Watching the sun rise from the top of a volcano was definitely one of the best things I did in Bali.
Mount Batur is a sacred mountain for the Balinese Hindus. It’s an active volcano located in Batur village in the Kintamani region about an hour’s drive from Ubud and roughly an hour and a half from the Kuta/Seminyak area. From the top, you get amazing views of the Kintamani area, including nearby Mount Abang, another one of Bali’s volcanoes.
I’m not sure if you can climb Mount Batur on your own without a guide, but even if you’re allowed, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are quite a few tour companies who will pick you up from your hotel, drive you to Batur village and organise a guide to take you up the mountain. We went with Bali Sunrise Tours and they were great.
Our guide, Made, is my new hero. She gets up and down that mountain, in the dark, sometimes twice a day, without breaking a sweat. Plus she’s a total babe and super nice. I probably would have fallen at least 2 more times if she hadn’t been there to grab my hand.
For those of you who must know, I only fell three times, with no major injuries, just one banged up knee and a ripped pair of Lorna Jane leggings. And before you judge my lack of coordination, try climbing a volcano in the dark and let me know how your leggings look at the end of it.
I actually thought about calling this post, “Three reasons why you should climb a Balinese volcano in the dark” – and here’s why:
1. No one will see you huffing and puffing on your way up, nor will they see when you put a foot wrong and accidentally fall “up” the rocky volcanic path.
2. Watching the sun rise over nearby Mount Abang and the lake below is nothing short of magical. It’s well worth the 2am wake up call.
3. Your guide will cook eggs in volcanic steam for your breakfast. Yes, it’s an active volcano – but don’t worry, it hasn’t erupted since the year 2000.
Other highlights include mashed banana sandwiches, sipping hot chocolate to warm your bones and seeing the monkeys that live in the crater.
My top tip would be to pack something to keep you warm at the top. It might be hard to imagine being cold when it’s so hot and humid in Bali most of the time, but trust me, sitting at the top of Mount Batur in the dark, waiting for the sun to rise, you will thank me. And you’ll want to bring a little cash for tea or hot chocolate too.
– Bec x