The Best 10 Volcanoes and Mountains in Bali and the Neighbouring Islands 

By Catur, 2024.05.21

Narrowing down to 10 of the best volcanoes in Bali and neighbouring islands is not an easy task. Indonesia, after all, is geologically part of the ‘Ring of Fire’ with over 500 volcanoes, 127 of which are active. Everyone knows that Mount Agung is the highest peak in Bali and is considered the holy mountain by local Balinese. In comparison, other volcanoes in Bali rarely get mentioned as their names are eclipsed by the popularity of Mount Agung and Mount Batur.

Even so, some of the volcanoes on Bali’s neighbouring islands, like Lombok and Java, are gaining popularity among international visitors. Examples like Mount Semeru, Mount Ijen, and Mount Merapi are some of the tallest mountains in Indonesia. Most have challenging hikes to reach the summit, however, so trekking up these mountains is not for the faint of heart.

Here is your ultimate guide to the volcanoes of Bali and its neighbouring islands, featuring scenic views you’ll not get anywhere else.

List of Active Volcanoes in Bali and Neighbouring Islands

The following list contains active volcanoes that are still having volcanic activity and have the potential to erupt. Keep your ears open to announcements from local government just in case the volcanoes are closed.

One of the Best Volcanoes and the Mountains in Bali

List of Inactive Volcanoes in Bali and Neighbouring Islands

Only one volcano from the list, Mount Batukaru, is considered inactive. In Indonesia, there are currently around 500 inactive volcanoes scattered along the region. Other inactive volcanoes in Bali include Mount Bratan, Mount Merbuk, Mount Lempuyang, Mount Adeng, Mount Abang, Mount Catur, and Mount Sanghyang.

1. Mount Agung

Mount Agung is possibly one of the famous images of Bali due to its religious significance to the Balinese people. It is not only Bali’s tallest mountain, standing at 3,031 metres above sea level, but is also considered the replica of Mount Meru, the sacred five-peaked mountain of Hindu, and acts as the axis of the physical, metaphysical, and spiritual universe.

Volcano on the tall Mount Agung in the fog

MOUNT AGUNG LOCATION

Mount Agung is categorised as a stratovolcano and has erupted three times in 180 years, with the first recorded eruption occurring in 1843 and the last eruption in June 2019. The last major eruption of Mount Agung was in 1963–1964 and was considered one of the most destructive eruptions in the recorded history of Indonesia, causing around 2,000 casualties.

If you wish for a different experience, hiking up Mount Agung for the sunrise trek is highly recommended even though you need to be in a fit condition to do so as it is not an easy hike. You can depart from both Pura Luhur Besakih or Pura Pasar Agung, located on the slope of the mountain but, during the ceremony Ida Bathara Turun Kabeh, which happens around March to April every year, the access to Mount Agung is closed for hiking.

Balinese village near the Mount Agung

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT AGUNG?

To reach the volcano summit, you’re required to hire a guide as it is a sacred mountain in Bali and there are places where the elevation is quite steep, even for experienced hikers. There are many sunrise hike packages that you can buy that include a guide, such as the Klook or Traveloka packages.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $40 per person (including guide)

👣 Training Level: Extremely Hard

🕛 Average ascent time: 8 hours

2. Mount Batur

Mount Batur is an active volcano in Bali that is located between two calderas; one of them is where Lake Batur is and the other craters are the mountain ranges of Gunung Abang – or Mount Abang. There are about 15 surrounding villages in the region and one of them is Trunyan village, famous for its Taru Menyan tree where the bodies of dead people are lying down around it. Even though it’s not the tallest mountain on the island, only standing at 1,717 meters above sea level, the popularity of Mount Batur makes it one of the island’s top destinations.

Mount Batur in the light of the setting sun

MOUNT BATUR LOCATION

The Batur caldera is considered one of the largest on earth and was formed during eruptions that occurred over 20,000 years ago. Still an active volcano, the last eruption of Batur was in 2000, although it has been dormant ever since.

