The Mount Batur hike in Kintamani, Bali is one of the most popular and enjoyable sunrise trekking experiences you can have in Indonesia.
It’s not very hard to do the Mount Batur Bali trek from any part of the island, and the guided trek takes you up a still active volcano — Gunung Batur — with a summit elevation of more than 1,700 meters.
Mount Batur sunrise trekking is especially popular because you can catch amazing views of the sunrise from the top of the mountain, usually in a sea of orange clouds. Sunset trekking can also be interesting if you don’t like the idea of waking up early.
I’ve done this Bali volcano hike many times over the years, and the Mt Batur trek is always a completely memorable adventure in its own way.
Mount Batur is currently open for hiking as of December 2023. Back in May, there was some talk from the former Bali governor about banning tourists from hiking the mountain, but thankfully that hasn’t happened.
In this guide, I’ll explain how you can hike Mount Batur for sunrise or sunset, with or without a guide, and everything else you need to know before you go!
- Distance: 3 – 5 kilometers (2-3 miles) return
- Elevation Gain: 500 meters (1,650 feet)
- Top Elevation: 1,717 meters (5,633 feet)
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Duration: 2 – 4 hours return
Best Mount Batur Tour Guide
First of all, if you’re looking for a vetted tour guide for visiting Mount Batur Bali, here’s a top-rated Mount Batur sunrise trekking tour from GetYourGuide starting at 500k Rupiah ($32 USD) that includes optional hotel pickup and drop-off from places like Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Sanur, Kerobokan, and Canggu.
They also have a high-rated trek that includes the natural hot springs in Kintamani, and optional transfer from Ubud or Nusa Dua.
These prices are fairly similar to what we see being quoted on the ground in Bali, and the online reviews are highly positive too. The tour includes breakfast and trekking equipment like poles, torches, and drinking water.
We’ve used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!
Book Now: Mount Batur Bali Sunrise Tour
Where Is Mount Batur?
The Mount Batur volcano is located in the Kintamani highlands, on the northeast part of Bali island.
It’s about a 2 hour drive to Mount Batur from Canggu, Kuta, Sanur, or Seminyak, and about a 1 hour drive from Ubud.
Or, if you stay a night at a hotel directly in Kintamani, you can walk to the volcano from your hotel! That’s how we did our latest Mount Batur sunrise trek.
Where To Stay: Batur Volcano Guesthouse
About The Gunung Batur Volcano
Mount Batur (also known as ‘Gunung Batur’ in Indonesian) is part of an active volcano that’s believed to have formed in a massive apocalyptic eruption about 25,000 years ago.
At one time (before it blew its top), Batur was apparently more than 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) tall — making it even bigger than Mount Agung, Bali’s current tallest volcano (which is already huge).
Almost two dozen eruptions have happened at Gunung Batur since 1804 when recording first started, and it last erupted in 1999-2000.
That sounds scary, but any signs of impending volcanic activity are constantly monitored by the Indonesian government so Batur is generally very safe to climb.
Since 2015, UNESCO lists the Mount Batur caldera as a global geopark for its fantastic volcanic landscapes.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking
• Starting The Mount Batur Hike
Mount Batur sunrise tours start with a very early morning pickup (2 AM-ish) so your guide can drive you all the way to Kintamani for a hike to the top of the volcano in time for sunrise.
The Mount Batur hike is very popular, so you’ll most likely be trekking in the company of dozens (if not hundreds) of other international and local tourists all sharing the same path.
At the top of the Mount Batur view point, you cross the rim of the volcano and then you’re greeted by packs of Balinese monkeys eager to share your sunrise (and your snacks)! Keep a close eye on them.
On our last hike to Mt Batur, one monkey stole our entire snack bag, and by the time we got it back he had looted the Pocari Sweat and drank it in front of us. Nakal monyet.
Where To Stay: Mt. Batur Volcano Guesthouse
• How Hard Is The Hike?
The hike up Mount Batur takes about 2 hours (give or take) depending on your fitness level, and it’s steep but not dangerous at all as long as you stay on the path. If you’re feeling unsure about this hike, just DO IT!
Anyone can do the trek, but I wouldn’t take that to mean it’s a complete joke either. The climb up is a decent calf killer, and the walk down is a bit of an ankle buster.
It’s a fair bit of elevation gain. You will be plenty sore after the hike! Plan on a Balinese foot massage afterwards.
If you want a harder volcano hike than Mt. Batur with less crowds, consider doing the Mount Agung hike in the same area. However, the climb up Agung is a much, much tougher hike than Mt. Batur.
• Mount Batur Hike Distance
The Mount Batur hike distance depends on where you start and end your trekking, but generally it’s about 3-5 kilometers (2-3 miles) roundtrip.
