Picture this: You’re trekking for two hours in the dead of night up an active volcano, slipping on volcanic ash and pushing yourself up steep cliffs with only a head lamp guiding your steps. Slowly the sun starts to rise as you do. You begin to realize how high up you are, overlooking the jaw-dropping views above the clouds of Indonesia. Finally, when your legs are aching and you’re completely out of breath, you make it to the top of this massive volcano while the sun starts to rise up and the entire sky turns into beautiful shades of pink, orange, and yellow.
Welcome to Mt. Batur.
When I first arrived in Indonesia I was completely in awe of the gorgeous sunrises every night. When I was presented with the opportunity to do a night trek up Mt. Batur to watch the sunrise I did not hesitate to exclaim “Um, yes please!”. We chose to do our tour with Diamond Tours & Travel and I couldn’t be more pleased with the experience.
WAKE UP CALL
After a long day of exploring the girls and I went to bed early and set our alarms for 12:30am. We were picked up from our villa and were driven two hours from Canggu into the depths of Bali. Luckily the seats in the van were comfortable, reclining, and came with our own pillows. This made the early wake up a little more bearable. Once we arrived to the base of Mt. Batur it was around 2:30am. We were then provided with our head lamps, trekking poles and some yummy food and water to help us prepare for what was ahead.
With a black sky full of stars above us, we started our roughly two and a half hour hike up Mt. Batur. With only our head lamps and guide’s voice to lead us we began to walk. Even in the dark we could see the fields of crops, outlines of the houses in the village and animals snoozing as we walked towards the beginning of our uphill journey. The hike starts off simple enough: just listening to the animals surrounding you and walking on a slight incline with a tiny light to guide our way. Slowly the ground begins to turn into volcanic ash and the incline becomes steeper and steeper. Before I knew it my trekking pole had become my best friend and safety net and I was praying to the universe that I didn’t slip all the way back down. Once I reached this stage it was approximately another forty-five minutes of an uphill battle. If you find yourself on this hike, which you should once in your life, take a second to pause and look behind you. Once we were near the top of the volcano the sky started to lighten up and I began to catch a glimpse of the most incredible skyline view of Bali waking up. It was one of those views you can’t believe you’re seeing right in front of your eyes. We finally reached the top and had about thirty minutes to catch our breath find a spot to watch the magical Bali sunrise.
AT THE TOP
Whew, we made it! We stood at the peak of Mt. Batur and watched the sun climb slowly over the mountains in the distance. At first we were submerged in a deep fog and I was terrified we wouldn’t be able to see the sun. Luckily, the sky cleared up just in time and before us a beautiful orange, yellow and pink sunrise was unfolding. Our guide went to the tents set up on the top and brought us back coffee to enjoy while we watched in awe. Talk about a perfect morning. Once the sunrise began to fade our guide took us over to a spot where steam was pouring out of the sides of the volcano. They had dug out small oven-like caves into the sides and inside was, believe it or not, our breakfast being cooked. It was incredible seeing the pure magic and capabilities of this volcano. Once breakfast was “cooked” we headed over to the tent to eat our banana and egg sandwiches along side the cutest Balinese pups. After breakfast we explored the top of Mt. Batur, pups and all, and tried to take in all of the breathtaking views now that we could see what we had just hiked up.
THE LONG ROAD DOWN
After spending about two hours at the top of Mt. Batur we started our journey down the mountain. I’m convinced the trekking poles were more vital for the downward hike than up. Now that we could see clearly, the hike down was so much more fun and a complete ab workout from trying to keep our balance, falling down and laughing from all of the above. It is very tempting to want to run down, which we did a lot, and luckily our guides were protective and always had our backs in those near death slips. Not only did I get one of the best work outs of my life, but being able to accomplish this much before 8AM made me feel on top of the world.
WANT TO HIKE MT. BATUR?
I could not recommend Diamond Tours & Travel enough. They provided us not only with the gear we needed to safely complete our hike, but made sure we had a once in a lifetime experience. If you are visiting Bali, make sure you do this hike.