Hiking Mount Batur is one of the popular activities for tourists in Bali, as it is one of the island’s most famous volcanoes, especially to see the sunrise. The trek to the summit is easy as it is mostly without any elevation and suitable even for kids.

Mount Batur with the active volcano

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT BATUR?

There are many tour packages that you can find as hiking at Batur is one of the popular tourist activities in Bali. You can also ask for your hotels to arrange the trip for you and you need to be ready to leave around 1 am to catch the breathtaking sunrise views.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $35

👣 Training Level: Easy

🕛 Average ascent time: 2 Hours

3. Mount Batukaru

Mount Batukaru is one of the few inactive mountains and volcanoes on the Island of Gods. Located in Tabanan in Central Bali and part of the Bedugul volcanic area, Mount Batukaru is surrounded by the rice terraces of Jatiluwih, and the scenic views of Lake Bratan, Lake Buyan, and Lake Tamblingan are unbeatable. It is the second-highest mountain in Bali and, since it is inactive, the terrain consists of thick vegetation and jungles.

The distant view of Mount Batukaru

MOUNT BATUKARU LOCATION

Mount Batukaru has always been important for the Balinese due to Pura Luhur Batukaru, which has been in use since the 11th century, and also Pura Pucak Kedaton. Mount Batukaru also functions as a conservation area and the rainforest is Bali’s thickest wetland.

Hiking in Mount Batukaru is certainly a different experience as the terrain is mixed and it often rains. It is a popular trek during the day as the sunset is also excellent from here, not to mention the view of the three lakes is astonishing.

Mount Batukaru near the rainforest in Bali

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT BATUKARU?

You can’t trek Mount Batukaru without a guide because of the lush vegetation and considering it is also one of the sacred mountains in Bali. Still, climbing Mount Batukaru will be an experience as it is rarely climbed.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $100

👣 Training Level: Hard

🕛 Average ascent time: 7 Hours

4. Mount Rinjani

Mount Rinjani in Lombok is the second-highest summit in the country after Kerinci. Standing at 3,726 metres above sea level, this is the tallest mountain in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Due to its proximity to Bali, the hike to Rinjani is starting to create a buzz among international visitors.

Mount Rinjani with volcano - view from the air

MOUNT RINJANI LOCATION

Even though considered an active volcano, Rinjani has never had a destructive eruption like other volcanoes in Indonesia. Similar to Mount Agung, Rinjani is also deemed sacred for Sasak people and Hindus.

Hiking to Rinjani is a tough hike because, to reach the summit, it takes at least 2–3 days. But it will be an unforgettable experience as the stunning views of the crater lake and hot springs are well worth your time.

The Mount Rinjani during the sunset

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT RINJANI?

There are numerous packages that you can choose if you would like to hike to this volcano. It all depends on your time and budget. You’re not allowed to hike to Rinjani without a guide as Rinjani is part of the Gunung Rinjani National Park.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $180

👣 Training Level: Hard

🕛 Average ascent time: 3 Days

5. Mount Ijen

Mount Ijen is synonymous with blue fire, which is the top reason why people visit this part of East Java. The blue fire itself is a burning sulfur when it comes into contact with hot air and resembles lava, hence, why it’s also often called blue fire. Ijen is considered the largest blue fire area in the world and is the only one of two in the world – the other is located in Ethiopia.

Mount Ijen - evening view

MOUNT IJEN LOCATION

Mount Ijen has been part of traditional sulfur mining for the local people for centuries, even though it’s proven to be dangerous. There hasn’t been any destructive eruption in the last few centuries, however, even though volcanic activities have been constantly recorded over the years.

Ijen doesn’t have a summit like any other volcano. Instead, people hike to get to the crater rim to see the blue fire. There’s not much to see once you get close to the crater, but it is still quite an experience.

The eruption of volcano on the Mount Ijen

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT IJEN?

