TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST: SUNRISE TREK, MOUNT BATUR

“BETTER TO SEE SOMETHING ONCE THAN TO HEAR ABOUT IT A THOUSAND TIMES”

I love travel. I love the outdoors. I love hiking. I love sunrises. So you can imagine my excitement when I was in Ubud and booked a sunrise trek up the famous Mount Batur!

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Mount Batur is an active volcano north west of Mount Agung on the island of Bali, Indonesia. Reaching 1,717 meters, it is recommended to hike Mount Batur early in the morning due to the high daytime temperatures; and watching the sunrise is a beautiful way to start the day!

We went with a local guide who picked us up from our hotel, provided headlamps, breakfast, water and educated us about the active volcano. You’ll notice most people will be in groups with local guides, this isn’t a requirement, Mt. Batur is not a managed tourist attraction and there is no entry fee. However, there have been incidents in the past where solo hikers have been harassed by the ‘local mafia’ for not having a guide. Whether or not you think it’s worth it to save some money is up to you, but I really enjoyed our guided trek and it was nice to have someone take care of everything rather than organising it all ourselves for a change.

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Our hotel pickup was around 3:00AM from our resort in Ubud and since it was only my friend and I, we drove straight there. Upon arriving we put on our head torches, secured our back packs and headed up in single file. Now, if hiking in the dark sounds a little daunting, just think of it like this…do you really want to see the mountain you’re about to climb? Or would you rather see how far you’ve come once you’ve done it?

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The hike is a little technical in parts, requiring some concentration as you get to the steeper areas, but the guides are great, they allow plenty of time for short breaks for those who need to catch their breath and you’re guaranteed to be rewarded once you reach the top. Our guide brought us to a little wooden hut where we were able to sit and enjoy our breakfast as the sun started to rise.

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Once we experienced the gorgeous displays of oranges and yellows as the sun peaked out from behind Mount Agung, our guide led us closer to the crater where we met some of locals. Be mindful of these cheeky little monkeys! They may try and steal food or other loose items if you aren’t careful. The crater itself is quite impressive with an ever present cloud of steam – no oozing or bubbling lava I’m afraid – but still spectacular none the less!

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Climbing back down the mountain for some may be more difficult than ascending as it can be steep and slippery in some areas, but your guide will let you know when it may be challenging and will take it nice and slow. There will also be a lot more time for stopping on the way down as you’re going to be able to see the incredible landscape that you missed whilst you were climbing up in the darkness.

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Overall, the experience was one to remember and I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves the great outdoors and getting active whilst traveling.

TIPS FOR YOUR TREK:

CLOTHING: I wore long tights and a t-shirt, but it can get quite cold at the top of Mount Batur, so even though you may not need a jacket whilst climbing, it’s good to have one at the top once you start to cool down. I tied mine around my waste and was very thankful for it in the end.

FOOTWEAR: More so for descending, it is good to be wearing shoes that can grip well as it is very easy to slip on the way down. No need to go out and buy brand new hiking boots, but definitely no flip flops/sandals.

LOCAL GUIDES: It is possible to hire a guide or book a tour at almost every hotel/travel agent in Bali. I would recommend avoiding the ones on the street as there have been cases where the tours are not genuine or they are very overpriced. Booking with your hotel/hostel you are guaranteed a legitimate experience. Try to scope whether the tour/guide includes hotel pickup and drop off, breakfast, headlamps (some only issue hand held torches), bottled water etc. Try to get the most for your money!

WATER: Our guide gave us bottled water to take with us, but keep in mind that not every guide will do this, or you may want more, so take your own just in case. You can always leave it in the car if your confident your guide has enough.

FOOD: Our breakfast was included in our tour, but you may find yourself a little peckish before or during the climb, so having a muesli bar or nuts on hand is good for snacking.

PREPARE: If you’re not generally an active person, but this is something you want to do, it’s definitely possible, but keep in mind it is 1,717 meters high and can be quite steep in some areas. The guides are really accommodating, and do stop very frequently for people to catch their breath, so don’t feel deterred – you can do it!

TOILETS: There are no toilets near the volcano, so if you do need to go, you will need to let your guide know and like ours did, can take you somewhere on the way back. Ours dropped us off at a local tea and coffee plantation not far from Mount Batur. We were able to use the facilities and enjoy some beautiful tea and coffee. WIN! WIN!

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Be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram & Twitter

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Emmy M. says:

    Sounds amazing! Would love to do this someday. Great info!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice. Moneys steal food… When we hike in the Sierra Nevada, where we hike high mountains here in California, it is the marmots that we need to watch… Of course, when bears come, we just keep our distance and watch them play with our bear canisters, which they never can open. LOL And when I backpacked in Havasupai, Supai, AZ, it was ravens. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I would rather a monkey steal my food then have to come face to face with a bear! YIKES!!! We don’t get animals like that here in Australia. Just snakes and spiders that can kill you haha

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      1. Oh, we have rattle snakes too. Not a common sight, but we see them on the trail. Of course, not high in the alpines. It’s those marmots who look innocent and act as if indifferent about our presence, and then bam! LOL They are fast too. But definitely bears (brown or black bears) are just after our food than us, so we just let them mess with our canisters. But if you travel and hike in the North Cascade or Glacier National Park areas, you will have to deal with Grizzlies. Now it’s not about your food… LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You wouldn’t think they were very fast looking at them! haha. Won’t lie. I’m a bit scared of ANY bear encounter! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One time when my friends and I were hiking in the High Sierra, we saw a bear cub climbing over a ledge to the trail that we just walked on. We were on the other side of a stream that we also just crossed, and this furry creature was coming in our way. Somebody shouted, “Bear!” We looked. Once we spotted him, we ran! It wasn’t that we were scare of this cub. But his/her mom!!!!! LOL We probably ran about 1/4 miles without even looking back.

        Another time when I was hiking in Yosemite National Park. I didn’t see anyone on this particular trail, which starts from the popular Tunnel View (so one would think this trail must be super popular…), and the day was waning fast. My objective was to capture a sunset at this old outlook point but it turned out to be quite dangerous to reach (off trail and a few untested uphills and downhills… the map didn’t show that!), so I turned around and hiked back down the trail fast to reach the second best point… Then, in the corner of my left eye I saw something moving upward the hill. I turned and looked. Then, I realized that it was a bear that was running away from me! I was trail running so fast that it scared the bear away! LOL Gosh…. And I ran faster! LOL LOL LOL It think lack of enough light in the woods freaked me out…) Besides, I needed to be at the second best spot to capture the sunset anyway… I was literally running against time… LOL (And I got the shot and returned to the trailhead safely… LOL)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. WOW!!! Scary by the sounds of it, but makes such great stories 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous pictures! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 We had a beautiful morning for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. amazing pictures! Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Audrey says:

    Sounds amazing!! Bali is on my bucket list, so this was a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ace&Demi says:

    Oh, I suddenly miss the sunrise.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Always a Foreigner says:

    Sounds like an amazing experience! I have yet to do a Sunrise hike..mostly because I love my bed. But, I think I might have to book one on my next travels because your views were breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love bed too! But one morning is definitely doable 🙂 And totally worth it! Then you can sleep in the next day to make up for it 😉

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      1. Always a Foreigner says:

        Absolutely! I agree 100%. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. imemyself says:

    Earth looks more beautiful..This pic is an evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ubud, with its “cheeky little monkeys,” is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. I’d love to go back some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it too Sheri! A beautiful part of the world 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this! I’ve always wanted to go to Bali! Thank you for sharing your experience and gorgeous pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like you had a great time! So glad you did it 🙂

      Like

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