It’s Official: Climb Every Mountain Bali.

An unpopular decree by former Governor Wayan Koster forbidding climbing Bali’s 22 volcanoes issued on 31 May 2023 has failed to take hold and is now ignored. The Governor’s climbing ban now appears to have also exceeded his legal authority.

As reported by, the number of climbers ascending and descending Bali’s Mount Batur (elevation 1,717 meters) is now back to “normal levels” despite the unseasonably high temperatures and drought conditions affecting the Island of Bali.

Made Budiadnyana Putra, the Head of The Association for the Management of Protected Forests (KPHK) at the Agency for the Conservational of Bali’s Natural Resources (KSDA-Bali), assured on Monday, 23 October 2023, that climbing activities are operating at normal levels. 

Putra calculates a daily average of 200 people climbing Mount Batur, with weekends and holidays recording the highest number of climbers. Indonesian hikers dominate the number of total visitors to the mountain top. Adding: “The volume of climbers is not affected by the (current) dry season conditions.”

Made Budiadnyana Putra said that a licensed mountain guide invariably accompanies every visitor who climbs Mount Batur. This is done to maximize the prevention of forest fires on the mountain’s slopes. Putra explained that the mountain’s area is relatively safe from the threat of fire, with the areas most at risk being the sides of main roads. This danger is heightened by lit cigarette butts carelessly discarded by passing motorists and trekkers. 

The active involvement of local guides also ensures that visitors will not act in outrageous ways that have offended local sensibilities in the past.

The management of Nature Reserves and Sanctuaries Associations and related association agencies are urging mountain climbers not to discard trash in the mountain surroundings and to spare no effort to prevent forest fires. Climbers are personally cautioned by guides and reminded by roadside banners to act wisely in preserving the local environment.

Governor Koster’s Ban without Proper Legal Foundation

Explaining how the Governor’s May 2023 prohibition against tourists climbing 22 mountains across Bali has been largely ignored, Budiadnyana said that Regulation PP No: 28 Tahun 2011 on the Management of Nature Reserves and Sanctuaries is a law administered by the Central Government. While Mount Bature is physically situated in the Province of Bali, it is actually under the legal control of the Central Government in Jakarta.

Budiadnyana said that the Governor (former Governor Wayan Koster) had written to Jakarta (regarding Mount Batur) trying to close the mountains of Bali to climbers. Budiadnyana hoped the Ministry would keep its focus on coordination and restrictions. But if based on PP No: 28 Tahun 2011 (on the Management of Nature Reserves and Sanctuaries), mountains cannot be declared permanently closed for nature tourism by a Governor. The power of the Governor is limited to the ability to temporarily close mountain areas due to natural disasters that threaten public safety. 

Based on research and the resulting documentation on “carrying capacity” undertaken by Bali’s Center for Control of Ecoregional Development (P3E), Mount Batur has a carrying capacity to handle 500 daily visitors. Meanwhile, the actual average number of daily visitors to the Mountain peak is around 200 people.

Related Links

22 Bali Mountains Closed to Climbers 

Governor Sued Over Mountain Climbing Ban 

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