Finding a guide is advised as there will be many hikers doing the same thing here. You can also find many packaged tours to Ijen, which most visitors track down when they are in Bali and keen to make a trip to East Java.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $58

👣 Training Level: Medium

🕛 Average ascent time: 2.5 Hours

6. Mount Merapi

Merapi may not be the tallest peak in the country, but it is the most active volcano and has been constantly erupting since 1543. Standing at 2,910 metres above sea level, Mount Merapi is the only volcano in Indonesia that is designated in The Decade Volcanoes project for its history of destructive eruptions and the surrounding densely populated areas. Mount Merapi is often closed to the public when any volcanic activity is recorded.

Mount Merapi with the active volcano on the top

MOUNT MERAPI LOCATION

There have been numerous large eruptions of Merapi throughout the centuries, with the last major one occurring in 2010. Due to its constant activity, Merapi is always monitored by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency (CVGHM), so the Center can issue a warning of evacuation if necessary.

The trail to the summit of Merapi is not for the weak as the elevation is steep and the strong wind often hinders hikers from reaching the top. Not to mention that you can’t hike whenever you like due to its active status.

Mount Merapi - smoking volcano

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT MERAPI?

The first rule to finding a guide to reach the peak of Mount Merapi is by looking online as you can’t just show up and hope to find someone to guide you on the spot. This is also due to the hike depending on the volcanic activity of Merapi.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $40

👣 Training Level: Hard

🕛 Average ascent time: 4 Hours

7. Mount Semeru

The tallest point in Java, Mount Semeru stands at 3,676 metres elevation and is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Java. The volcano is also part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, which covers Mount Bromo and Mount Tengger. There are four famous volcanic lakes at Mount Semeru called Ranu: Ranu Pani, Ranu Kumbolo, Ranu Regulo, and Ranu Darungan.

Mount Semeru - the volcano on the highest peak

MOUNT SEMERU LOCATION

Mount Semeru is not only the highest peak in Java but also one of the most active as volcanic activity is constantly occurring. Mount Semeru is often regarded as the Father of Mount Agung in Bali and is highly respected by Balinese people.

With the view of Mount Bromo and Tengger as the backdrop if you get to the summit, hiking Mount Semeru can be a great and memorable option if you’re looking for a different experience.

The rainforest near the Mount Semeru

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT SEMERU?

There are various packaged tours to hike Mount Semeru that you can book online. Hiking without a guide is not permitted as the crater on top of Mount Semeru produces poisonous gas.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $150

👣 Training Level: Hard

🕛 Average ascent time: 3 Days

8. Mount Raung

If there is a status for the most challenging and dangerous mountain hike then Mount Raung should be on the list. Though the mountain itself is less popular than Semeru, Bromo, or Ijen, for adrenaline enthusiasts hiking Mount Raung and witnessing its views of the surrounding volcanos can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Mount Raung can even be seen from Lovina Beach in Bali as it’s the third-highest peak in Java.

The hiking area to the Mount Raung

MOUNT RAUNG LOCATION

The earliest recorded eruption dates back to 1586, although little information can be collected. The last major eruption of Mount Raung was in 2015 when several airports in neighbouring areas like Bali and Lombok were closed.

Conquering Mount Raung is possible only for avid hikers as the terrain and elevation are too difficult for regular people. Before reaching the summit, you need to put on safety equipment like a harness, a helmet, and a carabiner due to the extreme and dangerous path.

Rocky part of the Mount Raung

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT RAUNG?

As Mount Raung is far from being a popular tourist destination, finding a proper guide can be a challenge. It’s better to have an Indonesian native with you for better communication as there are rarely foreign travellers available to help you get to the top of Mount Raung.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $180

👣 Training Level: Hard

🕛 Average ascent time: 2 Days

9. Mount Bromo

The image of Mount Bromo is recognised as possibly one of the most famous volcano pictures in the world with its large caldera. One of the most visited mountains in East Java, the best thing about this volcano is that there are a lot of things to see besides the famous crater. The volcano itself is surrounded by Segara Wedi, or Sea of Sand, which is a nature reserve, and taking a horse ride or a jeep is the best way to enjoy the scenery.

