Mount Batur Sunrise Hike is one of Bali’s most popular excursions and for good reason! This beginner friendly hike allows you to watch one of the most magical sunrises all from the top of an active volcano.
If you are an adventure lover like me and you are heading to Bali you need to make sure this sunrise hike is on your bucket list.
This guide I’ll outline the differences between staying in Kintamani or booking a trip from a surrounding village, how to book your tour and some top tips for the day and what to expect from start to finish!
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🗻 Height: 1,717
🥾 Distance: 6-8km (depending on route)
‼️ Difficulty: Easy
⏰ Estimated Time: 2-4 hours
Mount Batur is an active volcano located in the Kintamani region in Bali, it is famously known for its sunrise hikes due to offering many routes to the top where tourists can either walk, take dirt bikes or jeeps to catch a glimpse of the sun rising over the ocean.
Mount Batur itself sits inside what was once a super volcano, when you admire it from a far you can see the crater giant which has now formed Lake Kintamani and downtown.
But Mount Batur is not only special for the tourists it also means a great deal to the Balinese. It is the second largest mountain on the island, after Mount Agung, and is also the second most important.
Mount Batur and Lake Batur are home to one of the two most important gods in Bali, Goddess Ida Bhatari Dewi Danu. Lake Batur is very important as the water here feeds a network of many streams, holy springs and rivers. The Balinese believe that the Goddess here provides them with water and in turn with life.
Staying in Kintamani
As we prefer to travel slower and really get to know the places we are visiting booking a 1 day excursion to hike Mount Batur just didn’t feel right.
We decided to book The Lava Bali Villa in Kintamani which I highly recommend!
Located in downtown Kintamani, The Lava Bali Villa is run by Edy and his family. There are 4 bungalows all with large comfy beds, modern TVs, storage space, private bathrooms, outside seating and a shared kitchen.
It comes with the added bonus of a hot springs pool that offers stunning mountain views and gardens.
We used this every day to watch the sunsets and also to soak off after our sunrise hike.
There is plenty of other accommodation around, ranging from home stays to hotels, you can also stay up in the main part of Kintamani.
‼️ Note that there is not much choice for food in downtown Kintamani – there are 2 small supermarkets which sell essentials, some local Warungs, and Jaya Fried Chicken.
I would recommend stocking up on some essentials before heading to Kintamani just to ensure you have enough water, snacks etc if you can’t find anywhere to eat.
However The Lava Bali Villa offered scooters for rent and if you do decide to hire one you can head back up the hill towards main town Kintamani where you can find some more food choices.
We tried 2 restaurants up here Olympus Coffee House & Oculus which were both very good and offered incredible views over Mount Batur.
Booking with a Local Guide
If you decide to stay in Mount Batur you can use a local guide for your sunrise hike, you can book this through your accommodation.
‼️ Please note these guides are not officially vetted and insurance is often not included.
Our host Edy explained to us that the locals here have been hiking Mount Batur for generations, it is something that is been passed down by the men in the family, it is something he once did and one day something that his sons will do. Using a local guide helps to support the local community in Kintamani as they rely very heavily on tourism.
Our guide was extremely knowledgable, he spoke very good English and explained to us that he did this hike with tourists 6 days a week!
Using a local guide also means you have a different start/finish point, this meant that the hike, although it was very busy, was not as busy as I’ve heard other explain.
We hiked Mount Batur in Septemeber 2022 and paid 350,000 IDR (£19), this included transport to and from the start point, breakfast at the top and our guide who doubled as a great photographer!
Booking a Day Trip from Surrounding Towns
This is a very popular way to hike Mount Batur and is done by thousands every year so if you are tight on time or just don’t want to stay in Kintamani this is another great way to make sure the Mount Batur sunrise hike is included in your time in Bali.
I highly recommend using Get Your Guide to help you book this trip.
Get Your Guide will outline what you can expect from start to finish on this trip, it will often include insurance and you will often be hiking with a vetted tour guide and they pick you up/drop you off from your hotel or hostel.
Due to this being a sunrise hike the pick up time can be pretty gnarly and ranges from 1am – 3am depending on where you are staying! 😴
Many of the tours also include additional stops in Bali such as, Mount Batur sunrise hike, coffee tasting and natural hot springs visit, or Mount Batur sunrise hike, coffee tasting & breakfast.
The Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
Waking to my 2.45am alarm after about 4 hours sleep was not a nice feeling, but there was no time to snooze as we were being picked up at 3.30am, so it was time to get up and get ready for our hike.
We were dropped off at the locals base camp and introduced to our guide at about 3.45am.
Then off we went up the mountain starting at about 4am.
The climb can take anything between 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on your fitness, we are both quite fit and enjoy hiking so it took us 1 hour to reach the top.
However despite being fit and up for the challenge I would say that the hike was very hard!
🙋🏻♀️ Picture this… it’s pitch black and you’ve only had 4 hours sleep, you are surrounded by other people trying to overtake you or slow hikers who you are trying to overtake. There were many times that I wanted to shout “nope I’ve had enough, take me home I’m going back to bed!”.
But I just kept telling myself its all in your head, you can do this you know you can.
Which it is, you can achieve anything you set your mind to and I was determined to see that sunrise.
We reached the top at 5.10am and were rather concerned as the sun didn’t rise until 6.10am – I said to Jack, did we really wake up this early and now we have to wait for an hour!
However just after we sat down an orange glimmer started to appear behind Mount Agung, we had forgotten that the best part always happens before the sun actually rises.
That next hour was magical and an experience I will never forget.
The colours of the sky turned from deep blues and pinks to bright oranges and reds, you could also see the silhouettes of Mount Agung & Mount Rinjani towering above the clouds – it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.
Our timing for this trip was amazing we climbed under the light of the full moon and were extremely lucky with almost no cloud cover so we had a completely unspoilt view of the sunrise.
Once the sun was up and the colours had faded back to their blues of the daytime sky our guide gave us the option to walk round the crater or head back down.
We had to check out that day and travel to Nusa Penida so opted to head back down.
I was a little sad that we didn’t explore the crater however I quickly changed my mind once we started descending in complete peace.
On the hike up there you are at times in a stream of others all hiking up the same path which is not always enjoyable.
So to have the whole path all to ourselves was bliss.
We could actually take our time, have a chat and hear the birds chirping their morning song.
We came down a different path which took us along drastic ridges, to deep sandy bowls then finished through the farmland.
It was beautiful and the perfect way to end our morning, once back we said goodbye to our guide and thanked him for his help before heading back to our accommodation.
Personally I would recommend booking a few nights to stay in Kintamani and using a local guide to hike up Mount Batur, to us this felt like a much more authentic experience and it was nice to know we were supporting the local community.
However this is not for everyone so make sure you do your research and book your tour with a company or guide that you feel comfortable with!
There is no right or wrong way to travel as each of our journeys are completely unique.
The Mount Batur Sunrise Hike was by far one of the best experiences I have had in my life, witnessing that incredible sunrise was something very special, so if you are in Bali make sure you do not miss it!
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