Let us forget beautiful beaches and shores of Bali Island. Let us explore and scale its hills in the pre-dawn darkness and you will discover that the island offers some of the most beautiful sunrise scenes on earth. This way you need to put on your hiking boots for a night walk with an extraordinary ending.
The journey may start at about 2.45 a.m. from the coastal areas of Bali. This is a journey of clambering the slopes of Mount Batur to watch and testify sunrise over the centre of this paradise island of Bali.
If you start your journey by speeding north from the central town of Ubud for instance, then you will arrive at a small base camp at the foot of Mount Batur by cars. Local guides will be waiting there for you. They are togged up in down jackets and hiking boots. Despite the hot temperature of Balinese dry season, the nighttime temperature is low. Therefore, you should pack extra clothes.
From the foot of Mount Batur, you have to turn your flash lights on, your group and you will then set out at what could possibly be called a brisk pace. You start your trekking journey at 3 a.m. and you need to be at the crater of Mount Batur at 5 a.m. in order to be able to see the sun rises in the east, over the Indian Ocean and the neighboring island of Lombok.
In daylight, this kind of hiking journey would be described as tough. However, with just your flash lights and a dull moon as well as twinkling stars to guide you, picking out toeholds in the rocks is not always easy. This is all about staying focused on the next step. There is no view yet and when you do occasionally look up, all you catch is a glimpse of bobbing flash lights in the distance and stars or moon in the sky. This is truly challenging and exciting for nature lovers.
After two hours of hiking up, you will reach the final ridge and strike out across the flat ground, which surrounds the eastern side of the crater of Mount Batur. The peak stretches up behind you which is still in the darkness as you are shown around to some makeshift benches. Your guide will then pull out a flask and give you a cup of coffee. Your will have a rare breakfast treat of banana sandwiches for instance and one you certainly are not expecting to be chewing on while waiting for the sun to arise.
Then the glow begins faintly in the east. Along with it, the sound of the monkeys of Mount Batur starts to build and echo from the crater. The animals squeak wildly as they belt down steep cliffs in search of hikers and any food pieces that might be on offer. However, do not be distracted by their incessant squawking, please then stare eastwards. The sun culminates the horizon and a blaze of colour brightens the sky. Mount Agung, the taller, more severe peak, which sits on the other side of Batur lake, is silhouetted against it. The hills of Lombok are likewise dark against the rising sun.
Ever-changing reds, purples, oranges and yellows are virtually impossible to capture with your camera. And so you will stop pressing the shutter and take in the scene. Your exhaustion from earlier is replaced by utter elation. This magical, changing sky lasts around thirty minutes, the heat of the sun soon lets you shed your winter clothes and take a walk around the crater.
After you explore the steaming geysers which pockmark the surface, you begin your hiking down. Once again you move at speed, but this time on a different route. After negotiating a series of steep, igneous rocks, you will enter a beautifully shaded forest, strolling past hidden temples and across small rice paddies where farmers are already busy with their daily activities.
By the time you return to the base camp, it will be 8.30 a.m. Then you will go back to Ubud, Kuta or Lovina depending on where you stay. It can be concluded that anyone who wants to experience Bali away from its sometimes teeming beaches and bars, this Batur Sunrise Trekking is highly recommended. The trekking tour offers an opportunity to see the life in the island in a more tranquil and mountainous setting. Adventurers who have enjoyed the surf in Seminyak or other beaches of Bali and further west will definitely get a buzz from this early morning mountain climbing up.
The costs of the trekking tours vary depending on where you stay in Bali. The trekking tours include transfers, guides, flash lights, foods at the summit, water and entrance fees to Kintamani region where Mount Batur is located.
Footwear is an absolute must during the trekking tour. Sandals are not recommended. The ground is rocky and uneven and the terrain gets very steep very fast. Please remember, while it is always warm in Bali, night time temperatures at this altitude fall into single figures. Bring warm clothes and a backpack for keeping them in once the sun rises. A head torch of your own is more recommended rather than the handheld ones guides give you. This makes it easier for you to climb up rocky steep slopes without losing your balance.