at the top, though you can get a hot drink while you wait with the hundreds of other people who decided to do this trek as well. You might curse yourself for agreeing to this hike the whole way up and the whole way down, but a soon as you see that bit of orange popping up through the darkness.. It’s worth it. Like easily one of the best sunrises I’ve seen in my whole life. My photos do not do it justice! I hated every moment of my life getting up and down that hill, and my ankles were tender for a few days afterwards from falling, but I still recommend this trek to anyone.

Also, you might run into some monkeys on the way down ;p

mount-batur-sunrise-monkeys

More on the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

  • From Canggu: It’s about 1 1/2 – 2 hours drive depending on traffic. We left at 1:45 am and actually go there a little after 3 am, but on the way back it took us a little over 2. You can easily arrange a guide with your hotel/hostel/guesthouse. If you’re in Ubud, there are definitely multiple travel agencies as well.
  • Cost: 600,000 IDR (~ $46) for the drive and guide. We were also given breakfast and water. We tipped our guide, Eka, because he was the best. I read 20-50,000 IDR is normal, but I think we each did 50,000 IDR a piece. He seemed so much more attentive than other guides we saw, and he literally held my hand for most of this hike.
  • Weather Tip: It. Gets. COLD. Like windy, to your bones cold up at the top. Bring a proper jacket. Even my cargo jacket wasn’t enough to keep me warm, and we wound up waiting about an hour for the sunrise!
  • Shoe Tip: Wear something sturdy, either trail shoes or hiking boots. Trail shoes should be pretty okay though. There are rocky parts and slippery parts, and while I fell a lot, over all the actual trail wasn’t as harsh on my feet as Baemsagol
  • “Mount Batur: The Sunrise Trek” via Eli Travel Bug
  • “Almost Had to Walk Barefoot Down an Active Volcano in Bali” via Petite Wanders
  • On Mt. Batur itself via the Smithsonian Institution

mount-batur-bali

Have you been on a sunrise hike before? 

Words and Photograph by Samantha

22 Comments

  1. Jeremy
    May 10, 2017 / 9:28 am

    Hi. May i know which agency did you use?

    • May 11, 2017 / 12:11 am

      Hi! I believe Mt. Batur uses a government-related agency. I booked with my guesthouse, though, so I’m not sure. They handled everything else :)

  2. August 29, 2016 / 9:45 am

    Sunrise and sunset are just one of the most amazing scenes nature offers to us. You got to appreciate this more because of the effort you exerted to get up there. This should be a photographer’s dream.

    • September 2, 2016 / 8:41 am

      They really are! They’re sheer magic, I swear. And yes, I’m just imagine all the types of shots I could have gotten with a more upgrade DSLR or even a drone :p!

  3. August 28, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    I was definitely looking forward to this hike but we skipped Indonesia this time in favor of a trip to America in FOUR WEEKS! (EEK!) With that said, I’ll definitely be doing it when I make it to Indonesia so I appreciate these tips as I’ll be referencing back. I’ve done quite a few sunrise hikes and while they’re sometimes awful in the process, views like yours make it all worth it. Glad you had a great time – thanks for sharing your experience =)

    • September 2, 2016 / 8:40 am

      Haha you’ll have fun back in the US! Definitely do the hike when you’re in Bali (especially if you’re already used to how awful pre-sunrise can be :p).

  4. August 28, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    I’m a night owl too and terrible at waking up early so I wouldn’t be able to do this. I love hiking though because I love to photograph landscapes. My condition wasn’t very good as well, but since I started jogging I can walk up slopes without being out of breath. It’s probably easier to train that way than walking up a bunch of mountains all the time.

    • September 2, 2016 / 8:37 am

      Haha I only got like 3 hours of sleep before doing this– so terrible! And wow you’re doing better than me with being in shape! I want to start jogging and getting my fitness levels up again so something like this hike isn’t as hard as it was for me!

  5. August 28, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    sounds like a tough workout. waking up and leaving so early would prove to be difficult too, if you even sleep. half the time I’m still awake at 1:45.
    sounds well worth it though. I’ll be sure to do it for some photography up top. haha

    • September 2, 2016 / 8:36 am

      Oh man it was! Though Elissa is in better shape than I am, and she seemed pretty okay! And yes, that was probably 99% of my motivation–thinking of the photos!

  6. August 28, 2016 / 8:23 am

    why wake up so early to hike up so early? couldn’t you guys just sleep in and do it in slightly warmer weather?

    • September 2, 2016 / 8:32 am

      Haha for the sunrise!

  7. August 24, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    I love the final picture of you Sam! So stunning, a great shot to commemorate a feat esp. since you said there was a 2am wake up call?? Indonesia seems like it has so much to offer. I honestly need to go sooner rather than later! The only thing that would truly freak me out would be those wild monkeys!

    • September 2, 2016 / 8:31 am

      Thanks, Izzy! Haha it was more like a 1:30 am and on the road by 2 am — NUTS! It definitely does! I originally thought I’d go when I had 3 weeks for travel, and I wanted to do 2 weeks around Indonesia and 1 week relaxing in Bali. I have a pin board of non-Bali places I want to see still!

      Haha and the monkeys were super chill :) The people pushing to see them were probably more dangerous!

  8. August 23, 2016 / 5:34 pm

    I almost did this hike when I was in Bali, but we decided to do some extra days in temples instead, but this seems like something I’ll do when my husband and I go to Bali soon! Thanks for sharing! I hope you become a hiker – we absolutely love hiking and the rewards & memories it brings! Cheers!

    • August 29, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Definitely when you go back! If you can try to get a guide for just the two of you instead of a bigger group :) And definitely, it’s my goal this year! Hike as much while I’m in Korea (AMAZING mountains here) and continue when I’m home!

  9. August 23, 2016 / 7:32 am

    I would totally do this! Waking up at 2 am sounds tough, but the views look amazing, and I’m sure it’s something you’ll never forget!

    • August 29, 2016 / 9:42 pm

      Definitely recommend as someone who died the whole way up and down– the views are SO worth it! The 2 am was pretty bad, but I did sleep in the car ride up and back haha.

  10. August 22, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! So often it’s hard to get a sense of how difficult a trail is and how prepared I need to be. This was a super helpful post.

    • August 22, 2016 / 10:18 pm

      No problem, thanks for reading :) And right? When I did Baemsagol, the guide said it was an intermediate hike… It was definitely hard!

  11. August 22, 2016 / 11:38 am

    I love hiking and this would be ideal for me. As hard as it would be to wake up early I think I could manage it for those views and beautiful sunrise. If I ever get to Bali I will be doing this for sure.

    • August 22, 2016 / 10:16 pm

      Oh definitely. This is an easy must if you like hiking! Haha I was kind of hoping it would be like what my early morning swim practices used to be like– hard, but I’d also only be half awake for them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *