On Top of Bali: Backpacker’s Guide to Mount Batur at Sunrise

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Kylie

One of the biggest recommendations I got for backpacking Bali was to hike up Mount Batur, an active volcano, at sunrise. After seeing pictures of the incredible sunrise from the summit, it wasn’t hard to see why this hike is so popular among travelers!

Here’s your detailed guide on trekking Mount Batur at sunrise!

How hard is the sunrise hike up Mount Batur?

Hiking Mount Batur is a relatively moderate hike. In total darkness, you hike for two hours one way at a steady incline over loose rocks and gravel to an elevation of 5,633 feet.

The dirt path can be slippery, making it easy to lose balance if you’re not careful. Also, as you near the summit, you may have to use your hands to help you climb larger rocks to the next part of the path.

When I visited Bali, I wasn’t in the best shape for hiking. I hadn’t been to a gym in months and only worked out on occasion. Mount Batur isn’t the hardest hike I have ever done, but it certainly challenged me. If you can manage a steady pace with breaks, you’ll be just fine. 

Mount Batur sunrise hike in Ubud, Bali

What should I wear?

You’ll want to wear something comfortable in both chilly and warm temperatures since the climate varies throughout the hike. I recommend wearing shoes with good grip (I wore tennis shoes and they worked well), leggings, and a jacket/sweater. Be sure to have space in your backpack to store your extra layers once it’s warm.

At the base of the summit, you’ll be offered to rent a thick jacket. If you didn’t bring your own, then yes, definitely rent one. While you won’t need it for the bulk of the hike, you will at the start, and at the summit of Mount Batur (the summit is windy).

What should I pack?

Just as you would any other hike, bring along a small backpack with extra water, snacks, and a camera. Some visitors wear a headlamp to free their arms and make climbing easier. Upon arrival, your tour guide will hand out water and a flashlight, and then shortly after sunrise, you’ll be provided a light snack (usually boiled eggs and bread).

If your tour includes Batur Natural Hot Spring at the end, don’t forget a swimsuit (towels and a locker are included)!

Can I hike Mount Batur solo? Or do I have to join a tour?

Everyone is required to hike Mount Batur with a guide; you can’t access it on your own.

Several tours are offered between $40 and $70 USD. Each tour includes pick-up/dropoff, breakfast, flashlights, a light snack, water, and a guide to lead you up Mount Batur. The tour I did also included a visit to the Batur Natural Hot Spring following the hike.

Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking is the most popular tour, but there are numerous to choose from. The price difference comes down to add-ons following the hike. Some add-ons include a stop at the Luwak Coffee Plantation, the Batur Natural Hot Spring, or a lunch buffet. No tour is better than the other, so the way you want to complete your Mount Batur sunrise hike is entirely up to you!

What should I expect?

If you’re staying in Ubud, pick-ups are usually around 1:30 AM. If you’re further from Ubud, expect an earlier pick-up time around midnight. From Ubud, the drive is about an hour to the start of Mount Batur’s sunrise hike.

Around 40 minutes into the drive, you’ll stop alongside other hikers for a light crepe breakfast with tea, and last-minute bathroom breaks. Then, it’s another 20 minutes until you can finally begin your early morning ascent up Mount Batur.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by your tour guide with flashlights and water. As mentioned earlier, this is where you can rent a jacket. 

Once everyone’s ready to go, the guide will lead you up to Mount Batur. Our guide was so sweet and always asked if we needed help and offered a hand. At one point, we passed a tomato garden, and she picked a few for us to try (one of the best tomatoes I’ve had)

As you continue, you’ll realize A LOT of people do the sunrise hike up Mount Batur. As you get closer to the summit, the trail becomes like a line of ants with everyone’s flashlight lit up.

Just as you reach the summit, the sun will make its first appearance, rising between 5:00 and 5:30 AM, sometimes 6:00 AM depending on the time of year. Most travelers finish their hike at the first stop, making it the most crowded. But for those travelers wanting an extra view of Mount Batur, you can hike just a few more minutes to get to an even higher vantage point with a complete 360-degree view.

At the summit, you’re free to spend an hour or so enjoying the sunrise and wandering around the peak. The reward of admiring the sunrise from atop is worth it!

Mount Batur sunrise hike in Ubud, Bali

Before you descend, your tour guide will offer another light snack, typically bread and boiled eggs.

Surprisingly, the descent down Mount Batur was just as long as hiking up. Everyone heads down around the same time, creating a long single-file line down. Because of the loose dirt and gravel, there were several instances where we came to a complete stop waiting for others to carefully reach a stable point on the path. 

Our driver then took us 15 minutes further down the road to the Batur Natural Hot Spring. To me, this option was SO worth it! After a long morning, you’re sweaty and dirty, and all you want is to rinse off. Batur Natural Hot Spring felt incredibly refreshing in that crisp morning air.

With this option, you return to Ubud between 10:00 and 11:00 AM. Can you believe it’d still be morning?!

Save this post for your Bali backpacking trip!

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14 Comments

  1. October 24, 2020 / 3:12 am

    What a beautiful hike! I’m not the best hiker so it sounds intimidating to me to have to be with a guide. But, those views might just be worth it!

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:00 am

      The views are sooo worth it I promise!

  2. October 24, 2020 / 4:15 pm

    I’ve did this hike when I visited Bali the first time and absolutely loved it! Your post brought back so many amazing memories, thank you for sharing it!

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:00 am

      Aww I’m so glad to hear that! 🙂

  3. October 24, 2020 / 7:42 pm

    WOW! This is such a stunning hike! I absolutely love sunrise hikes, so I’m so excited to add Mount Batur to my bucket list! What stunning views!

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:00 am

      omg YES if you love sunrises then this hike was made for you!!

  4. October 24, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    I had planned to visit this Mount in Bali, but unfortunately my trip to Bali was cancelled. However, I still want to go next year. I love how honest and real you are talking about the hike! Many blogs only mention how beautiful it is, but no the challenges. Thank you for the tips 😊 I’m definitely saving your post for my trip.

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:03 am

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! I definitely don’t want to sugar coat any experiences (especially this one)!

  5. October 24, 2020 / 9:38 pm

    This post brought back so many memories! I’d love to do it all over again if I could. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:03 am

      SAME! I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!

  6. October 25, 2020 / 12:22 am

    I didn’t know about this hike when I was in Bali a few years ago but I will definitely put it on my wishlist for next time!

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:04 am

      I’d love to hear about your experience when you do it!! 🙂

  7. October 25, 2020 / 5:01 am

    I’ve actually hiked this! When you went, did you see the people going up on motorbikes. It blew my mind.

    • October 27, 2020 / 2:05 am

      Umm … motorbikes??? WHAT?! No – I didn’t see that! I can’t imagine how challenging that must be!

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