The Mount Batukaru Hike is a long walk up through lovely jungle to a viewpoint at the top, before a long descent to either the other side or back where you came from.
This walk up Mount Batukaru (Gunung Batukaru) starts from Pura Siva (Shiva Temple), on the western side of Mount Batukaru. We took a taxi here, organized by our accommodation from the previous night. We hiked over the mountain carrying all our stuff in backpacks and stayed at D’wan Tea Mountain Side on the other side. It’s near the beautiful Jatiluwih Rice Terraces where we hiked the next day.
Tips for Mount Batukaru Hike
- Set off early to avoid the heat of the day, and for the best chance of having a clear view at the top.
- Take snacks and water, there’s nothing to buy along the route.
- ‘Puncak’ means ‘peak’ in Indonesia – at one point a sign points you to the Puncak so it’s a useful word to know.
- Don’t attempt this hike after heavy rain – the path will be extremely muddy and slippery.
- We stayed at D’wan Tea Mountain Side Hotel* on the east side of the mountain, at the end of this hike.
- It’s a good idea to have the free app Maps.Me for this hike.
- For an easier hike try walking through Jatiluwih Rice Terraces or check out the Best Hikes in Bali.
From Siva Temple, head towards the mountain, there are signs pointing to the ‘Starting point Gunung Batukaru’. At the back of the temple is a car park for this hike and a little booth where you have to get a hiking permit. It’s Rp 25,000 ($1.75) per person. Sometimes guards are there, at other times you just pay yourself and fill in the permit to keep with you.
Hiking up Mount Batukaru
Head up the steps to the left of the booth, the beginning of the hike up Mt Batukaru. The path up is always clear. There’s only one junction, where you should take the path signed ‘Puncak’ – this means ‘peak’ in Indonesian.
The path starts out not very steep and quite wide. However, it soon gets quite a lot steeper and narrower. In places it’s very muddy and slightly slippery. It would be much worse after any recent heavy rain. There are also some large, mud steps you have to climb up, so you have to be slightly agile. At one point there is a rope to help you along.
Near the top the character of the jungle changes dramatically and it becomes more of a cloud forest than a steamy jungle.
At the Top of Mount Batukaru
Eventually you’ll reach a flat plateau that is the top. There’s quite a lot of vegetation here, but the path remains obvious. It bends sharply left through more undergrowth before coming out in a clearing where there is a small temple. There’s another little temple slightly further on. Where we were here a little dog was living on the mountain top. Many people also camp here overnight to see the sunrise, when you have the best chance of the views being clear.
We had lunch on top of the mountain, hoping that the clouds would clear. They didn’t, but occasionally we had a glimpse through the mist. After a break, we began the descent down the eastern side of the mountain, towards Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Alternative Route Down: It’s also possible to return the way you came, back down to Shiva Temple at the bottom on the west side. This makes the hike slightly shorter, and it becomes only 6.2 km with 1100 metres climb both up and down.
The way down the eastern side was similar to the way up. The path was always clear, but sometimes narrow and often very steep. It’s further down the eastern side because you end lower. At first you head down along the spine of a ridge, then the path leaves the ridge to the left.
The path eventually begins to flatten out and you reach a little temple (Pura Luhur Taksu Agung). The path becomes paved as you continue down to a much larger temple (Pura Luhur Bhujangga Waisnawa Gunung Sari).
At this temple, we took the small path that contours left, signed towards D’wan Tea Mountainside Hotel*. If you’re not staying here, continue along the road. There are several other accommodation options about 2 km down the hill at the top of the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
We enjoyed our stay in D’wan Tea Mountainside Hotel, it was a tea estate and was surrounded by many tea bushes. There was a beautiful pool with great views, and even a wood fire in the evening.
FAQS: Mount Batukaru Hike
Mount Batukaru is 2,276 metres high.
Yes, you need a permit to hike up Mount Batukaru. They are available from a little both at the start of the hike near Shiva Temple on the western side of the mountain. Sometimes guards are there, at other times you just pay yourself and fill in the permit.
There are two main routes up Mount Batukaru. The one from the west is the shortest and is 3 km to the top with 1150 metres of climb. The route from the east is 4 km to the top with 1350 metres of climb.