My Ultimate Guide to Climbing Mount Agung on Your Solo Trip to Bali
Solo travelling has been my way of finding out what works the best for me. Every destination I travel to, I make sure I do as many things as possible during my stay.
My first ever solo trip was to Bali in 2017. And I wanted to make the most of it. So I tried out different adventurous activities, spent time relaxing on the stunning beaches in Bali, and explored Bali’s hidden tourist spots. Although these were definitely some of the best times of my stay on the island, what made my solo trip the most memorable was my trek to Mount Agung.
Yes, I went trekking to Mount Agung. It is considered one of Bali’s most difficult treks, so many people prefer trekking to Mount Batur instead. And don’t get me wrong, Mount Batur is a beauty in itself, but the thrill you get by climbing Mount Agung cannot be compared to anything!
Now, the trek to Mount Agung is obviously going to be a little difficult. But this blog will help you understand everything that you need to know about climbing Mount Agung. And trust me, this beautiful experience will always stay with you!
A little bit of Mount Agung’s history
Also known as Gunung Agung, Mount Agung is an active volcano that stands at an elevation of 9,944 in Bali.
Mount Agung has a spiritual significance to the people of Bali. It is also considered to be the home to the mother temple of Besakih. Apparently, the creation of Mount Agung took place when the Hindu God Pasupati split Mount Meru. As a result, Mount Agung was formed from a fragment!
Who can climb Mount Agung?
Now, it is very important to understand who can complete the climb to Mount Agung. You do not need to be a fitness freak to go for the trek, but you need to have the stamina and mental discipline to complete the climb. Remember, you should also be prepared for the descent, which is equally difficult!
If you feel you are not fit to be able to go for this adventurous trek, then my recommendation would be that you opt for a trek to Mount Batur. It is comparatively easier and perfect if you are looking for a leisure climb.
The best time to climb Mount Agung
If you are someone who has gone on several treks in the past, then you can climb Mount Agung at any time of the year. But if you’re still a beginner, Mount Agung can get a bit challenging during the offseason. For Mount Agung, the best time to go trekking is during the dry season, which is between May and October. However, it is important that you check the weather forecast before opting for the climb, regardless of the time of the year.
You can try to book your tickets for the Mount Agung trek in advance to avail yourself of great discounts and offers!
What kind of weather can be expected at Mount Agung?
We all want the best of everything when it comes to trying out something unique as climbing Mount Agung. People climb Mount Agung to witness the stunning sunrise. So normally, your trek will begin at midnight. You can expect the weather to be a little chilly and cold. While descending, it will be morning, and the sun will already be out. Depending on the time of the year you go trekking, you can expect the weather during the descent to be quite sunny.
Get an experienced trekking guide
It is essential that you get an experienced trekking guide. Now, it is obvious that you will not be doing the whole trek alone, and you simply cannot hire a guide just for yourself. Selecting the people you will be trekking with is not in your hands but selecting your guide is!
The type of trekking guide you want to avoid is someone who is lazy and often uses phrases like “I am so tired, I cannot wait to finish this trek,” “this trek is taking way too longer than I thought,” or worst, “let’s take another break.”
Taking breaks while you are on a trek is extremely important. If your mind and body are not on the same page, you will not be able to complete the trek. But taking breaks every 10-15 minutes is not going to work either. It will make you lazy, and you may find it difficult to move ahead.
When I had gone on a trek to Mount Agung, I was fortunate enough to get an experienced trekking guide. He was anything but lazy and helped motivate the entire trekking group. As a result, we were able to complete the trek even before our estimated time!
How do you select a good trekking guide?
So, before you select a guide for your trek, remember the following points.
- Booking a trekking guide from a reputable agency or company is important. You need someone who is professional and takes his/her work seriously.
- Stay away from street-side agencies that claim to have experienced trekking guides. This is because, most times, their trekking guides are hired through third-party agencies.
- Do thorough research on the internet before selecting a trekking guide from an agency. I believe word of mouth works the best in such cases. Speaking with someone who has done a trek with an experienced guide will be helpful for you. You can check out travel forums and groups on social media platforms to collect information about experienced trekking guides.
Hiking up Mount Agung
The starting point for the trek is Pasar Agung Temple, elevated 1,700 metres above sea level. Reaching the summit from the starting point will take you about four to five hours.
The goal of climbing Mount Agung is to see the breathtaking sunrise views from 3,000 metres above sea level. So, the trek will start at midnight. You can expect the path to be dark. And also, once you begin the trek, the path will keep getting narrower.
Depending on the pace of your trekking guide and group, you will most probably reach the summit at around 6 in the morning.
Mount Agung is slightly less touristy as compared to Mount Batur. Because of this reason, there are hardly any snacks/drinks shops at the summit. So pack an ample amount of drinks and snacks with you.