Spectacular view of the volcano of Mount Bromo

MOUNT BROMO LOCATION

Mount Bromo has always been important to the Tengger tribe who inhabit the areas surrounding this mountain. Since it is an active volcano, it erupts from time to time, with the last major eruption occurring in 1974.

Mount Bromo is not a usual hike since you don’t need to spend hours to get closer to the caldera. From the parking lot, you can walk or take a horse ride, then it’s about a 45-minute hike with stairs to get to the top.

Mount Bromo - the hightest peak during the sunset

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT BROMO?

Since it is a popular tourist destination, even for Indonesians, you don’t need a guide, but you may need to buy a tour package. There are many tours available to Bromo, which are also often combined with those for Ijen.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $100

👣 Training Level: Easy

🕛 Average ascent time: 1 Hour

10. Mount Anak Krakatau

The word Krakatau, or Krakatoa, is well-known for its massive eruption in 1883, which resulted in the emergence of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) from its caldera in December 1927. The extensive history of Krakatau and its subsequent Anak Krakatau is subject to studies by volcanologists. Though not impressive by size, Anak Krakatau is still one of the off-beaten destinations in Sunda Strait.

The eruption of volcano on the Mount Anak Krakatau

MOUNT ANAK KRAKATAU LOCATION

Anak Krakatau has been showing volcanic activities since 1927, with the major one occurring in 2018. The 2018 tsunami was caused by the eruption and changed the landscape of the volcano, from 338 metres to 157 metres above sea level.

The term ‘hike’ is possibly not accurate enough to describe Anak Krakatau since the elevation is now the lowest in Bali. You don’t need much stamina to reach the top as it is now just an island, even though it still spews white clouds from time to time.

Midday view on the Mount Anak Krakatau

HOW TO FIND A GUIDE FOR HIKING TO MOUNT ANAK KRAKATAU?

A packaged tour to Anak Krakatau usually starts after breakfast by taking a speed boat before reaching the island. You don’t need a guide to get to the actual volcano.

💸 The average price for a tour: US $20

👣 Training Level: Easy

🕛 Average ascent time: 1 Hour 

Expert Opinion about the Best Volcanoes in Bali and Neighbouring Islands

When discussing the best volcanoes in Bali and neighbouring islands, it is important to note that each volcano has different terrains and conditions. The two active volcanoes in Bali, Mount Agung and Mount Batur, though relatively dormant, are still considered active. This situation can result in the closing of the area if the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency (CVGHM) finds the need to do so. It is important to keep up with the latest updates if you want to climb any of the aforementioned volcanoes on the list.

Out of the ten volcanoes, there are three that I think are worth trying for different reasons:

Mount Agung, Mount Bromo, and Mount Semeru

The three volcanoes are important for Balinese people in different measures. Mount Agung is the sacred one because it’s the highest peak and Pura Besakih is located on the slope of the mountain. Mount Semeru is the tallest volcano in Java and is considered the Father of Mount Agung. Whereas, close to Mount Bromo there is a temple where Bali people often make pilgrimage.

A few additional important matters to consider before climbing any mountain in Bali or its neighbouring islands is understanding why some places are sacred. Also, typically, you need to be in a fit condition, especially if you plan to reach the top spot of Semeru or Agung. I hope that you find this guide to the 10 Best Volcanoes in Bali and its Neighbouring Islands useful. Happy trekking!

Catur

The author of the project On Bali

Hi everyone! My name is Catur, and I was born and raised in Central Java. I moved to Bali in 2011 but left the island in 2016 before returning in 2018. Bali feels more than a home to me, and maybe that’s why my name feels like a premonition. Catur means four, both in the Balinese and Javanese languages. It is spoken like ‘c’ in chess, which is also the meaning of my name in Indonesian.

Date of Last Update: May 28, 2024

OTHER ARTICLES