One of the most popular things to do in Bali is to make the trek up the famous volcano, Mount Batur. Particularly endearing is to complete this hike at the crack of dawn so you can watch the sunrise from the peak, lighting up the skies over Lombok and Mount Agung.
The best way to take on this trek is to book a guided tour. Most accommodations will be able to help you book a tour or you can speak with tour operators in town. We booked with Tunjunsuci Sunrise Trekking through our hostel for 350,000 IDR ($32.70 CAD) per person. This price included a 2am shuttle pick-up at our hostel, tea and pancake breakfast before the hike, free water and breakfast for the hike, the use of a high-powered flashlight, three guides to walk us up the complicated trail up the mountain (and to help us back down the tricky bits!) and the shuttle back to our hostel.
Having a guide was wonderful as they led us through the unmarked path. You will be joining upwards of 400 people daily who make this trek but having a guide when you're hiking in pitch black at 4am is the safest option. The path is very rocky and uneven and they will assist you on the way down.
The hike up to Mount Batur was semi-challenging thanks to the uneven ground, but it is not a long hike taking just 1 1/2 hours each way, mostly due to high traffic. The views at the top are awesome as the sun breaks through the clouds at sunrise, revealing a lake, craters with active steam, Lombok off in the distance and the gorgeous landscape as you climb back down.
Bring plenty of water and warm layers (top and bottom) for the top as it is cold while you wait for sunrise. Please also wear appropriate shoes for the uneven and slippery ground - don't hike in flip flops or vans!
MOUNT BATUR SUNRISE HIKE DETAILS
Where: northern Bali
Difficulty: difficult due to steep, uneven terrain, lots of rocks
Length: we took an hour and a half each way, mostly due to high traffic volumes
Directions: your guide will drive you to the carpark and then guide you up the trail
Public Transit: shuttles can be booked through your accommodations or with local tour operators