Mt Batur at sunrise is something you have to experience if you are traveling to Bali! This is defiantly a bucket list moment and well worth the early morning and sweat that you have to go through to have this experience.There are many different tours available that include activities post climb, however undergoing this climb will mean a VERY early start to your day. Most tours pick you up from your hotel between 1:30am and 2:30am depending on where you are coming from. I personally suggest only booking a tour that has the climb included (plus all the normal additions like breakfast at the top of the volcano).
This is definitely no walk in the park and I would really urge you to be relatively fit if you are thinking about doing this, or be prepared to miss the sunrise if you are slow up the trek. While I would consider myself quite a fit young individual this was still difficult, especially as the ground becomes looser as you get further up. The volcanic rock and loose terrain really means you are only taking half a step for every step you actually take. All this said it was so worth it but I think it is good to note so you don’t have any surprises (also take a jacket – Bali or not it gets mighty cold up the top of that volcano).
I picked a tour with a medium-sized group and we were a mix of experienced hikers and a general tourist that just wanted the experience (we went with Bali Sunrise Trekking and Tours, they were wonderful!). The guides were fantastic and I would not recommend doing this walk without a guide. We were picked up from the hotel and taken to the company’s base (which was in another hotel) and given tea or coffee while we waited for all parties to be ready. Then we headed off on the hike! We took a break every half hour or so but if you needed a minute everyone was happy to stop. As it got steeper the breaks increased.
Do not be embarrassed about going alone or taking breaks! There is no harm in looking after yourself and really who cares if you are out of breath. Also be prepared, depending on the time of year, that there could be clouds and fog. My climb was on a very cloudy morning but there were breaks and it was still one of the best things I have ever done!
The guides cooked us eggs in the volcanic ash and had hot coffee and tea ready. There was breakfast of bread and other sweet items too. Enough to satisfy you after the hike, plus it is still pretty early at this point. After that take all the photos you need because seriously you just climbed a volcano! Also take the time to just sit and enjoy the sunrise and the peace and quiet that you get being so far above sea level.
Once this is all over you get to climb back down…prepare to slip over on the loose gravel, I sure did. As someone who does not own hiking boots I was wearing sneakers and admittedly they were not as sturdy but I wasn’t about to go buy hiking boots for this one-time thing. We slid our way down the mountain and said our goodbyes to our fellow trekkers. The company drove us back to our hotel (I may have napped in the car on the way back) and we just relaxed for the rest of the day. The trip did take it out of us so we took the opportunity to relax in the pool and have a little walk around Ubud.
All in all I would seriously recommend doing this, I was such an amazing experience and you feel really good about scaling a volcano. Be prepared, take breaks and soak in the sunrise at the top!