Mt Agung Sunrise Trek – Things to Keep in mind

Mt Agung Sunrise Trek – Things to Keep in mind

First things first, this is not an easy trek at all. If you are looking for an easy trek in your shorts and flip flops, Mt Agung is probably not a good choice. This is one badass mountain which requires 6-7 hrs of trekking through forests and lava rocks to reach the summit.

This 3000m giant stratovolcano is the highest point in Bali and 5th highest in the whole of Indonesia. Mt Agung is also home to the Pura Besakih, the most sacred Mother temple in Bali. Mt Agung last erupted in 1963 and the rocky solidified lava can be seen on the upper half of the mountain. The lush green forest at lower elevation gives way to volcanic rock and ash as you climb up. The climb gets harder and riskier as you go up. So it is recommended to keep yourself informed about the things to keep in mind before you set to conquer this mountain.

Getting to the Base

There are two routes to start the climb. The Besakih or Pura Pasar Agung trailheads. Both take around 2-3 hrs to reach from the major cities in Bali. As I was going from Ubud, The Pura Pasar Agung was closer. You can reach the base by yourself using rented 2 wheelers but make sure you are well equipped with GPS as getting lost on this route is pretty common. There are no sign boards on the way and asking locals the way, is not a good option unless you speak the local language. So I recommend going with a trekking group like Puji Sunsrise Trekking who will arrange everything for you including the dinner, pickup/drop, guides and snacks. The only requirement is to have minimum of 3 people for the trek. Me and my roommate had  a hard time finding the 3rd person as no one was ready to do the trek but thanks to the Puji group, they helped us find people from another hostel nearby. They will pick you up from the accommodation by 11:30 pm from Ubud. The route is scenic with a lot of winding turns and passes through fields, forests and villages but you will see all this only when you return back after the sunrise.

Fees and Guides

If you are going with a group, the fees range from 700,000 Rp (52$) to 1,000,000 Rp (70$). You will find inflated prices online. It is always better to bargain with the tour operator for a lower price. If you stay in Puji Bungalows, then you can get a discounted price of 500,000 Rp (38$) with Puji Sunsrise Trekking.

You will find signboards near the trail-head saying that having a guide is a legal requirement for the trek. Not sure if it is true because we did come across some pro climbers who were trekking without guides. But if you are in a group then you will have guides to accompany you. The trekking group I went with were having two guides.

Accessories to bring

This is no walk in the park. Bring your trekking poles and flashlight as you will start trekking by 1 am. Wear long pants and jackets to save yourself from the cold. Sports shoes or hiking shoes are a must. You will need gloves for the last 1 hour stretch where you will find yourself climbing (or crawling as in my case) over lava rocks and they are pretty cold. Even the guides wear gloves. So make sure you have all these accessories with you. Check with the tour agency if they are providing these accessories as some of them do.

Carry your own set of snacks and bottle of water. Make sure you don’t litter the mountain after having your snacks. The place is not touristy so it is pretty clean and serene. Let us keep it that way.

Safety Measures

As long as you don’t suffer from any mild altitude sickness or breathing problems, most part of the trek through the jungle will be pretty easy. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated and take breaks. Once you leave the jungle and start making your way through the lava rocks, it starts getting tricky. Most of the rocks are not solid and may crumble and roll. So watch where you land your feet.

You will see many people returning back as the climb gets steep and rocky at the top. If you feel like you can push on then keep climbing. It is a long trek, so give yourself frequent breaks to avoid fatigue. Know your physical limits and challenge yourself within that. Do not take any extreme steps if you are a rookie.

It will take around 6-7 hrs to reach the summit. The last one hour of the trek is steep and requires you to be on all fours. If you are not used to rock climbing then you better not try this part as going up is easy as it would be dark and you would not be aware of the elevation but coming down the same way is kind of tricky and if you are scared of heights then you will be in a lot of trouble. Also there are no harness ropes or any other safety measures. So even the guide can’t do much here. You are pretty much on your own during this part. (I am not used to rock climbing and this was the most scary part of the trek, but you see I am alive)

Also make sure that you do not consume any caffeine or alcohol 24 hrs before the trip. (Having a cocktail hours before the trek was probably not a good idea.)

Climate

Avoid climbing during the rainy season esp in January and February which sees heavy rains and potential landslides. The months from April to October are favorable for the climb. Also the mountain weather is totally unpredictable. Bad weather may arrive without a warning which may lead to fog. The ones without mountaineering skills can get lost on the route. There have been cases where trekkers got lost and had to spent more than 3 days on the mountain before they got rescued.

You will only find a handful of people at the top compared to its shorter sibling Mt Batur. It is going to be cold and windy out there. Light a bonfire and wait for the sunrise. The sunrise is one sight to behold. Watch as the sky transforms itself into a myriad of colors as the sun comes up. You will start getting a view of the whole island once the sun is out and you will realize how high up you are. Prepare for the descent which will take another 6 hrs. You have to be equally careful while climbing down.

