Whether you’re a hiking pro or a beginner, an adventure to the top of Bali's mountains and volcanoes is worthy of your bucket list!
When we think of Bali’s bountiful landscapes, we think of golden sandy beaches, emerald green rice fields and jungle vistas too. But behind these paradisal panoramas is something just as beautiful: a backdrop of glorious mountaintops that span from the north-west of the island all the way to the east. These towering mountains and active volcanoes are some of North Bali’s finest attractions, luring in trekking enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies for an experience of a lifetime.
So, if you’re looking for the best seats on the island to catch a stunning sunrise, or to soak in the awe-inspiring panorama of the surrounding jungles and lakes below, check out these mountains and volcanoes in Bali worthy of a top spot on your Bali itinerary. Don your best hiking boots – mountain trip here we come!
Volcanoes & mountains in Bali: Hiking destinations for your bucket list
1. Mount Agung
The tallest mountain (AKA gunung) in Bali just so happens to be an active volcano. Located in Karangasem, East Bali, Mount Agung’s summit stands over 3,000 metres above sea level and is considered the holiest mountain by the local residents. According to the Balinese, Mount Agung was a part of the peak of Mount Semeru in Java, and was flown to Bali by a giant tortoise called bedawang nala, and three holy dragons. It is believed that the son of a Hindu God lived in the mountain with his dragon companion…
Mount Agung’s impressive height and challenging hiking trails attract many avid hikers from around the world. The hike takes approximately six to seven hours to reach the summit, and starts before midnight to catch the breathtaking sunrise when you get to the peak. There are two hiking trails that you can take: from Junggul village, you’ll walk a longer trail to the summit, whereas from Pura Pasar Agung, you’ll get to the crater rim via a shorter (but just as challenging) trail.
Do note: since Mount Agung is an active volcano, you’ll need to hire a guide to understand its volatility and accessibility. Agung recently erupted in 2017 and 2019 with a series of eruptions, but the most significant incident happened in 1963, having tragically taken over 1,600 lives, destroying the surrounding villages.
2. Mount Batur
Perhaps the most popular sunrise trek in Bali, Mount Batur is the only other active volcano alongside Mount Agung, with the last reported eruptions in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Located in the breezy Kintamani hillsides, this mountain stands over 1,700 metres high with a tranquil lake (Danau Batur) at its foot. The hike up to the summit takes approximately three hours, through multiple beginner-friendly trails which can be accessed from the surrounding villages.
To the local Balinese, Mount Batur is considered a depiction of a woman, whilst Mount Agung depicts a man. The Balinese believe that the presence of both brings harmony to the island. The beauty of Mount Batur was recognised by UNESCO, and it became the first Geopark mountain in Indonesia. If you fancy learning more about Mount Batur, as well as the lake and the surrounding villages, be sure to stop by Museum Geopark Batur and soak up all the knowledge.
3. Mount Batukaru AKA Mount Watukaru
The second highest peak in Bali is that of Mount Batukaru, or also called Watukaru. Standing at over 2,200 metres above sea level, Mount Batukaru is one of the volcanoes in Bali that is no longer active. It’s a beginner friendly hiking spot located in Tabanan, as the mountain houses Pura Batukaru, a temple which is often used for prayers by the local residents of central Bali. Aside from Pura Batukaru, there are two other trails that take you to the summit: one starts from Pujungan Village, and the other in Jatiluwih Village with one of the largest (and most breathtaking) rice terraces in Bali.
4. Mount Abang
Mount Abang’s summit stands high at over 2,100 metres above sea level. This mountain is one of the most iconic mountains in Bali due to its prime location – Mount Abang is nestled between the two active volcanoes in Bali: Mount Agung to the east and Mount Batur to the west. Mount Abang and Mount Batur are separated by the stunning Lake Batur, one of the most popular lake destinations amongst Bali’s campers and nature-loving travellers. There are two hiking trails: one starts from Songan Village, and the other from Suter Village. The Songan Village trail is said to be the longest hiking trail in Bali due to the flatter (and easier to walk on) grounds. Top tip: get your cameras ready, because Mount Abang is one of the best viewpoints to capture both Lake Batur and Mount Batur.
5. Mount Catur
Located in Bedugul, Mount Catur (whose peak is named Puncak Mangu by local residents) is one of the most famous hiking spots in Bali. The hike takes around 2.5 hours to get to the summit, over 2,000 metres above sea level. It’s located right in the middle of North Bali’s mountain range, meaning at the summit you’ll have 360 degree-views of the surrounding mountains. You’ll also get to see one of the Twin Lakes, Lake Buyan, as well as Lake Beratan, home to the famed temple Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. At the summit, you’ll also find a temple, Pura Puncak Mangu, where ceremonies and prayers frequently take place.
More must-visit trails for hikers of all levels
6. Mount Adeng
To the south of Lake Beratan, you’ll find Mount Adeng whose beauty has landed it a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It’s definitely a worthy hike for those who love uninterrupted views of tall trees and wildlife encounters. Mount Adeng is located in Jatiluwih Village, where you’ll find a natural hot spring and a holy temple.
7. Mount Pohen & Mount Sanghyang
Mount Pohen – AKA Mount Pohang – is an inactive volcano and another beginner friendly hiking spot, since the trail is almost a straight trek to the summit. Similarly, Mount Sanghyang, which is located between Mount Adeng and Mount Batukaru, is an inactive volcano with one trail going to the summit. The trail is the only connection between Jatiluwih Village and Lake Tamblingan. Both are photography opportunities not to be missed.
8. Mount Lesung
Mount Lesung is another must-visit destination in Bali, known for its stunning scenic route. Along the way up to the summit (over 1,800 metres above sea level), you’ll pass through Tamblingan Village with ancient buildings and the Mue River, surrounded by lush greenery. The crater often lets out hot steam, and is said to be home to wild deer. At the summit, rest and take in the breathtaking view of Lake Tamblingan to the south.
Happy hiking, Honeys!