Bali is an especially rewarding destination for keen walkers, with wonderful hiking trails threading through the villages, rice terraces and palm forests of the interior to dormant volcanoes with summits trailing plumes of mist and cloud.
Rising from the shores of a beautiful, crescent-shaped lake, Gunung Batur (1,717m) is the most easily accessible of the big peaks. It’s reachable in a hike of between 2 and 3 hours, via hillsides covered in forest and, higher up, slopes of dark-grey and black volcanic sand. In order to reach the top early enough to catch the sun rising over the surrounding mantle of cloud, the trek is best covered before dawn. From the rim of the caldera you can peer into the volcano’s smoking core, and out across the ocean to the summit of Gunung Rinjani in neighbouring Lombok.
A longer and tougher option is the ascent of Gunung Agung (3,142m), Bali’s highest mountain and a pivotal point in local religious tradition: Balinese Hindus believe it to be the abode of ancestral spirits. Routes range from 4 to 7 hours, and once again, to be on the summit at sunrise you’ll need to camp overnight halfway up. Consult one of our Southeast Asia specialists for advice on specific trails. Whichever trek you choose, rest assured it will be in the company of experienced and knowledgeable guides.