A hike that is not just for adrenaline fanatics, but when you discover at the summit that it is an active volcano, you can’t help but understand the rush.
Last erupted in 2000, Mount Batur, located in Bali, Indonesia, is one of the islands most magnificent treasures and the place to watch the sunrise above the clouds. Three scenic routes guide you up to the summit, all varying in difficulty starting from; Toyabungakah, Pura Jati and Serongga.
Toyabungakah – The starting point from Toyabungakah is the most famous and nested on the east side. A direct hike to the top is known to be an easier route. Beginning nearby a hot spring at 4 am, wandering through picturesque eucalyptus and pine trees before reaching the volcanic sand, two hours and you’ll be at the sunrise top. However, to make it a more moderate path ensure to surround the main crater after sunrise.
Pura Jati – Starting from Pura Jati is the second most famous route. It is located on the southeast side of the mountain. Closest to Ubud and Seminyak it is the busiest route. With a total of 2 hours to reach the rim crater, 150 meters below the summit, this is classed as a more moderate hike and is a tad longer than the first.
Serongga – To opt for the most strenuous hike, start from Serongga. On a less crowded trek, most of the first hour is walking across volcanic sand and rocks to add to the adrenaline. A similar trek time to both the above, however, due to added difficulty of terrain, ensure the morning alarm is set earlier.
As you glance up in the blackness flashlights and head torches lead the way. They flicker like fireflies along the mountain as they dance along the path. As you journey along the volcanic route and the forests of greenery begin to disperse, the incline steepens more drastically. Dare to turn off the flashlight for a short moment as the sky is inundated by a sea of twinkling constellations and shooting stars.
The path is easy to follow as it winds up the mountain. The incline steepens and the landscape of Bali begins to emerge. On occasion, lightning is spotted across the vista as it strikes along the horizon. Being at the height of lightning escaping the clouds is surreal and the sound of silence tumbling over the cliffs is bewitching.
After roughly two hours of star-lit hiking, the summit is in sight as hikers flock and find their designated seats for the astounding view that shortly beholds them. Reaching the summit of Mount Batur is unlike scaling Half Dome. Once you are seated, the show awaits. Twilight encapsulates the vista as darkness blends into a cocktail of oranges and pinks. A truly spectacular and spellbinding experience. The rays of sun glow across the landscape. The warmth is felt on your beaming face. 1,717 metres above sea level you are watching the sunrise.
The terrain softly brightens with earthy colours. Mount Abang begins to take shape and form on the horizon. Dusk drifts into dawn. The stars dwindle as Bali awakens. As the light rays pierce through the clouds the view is simply mesmerising.
The sun rises. Daylight begins, allowing time to pass admiring the magnificent view. When journeying down, you might pass the crater ridge. The terrain is loose with lava sand but, the views are stunning. The lava fields and Lake Batur, a volcanic crater lake are hypnotic. Monkeys are darting around scrummaging for breakfast, sunglasses, or really anything that appeals to both you and them. Nonetheless, a shoulder visit from a monkey is always worth the experience and adds even more magic to an already enchanting morning.
As you venture on your descent, take a look over your shoulder and marvel at the monumental Mount Batur that you have just conquered. Now embrace your day in Bali. A full body massage will enhance that feel-good mood and wrap up the day!