Bali has much more to offer than beachfront views and a place to lounge in the sun. Much of the tourist trade is concentrated in the coastal southern parts of the island, but the mountainous highlands of the north house some of Bali's most important agricultural regions and offer a view of the interior.
Gunung Batur is one of a few active volcanoes that range from the center of the island to the eastern areas. It is found in the Kintamani region along with Bali's highest mountain, Mount Agung. The area around Gunung Batur, with its high elevation, is a prime coffee production area. There are a number of villages located around Danau Batur, the large lake that lies in the volcano's caldera.
For those visitors with an affinity for outdoor activities, Gunung Batur is a great destination for hiking or climbing. It might be a bit challenging but not particularly so, especially if one hires a guide. Guides can be found in many of the surrounding villages, especially Kedisan and Toya Bungkah. The Association of Mount Batur Trekking Guides has offices in some of the towns and can be quite helpful in this area.
Gunung Batur is best visited during the dry season, for a couple of reasons. Obviously, the paths and roads will be less navigable and perhaps a bit more dangerous when the ground is wet and muddy. Also, the fogs that shroud the volcano and obscure one's view are significantly thicker during the rainy season. The fog is actually the main reason for hiring a guide: most visitors opt to start the ascent of Mount Batur in the dark pre-dawn hours. A sunrise, seen from the summit in the early hours before the thick fog gathers, will not be soon forgotten.