Gunung Batur is by far the most popular volcano on the whole island of Bali and for that reason a mafia has been set up to “guide” tourists to the top. It is widely known that there is no need for a guide as this isn’t a national park and it’s just a way to rob tourists of their money. There is even a group set up with a petition against the mafia of Batur which you can find here. It is sad and unfortunate that this mountain has been so tainted by the people that live at the base and the only feasible way to the summit is with a guide.
At Bali adventure guide we cannot condone this activity going on with guides at the base and therefore recommend you to try a different volcano or just watch the sunrise from Bukit Penulisan, with equally stunning views. If you do attempt to go alone you will be stopped and not allowed to continue and even force may be used to stop you. The only way to go is by guide and you can find many deals in the south of Bali, Ubud, Lovina and Amed. The lowest rate is around 300,000 rupiah but it is known to be much higher than this. Your hotel or guesthouse can arrange your Batur volcano tour and a driver will pick you up around 2am from your hotel and you will be back from the mountain around lunch time.
Gunung Batur is infact a huge volcano and the “mafia” cannot control the whole area so there is an alternative route to the summit, but it requires a rather adventurous crossing of the lava field. Take the road down into the caldera from Kintamani side and head left towards the west side of Batur. From here you will be able to see the path leading up to the volcano but this is for the adventurous and not recommended if you are inexperienced. You can find the starting point here and it’s best to go around full moon to not use the torch and attract attention. If you choose this route be prepared as there is no water or shelter and be ready for the confrontation at the summit for not having a guide.
Lava field at Gunung Batur – Photo by Ryan Mazure
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and are the views of the author. If you choose to use the information above it is at your own risk.