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Tourists Really Do Need Guides To Hike Bali’s Mountains 

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Adventure seekers and nature lovers in Bali have a wealth of hiking trails to explore and mountains to climb.

There is a common misconception that because Bali’s peaks are much smaller than the world’s most famous mountain ranges, scaling the volcanos is easy, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Mount Batukaru and Tabanan Hills Over Rice Paddie.jpg

Whether an experienced hiker or a total novice, it is really important to hire a local guide when hiking in Bali’s mountains, volcanos, and jungle landscapes.

While short trails to popular waterfalls are often well-trodden and signposted, the majority of Bali’s hiking trails in the mountains and across volcanoes are not signposted, nor are they clearly marked out.

As the forest and jungle quickly grow on and over hiking trails, it is easy for first-time hikers on routes and even those familiar with the trails to take a wrong turn toward danger. 

The warning comes as another emergency call out has been made to Bali’s Search and Rescue teams. This time, to assist a pair of hikers on Mount Batukaru. The pair got lost on the trail on Sunday evening. 

The Head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Denpasar I Nyoman Sidakarya, told reporters, “There were two climbers who went on a trip (climbing) on Sunday morning around 4 am, but they didn’t return until Monday.”

The alarm was raised by the guard on duty at the Mount Batukaru trailhead. 

The pair had not only gotten lost but also separated. A huge team of search and rescue officers were deployed to search the area, and were joined by local police officers, disaster management agency officers and local community members. The pair were eventually found and returned home without any serious injuries. 

Just last month, search and rescue officers were called out to rescue a group of friends who had attempted to go hiking on Bali’s Mount Agung without a guide.

The group of ten hikers had been tackling the ascent with relative ease when one of the group slipped and fell, spraining her ankle and eventually developing hypothermia.

Search and Rescue officers were able to bring the group back to safety and offer medical attention to the female hiker who had sustained injuries. 

@daniturton Started in complete darkness and rain with cold winds. But so worth it when we got to the top 😍 #MountAgung #Bali #Traveltiktok #Indonesia ♬ The Journey – Sol Rising

All this comes as a warning to tourists to hire a local guide. While hiking with a guide cannot guarantee that no one will slip or trip on the hiking trail, the risks involved in tackling the trails are drastically reduced.

Guides know the hiking routes like the back of their hands; they know every twist and turn, exposed tree root, or treacherous corner.

They can also read changing weather conditions and can better navigate the routes in the dark and in the dense cloud that often rolls in across the mountainsides. 


Hiking Bali’s mountains to watch the sunrise from the summit is one of the most popular adventure activities for tourists on the island.

Though for tourists planning their hikes in Bali over the coming months a little more planning will be necessary. 


Bali’s Mount Agung, the island’s tallest and most sacred mountain, will be closed for hiking and all tourism activities from the 17th of March until the 14th of April.

This is so religious leaders and the community can conduct cleansing ceremonies on the mountain and corresponding ceremonies at the Mother Temple, Pura Besakih. 

Mount Agung From the Ocean.jpg

The head of the ceremonial committee, Nyoman Sudarsana, told reporters, “In connection with the Tawah Tabuh Gentuh and Karan Ida Bhatara Turun Kabeh work at Pura Agung Besakih, we hereby appeal to all levels of society to temporarily refrain from climbing Mount Agung because climbing will close starting the 17th of March 2024 until the 14th of April. After that, climbing will reopen as usual.”

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