Timings : All Day
Entry Fee : Shared treks: IDR 550,000,Private treks: IDR 750,000 - IDR 900,000
Called "Gunung Batur" in the local language, Mount Batur is an active volcano in Indonesia. At 1717 metres (around 5,600 feet) above sea level, it offers a spectacular view of its surroundings - the majestic Lake Batur, nestled amongst black lava from the last explosion in 2000, and adjacent to this all, beautiful mountains.
In 2012, UNESCO announced Mount Batur Caldera, the collapsed top at the top, as a part of the Global Geoparks Network, an effort to preserve the planet's geological heritage. The volcano is a popular trekking destination amongst tourists and locals alike. Because of its beautiful views and relative ease to climb, Mount Batur is considered a must-visit in Bali.
Across the Mount Batur valley is the larger volcano, Mount Agung, which is the highest point in all of Bali. On the west, you'll find the quiet village of Trunyan, known for its ancient burial rituals in the open graveyard. Other villages surrounding Mount Batur are Toya Bungkah (popular for its hot springs), Songan, and Kedisan (made popular by one of its restaurants that float on Lake Batur).
Hundreds of people climb Mount Batur every day. There are multiple trails up to the summit, and different tour companies use different routes. Each trail leads to a different part of the summit, but they are all promise breath-taking views of the valley below. Though tourists can climb the mountain without a guide, we wouldn't recommend it. These local guides are well-versed with the terrain and climate and are extremely helpful during the journey. Some courageous tourists are known to have gotten lost trying to climb Mount Batur by themselves!
The total distance to the top of Mount Batur and back down is approximately 6 kilometres. It takes anywhere between an hour and two hours to reach the summit, depending on fitness levels. The volcano actually has two peaks; the first peak is most commonly visited and can be reached in an hour. The second peak is around 40 minutes ahead, following the ridge of the volcano. This is considered the more tiring route, but at the end, you're basically at the top of the volcano! At the high altitude of Mount Batur's summit, you would be literally sitting inside a cloud. Sometimes, these clouds cover the fantastic view below, but on good sunny days, you'll be able to see the beautiful lake below and surrounding villages with a low hanging mist. Some visitors say that from the top, Lake Batur looks like it's made of glass.
The sunrise trek of Mount Batur is the most popular trek. When you reach the peak at sunrise, you'll get to see the sky turn into amazing shades of black to blue, then pink and orange. It can be slightly chilly on the way up during these early hours of the day, but on the way down, daytime temperatures run high. At the volcano's crater, monkeys can be seen playing, and you'll even get to spot some hot smoke emerging.
Once you're back down, we'd recommend visiting the neighbouring village of Toya Bungkah. It is home to lakeside hot springs. Lay back and get some rest as the hot springs calm your nerves after the hour-long trek.
Mount Batur is located in the north-east quarter of Bali. It is approximately 3 hours from Kuta by road, 2 and half hours from Seminyak, and 1 and a half hours from Ubud. There are local buses that go to Kintamani, but it might be best to hire a taxi for the whole journey.
The months between May and July are generally the best time to visit Mount Batur before the monsoon winds arrive.
Still an active volcano, Mount Batur is located at the centre of two calderas found north-west of the larger Mount Agung. Its outer caldera is believed to have formed around 29,300 years ago. Today, it hosts a caldera lake on its south-east side. The winner caldera formed around 20,150 years ago. This inner caldera lies beneath the lake, with the volcano’s vents produced over it, although it is primarily localised near the summit. Its first explosion dated back to 1804. These historical eruptions generally see mild to moderately explosive activity, although it does not always emit lava. When it has, the basaltic lava flows down the summit to the caldera floor and shores of the lake.
Following water pollution from tourist activities and agricultural run-off, the water in the lake noticeably decreased and the growth of water hyacinths increased. Due to this, the State Ministry for the Environment named Lake Batur as one of 10 lakes in Indonesia to require attention in 2009.
There have been efforts by locals to reduce littering along Mount Batur. This is generally attributed to hikers who leave wrappers, plastic bags, and the like along the trail while entering and exiting the volcano. Because Mount Batur is not a government-managed attraction, it has no entry fee and this resulted in a lot of foot traffic.
The climb to Gunung Batur or Mount Batur provides you with a stunning view of the Lake Batur. On the way back you can taste some herbal teas and coffees to add a local flavour to your scenic trek up one of Bali's best mountains.
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