Hiking a Volcano in Bali: Mt. Batur
Roosters crowing at 3:30 am, peering up at a pitch black sky sprinkled with stars, and trekking up a volcano...this only begins to describe the incredible experience we had on our Mount Batur sunrise hike with Bali Hiking.
You know you're in Bali when you've driven through bumpy, windy roads, the thick, humid air covers your skin, and you have to remain alert so monkeys don't steal your food.
And you absolutely love it - all of it. Because that is just part of what makes Bali Bali.
Our morning with Bali Hiking was spectacular, and while we may have been half asleep at the beginning, hiking Mount Batur was entirely worth it.
It is something I'll never forget, and I promise you wouldn't either!
Read on to get an inside look at the entire Mount Batur volcano hike experience with Bali Hiking and some additional tips at the end!
We got three hours of sleep, woke up at 12:30 am, and drove from Canggu to Mt Batur. 🌋 A couple of hours (and with sore legs) later we were at the top of the volcano just in time for sunrise & this incredible view. 🌄 . To celebrate, our guides made us hard boiled eggs for breakfast...that were cooked from the volcano steam!! ...like whaaat ?! Is this real life?? . 📷 @katgaskin x @pangeadreams #pdtrbali #pangeadreams •••••
An Early Morning For Mount Batur (It Is a Sunrise Trek, After All)
Since this was a sunrise hike on the other side of the island, that meant a 12:30 am wake up call! A driver picked us up in Canggu at 1:30 am and the drive took about two hours.
When we got there at 3:30 am we were offered bottled water, hot coffee, and tea. It was still very dark but we could hear roosters crowing in the area.
Gear & Guides
Our guides gave us each a walking stick and a headlamp. I've never used either for hiking previously, but they really came in handy.
It was pitch black outside so the headlamp was definitely necessary and it was nice to have the walking stick for stability. I'm sure I would have slid around a lot more than I did if I didn't have the walking stick!
Some tour companies don't give you the headlamp and walking stick (you may only get a flashlight) so choose a company like Bali Hiking that provides you with the gear you need.
We had two guides with us; one in the front and one in the back. They were awesome! When I asked one of the guides if he was from Bali (after mentioning I lived in California), he said he was from "Balifornia!"
Ha, we loved our guides!
They led the way, cracked jokes, sang a few songs with us (Bob Marley, Justin Bieber...you name it), and gave us history and facts about the volcano.
Our guides made the hike even more special!
The Hike: What It's Like To Climb Mount Batur
That wonderful feeling of accomplishment ✌️ taken just after the volcano 🌋 hike! . I don't hike that often, but reconnecting with the outdoors was just what my soul needed in Bali. It's another reminder to try new things at home, too, not just when traveling. What's your favorite outdoor activity? . 📷 @tracy_komlos x @pangeadreams #pangeadreams #pdtrbali •••••
The beginning of the hike is in a forest. Plenty of trees, green colors everywhere, and easy to walk uphill.
As you get about halfway or so, the forest clears and you'll find yourself walking up on black sand. At this point you'll start to see the orange-red colored hardened lava!
I slid around a little in the sand (I was wearing Nike Frees), but found the Nikes to be okay for this hike.
Our guides had us take a short water break and we could see the faint outline of Mount Agung, Batur's "sister" volcano in the distance.
We turned our headlamps off and marveled at the starry sky. It was a clear day and there were SO many stars in sight!
It was breathtaking, really.
As we were about to get to the top, we could see the light shining at the summit. A light fog began to surround us as we inched closer and closer.
Once at the top, we celebrated (YAY!) and put our stuff down on the benches.
The timing was perfect as the sun was just breaking the surface, beaming behind the volcanoes.
That view was one of the absolute best views I have ever seen on a hike, ever.
There is really nothing like it.
Isn't it AMAZING?
This isn't your average hike back home...unless you live in Bali, of course! Or Balifornia ;)
After enjoying the incredible view, we walked over to the other side of the volcano and our guides showed us some of the steam coming out.
We got to feel how hot it was and couldn't leave our hands in too long or else we'd get burned!
Now, what else do you do with burning hot volcano steam?
Hard boil eggs for breakfast, apparently!
The steam is hot enough to boil eggs, so that's what we did. Once the eggs were ready, the guides had simple sandwiches on white bread. We had plain egg sandwiches, egg and banana sandwiches, and extra bananas and hard boiled eggs.
While we ate, monkeys at the top hovered nearby, attempting to sneak in to steal our food. The guides shooed them away, but they did manage to get a leftover sandwich sitting on the table!
I could feel my legs starting to feel sore at this point - it was satisfying being at the top...but we weren't done yet!
We walked over to another part of the top of the volcano at a viewpoint and took a couple more photos. You could look down and see the crater of the volcano, too.
It was time to make the trek back down the volcano.
At the bottom, we were in a rush to get to Ubud for a hotel collaboration so we had to quickly say goodbye to our new friends.
Tips & Things You Should Know For Hiking Mt. Batur in Bali
It's a great hike! I would say this is a moderate hike in terms of difficulty.
I don't have much to compare it to, but I'd say Mount Batur is similar in difficulty to the Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. If you've hiked Cholla on Camelback then I'd say that's a good reference point for the fitness level!
What to wear
Layers are key. You'll probably pack mostly beachwear and warm weather clothes for your Bali trip, but bring a light jacket and long pants or leggings for this hike.
Personally I wore a Lululemon hoodie, yoga crops, and a t-shirt, and felt that was good for the hike.
Hiking boots or athletic sneakers? Up to you. I was fine in my Nike Frees, but like I mentioned, I did slide around a bit on the sandy parts.
Nikes take up less space in luggage and are more versatile, but if you are already planning on bringing hiking boots then wearing them for this could be a good idea!
A small backpack is also super helpful to hold your water, camera, and put your jacket into when you get warm from the exercise. A small drawstring backpack or daypack would work well.
This is a given for any physical activity, but it's easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to drink water.
With the exercise and humidity you'll probably be sweating quite a bit, so make sure to hydrate regularly.
Bali Hiking provided us with two cold water bottles each before we left, which is more than enough!
Bring a camera
Remember to pack your camera or phone, because the view is one you'll want to capture forever.
At the end of our Bali trip most of us agreed that hiking the volcano was one of the highlights!
Bali has plenty to offer any traveler, including awesome outdoor activities. Island life sounds pretty good when you can swap the gym back home for a volcano climb, right?