When volcanic activity permits—an evacuation zone has been in place since 2017—the sacred volcano Agung offers one of Bali’s most challenging and exciting hikes. Towering 9,444 feet (2,878 meters) above northeast Bali, it’s typically climbed in one long and tiring day, either from Pura Pasar Agung or from the Mother Temple of Besakih.
An experienced mountain guide is not only essential for climbing Mount Agung safely but required by local law. (While the mountain is off limits due to volcanic activity, no guides are available.)
Some tours will bring you all the way to the summit; others stop at the crater rim. Most aim to reach the apex of the climb for sunrise—perhaps Bali’s most beautiful—with sweeping views across the island. The mountain is both steep and sacred to the Balinese: Treat it with respect.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Temperatures at the top of Mount Agung can drop to close to freezing at night: Bring warm clothes.
- The Agung trekking trail is both steep and slippery in places: Proper walking boots are a must.
- Establish whether your guide will provide a headlamp or whether you need to bring your own.
- Mount Agung can take a good couple of hours to reach from Sanur or Nusa Dua: Ubud is a better place to start.
- Mount Agung is one of Indonesia’s harder volcano climbs: Be sure you're reasonably fit.
How to Get There
In Karangasem, northeast Bali, Mount Agung can only be climbed with a guide. Most travelers opt for a convenient sunrise trekking tour that includes round-trip transfers from their accommodation and doesn’t require self-driving after a night climb. Freelance guides are usually to be found at the two main starting points for the trek: Pura Pasar Agung (Pasar Agung temple) and Besakih temple.
When to Get There
For views and visibility, Mount Agung is almost always a sunrise climb. Climbing during the dry season (roughly March to September) is recommended, as rains can make an already steep and challenging path very slippery and further reduce temperatures at the summit.
Which Indonesia Volcano Climb is Right for You?
Indonesia is home to more than 120 active volcanoes, and a volcano climb is a rite of passage when in the country. If Mount Agung is closed due to volcanic activity, or if you prefer a less physically challenging climb, Mount Batur offers beautiful sunrise views, while Mount Rinjani on neighboring Lombok is an epic multi-day hike.