Mount Agung

Visible throughout eastern Bali and even from Nusa Lembongan and west Lombok across the sea, Mount Agung's classic volcanic cone is a majestic presence from any angle. It is the spiritual centre of the island: Balinese people believe the spirits of their ancestors dwell here, and several important temples, including Besakih, the Mother Temple, and Pura Pasar Agung, are sited on its slopes. Villages and house compounds are oriented towards the mountain, and many people sleep with their heads towards it. At 3031m, Mount Agung is also Bali’s highest peak and the focus of challenging climbs to its summit.

View of Agung volcano from the ocean,  Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

View of Agung volcano from the ocean, Amed, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Tips for Climbing Mount Agung

Climbing Mount Agung is an exhilarating and challenging adventure that draws hikers and trekkers from all over the world. Standing at 3,142 meters above sea level, this active volcano in Indonesia offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and a sense of accomplishment for those who reach the summit. However, climbing Mount Agung requires careful planning, preparation, and attention to detail.

To help you make the most of your Mount Agung experience, we have compiled a list of tips and recommendations that will ensure a safe and successful ascent.

#1 Overview of the trek

Two main routes lead up Mount Agung; both are long and hard. One starts from Besakih and the other from further east, at the mountain’s other main temple, Pura Pasar Agung. Whichever route you take, you’ll need to set out in the middle of the night to be at the top for the 6am sunrise; clouds often obscure the view by late morning.

A less-used route, from Dukuh Bujangga Sakti, inland from Kubu on the northeast coast, is offered by Mudi. Starting out at an altitude of 300m, the climb is greater but not as steep as the other routes. You begin in the afternoon, camp on the mountain at 1750m and complete the three hours to the summit before dawn. The north of Bali is drier so is less often shrouded in cloud. You can walk round the rim to the absolute summit if you climb from this side and can see the sunrise on the horizon all year round.

#2 Trekking routes and duration

There are two trekking routes up Mount Agung.

The Pura Pasar Agung route

From Pura Pasar Agung, at an altitude of 1600m, it’s at least a three-hour climb with an ascent of almost 2000m, so you’ll need to set out by 2am from the temple, depending on how fit you are.

The track initially passes through forest, ascending onto bare, steep rock. It doesn’t go to the actual summit, but ends at a point on the rim that is about 100m lower. From here, the summit masks views of part of the island and, between April and September, the sunrise on the horizon, but you’ll be able to see Lombok’s Mount Rinjani, the south of Bali and Mount Batukaru, and look down into the 500m crater.

The Besakih route

From Besakih (950m), the climb is longer (5–7hr) and much more challenging; you’ll need to leave between 10pm and midnight. This path leads to the summit of Agung, Lombok to the east and Mount Raung in Java to the west. The initial climb is through forest, but the path gets very steep, very quickly, even before it gets out onto the bare rock, and you’ll soon need your hands to haul yourself upwards. The descent is particularly taxing from this side and feels very precarious when you’re already exhausted; allow at least five hours to get down.

#3 Mount Agung trekking difficulty

Trekking to the summit of Mount Agung can be a challenging and difficult task, even for experienced hikers. The trek to the summit is steep and rocky, with narrow trails that require a high level of physical fitness and endurance.

The altitude also poses a challenge, as the summit stands at 3,142 meters above sea level. The weather conditions can also be unpredictable and harsh, with rain and fog common at higher elevations. It is recommended that hikers prepare themselves physically and mentally for the Mount Agung trek, and seek the assistance of an experienced guide.

Main Bali temple Pura Besakih at the foot of the volcano Agung © Yolya Ilyasova/Shutterstock

Main Bali temple Pura Besakih at the foot of the volcano Agung © Yolya Ilyasova/Shutterstock

#4 How to book the best trek

As this is a serious climb you need to have confidence in your guide and be able to communicate well with them. For these reasons it’s strongly advised to climb with an established trekking guide; the freelance guides who hang around Pura Pasar Agung and Besakih tend to have very limited English and may not be as safety-conscious.

In addition to the guides listed below, you’ll find many guide services in Sidemen village, 18km from Pura Pasar Agung; as well as Selat and Tirtagangga. In the resorts, there’s Bali Sunrise Trekking and Tours in Ubud and Perama (bookable through their offices in most tourist centres or at

  • Gung Bawa, Gung Bawa is a good-humoured, highly experienced and dependable guide who speaks excellent English. A hiking package includes guiding, food and drinks, accommodation and transport. The guide can supply a head torch, jacket and even shoes if necessary. He also offers an overnight option that leaves Selat at noon and camps at 2560m.
  • Trekking Candidasa, Somat, an experienced guide who has been living in the area his entire life, offers private treks through the ricefields, villages and hills of Candidasa. There is an easier walk and a more difficult trek depending on your fitness level. Prices include transport and drinks.

Looking for inspiration for your trip? Talk to our Indonesia travel experts.

View from Gili Trawangan on Gunung Agung, Bali © Shutterstock

View from Gili Trawangan on Gunung Agung, Bali © Shutterstock

#5 How to get to Mount Agung

Tour operators will generally sort your pick-up from your accommodation, however, there are other ways of getting to Mount Agung.

By bemo

In the morning, and less frequently in the afternoon, bemos connect Rendang with Amlapura and also serve Menanga to the north, for Besakih. Selat is served by bemos from Gianyar, Amlapura and Denpasar’s Batubulan terminal (mornings only).

By car

Your accommodation can recommend a reliable driver.

By scooter

Widely available for rent in Sidemen with or without a driver/guide.

Find out the best ways to get to Indonesia.

#6 Best time to climb Mount Agung

The dry season (April to mid-October) is the best time to climb (particularly in July and August); at other times the paths can be slippery and dangerous. Always check the volcano's volatility with your tour operator before climbing.

Climbing is not permitted at certain times of the year because of religious ceremonies at Besakih or Pura Pasar Agung.

Find out the best time to visit Bali.

island of Lembongan and Jungutbatu village, Bali © Shutterstock

View from Gili Trawangan on Gunung Agung, Bali © Shutterstock

#7 Where to stay to climb Mount Agung

You’ll find a wide choice of scenic accommodations and many guide services in Sidemen village and Tirtagangga, though tours are offered as far away as both Ubud and Denpasar. Here’s where to stay to climb Mount Agung.


The main accommodation area is west of the main road, in Dusun Tabola. Many places to stay are located in prime spots scattered across the rice fields. As it’s reasonably cool here at night almost none have a/c; few have restaurants, either, but some have kitchenettes. Bring earplugs to muffle the cacophony of the nightly frog chorus.


Staying in central Tirtagangga puts you near a choice of warung but also within earshot of the busy road; staying further away means a greener and quieter location. Most accommodation has a restaurant attached.

Plan your trip to Bali with the Rough Guide to Bali and Lombok.

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updated 30.03.2023

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