Trekking a volcano in Bali is an absolute must for adventure junkies, as the views from the peaks are incredible, especially if you make it up in time to see the sun rising over the lakes, valleys and coastlines below. We often get asked questions about the differences between hiking Bali’s various volcanoes, so we decided to put together this handy guide on the best volcano treks in Bali broken down from easiest to hardest with tips on what you can expect when trekking each volcano.
The Batur Caldera Sunrise Trek is Gede’s favourite because the climb is relatively easy and the views from the top are spectacular. The trek takes you up the caldera wall of the Batur volcano opposite the cone of Batur on the other side of the lake. It only takes about an hour from the starting point at the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple to get to the top of the caldera wall, and the pathways are pretty clear and easy-going. From the top of the caldera wall you can see the peak of Mount Batur and Mount Agung in one direction, and the ocean and coastline on the other. On a clear day you can even see all the way to Lombok across the ocean.
Good for: Trekkers who want an easy-going, quick climb that still offers amazing views. Definitely a good choice for all fitness levels!
The Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is our most popular trek by far because it only takes about one and a half to two hours to reach the top and the views from the summit are pretty epic, as you can see the sun rising above the clouds and illuminating the caldera and lake below. Plus you can explore the unique features of the active volcano like lava fields, steam pockets and caves. Although the trek is not particularly difficult, it can be challenging at times, as some of the pathways are rocky and there are some steep sections. Keep in mind too that because this is such a popular trek, there will most likely be plenty of people on the trails and at the peak.
Good for: Trekkers with relatively good fitness levels who don’t mind a bit of a hike and sharing the mountain with other trekkers.
If you’re looking to climb a volcano in Bali that offers a bit of a challenge, incredible views and few crowds, Mount Abang is a good choice. Not so many people know about this volcano, but it is actually the third highest mountain in Bali after Mount Agung and Mount Batukaru. It was originally part of Mount Batur, but an eruption caused it to split from Batur, and it now rests on the other side of the lake from the Batur cone. The trek starts easy enough through a peaceful forest, and then it slowly gets steeper the higher you go. The trek takes about one to two hours each way, depending on your fitness level and speed.
Good for: Trekkers who are looking to escape the crowds and don’t mind climbing steep pitches. This is also a good option for those who don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn, as we offer day trips that start later in the morning.
Mount Batukaru is the second highest volcano in Bali and it is located on the west side of the island. Most of the mountain is covered in thick forests that provide plenty of shade and a home for wildlife like monkeys, civets and deer. The trek starts off pretty easy-going and then gets quite challenging the closer you get to the summit. Once you arrive at the top, you can see all of Bali spread out below and the peaks of Mount Agung, Mount Rinjani across the ocean, and on a clear day even some mountains on Java to the east. The trek takes about 4 to 5 hours going up and about 3 hours coming down.
Good for: Trekkers who are in good physical shape and don’t mind trekking through jungle for most of the journey. You can also opt to camp out overnight at the top if you want to break up the trip.
Also known as Pucak Mangu, Mount Catur is located in Bali’s central highlands, and it is the fourth tallest mountain in Bali at 2,096 meters. The trek starts at Lake Bratan and follows a trail along the edge of the lake before making its way up the mountain in a gentle incline that steadily increases as you get higher. Most of the mountain is covered in forest, but every so often you can catch glimpses of the lake below. From the top you can see all of Lake Bratan and Bedugul spread out before you. The trek up takes about 2 to 3 hours, and for the most part the trails are clear and easy to follow.
Good for: Trekkers who are in relatively good shape and want something a little bit different than the usual Mount Batur climb.
**Note: Catur is not recommended in the rainy season (October – March) because leeches can be a problem.
Mount Agung is the highest peak in Bali at 3,033 meters above sea level, and it is also the most challenging trek on the island. There are two starting routes: one starting at Pura Besakih that takes about six hours to reach the highest western peak, and one starting at Pasar Agung that takes about three to four hours to reach the southern peak. Both routes start in the jungle and then open up into steep rocky sections the higher you climb. This is not an easy trek, but the views from the top are definitely worth the effort.
Good for: Experienced trekkers who are physically fit and can handle long, steep treks up rocky slopes. If you’re looking for the ultimate Bali volcano challenge, this is it!