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Mount Agung Hike: Reach the Highest Point in Bali

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Mount Agung is the highest mountain in Bali and the 5th highest volcano in Indonesia. It looms more than 3,000m and towers over Indonesia's most popular island. It is also one of Bali's most sacred mountains as it is home to Pura Besakih, Bali's Hindu mother temple. 

While many adventure seekers hike Mount Agung every year to experience the gorgeous sunrise hike, the hike is far from easy. That said, the challenging trail is significantly shorter than some of the country's other volcano treks, like Mount Rinjani in nearby Lombok, which can take up to 6 days, and can be done in a single day.

If you're thinking of taking on a Mount Agung hike, here is everything you need to know. 

Overview

The Mount Agung hike is typically done at sunrise, with hikers often heading out even before midnight so they can enjoy the stunning views from the volcano's summit as dawn breaks. If you're looking for a challenging hike with rewarding views, this is the hike for you. Climbers are often dazzled by the multi-colored sky waiting for them at the summit, with crystal clear views of Bali, Lombok and Nusa Penida as the morning sun fully breaks.

As you will see below, there are two options for climbing Mount Agung, taking you anywhere from 7 to 12 hours in total depending on which route you choose.

Quick facts

  • Location: Eastern Bali
  • Height: 3142 m
  • Last erupted**: 13 February 2018
  • Status: Active

Highlights

  • Seeing the beautiful sunrise from the top of the mountain
  • Visiting the stunning Mother Temple of Besakih
  • Far less crowds than other sunrise hikes, including Mount Batur

Lowlights

  • The temple in Pura Pasar Agung is sometimes closed for ceremonies, so check in advance if you wish to visit
  • This is a strenuous, tough climb and is mostly done in the dark (though worth it at the end!)
  • You must get up very early if you wish to see the sunrise, leaving the starting point around midnight

If you are planning a trip to Bali, then please read our best time to visit Bali guide. 

Mount Agung Hike Facts

Hike duration: 4–5 hours from Pura Pasar Agung, 6–7 hours from Besakih
Hike difficulty / physical fitness: Strenuous. High level of fitness required, recommended for experienced hikers only
Remoteness: Somewhat remote. 2–3 hours drive from Besakih, 20 km north of Klunkung
Best season: Dry season (April to October) though the routes are often closed in April for religious ceremonies
Start and end locations:  From the Pasar Agung Temple in Puru Pasar Agung (in the South) to the Crater Rim; or a slightly longer trek from Besakih (in the west) to the summit
Permits required: Anywhere from IDR 400,000* (USD 30) to IDR 1,000,000* (USD 74) for your guide, including your hiking permit
What to bring: Flashlight, walking shoes with good grip, a walking stick, warm layers of clothing (including gloves), sunscreen, water and some breakfast
If you hike Mount Agung then you have to reach the crater to see the sunris
Mount Agung is considered sacred as it is home to Pura Besakih, Bali's Hindu temple

Mount Agung Hike Itinerary – Pura Besakih Route

The most popular route is the one that starts in Pura Besakih.

9 pm to 11 pm: Your hotel to Pura Besakih

This hike starts at Pura Besakih, the holy Hindu temple at the base of Mount Agung's western peak. No matter where you are staying in Bali, you will likely have to arrange to be picked up late in the night if you want to experience the sunrise from the summit. Most tour operators will collect you from 9 pm so you can start your trek around 11 pm. 

When you arrive at Pura Besakih, your guide will give you an introduction to Mount Agung, its spiritual significance, and what to expect on your hike. If you have time, you can also explore the Besakih temple. Otherwise, feel free to have a look around after your descent. 

Note: If you really don't want to be picked up that early, or if you feel a single night's hike would be too difficult for you, some hikers chose to spend the night at Gunung Agung (Kori Agung). This campsite is found at the midpoint of the Pura Besakih trail. With this option, you would typically start your hike on the morning of day one, reaching the camp around noon and setting up camp. Then, on day two you would set off for the summit around dawn. This option is rare but possible.

11 pm to 6 am: Pura Besakih to Mount Agung summit  

Upon leaving Pura Besakih at around 11 pm, your hike will begin through a dense jungle area, so be prepared to weave your way through the trees. After the jungle, there is a rocky area with large boulders where you'll really have to watch your footing. The most challenging part of the hike is the last hour, just before reaching the summit, where the path becomes very steep. You may even have to climb on all fours.

It will be a steady ascent to the summit with no major sights along the way — just a shifting landscape (however, if you need to rest just ask your guide).

It will take anywhere from 5 to 7 hours to reach the summit of Mount Agung from Pura Besakih, meaning you will reach it by 6 am — just in time to watch the sun rise over the clouds. We recommend staying at the summit for about an hour and a half so you can fully experience the sunrise and maybe even enjoy a packed breakfast. 

7:30 am to 12 pm: Mount Agung summit to Pura Besakih

Your descent will be quicker than your ascent. Be careful and take your time as you will need to pass steep slopes.

If you leave the summit at around 7:30 am, you should reach the temple by noon. From there, either head back to your hotel or spend some time discovering Pura Besakih.

Mount Agung hike itinerary – Pasar Agung route

Alternatively, you may want to hike Mount Agung via the Pasar Agung route. This route is a little shorter making it ideal for novice hikers or if you want to get a little bit more sleep.

If this is your chosen route, you should aim to be at your starting point by 1:45 am. This should allow you to reach the summit for the 6 am sunrise. Spend the recommended hour and a half at the top, and you should be back at your starting point by 11 am. Your full climbing time with this option would be about 7 to 8 hours.

Ceremonial staties at Mount Agung crater
Ceremonial idols at the crater of Mount Agung

How to get to the trailhead

Pura Besakih is located on the western side of Mount Agung, while Pasar Agung is on the mountain's southern peak.

The best way to reach Pura Besakih is from Klungkung, a relatively large town not far from Ubud. From there, the trailhead is only about 20 km away. The road to reach this trailhead is windy but well developed.

Alternatively, the Pasar Agung trailhead is slightly more difficult to reach as the road is undeveloped, steep and windy. It is about an hour's drive from Klungkung (30 km) or a two-hour drive from Ubud (51 km). 

Both trailheads can be easily found from the parking lot at either location.

Good to know

  • Mount Agung is considered to be a very sacred place in Hinduism, and you'll see several shrines built on the slopes as you make your way up. You might also be joined by Hindus on your hike, travelling to the summit to pray.
  • Though the experience is different for everyone, you may suffer from altitude sickness on your Mount Agung hike. Be sure to drink lots of water (several liters!) to avoid the symptoms, which can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and flu-like symptoms.
  • Be prepared for some pretty extreme temperatures on your Mount Agung hike. While the warm weather at the starting point might tempt you to wear shorts and a t-shirt, be sure to bring layers with you as the ascent can be windy and temperatures at the summit can even drop to below 0°C!
  • You may not be able to hike during Hindu religious ceremonies, which are common in the month of April.  
You might even see the Milkyway on a Mount Agung hike
The sun slowly rises and the Milkyway fades, as seen from the summit of Mount Agung

If the above itineraries interest you then please send us a trip planner request and we will connect you with a travel expert who can organize a memorable Mount Agung hike for you. If Bali has always been your dream destination then please check out the top things to do in Bali including its fabulous beaches

*Please note that the prices listed are as of February 2018

** Please note the eruption dates were last updated in February 2018 

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