Bali - Guide to Mount Batur

Mount Batur (1,717mdpl) is an active volcano located in Kintamani area. Ever since my trip to Rinjani, I became addicted to hiking, true the journey to the top is always painful but the view is so amazing and it makes the journey worth the effort. Okay okay, according to my friends it's not considered as mountain because of the low altitude, but hey, if google said it's mountain, then it is a mountain, right?

According to google it cost around $60/person including the transport, which I thought was too much. I tried to google about how to get there on my own yet I could not find a clear answer as well. So, with my "smart ass" and "daring" attitude, I decided to pay a visit to the mountain on February 16, 2016. 

The original plan was to book a car with a driver, but one thing leads to another we ended up renting a car and having my friend Jefry to drive the car. We stayed in Ubud which is around 80km from the location. Jefry came to pick us up at 2am. Armed with google map and limited amount of gas we started our quest to find the starting point of Mount Batur. It was only a little pass midnight, hence there was no gas station open, let alone the gas retailer in bottle of vodka (you can only find it in Bali). Daringly, we marked our google map to Mount Batur, and it said it will only takes us 1.5 hours to reach the starting point. Due to our lack of experience, we ended up taking a circle, went around the mountain and couldn't find the starting point. It was nerve breaking, as we only have limited amount of gas and there was no light, except the one from our car. The clock showed 4am, which means it was too late for us to catch the sunrise. Therefore, we had decided to give up and give it another try tomorrow, however we met a guy who offered us IDR 600.000 to be our guide, still we thought it's too expensive, so we were planning to head back to Ubud.

Refused to go back "empty handed" we googled a little bit more and had an idea to search on google map with different keywords instead "Parkir Gunung Batur"Guess what? we did it, we found the starting point, without further ado we drove our car to the "parking lot". By the time we got there, there were no climbers/tourist. There were only several local people which claimed to be the "official" guide.

Actually, you don't really need a guide to climb the mountain, because the path is clear, and they were building some kind of parking lot up there, so I think in a few months, the path will even be clearer. Nevertheless, they said it's compulsory to have a guide, being so desperate, we agreed to pay IDR 120.000/person. We had one guide accompanying us throughout the journey. Jefry asked him a lot of questions about the mountain, as well as Balinese culture (so if you ended up with a guide, you can ask them as many questions as you want). As I have said, we were too late to catch the sunrise, hence we cheated and drove our car to the furthest point our gas can take us (the guide drove the car), and continue our hike from there.

It took around 1.5 hours climbing up, we didn't make it to the top before sunrise, thus we had our sunrise on our way to the top, yet the view was amazing. The hike itself were not that heavy, I,well-known as the slow climber, managed to climb the mountain at my own pace, took my time enjoying the view (and catching breath). The weather wasn't cold, I brought my jacket but ended up keeping it in my backpack, it was even too hot for tanktops. I managed to have sunburn on my arms when I thought my skin was already too dark for sunburn.

Descending was a different story, if you think climbing up is hard, going down is double the effort. I succeeded to fall down several times, injured my knees (I couldn't bend my right knee for 2 days), bump my bumps and have few scratches here and there.

In total we spent around 3.5 hours (we started at around 5ish) climbing up and down. We managed to reach the hotel around 9.50am (just in time for breakfast).

Sunrise View

My hiking partners (Jefry & Mitchel)
View from the top

It cost us IDR 700.000 for 3 persons, including the car, gasoline and entrance fee to the park. The sun can be mean, so prepare your sunblock. You don't really need hiking shoes, but if you are a bit paranoid of slippery slope like myself, hiking shoes with good grip will help. Be careful of the monkeys, they will show no mercy to your food, they will just grab whatever you have in your hand. Bring enough water to drink (on the top they have a canteen, but I didn't take a look, because I brought enough foods and drinks). Remember to mark your map according to the links I gave above. Last but not least have fun and enjoy the view!!!


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