First off all this trek was done recently (16th January 2020). I am just making this clear because I have been going through what to expect from this hike. It was very confusing as some went on bad weather days and others went years ago when. So here is a refreshed guide for the Mount Batur sunrise trek. Where you can see the best sunrise view in Bali.
What does the Mount Batur Sunrise trek cost?
There are several ways to do this. If you are in Ubud you can go to the tourist information center and make a reservation from there, or ask your hotel for help. This should be 350k per person for transportation to the point where you begin and a guide.
This method of booking puts you with random people who will be doing the Mount Batur sunrise trek. The advantage is you get to meet new people and won’t be alone during the hike. The pickup happens in Ubud!
Another method is that you go there by yourself by bike/car but you would still need to make an appointment with a company because a guide is not optional, it’s a must for some safety reasons.
A more convenient method and also the more expensive way is to have a private driver pick you up from wherever you like and bring you to the company that will bring you. The private driver cost around 40 USD per 8 hours.
A guide will be 13$, this can be shared with your group up to 4 people. (number of people can be flexible as long as it is manageable for the guide). There no discount for people with Kitas (Indonesian Identity card).
What time does it start?
For the Mount Batur sunrise trek, you depart at 04.00 am from Kintamani, walking (hiking) towards the top. If you are located in Seminyak you will be picked up around 02.00 and you should arrive just slightly before 04.00 at the starting point.
If you stay in Ubud, you should be picked up around 03.00 am. From here it takes about 1 hour to go to the starting point.
Are there any additional costs?
Some people made all the cars having hikers going to the top pay an entrance fee. This fee was at least applicable for those with a private driver. I am unsure if this fee is to be paid as well with a booking via the Ubud Tourist Center where your trip is shared.
People told that before 2020 the people would still be sleeping around until 7 am. We arrived there 03:30 and they were awake and already collecting. For a foreigner, the entrance fee is 50k IDR and local is 26k IDR.
Preparation and things you should know about the sunrise trek
At the starting point, you will get half a liter water. I do recommend bringing or buying something yourself as well.
Partying and drinking the night before will make this trek less enjoyable. It’s a few hours trekking, so rest well. The view and experience are more enjoyable without a hangover.
The elevation of Mount Batur is 1717 Meters*. The amount of steps going up is around 8500 steps, 4.5KM (according to the step counter of the phone). Other blogs have stated differently, but I just took the information from the smartphone from the guide. Going up and down I already had 17000 steps and 9km before it was even 9 am.
You do get a boiled egg and some sandwiches filled with banana as food on the top. This is around 7 am. Be sure you have food or something to eat before you start.
Upon arrival, you are offered coffee/tea before you start. This is not free, and money change is very limited. If it’s 4 am already it’s actually time to leave.
From your guide, you will receive a flashlight. Use this to see where you are walking so you can avoid tripping over roots, stones, and holes.
The clothing you should wear
It is important that you have something comfortable. It starts out cold because it’s very early. They rent out jackets. If no rain happens most likely you will take off those jackets 30 minutes in the trek. Your body will generate enough heat by keeping busy.
Make sure you can move your legs freely as at some parts the inclination can be steep. So if your knee cannot move up a lot, wear something else. Some people bring a tripod, heavy camera, this makes your hike a bit more challenging. Think about it before you bring it.
When I went, it was not raining, the guide explained that it was lucky. So when it rains a jacket or appropriate clothes it is handy.
The Mount Batur sunrise trek divided into different phases
The first part is the easiest. There is little inclination (going up). This is the part where you are going past the farmlands of Kintamani. The have Jackfruit trees, tomato plants, and 2 temples.
The second part is when you are in a forested area with pine trees and trees that grow in more colder environments. During the night it is pitch black but you will have flashlights. It is actually pretty cool and nice to walk here.
When you reach this point, congratulations, you are about 25% complete of the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek. It’s only going to be harder. From this point on they offer a motorbike ride to the second checkpoint.
You also have a choice to go to the toilet (for 10k IDR). The second checkpoint also has two toilets. These are just like outhouses. Just so you know that they are available. I haven’t used it but I can imagine it’s not as clean as the one in the hotels.
From the first checkpoint, you can choose the right trail which is much harder and challenging. If you are an experienced hiker and in good condition and up for it, take the route. The easy way is not that easy but doable.
Things I did not like about the motorbike trail: they produce the exhaust and make the air dirty from that and the dust. We’re hiking there. These motorbikes passed constantly asking if someone would need a ride. It is like walking through Kuta or Legian: Taxi? It was a bit annoying. Taking the harder route would be a choice because the motorbikes don’t come there.
