The experience of visiting magical, mystical Bali is on the bucket list of anyone who intends to holiday in an exotic destination.
The island of Bali is one of the most breathtaking tourist destinations in the world. It forms part of the state of Indonesia. Approximately 4 million tourists visit Bali annually. There are many sights for them to visit and enjoy, and a variety of unforgettable experiences, including the ascent of Mount Batur.
To make the most of the opportunity to see this fantastic tourist attraction, it is advised that you use travel apps such as TripIt, RoutePerfect, or TripAdvisor to make sure you maximize everything the experience has to offer you.
Planning with a travel app saves you the time and inconvenience of trying to figure things out once you’re on site and wanting to make the most of time you have there. A travel app could even direct you to local tour operators, and you may be able to book your trip before you even land in Bali.
The Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
No trip to Bali would be complete without a stop to see the wondrous beauty of its sacred mountain, Mount Batur (locally called Gunung Batur). It is also referred to as Kintamani because this is the name of the village it is in. Mount Batur dominates the landscape of the area and is a must see according to travel guides.
Most people who travel to Bali as tourists stay in resorts and hotels in Nusa Dua, Ubud or Kuta (including Legian and Seminyak). They frequent the street markets of Kuta, visit Hindu temples, and do beach hopping. But beyond these experiences, a trip further inland would be worth their while as the stark contrast is interesting to see.
Mount Batur is an active volcano. In its original formation, the volcano featured a collapsed top, known as a caldera. In fact, there are two concentric calderas that form the volcano. The remarkable Lake Batur covers part of the inner caldera of the volcano. A very important Balinese temple is here. Called Pura Ulun Danu Batur (the Temple of the Crater Lake), it was built as a dedication to the Lake Goddess Dewi Danu.
Planning the Kintamani Trekking
In the usual course of a trip to Mount Batur, the tour operator collects the tourists from their hotel or a pre-arranged central point at about 2 am. From there, they are transported to the base of Mount Batur in the tour operator’s vehicle. This trip will take about 90 minutes. Then the roughly 2 hours’ ascent to the top will begin.
It is aimed to coincide with the rising of the sun, giving tourists the once in a lifetime chance to experience sunrise at the peak of an active volcano. The estimated time of 2 hours is for fit hikers. But this ascent is not for the faint-hearted. It is quite rigorous and may take a little longer for less experienced, fit hikers. Competent, experienced tour guides accompany the tourists on the hike to ensure their safety.
Mount Batur is sacred to the Balinese people as part of their Hindu religion. It is widely regarded as a significant religious and cultural symbol.
Along the trail – The Villages, the temples and Lake Batur
Along the ascent and descent trail, tourists see many small villages and can get a feel for what rural life in Bali is like. These villages rely on agriculture as their main source of income, but the burgeoning tourism market means that they are starting to rely on tourism to supplement their income. In time to come, tourism revenue may, in fact, outstrip agricultural revenue.
In addition to the villages and the significant temple at Lake Batur, there are several beautiful Hindu temples dotted along the route which can be explored. Their physical appearance is in itself magnificent, but they also offer insight into the religion itself that tourists may find interesting and educational.
Sunrise – At the top of Mount Batur
Upon reaching the top of the volcano, tourists get to see a dramatic sunrise over a panorama that leaves them breathless. As the sun breaks over the horizon, the sheer beauty of their surroundings strikes the tourists.
The spectacular view from all angles can be photographed, but these images will never be a substitute for the real thing. The ambiance and atmosphere cannot be captured on camera. The intense hues in the greens of the mountains and valleys, the blues of the sky and the golden yellow glow of the sun will delight the eye.
Vents (or chimneys) in the volcano’s surface push continuous columns of steam out from underneath the surface. It is even possible that tourists will get to eat a breakfast that has been prepared using the steam from the volcanic vents to cook it! These vents play a critical role in ensuring that the volcano does not erupt again suddenly.
On the return trip, tourists may get to stop at a Balinese coffee plantation. This is a truly unforgettable experience for any coffee-lover as the flavor of the coffee is unique and well worth the trip.
As an important note to tourists, they are advised to ensure that they carry sufficient clothing with them for a trip to the top of Mount Batur. While temperatures at the base of Mount Batur may seem mild or in fact even hot, it is cold at the top of the volcano, with temperatures of 8-15 degrees Celsius on average. It would be unfortunate to feel frozen when it’s time to enjoy the spectacular views and landscapes the top of the volcano has to offer.
Ubud – The cultural hub of Bali
Yes, this is where Julia Roberts, playing the role of Elizabeth Gilbert, spends time in the movie Eat Pray Love. A trip to Mount Batur would be incomplete without stopping in Ubud. This is regarded as the cultural hub of Bali. Here tourists can see Balinese customs, rituals, dances, and crafts.
It is the perfect place to find a memento that will be a happy reminder of this incredible experience. The city is surrounded by massive rice fields (paddies) that will give the tourist an insight into how this staple food item in the Balinese culture is grown. You can attend Yoga classes here, go for a Balinese massage or a spa or therapy session, or enjoy delicious fresh seafood at any of the restaurants which range from budget to the high-end which have world famous chefs.
A UNESCO Site…and a lifetime experience
It is no wonder that UNESCO included Mount Batur as part of its Global Geoparks Network in 2012. The area is unique and worthy of preservation, and the experience and is not easily matched by any other destination in the world.
Bali’s attractions include beautiful, pristine beaches with opportunities for scuba diving and other water sports. Its bustling markets where tourists can haggle and negotiate for exotic items are charming. But the natural majesty and beauty of a natural feature such as Mount Batur cannot be ignored. It is a memorable experience to add to a visit to Bali.