*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Need To Know:
First things first. This is a sunrise hike, which generally means you are AT THE PEAK to watch the sun come up. So I think it goes without saying (but just to be sure) – most of this experience is going to go down in the middle of the night. Be prepared to wake up well before the crack of dawn if you want to reap the benefits of this one. It’s so worth it!
Other than that, you need to be in decent physical condition for this hike. You’ll be hiking for more than 2 hours, and the trail gets pretty steep for at least the last 30 minutes.
This is definitely one of my favorite things we did in Bali! Other than the amazing resort we stayed at (details here), it’s hard to think of anything else that tops it.
Remember when I said you’ll have to wake up well before the crack of dawn for this? We left our hotel at 1am. Not. Joking.
It’s almost pointless to sleep the night before at that rate, so do what you will. I think we turned in early and slept for maybe 3 hours the night before. Either way, you’ll be tired. The good thing is you have 2 hours to sleep it off on the drive to Mt. Batur (for reference, our resort was in Jimbaran Bay, but you’ll likely have a little bit of a drive regardless of where you’re staying).
About an hour into your drive, you’ll stop for (your first) breakfast. We pulled over to a local spot and had banana pancakes and coffee, which thankfully is super strong. Everything was VERY good.
Once we arrived, we got out and could see that there were TONS of other people doing the same hike. There were probably hundreds. It felt kind of cool to all be setting off on the same trail in the middle of the night together!
We were given flashlights & bottled water and then we were off. Our guide was absolutely fantastic – personable, made us feel comfortable, got our sense of humor – we couldn’t have asked for more.
Once we started out on the trail, it was pretty easy walking until the base of the mountain. Once you get there, at a certain point the trail turns into volcanic rock. Climbing up can be a bit of a challenge – not physically, but you’ll have to pay close attention to where you step in the dark. Limited visibility can make things a little tricky.
BUT, the amazing part about hiking up a volcano is that you can literally feel the heat coming out of the mountain. Our guide pointed out a few spots to us, and placing our hands down near the steam vents was incredible. It was so surreal to feel hot air coming out from underneath us, knowing Mt. Batur is still active!
As we continued upwards, we started to pass local vendors selling water and cokes. Look back down the mountain around this point, and you can see just how far you’ve come. In the dark, the trail of flashlights was visible all the way down to our starting point! We had come a long way, and others were just getting started.
Our timing getting to the top couldn’t have been more perfect. We had just a few minutes to stake out a spot before the sun came up. Our guide had brought blankets, so we found a place at the very edge of the mountain and waited. Then this happened…
If you’ve ever waited for the sunrise (or sunset, for that matter), you know it can be gone in a matter of minutes. The colors can change so quickly, and if you aren’t ready you can miss the best parts about it. But while we focused all our attention on the skies, our guide was busy whipping together some food for us. After 10 minutes & way too many pictures, we had banana toast in front of us. Time to refuel and carry on.
Just a short walk from the sunrise viewpoint was a look inside the edge of the crater. You could literally see steam emanating from the walls! We seriously couldn’t get our cameras out fast enough. Sunrise aside, we would have hiked up here just for this.
The Way Down:
The best part about doing a sunrise hike is that in the dark, you have no idea what you’ve hiked up through. So when you come down, it’s like a brand new route. We hadn’t seen any of the scenery on the way up, so it wasn’t the least bit boring making our way back to the base. The views in broad daylight were incredible, and we had a full view of Lake Batur from the top!
What To Bring:
- Water (the CUTEST Swell bottle here is perfect for hikes & will keep drinks super hot/cold!)
- Camera & Accessories (love the GoPro Hero accessories pack found here)
- Granola Bar
- Light Jacket (believe it or not, it gets chilly even in Bali at 3am)
- Backpack (our favorite one for day hikes is here!)
If you’re headed to Bali and want to make the trek up Mt. Batur, I highly recommend booking through a reputable site beforehand! We booked our sunrise hike through the link here at Viator.com – and couldn’t have been more pleased with the entire experience.
This booking link also includes a coffee plantation tour after the hike. If you’re a coffee (or tea!) lover, it’s definitely worth the experience! You can even sample a cup of the world’s most expensive coffee, which (weirdly enough) comes from luwak poop….!
You can read more about our coffee plantation experience in another post coming soon. In the meantime, check out this post for our Bali Bucket List! Hope you guys enjoy!