So who takes these motorbikes? If you really can’t hike because you don’t move at all in your daily life then this is a solution. Some people carrying more weight (camera and equipment) also take this option. The other group that took motorbikes up was Instagrammers. They paid for going up and down with the motorbike… (extra dots)
Moving as a group
The guide will try to keep the group together. So none is left behind. This also means you move as slow as the slowest in the group. Doing a reservation with the Ubud Tourist Center might be a disadvantage if someone is very slow. Having someone very slow in the group can cause you to miss the sunrise at Mount Batur.
When you see no more trees
Keep going, and keep telling that to yourself and the group. You are almost there! The inclination is steep and slippery, because of the small stones and sand there is almost no grip. At this point, you will see many more hikers. Everyone slows down a bit (and this was low season!) The guide explained this was not many hikers.
After the second checkpoint
At the checkpoint, you can buy more drinks and take a rest. From this point, the motorbikes cannot go to the top (thankfully!). I did not want to rest as I wanted to reach the peak before sunrise.
Near the top, the pace slows down as everyone just started to see a little bit since the sun will go up. People start being amazed at the view already and taking a picture. But everyone behind them is waiting to move forward to the top.
At the top of Mount Batur
Congratulations, you are at 1717 Meters high, give or take a few meters. You made it! Now is the time to catch your breath and enjoy the view. Your guide will congratulate you on your achievement!
What I noticed is that there are roughly several hundred people, maybe 400, at the top. I mentioned that this was a lot, and the guide explained that this is not a lot at all (again). You will recognize you are at the top because they have built benches there for people to sit and enjoy the view.
Most people only look at the sunrise coming from behind Mount Agung and Mount Abang. But take a look around, it’s amazing everywhere. You can see the villages around and beautiful landscapes. Watch as some smoke/vapor appears from places on this mountain.
The guide told us to wait around the area where we stood, and he would prepare food. The food that was served: banana sandwich, bananas and boiled egg. For coffee/tea you would need to pay.
Monkeys at the top
At the top of mount Batur, you can get a surprise visit from monkeys. These monkeys are way friendlier than the ones in the monkey forest / Uluwatu temple.
They are just looking for food and might snatch your banana. Do not be alarmed. One climbed on me for my food which I gave to him. As a result, the monkey sat next to us relaxed and eating his food.
Some tourists were screaming: MONKEY! MONKEY! and would throw stuff. This will only make the monkeys angry, so don’t do that.
Internet at the top
I had a decent 4g connection and was able to make a video call to share the view. Plenty of people would share via social media their new achievement and view. It was surprising and did not expect such convenience. I thought it was nice to know for you.
Pictures at the top of Mount Batur
Going down, the Hike Back after Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
After enjoying the view for a while it’s time for the descend. This time the visibility is much better as the sun is already up. Going down is a lot faster but it was not easier.
It really depends on the person, but for the glutes and knees, it was heavy. Also because of the many people at the same time going down, it became dusty from all the sand.
Many people with nordic walking sticks fell because of the slippery route. it wasn’t wet, but the inclination and dry stand and small stones make it hard for grip.
In the end
So yeah, there are other people (a lot). But the mountain has a lot of space for all the hikers for you to enjoy the sunrise. And honestly, it’s the most stunning sunrise view in Bali. You still are able to take a picture without all the people since it’s very spacious on top.
The hike is doable, I have seen elderly and young children at the top who did not take the motorbike to the top. Next time I might go for the harder route where no motorbikes are. But first I will also go for the Mount Abang Trek.
In general, I really liked the trek. Except for the exhaust gasses from the motorbike trail. I do recommend to do this during the dry season and when it is also a low tourist season. This way you can enjoy the most.
But if you’re here during high season, still consider doing it. It’s not like the opportunity is always there to do this hike.
To some it up The Mount Batur Sunrise trek:
- Yes, there are toilets
- You can take a motorbike up for 250k IDR
- There are other people doing the trek
- Everyone can do it, but if you don’t move on a daily basis, it’s hard
- The best departure is from Ubud or Kintamani
- The sunrise view is best from Mount Batur
- When you stay in Ubud, consider doing the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
- It was an amazing experience in the end
- It is romantic for couples to see such a view
Enjoy this short video showing a time-lapse of the Mount Batur Sunrise view.
After the Mount Batur sunrise trek
There are a lot of people who go to the natural hot springs, which is 5 minutes away from basecamp. To relax the muscles and enjoy the warm waters. I did not go to the natural hot springs. I hear it was 300k IDR per person for the entrance fee.
Book the Mount Batur sunrise trek with me
Interested in doing this? Contact me at [email protected] and I can plan it for you and your group with the travel agency I work for.