Climbing Up Mt Batur in Bali

Quick Facts

  • Mount Batur is an active volcano.
  • A basic definition of an active volcano is a volcano that has had at least one eruption over the past 10,000 years.
  • Mount Batur’s last eruption was in 2000.
  • It stands at 1,717m (5,633ft) above sea level.
  • It takes roughly 2 hours to climb.
  • People climb Mount Batur daily.
View of Mount Batur

The Story

I had come to Bali for a tour with a company called G Adventures. It was the third day which was the day we were scheduled to climb Mount Batur and even though everything had been breathtaking prior to this volcano climb, it was Mount Batur I was most excited about.

I woke up at 2:25am the day of the climb. We had to be ready to go by 3am since it took 40 minutes from our hotel to get to the starting point, and then another 2 hours to climb Mount Batur.

Schedule for climbing Mount Batur

At 3am us brave explorers gathered in the hotel lobby and were driven to the starting point by our guides. These days it is near impossible to climb Mount Batur without the assistance of a guide. We had 3 guides, 1 for every 5 people and there were 15 of us.

Since this was an optional activity offered to us by G Adventures, we had to pay for it out of our own pocket. It cost 450,000IDR (£26.12) per person. I have no idea if this is cheap or expensive in terms of hiring a guide, but the final price I paid was 200,000IDR cheaper than what was on the G Adventures website.

At the starting point we were offered tea or coffee and a banana. Since it was very early in the morning, I opted for tea so as to try and avoid the caffeine headaches later in the day.

We then had a quick toilet break, collected our torches to see in the dark (I had already brought my own torch with me) and set off climbing.

The climb was tough and we seemed to be walking at a pretty speedy pace based on the number of hiking groups we overtook, but I could manage it. There were also several stops along the way so we could catch our breath, rest a bit and regroup.

As I was climbing up Mount Batur, I was taken aback by the amount of stars I could see just with my eyes. I tried to take a picture but my iPhone camera isn’t that good and all I got was a black screen ㅠㅠ. Nonetheless, I was in awe at how detailed the starry night sky looked as I was climbing Mt Batur.

Finally we made it to the summit. There were benches set up with blankets on them so we could sit down and watch the sunrise. During the climb I had been hot and sweaty but now I was sitting still at the top, I was freezing. Luckily I had my coat to keep me warm.

As I sat at the summit I watched the light from the sun bleed into the pitch black of the night sky turning it deep blue, a lighter blue, there was a slight tinge of green and suddenly the sun burst over the horizon flooding the sky and the landscape in a warm orange and yellow glow. It was astonishing and I can’t believe I was there to see it.

Everyone cheered as the sun rose and I was very glad that it was starting to warm me up. In true form we all started taking pictures #forthegram so as to have a memento of this special event.

Our guide had also prepared warm banana sandwiches and hard boiled eggs for us, so we sat in the glow of the sunrise eating our breakfast and looking out at the vast landscape below us. After we had been at the summit for a while and taken some group photos, we all headed back down.

Going back down was just as difficult as going up, but for different reasons. Going up was more physically strenuous on my body, but the ground was looser and more difficult to navigate on the way down. Luckily we had our wonderful guides to help us if things got difficult.

Our guides told us that they climb Mount Batur every day, which is incredible. I got a good workout going up and down, but I was recovering for a few days afterwards. I’d be so fit it I climbed that thing every day.

Finally we arrived back at the starting point, thanked our guides and went back to our hotel. Surprisingly I wasn’t that tired despite waking up at 2:25am and I couldn’t believe I climbed a volcano and saw the sunrise.  

I can’t recommend climbing Mt Batur enough. You need to hire a guide to take you up and down and it’s an early start, but it’s absolutely all worth it. Low key, IMO also a great place to propose to someone but I digress 😛

I hoped you enjoyed reading about my climb up Mount Batur during my holiday in Bali. If you’re also going on some adventures, pop a comment below. We can all inspire each other to get out and explore the world.

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