Descending down Mount Agung
After witnessing the beautiful sunrise and spending an hour taking in the views and relaxing, you can descend down Mount Agung. Like I mentioned earlier, Mount Agung is not a very touristy spot. So there will not be much for you to do there except witnessing the sunrise.
You will be descending Mount Agung in the morning around 7 am, and the descent will take you about six to seven hours.
Something that I realised from my climb to Mount Agung is that the path has quite steep steps. You don’t realise it while climbing up since it’s dark. And when you can actually see the path, it becomes difficult to take the steps!
But it is not very difficult either. If you wear trekking shoes with a good grip, the descent will not be tricky. And also, the shoes will help you keep your balance throughout.
Things you need to carry in your backpack for the trek
Before leaving for your climb, make sure that you carry every essential item that you might need. When I went for the Mount Agung trek, I realised that it is almost impossible to complete the trek without these few things.
1. An extra warm layer
As I mentioned earlier, your trek will be starting at midnight. The weather will be a little chilly. While you will be dressed in your warm clothes, it won’t harm to keep an extra warm sweater or cardigan with you. The chances of the temperature dropping as you keep climbing are quite high, so this extra warm layer will come in handy!
2. Water bottle
Probably the most essential item to carry on your trek. You will be running out of your breath multiple times during the climb, and this is where you will need water to calm your body down. If possible, carry a bigger bottle so that you don’t run out of water during your entire trek. You can also carry small bottles of fruit juices or energy drinks!
Another essential item to carry on your trek. At the summit, there are hardly any shops or stores for you to buy food and water. Also, I feel reaching out to your backpack every time you feel like eating something may be too time-consuming. So you can carry tiny packets of snacks like dry fruits, peanuts, chocolates in your pocket! I have tried this, and trust me, it works well!
Although this is not a necessity, a sturdy headlamp will help in making your climb smoother. It will guide your way up while keeping your hands free so that you can use them to maintain balance.
5. Basic medical kit
While the chances of using a medical kit on your trek are quite low, it wouldn’t hurt to keep one anyway. If you or one of your trekking groupmates end up having a sprained ankle or a fall, this medical kit will come in handy. You can carry all the basic medical essentials such as painkillers, antibiotic ointment and cream, crepe bandages, antiseptic wipes, and contact lens solutions (if any).
6. A pair of gloves
These can be helpful during both your ascent and descent from Mount Agung. It will help avoid your hands from getting blistered or cut on the way. It can happen quite often when you touch rocks or bushes for support. And as the path will keep getting narrower as you climb up, you will need support more often.
While it is not an absolute necessity, I think a camera can be useful when you reach the summit and want to click pictures of the gorgeous sunrise and surroundings. Also, use your phone only when it is absolutely needed.
8. Lip balm
Yes, believe me when I say that a lip balm will be very useful on your trek. This is because, during the cold and chilly weather in the morning, your lips will dry out pretty quickly. A tiny lip balm (preferably a tube one) will save your lips from getting chapped.
The last essential on the list of things to carry on your trek is sunscreen. Although you may not need it during the climb up, it will be very useful when you descend. After the sunrise, the weather usually gets quite hot, and you might sweat a lot. And all the sweating will make you want to take off your warm clothes. So, slather a good amount of sunscreen on your face and arms to avoid getting tanned!
What can you wear for your climb to Mount Agung?
What you wear for your trek is also equally important. For bottom wear, I would suggest you go for something comfortable. For instance, a synthetic cargo pant with multiple pockets will work like magic. These pants are comfortable and also very useful. For your top, I would say you wear a cotton t-shirt or a tube top. And above that, you can wear a layer or two of warm clothes. If you want, you can also wear a beanie cap to prevent your ears from getting clogged during the climb.
Now the most important part, the footwear. You cannot go trekking in your cute little converse shoes. So a good pair of trekking shoes with a good grip is a must! These shoes will help you maintain your balance and avoid slipping on the path.
What to do if you get your periods on the day of the trek?
Periods during any time of the month can get a little annoying, let alone during a special event of your life. We have all been there, but we always go on with our days without making a fuss.
Usually, the first two days of your period can take a toll on your body, especially when you have a lot of walking to do. Climbing Mount Agung is no joke. I have done it, and I know how difficult it can be, even for people who have gone on multiple treks before. If possible, try to plan your entire Bali itinerary keeping your period dates in mind.
So, are you ready to go trekking to Mount Agung?
Now that you know everything about climbing Mount Agung, why are you still contemplating? Book your tickets, get your bags packing and get ready to have one of the most memorable solo trips of your life.
And always remember, if something makes you excited, don’t shy away from trying it! Happy travelling, ladies! 🙂
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.