At 3142 metres (10,308 feet) Mt Agung rises stunningly over the Bali landscape. It is the highest point in Bali and holds incredible spiritual significance for the Balinese. Folklore has it that when the deities made mountains for their thrones they set the highest peak in the east, the direction of honor to the Balinese.
For any serious hiker or someone who just loves the occasional trekking challenge, this is a "must do"
You can choose between hiking from Pasar Agung temple to the crater rim at 2918m which is about 8 hours return or going all the way to the summit, taking about 12 hours return.
Depending on the option you choose the itinerary will change a little - please see details below
Hiking in the mountains is best done in the dry season (March-October) however there are wet season days (November-February) where it is still possible.
Full details here
Your hike starts at the Pasar Agung Temple temple car park (1600m) with 297 steps to the temple. At the gates of the temple, guides will make an offering to the Gods, to ask for forgiveness, protection and a safe return from this sacred mountain. You may also like to show your respect by lighting up a few incense sticks and placing them on one of the shrines.
The path first leads to the left around the temple, past a couple of water reservoirs tanks, then across a small opening in the woods and then immediately into very steep and dense high alpine rainforest. The track climbs steeply up a narrow path that is carved by deep ravines and littered by countless roots from magnificent tall trees often requiring hands and feet to scramble over. If you depart early morning for a sunrise at the summit then a good head light is absolutely essential to illuminate the path.
After a good hour the forest gets gradually lighter and less dense and eventually the path passes a small concrete dam which channels rainwater from the higher mountain region into PVC pipes back to the reservoirs just above Pura Pasar Agung. This normally marks the first third of the track. Here the path flattens briefly and offers good views on the return journey.
After a short flatter passage across a small ridge the path then inclines again rather steeply, but this time up the first rocky surfaces. Here the forest is not as dense anymore and every metre altitude gained offers increasingly better views of Bali far below. At times this section can be slippery, especially after recent rainfall. There are several short and steep drops requiring your hands for additional safety, but definitely nothing to worry about. This next section will take about 1 hour of continuous hard steep hiking ending once the vegetation gives way to pure volcanic rock surface.
At the 2,425m mark, those going to the true summit will turn left to meet the trail from Besakih towards the summit.
For those heading to the more easily-reached crater rim, the final third of the track to the crater rim is quite steep and rocky however well worth the effort for the dramatic scenery unfolding in every direction. Much of Bali including the coastline as well as the neighbouring islands of Lombok, Nusa Lemongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Dua are far below you. To the West are the entire mountain ranges of Bali including the towering volcanoes of East Java in the distance. Finally ahead of you a rugged mountaintop with the the peak of Gunung Agung high above to the left, which is separated by a deep and impossible to pass volcanic ravine.
The last third will you 1 to 1 1/2 hours of hard work, and concentrated high altitude climbing. The view from the rim (2,866m) is breathtaking. Volcanic scenery at its best.
After a good rest and taking the opportuniuty to fully absorb this exhilrating experience it will then be time to make the journey back towards Pasar Agung and a well deserved lunch as we make our way back to back to south Bali.