AllTrails (and some travel blogs) are incorrect for this hike when they list it at 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles). Looking at a Mount Batur map, that’s only the distance if you completely circle both volcano craters, and start from the bottom of the road in Toya Bungkah village.
The real Mount Batur hike distance is quite a bit shorter, so keep that in mind when you see inflated figures like that.
• Mount Batur Height
The Mount Batur height at its summit is 1,717 meters (5,633 feet). You don’t need to acclimatize to altitude before doing the hike.
It’s a fair change in elevation if you’re coming from sea level in the touristy areas of south Bali, but it’s definitely not enough of a change to cause altitude sickness, so you don’t need to worry about anything of that sort.
• Mount Batur Elevation Gain
The Mount Batur elevation gain depends on where you start and end your hike, but generally it’s about 500 meters (1,650 feet).
• Mount Batur Weather
The Mount Batur weather is quite a bit cooler than other parts of Bali, although it’s never frigid.
Overnight temperatures can drop below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), and the wind can make it feel colder than that.
You’ll definitely want to bring a light jacket to wear at the top of the Mount Batur view point, and that way you can stay warm while waiting for the sunrise.
After the Mount Batur sunrise, the weather warms up and you’ll be ready to shed the jacket on your way down.
Speaking of weather, what if clouds or fog roll in and block your view of the sunrise? Unfortunately it happens sometimes, and I’ve seen it myself.
Regardless of how much planning you do, ultimately there is no way to predict the weather on Mount Batur. You just have to give it a shot, and hope for the best.
• Mount Batur Sunrise
The Mount Batur sunrise is an awesome sight to see. It’s so worthwhile.
On the right you have Lake Batur and the peaks of Gunung Abang, with the Mount Agung volcano just barely visible above them.
Directly behind the sunrise is the Bali Sea, and on a clear day you can even make out the shape of Mount Rinjani on Lombok island way off in the distance!
• Breakfast At Mt Batur
After sunrise at Mount Batur, it’s time for breakfast. Most tour guides include this for free in the trekking packages, and you’re going to be hungry after spending your morning climbing a mountain.
Since Mt Batur is an active volcano, there are small heat vents to be found at the top of the crater, and the tour guides will usually let you cook eggs by sticking them in the heat vents.
It’s yet another fun and unique activity to enjoy on this Bali volcano! I mean really, how often do you get the chance to cook eggs with heat vents from an active volcano?
What To Bring
- Jacket: Bring an extra layer for the Mount Batur sunrise trek. You’ll shed your jacket right away as you heat up, but then you’ll probably want it again at the top while you sit and wait for the sunrise.
- Footwear: Regular shoes are fine, but sturdy hiking shoes are better for the Mount Batur hike. You can also do it with hiking sandals, but I wouldn’t wear flip flops. You’ll be walking on slippery gravel and steep inclines or declines at times.
- Poncho: If you go during the rainy season (especially December to February), you might want to bring a rain jacket just in case.
- Water: Most Batur tours will give you a small bottle of water for the hike, but if you can bring 1L or 1.5L per person that’s better.
- Snacks: Again, even though most tours include free breakfast, you’ll probably be wanting energy snacks to go with it.
- Headlight: Mount Batur sunrise trekking tours will provide cheapo flashlights, but a quality headlight will be even better.
- Camera: Essential. A small tripod could be handy too since it’ll be dark before the sunrise.
When To Go
You can hike Batur any time of the year, but the best months are April to November, when there’s less rain and the mountain visibility is better. June through September are especially dry, and that’s when you have the best chance of seeing a spectacular sunrise.
You can still do the hike in the rainy season months, especially more mild months like March, and it’s less crowded with tourists at that time, but you’ll want to wear good shoes and bring a poncho just in case it rains.
Mount Batur Deaths & Safety
Accidents and deaths are rare at Mount Batur, although a 25 year old Swedish tourist unfortunately fell into the crater and died in 2010, and a 70 year old American fell to his death in 2022.
These are two of the only confirmed Mount Batur deaths to date, even though hundreds of tourists hike the volcano for sunrise every day.
The hiking path is quite safe as long as you stay away from steep edges. The drop-offs are easy to avoid as long as you can see them.
You should always have a light for hiking in the dark (Mt. Batur guides can provide this), and please don’t ever try to take selfies or other pictures near steep cliff edges.
As long as you follow these rules, the Mount Batur hike is very safe and even kids can do it.
Mount Batur Tour Guide / Mafia Requirement
Even though it’s a fairly simple hike that could be done solo, Mount Batur is controlled by a local trekking group (mafia) that doesn’t let anyone climb the volcano without paying for a local guide.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve climbed Mount Everest and you’re the picture of fitness, you’ll still be forced to hire a local guide and pay your dues for the Mount Batur sunrise trek.
