Asian Mountains, Bali
Gunung Batur/ Mount Batur, 1716m
Gunung Batur is (most likely) the most visited mountain (active stratovolcano) on Bali island. It is very common to hire a guide from the Association of Mount Batur Trekking Guides office located in Toya Bungkah (phone: +62 366 52362). Most internet literature will tell you that you ought to hire a guide to be safe from harassment (from guides), although the mountain is a fairly straightforward 2-hour hike in daylight. Normal price per person is 30-40,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).
Most hikers choose to hire a guide and head out at 4am in the morning in order to reach the top at sunrise - a spectacular experience given that the weather is on your side. And maybe your guide will boil you eggs for breakfast inside a hot pocket of the volcano. You don't have to be in super-shape condition to do this 4,1km, 680 vertical meter trek/hike to the top.
There are 3 tops on Mt. Batur. Most people turn around at the east top, referred to as "Congratulation point" on this site. Some hikers find their way along the crater rim to the main summit and there is even a western top which is 3-5 meters lower than the main summit. If you want to visit the high point, make sure you a) hire a guide that speaks decent English (test him to be sure) and b) tell your guide that the summit is your goal. That may not even be enough, so make sure he doesn't turn around at "Congratulations point"
Batur (1716m, UTM 50 L 321217 9089123) has a primary factor of 586m towards the higher parent mountain Gunung Abang (2155m). The defining saddle (approx. 50 L 325513 9091527) is near a road on the north side of Lake Batur. Ref. Google Maps, the saddle is within the range 1120-1140m, interpolated to 1130m.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
These route descriptions are valid per
Route 1: Batur lake - Mt. Batur
The route starts at the Association of Mount Batur Trekking Guides office (S8.26341 E115.38606) located in Toya Bungkah. This is on the west/southwest side of Lake Batur. If you stay on the south side of Bali - somewhere near Denpasar, it will take you a couple of hours to get there by car.
There are two routes departing from the trailhead; one along a path and one along a road that can take you a bit higher and farther. The first 1,1km is common to both routes, then they separate for 1,1-1,8km (depending on your choice) before they join at approx. 1300m.
Chances are you'll start out at midnight, with a guide (who should speak English) and knows that you're out for the high point. You'll follow the path across farmlands until it starts to climb and switchback up the volcano. Chances are also good that you're definitely not alone on this mountain.
The volcano rock varies from firm to scree, but the ascent can not be said to be very hard. When you reach the lower crater rim, you'll pass a building and the contours of Mt. Abang and Agung should marvel you in the southeast.
Within a couple of hours - and in due time before sunrise, chances are that you have reached the east top (S8.23864 E115.37910) on Mt. Batur - referred to as "Congratulation point" on this web site. Mainly because of the highly misleading signpost. So - this is not the high point. If your want to visit the true summit, continue along the crater rim for 0,5km, pass a tent and walk the final yards to the (unmarked) summit of Mt. Batur (S8.23714 E115.37689).
The western top (S8.23831 E115.37587 - 170 meters southwest of the summit) is 3-5 meters lower than the summit point. Below the summit point, you will see boiling hot pockets where your guide ought to be boiling you eggs for breakfast. If he isn't (it's most likely a man), then it might be because you didn't pay for breakfast)
Upon descent, consider visiting the grotto (and the temple within) below the crater rim, close to the building. Also consider following the main road down for variation.
After the hike, you should definitely visit the hot springs at Toya Bungkah. Mostly because you deserve it...