Mount Batur Sunrise Trek from Ubud

The Mount Batur sunrise trek was on our (and many others’) bucket list while staying in Bali. We’ve done all the legwork for you and thrown together everything you need to know onto this page, without the unnecessary waffle. 

As always, for a more visually appealing (and considerably shorter) post about the Mount Batur sunrise trek from Ubud – you can check out our reel instead. For the skim readers, we’ve added a quick summary at the end of this post

Package: Price and Inclusions

We did our sunrise hike as part of a packaged tour. Honestly, it felt like the easier option. Sorting out our own return transport with an early morning departure time, quite frankly, seemed like a hassle that we couldn’t be bothered with. Plus, there are enough places selling packaged trips so it was easy enough to shop around and pick the cheapest one. Doing the trek without a guide is possible but not recommended. You can find more information here.

We went with Bali Fortuna Tour which cost 325k (20 euro) each. And there’s definitely some room for haggling. After asking the others in our group we found out that all of us paid a different price. 

Quick tip: in our experience, finding a package in person is cheaper than shopping for one online. In person, the prices we saw were between 325k -375k.  It was steeper online: 400k -800k 

This is what our package included: 

– Transport: hotel pick up and drop off to Mount Batur. 
– A guide and his jazzy head torches, enough for everyone in the group
– Two breakfasts 
– A trip to a questionable coffee plantation.  

Not bad for 20 euro.

Getting there

Turning the alarm off at 2:00 am is tantamount to torture for most of us, but there you go – if you want to see the sunrise then you’ll have to brace yourself for waking up at an unholy hour. Our shared van picked us up from our accommodation at 2:15 am and we were able to snatch a few winks of sleep before we arrived at our first stop – a roadside restaurant. 

For our first breakfast, we were treated to a banana pancake and the choice of tea or coffee.

The paper thin pancake was far from filling if truth be told, so consider bringing some snacks with you. The coffee gave us the caffeine-fueled buzz which meant that we were actually able to have a coherent conversation with the others in our group and not just an exchange of sleep deprived grunts – so no complaints there. 

Then back into the van for our next stop – the base of Mount Batur. 

Describing the hike as ‘popular’ is an understatement. The car park was filled with vans to the point where we struggled to find our group after using the toilets. Oh, and expect to pay an attendant to use said grotty toilets who took Gandalf’s ‘you shall not pass’ to a whole other level. 

Head torches fastened and introductions to our guide done, we began the hike.

Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: Cost / Duration / Clothes

The Mount Batur sunrise tour lasted 8/8.5 hours altogether. The hike to the summit lasted approximately 2.5 hours; breakfast and walking around the crater lasted another 2 hours, and the the descent took about 1 hour.

On the matter of clothes we’d suggest the following: 
– walking boots or comfortable trainers
– t-shirt
– leggings/shorts
– sweater/coat (keep them in your backpack in case you get cold).

Practicalities aside, now let’s get on to the hike itself.

The Hike: What To Expect

Crowds

First things first, it’s busy – so expect crowds. The walk to the summit was a congested one and the sheer amount of walking traffic made for lots of stopping and starting – not ideal if you’re trying to keep your momentum. 

Expect the summit to be equally busy too. Depending on the kind of person you are, the noisy and crowded atmosphere could ruin the experience. For us, we could still appreciate the sunrise and the scenery, though inwardly cursing anyone with a drone and mentally willing it to malfunction mid-air.  

At the summit, we had time to admire the view, take pictures and eat our second breakfast: a couple of slices of bread, a banana, and an egg. 

Afterward, we then started to walk around the crater edge before we began our descent. The trail around the crater edge is a narrow one with, at times, some steep drops on either side. Thankfully, the crowds had thinned by this point though there was still some tummy sucking as we squeezed past people walking in the opposite direction.

Terrain Conditions

For us, it wasn’t the climb itself that was the difficult bit – it was the terrain. The stones were loose underfoot which made for some stumbles and the occasional arse-first fall on the way down (landing never gracefully executed). For a part of the descent, you’ll be walking on what we can only describe as volcanic sand (that’s one for you readers to correct us on) which will either leave you voluntarily skidding and sliding like a kid again, or clinging on to your friend’s arm with a vice-like grip. 

Volcanic sand and loose stones made for some slow walking on our part during the descent. Luckily for us our speedy group, who we suspect were mountain goats in a previous life, patiently waited while we gave a solid performance of two sixty year old women after a hip operation.

Neither of us are particularly experienced hikers though we’ve hiked before, and have an average level of fitness. If we were rating the difficulty of the hike, we’d probably put it somewhere around the 6.5/10 mark.

Return journey: The Coffee Plantation

As we said, our package included hotel pick up and drop off which is the case with most packages. On the way back, we made a stop at a local coffee plantation.

Sat at a table with a beautiful view, our group got the chance to sample locally grown coffees and teas (cocoa coffee was a personal favourite), and learn about it was made.

Before that, we had a quick guided talk on the coffee making process with one of the local farmers – an informative one though our sleep-deprived brains didn’t retain much of the information. Unfortunately, this talk included the infamous luwak coffee. We won’t get into that now, but you can read our thoughts on here. 

Caffeine fix satisfied and life restored into us, we then drove back to Ubud and promptly collapsed onto our beds at 11:30 am.

In short

And for the skim readers, a brief overview of the entire day. 

– Wake up early for 2/ 2:30 am hotel pick up
– Stop off for first breakfast
– Get dropped off at Mount Batur car Park and meet your guide
– 2 hour hike to the summit 
– Watch the sunrise and eat second breakfast on the summit 
– Walk around the crater, and begin the 1 hour descent
– Stop off at coffee plantation
– Hotel drop off
– 8 hours round trip, with a 5 hour hike.
– Wear walking shoes – the terrain is rocky
– Expect crowds – it’ll be slow moving at times, and busy at the summit
– Your guide will provide the equipment

Overall thoughts

Would we recommend a Mount Batur Sunrise trek? Yes. True, the terrain can be difficult to walk on at times, but that didn’t make it unenjoyable – skidding on the volcanic sand, and clinging onto one another had some hilarity to it. 

Also, it makes that summit view all the more rewarding. And the view is one that’s definitely worth waking up at 2:00 am for – we’ll let our pictures and reel do the talking as we don’t have the words to do it justice. 

Share this with your travel buddy – you can thank us later.

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