People who try to climb the mountain without a guide have reported being verbally abused by locals (“you’re a terrorist”) and even shoved, kicked, or physically threatened. Hopefully the Bali government will step in and put an end to this.
As much as I don’t like rewarding this kind of bad behavior, keep in mind it is motivated by poverty. Kintamani is a very poor area of Bali. There are also a few other benefits to hiring a guide:
- Transport: Who wants to be driving in a foreign country at 2 AM? Better to pay someone else to do it for you.
- Navigation: Even though the path is easy to find in the daytime, it’s definitely more tricky in the dark before sunrise.
- Assistance: Guides will give you a hand on the mountain, and help you snap photos with the sunrise.
- Supplies: Most tours include some things you’ll need for Mount Batur sunrise trekking, like breakfast, bottled water, flashlights, etc.
- Peace of Mind: Is $30 or $40 USD really worth getting into a fight with the locals on your holiday?
Book Now: Mount Batur Bali Sunrise Tour
Mount Batur Without Guide – Directions
If you’re resolved to hike Mount Batur without a tour guide, the best way to attempt it is on the north side of the mountain.
The trail on the north side is more quiet and only seems to get used by people starting directly from Kintamani village (i.e. locals and overnighters) doing the Mount Batur sunrise trek.
This side wasn’t monitored by anyone when we went, but that may change. My best advice is to navigate to Red Lava Campground and then walk up, up, up the slope.
The path to the top of Mt.Batur isn’t too hard to follow without a guide, even in the dark — just follow the elevation. There are dozens of converging trails that all meet at the summit. The only challenge will be finding the start, so give yourself some extra time for that.
Mount Batur Afternoon Trekking
If you’re not really interested in seeing the Mount Batur sunrise, or the early start won’t work for you, then it’s always possible to do morning or afternoon trekking at Mount Batur.
You won’t see the same epic sunrise at the Mount Batur view point, of course, and the other downside is that it may be harder to find other travelers to share a group with you. Plus, fog is more likely to block the views altogether.
Morning and afternoon aren’t popular times to hike this volcano, but that can be a good thing if you’re wanting to avoid the big crowds.
Mount Batur Sunset Trekking
If you don’t like waking up early for the sunrise, and would rather stay an extra night in Kintamani, then it’s also possible to do sunset trekking at Mount Batur.
The Mount Batur sunset isn’t quite as dramatic as sunrise since you don’t have Gunung Abang in the background, but you’re still bound to get some great views.
Better yet, if you feel like camping, you can do a 2-day Mount Batur trek and witness both the sunrise and the sunset! This is a unique way to get more time on the mountain.
Where To Stay
Nowadays there are lots of great budget friendly Kintamani hotels if you want to stay overnight before your Mount Batur sunrise trek. See below for some recommendations.
The main advantage of staying in Kintamani is that you have easier access to the Mt. Batur volcano so you can wake up later for the hike. That means starting at 4 AM, instead of 1-2 AM if you start from other areas of Bali like Ubud, Kuta, or Sanur.
The other reason to stay in Kintamani is that there are some great things to see besides the volcano. You can soak in the natural hot springs at Lake Batur, visit the traditional villages and temples, etc.
Hotels Near Mount Batur Bali
Mount Batur Hot Spring
Since Mount Batur is an active volcano, there is also a hot spring nearby by the name of Toya Devasya.
The facilities are nothing special, but the hot spring has an amazing view of Lake Batur and the surrounding mountains — almost like an infinity pool.
Many Mount Batur tours include this hot spring as part of the itinerary, and it’s a great way to relax after the hike!
Is Mount Batur Worth It?
Now it’s time for the most important question of all — is Mount Batur worth it? Yes, I definitely think so!
Aside from the novelty of hiking on an active volcano, with steaming heat vents and playful monkeys, you also get to witness one of the most amazing sunrise views in Bali, Indonesia. I don’t normally like waking up so early for sunrise, but this one is worth it!
Generally you won’t see flowing red hot lava at Batur, but the entire southwestern slope of the volcano is surrounded by a field of old black lava rock that’s now used for dirt biking tours and other fun activities. Overall, Mount Batur is well worth a visit when you’re in Bali!
Is Mount Batur Open / Closed?
Yes, Mount Batur is currently open to tourists and hikers as of December 2023! There are no impending plans to close it. I’ll update this travel guide if anything changes.
Back in May 2023, the former governor of Bali threatened to close all of the island’s 22 mountains to hikers because of one or two tourists misbehaving. Thankfully there was a lot of pushback on this idea, and so far no new law has been issued.
The mountain is rarely closed to the public, and that would generally only happen temporarily if there’s some kind of unusual volcanic activity or other safety concerns. Right now it’s still open.
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Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this Mount Batur sunrise trekking guide.
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