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Experience Climbing an Active Volcano in Bali

Mt. Batur, in the Kintamani region of North Eastern Bali has an elevation of 1717 meters. Driving from Ubud should take close to an hour, so whether you’re in Seminyak, Kuta or Nusa Dua, the trip to the base should take you not more than a couple of hours. The trek up takes around 2 hours, and is best done before dawn, starting at about 3 am, so that you can watch the sun rise from the top. The climb is not very difficult, and you don’t need to be an athlete to cope. The slopes are rocky, so be sure to wear good hiking shoes and thick socks. Once at the top, you have a view of Mt. Agung, if it’s not too cloudy. Watch the golden rays of the sun play on the surface on Lake Batur before you go and grab a cup of coffee at one of the snack shops. Many of us underestimate the climb down, and it pays to be cautious, because it’s very easy to slip on the rocky debris when you’re going with gravity.

Bali’s other active volcano, Mt. Agung (Gunung Agung) rises to an elevation of 3031 meters, and is significantly tougher to climb than Batur. To get to the highest point, you need to start your climb at Besakih, which is home to Bali’s holiest temple. This route will get you to the summit in about 6 or 7 hours, and it’s usually the more experienced climbers who take it. Start off at around 11 pm so that you can reach in time to watch the sun rise. Another common starting point is Pura Pasar Agung temple, although this route doesn’t take you right to the summit. The ascent ends a couple of hundred meters below the peak, and you reach the rim of the crater after around four hours of climbing. If you’re taking this route, you can perhaps start around 2 am. There’s another lesser-travelled route from the north, beginning at Duku Bujangga Sakti, and ends at about 1700 meters.

Remember to carry essentials like a light wind jacket, sturdy shoes, sun block, a snack, a headlamp, and it may be better to wear long track pants. For both the climbs, go with a guide who knows the place, and finding one is not difficult at all once you reach the base. So when you book your tour packages to Bali, be sure you have Mt. Batur or Mt. Agung on your itinerary. It’s an experience you won’t forget.