In my previous write-up “DIY Trips: 6D5N Bali Itinerary + Budget“, I shared about reaching the top of the third highest peak in Bali, Indonesia – Gunung Batur.
Gunung (Mount) Batur is located in Batur village, Kintamani District, Bali, Indonesia. It is an active volcano which draws tourists because of its natural beauty and because it offers the best view of the sunrise. It is one of the sacred mountains according to the Hindus. Most tourists have their breakfast on the summit and some even cook their food by the steam of the volcano.
Reaching the summit of Mt. Batur is already an achievement for me since it was my first legit trekking slash climbing experience. I may have trekked Osmena Peak here in Cebu, Philippines but I cannot consider the “experience” legit. My climb to Mt. Batur was wayyyy different.
Its height is 1717 meters above sea level and most FIT hikers can reach its summit in around 2 hours only. I was actually able to do it for 3 hours. Not bad for a first timer, don’t you think? But I don’t think I’ll climb another peak anytime soon after Mt. Batur.
For those who are planning to reach Mt. Batur’s summit to catch the sun rise, to tick off an item on your bucket list, or just to add on to your list of “mountains conquered”, here’s my mini-list of things to remember or to think about before climbing the semi-active volcano.
- Get A Good Guide – As much as I want to do my own thing during my trips and adventures, this time I highly recommend getting a guide. Most, if not all, start trekking up the mountain during the dark. It can get scary. So it’s best to have someone who is very familiar with the trail. They really are a big help especially if it’s your first time, trust me.
- Best Time To Go – Almost all tourists who visit Gunung Batur start trekking up the mountain around 2 to 4 AM. That’s the standard time. But when is it best to climb Mt. Batur? Upon talking to our guide, he said that the peak can be packed with more than 1,000 people during August. During our trek last May, there were already many trekkers and tourists so I could not really imagine 1,000 people all on the summit. If you plan to get that perfect sunrise shot, plan your visit wisely.
- Bring Water and Snacks – Are you guilty of ignoring this reminder? Then, you’re not alone. I always think I can buy water or food when I get to my destination. In Mt. Batur, expect water or any kind of drink priced twice or thrice more. You can’t blame the vendors for pricing this high because they climb up with you. I was even lucky enough to have known one of the vendors who actually assisted me going up the first summit. I had no choice but to buy a drink from him but it was all good since I was really thirsty anyway. As for the food, they only serve bread, banana, and egg when you reach the summit. So if you want to bring something else, feel free to pack them before you climb but also make sure to…
- Pack light! – For beginners, climbing Mt. Batur could go from 3 hours to 4 hours. Going down could be quicker. Don’t bring so much stuff so it won’t weigh you down. There’s actually a part of the climb wherein you’ll just step on sand so you have to use so much energy going up. Just bring what you need – snacks (e.g. chocolate bar, crackers), water, camera, extra batteries for your flashlight or head light, and money.
- ‘Moderate’ is a lie – Before we decided to climb Mt. Batur, we’ve been reading several reviews and experiences from different travelers all over the world. Most would really say the climb to Mt. Batur’s summit is moderate. Now, this… If this is your first time ever to climb any Mountain/Peak at all, the climb to the peak can be quite a challenge, especially if you have short legs (Asian built). But if you’re fit and you have been climbing several peaks, this could be an easy one for you. It’s a good thing that the trek starts in the dark so you don’t get to see how far up you are or how much farther you need to go.
We booked the tour through our hotel in Ubud, Bali Chic Oasis. There are lots of agencies which can offer great deals for Mt. Batur, you just have to decide which one. The entire trek happened in the morning so you still have time to relax in the afternoon. We did this before we moved from Ubud to Seminyak.
So the question remains… “Was the climb worth it?” Go, see for yourself.