When people heard I was going to spend a month in Bali, Indonesia they imagined me sipping coconuts on the beach. They did not imagine me hiking an active volcano at two in the morning, but I did exactly that. When exploring a new location I love to do things that aren’t the “norm” or very touristy. I want to completely immerse myself in a culture whenever I can. Bali is not only home to amazing beaches and surf but to tropical jungles with an abundance of temples and volcanoes. Bali is located in what is known as the Ring of Fire, which is home to 452 volcanoes of which 75% are active!
Mt. Batur is one of those active volcanoes, and is located in North Bali. It reaches an elevation of 5,633 ft and its last eruption was in 2000. One of the activities you can participate in is hiking Mt. Batur to catch the sunrise, which let me tell you is amazing! The hike starts early , like 2:00 in the morning early.
There are multiple tour companies you can book your trip with and most hotels in Ubud will have recommendations. I booked through my hotel and only paid $35 for the whole trip, which included transportation, a guide and breakfast.
Looking back I am so happy I participated in this hike, the views at sunrise are unbelievable, but the hike was ROUGH. I am a pretty fit person, I workout and eat reasonably well, and this hike kicked my ass. I mean you literally go straight up the mountain, and its full of lose rocks, which you will slip on. There were about a hundred or more people hiking up the mountain and you could see flashlights forming an ant trail all the way up. They break you into groups of six and one guide will lead you up. Out of the six in my group only four made it up the mountain. During our trek two of our group members started to get very sick and just out of energy, and they had to call it quits. We dropped them off at this temple, that is halfway up the mountain. Then from there you continue all the way up and just when you think your their nope you keep going. I have a lot of respect for these guides, they work six days out of the week taking tours up and down and only make 1 million rupiah which is about $75 a month! My guide in particular was my cheerleader the whole way up and he kept reminding me that the view would be worth it.
Once at the top we made it ten minutes before sunrise and grabbed a seat. Watching sunrise come up was a truly life changing experience it was the most gorgeous sunset I have seen to date.
There was such a peace and beauty about it and as the fog lifted you could see the gorgeous lake below you.
After we watched the sunrise, we walked around the mountain top and took in more of the views.
Then our guide offered to take us further up the mountain, but the whole way up was volcanic sand. I passed on that but the other three in the group went and said the view was great. While they were gone I observed some monkeys stealing food from other hikers. They were sneaky little devils, one was bold enough to grab a banana right out of a guys backpack while he stood there.
By the time we made it down, I was exhausted but I 100% was so happy I went. The views were amazing and it was a once in a lifetime experience. I can now check off my list hiking an active volcano! If you find yourself in Bali, make sure you make a trip up north and book this amazing excursion you won’t be disappointed.
Keep a wandering spirit my friends and thanks for following along!