Other than the beaches, oceans, waves and the colorful culture the people bring, Bali is also dominated by volcanoes. Sometimes, they seem to just follow you everywhere. These are massive, impressive pieces of nature, and for some, obstacles in which to conquer. Keep in mind that these forces of nature are still very much active. But that shouldn’t deter you; the outdoor adventurer, shouldn’t it? Well, read on for some insight into two of Bali’s fire mountains.
Perhaps none is more famous, imposing and respected as the 3142 meter Mount Agung, representing Bali’s highest point. The mountain is so revered that an equally holy temple, Besakih Temple (also known as the Mother Temple) is built on its southern slope. Ironically, it was almost toppled by the very volcano it paid homage to. An eruption in 1963 left nothing spared in its path of destruction. Lava flow destroyed villages and sadly killed approximately 1700 people. This very lava flow, however, missed the temple by mere meters. The fact that the temple was saved from actual destruction is regarded as a miracle by the locals, a signal from the gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not destroy the monument the Balinese faithful had erected.
Alright, now to the fun part. The volcano is very much a hiker’s paradise. True, the lower sections of the mountain contains lush forests and animals, but these become less frequent as you go up, a result of volcanic rock and accumulation of ash from previous eruptions.
It is also interesting to notice that one side of Mount Agung is actually greener than the other. Clouds appear on the western half of the mountain more than the east, resulting in more rainfall there. In fact, there are almost no clouds in the east.
So, you want a challenge? Mount Agung can provide you with one. Be wary though, conditions can get rough! First off, you’ll have to deal with the constant weather changes. Hot one minute, cold the other. Imagine that. Plus, the barren nature of the upper portions makes it so dry that water is pretty scarce. What many do instead is opt for an evening climb for a sunrise arrival at the peak. And you will not be disappointed.
Mount Batur is impressive in its own kind of way. Not as tall as the previous mountain (standing at 1717 meters), but filled with wonderful and scenic natural surroundings. The volcano itself is located at the center of two concentric calderas. One of the main attractions here is Lake Batur, where impressive views of the water and surrounding area await your awing.
Another great trekking and sunrise opportunity presents itself for trekkers and adventurers here. The good news is that there are several paths available for trekkers of various levels. For the most part, you do not need to be in peak physical shape to complete the climb. Most treks will start at around 4am or earlier for the 6am spectacle. The view is fantastic. Savor the moment as much as possible!
Experience the island the way it should be with our Bali Explorer tour. Along with beaches and volcanoes, many of the island’s hidden sites and destinations will be discovered. Ypu’ll truly get into the spirt of the island with this program. For more on the island and country, check out our Indonesia tours page.
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