This was one of the best moments of my trip. The view was so addictive that I found myself on the summit of the 1700m high Mt Batur the next morning, catching yet another beautiful sunrise.

62 thoughts on “Mt Agung Sunrise Trek – Things to Keep in mind

  1. It must feel awesome to behold such a beautiful sunrise! I’m not particularly fit for hard trekking trips, but I really wish I could one day be there and see this beautiful scene with my own eyes <3

    1. Even I am not. I went without any preparations which made things worse for me. I dragged myself up there because I knew the view would be worth it all. 😀

  2. Well now I know for sure that this trek is certainly not for me! (sadly I am one of those travelers that carries a portable nebulizer in my hand luggage). Glad I can enjoy the views via you post as well as the other trekking blogs out there!

  3. Congratulations to you on your success on conquering Mount Agung! I had climbed Mount Batur many years ago, unfortunately didn’t have a good experience which deterred me from making more summits. Kudos to you for going all the way! 🙂

  4. Wow the view up there looks amazing! I recently visited Indonesia and failed to summit Mt Batur. Will definitely look into climbing Mt Agung and Mt Batur on my next visit.

  5. Wow, impressive trek. That is quite the place to see the sunrise too. Great tips/advice on equipment and seriousness of this hike. So many people I’m sure underestimate the journey and come unprepared. And congrats and doing another trek the next day!

  6. Stunning views, sounds like a difficult but really worthwhile hike. I would love to hike Mt Agung, and it’s a draw card that it’s the highest in Bali, and also allows access to Pura Besakih.

    Thanks for the tips on safely managing the trek – very good point about gloves (I always forget them!) and a flashlight – I find it easy to use headlamps on treks so you can keep your hands free. Also amazing point on the not consuming alcohol 24 hours before hand – I’ve seen many people suffer because of that.

  7. Good to know it is for the hearty hiker Gokul. I have seen it hawked quite a bit during my 4 trips to Bali. Sometimes it seems like these tour operators claim anybody can do it. I can pull it off but only because I am running 10-12 miles now 😉 A few months back I’d likely not have tried to even do it; not buff enough. The views are most definitely worth it though.

    1. The tour operators don’t want to lose out on clients which is why some of them make false claims. But it is better do a research instead of going without a clue. These hikes can be really dangerous if not done under proper supervision.

  8. I do get weak for 2 days after mount trekking so I kimda stopped all trekking activities, but with the Sunrise at Mt Agung, I don’t mind trekking that much. I love sunrises, it gives a sense of dawn/new beginning.

  9. Sounds like a real challenge! Will start training to be ready! 🙂 Those views are astonishing. The photos above the clouds are just breathtaking!

  10. I’m going to Bali next month and so wish I was able to do this! I know my limits and I am not physically fit enough for sure. Perhaps I could try Mt Batur, do you have a post about that climb?

  11. Starting with the iconic temple at the base, every photograph is stunning. It is so important to pick the right weather and season to enjoy a place, as well as come back with perfect photos. 6-7 hours of trekking seems like a lot, but as you said, the path is easy to navigate. Worth it, for that sunset.

  12. wow I haven’t realised you can hike on such a badass mountain in Bali !! 😀 Mt Agung seems amazing, especially that view above clouds! I am going to Bali this year so I definitely have to check it out!

  13. Seems like a moderate to hard hike from you description but also, a nice one. Definitely the views that you have shown here are worth it. Well done with it

  14. Looks like a beautiful hike! I love this type of terrain and variety when hiking-though agree the lava rocks are tricky!

  15. When I make it to Bali the Mt Agung sunrise trek will be top of my list. I prefer mountains and volcanoes to the beach. Your photos from the top are well worth the effort to get up there!

  16. This looks amazing, once again though, my fear of heights would probably make this difficult for me! I hope one day I get over it so I can get to experience that sun rise!

  17. This looks like a lovely trek,though not that easy. But the pains you take are handsomely rewarded by a beautiful sunrise and the views from the mountain. Definitely an experience to be treasured.

  18. The last time we were in Bali, we didn’t do the hike. Now looking at your picture, I regretted it! I’ll need to go back again for this priceless experience!

  19. I read your post about Mt Batur first – and how you’d climbed the two mountains in less than 24 hours. Now I’m reading about how difficult this climb was and I’m amazed you had the energy for another climb so soon after Mt Agung!! I can SO relate to climbing up in the dark only to find it really scary coming down when you can see – that would be me 😀 Congratulations on making it to both summits!

  20. OMG this place is amazing!
    First of all thanks for the information you provide, there are some things really important to know before climbing.
    It must really worth the climbing and makes me think of Huang Shan in China.

    The picture of the sunrise is stunning!

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