1:00 a.m. our alarms go off after only a few hours of sleep and we wake up in the hiking gear we went to bed in.
1:45 a.m. our driver picks up from our accommodation in Ubud and begins the drive to Kintamani, Bali.
3:00 a.m. we meet our guide who will led us through the forest terrain in complete darkness by a path only illuminated by our flashlights.
5:20 a.m. we have reached the summit of the active Mt Batur Volcano and all the trips, breaks, and sweaty curses seem to fade away with the moon as we watch the sunrise over breakfast accompanied by several other trekkers and even a few monkeys!
So what’s it really like hiking Mount Batur in the middle of the night? I’ll spare you the details of every stop we made along the way (due to length of the post of course) but hiking up this active volcano was no simple task. With my inhaler out of commission due to the severally humid climate, the dust filling the air with every step, and the sliding rocks beneath your feet in total darkness, this hike was a challenging one.
Mount Batur is an active volcano in Bali which last erupted 17 years ago in 2000. It is located at the center of two concentric calderas north west of Mount Agung on the island and is rising to 5,633 ft above sea level. The hike in total is about 7 miles total with some of those miles grounded with layers of soft dirt that will have you sliding backwards with every step forwards.
Without any sunlight guiding your way, you are unsure how far up you have gone and how far you have yet to go, but when you look back, you can see the faint glow of all the hikers flashlights guiding their way. This might give you an idea of how far up you are, but it just gave me a sense of community. I was surrounded by people from all over the world who woke up at this ungodly hour to come and hike this volcano just to get a little glimpse and clarity of the world that surrounds us. Today there are few places that will bring people together of many different cultures who speak several different languages, but this hike is one of them. Putting everything but perseverance and encouragement behind them, hikers helped those around them from slipping and tripping on their way (I was one of those hikers) and it was really a sight to see! For those of you who want to skip the “tourist” attractions, this is not one that I would easily overlook!
When we reached the peak of the volcano it was still covered in darkness, but we took a seat and our guide brought us over teas and breakfast to have while we watched the sunrise and it was one of the most peaceful moments of my life. To see the light illuminate the lakes, the craters, and other mountains around you, there are no words.
Once the sun was fully up the monkeys came out to play as they smelled all the breakfast foods, and if you saw my recent Instagram post, you know that was my cue to leave!We hiked down to the crater and felt the steam coming out of the volcano and saw an incredible cave where sacred ceremonies are still held by the people of the island! On our way down, our guide informed us about the volcano and the surrounding area, including Pura Bukit Mentik, which is the Lucky temple. So I am not saying that I can take credit for any of the Cubs success, but even if they don’t win another World Series, my favorite Wrigley Field’s hat made it all the way to the Lucky Temple in Bali and that has to account for something!
So far I’d say that this hike was my favorite experience that I am taking away from my Bali vacation and I highly encourage other travelers to make the trek whenever they are in the area!
Guided Hike Tour Details:
- Transportation to and from our hotel
- A private guide for the two of us
- Water and flashlights for the hike
- Breakfast at the top of the volcano