The most spectacular walks in Indonesia include smouldering volcanic craters, enormous waterfalls, lush rainforests, and unusual species that are unique to this planet.
More than any other country in the world, this island nation is home to 400 volcanoes, and the majority of them are accessible to hikers. Although Mount Batur in Bali is undoubtedly the most well-known volcano in Indonesia, there are really better volcanoes to climb in locations like Java, Sulawesi, and Sumatra.
If you go jungle hiking in Indonesia, you may witness a lot of indigenous wildlife, such as the friendly orangutans and the terrifying Komodo dragons, since the country is home to about 20% of the world's animal species.
I'll never forget my first trip to Sulawesi when I came to the realization that Indonesia has a ton of incredible hiking routes just waiting to be found if you go off the usual path and start exploring new islands.
Since Indonesia is now my second home (and my wife's real home! ), I want to continue updating this guide as we discover more of the country's top treks. You're invited to suggest one of your favourite Indonesia hikes if it isn't on our list in the comments section at the bottom of this travel blog entry.
Mount Bromo (East Java)
Mount Bromo is an epic Indonesia volcano hike in East Java, with stunning views of an entire cluster of volcanoes, as well as an active crater you can climb for close-up views.
The easiest way to visit Bromo is to fly to Malang or Surabaya, and then book a day tour to Bromo from there.
A full-day tour is enough time to see all the highlights of the park the sunrise, a jeep ride in the sea of sand, and a hike to the volcano crater and then you can even add the Madakaripura waterfall as a bonus to the itinerary.
There is no need to hike in order to see Mount Bromo's iconic main viewpoint, but you will need to do so in order to get close enough to glimpse inside the smouldering crater.
Starting from the sea of sand, the climb to Mount Bromo's crater takes roughly an hour, however, you may speed it up by riding a horse part of the way.
The last leg of the trek must be completed on foot, and to reach the summit of the crater, one must ascend a short but steep flight of concrete stairs.
When you reach the crater's rim, you may see a raging volcano up and personal and smell its foul sulfur odour.
Kawah Ijen (East Java)
The largest acid lake in the world, Kawah Ijen's volcanic crater lake is also known for its bizarre "blue fire" phenomena, where you may see intense blue flames glowing like lava at night.
Since Mount Ijen is situated at the very eastern tip of Java, travelling there from Bali and other Indonesian provinces is not too difficult. Most tourists either travel overnight from Bali to Mount Ijen or combine it with a car trip to Mount Bromo and other famous locations in East Java.
The trail is well-marked and safe, although the trek to the Kawah Ijen volcano is entirely on dirt and is rather strenuous. Because of the slope, you will undoubtedly work up a sweat, so for those who don't go hiking much, I'd grade it as moderate.
Depending on your speed, the climb to the lake takes around 1.5 hours in total. Even slow hikers won't need more than two hours to get to the lake if they rush. If you move swiftly, I'm confident you could accomplish it in an hour.
The trek to the lake takes around 1.5 hours in total, depending on your speed. A tour guide is not necessary. Even slow hikers won't need more than two hours to get to the lake if they rush. If you move swiftly, I'm confident you could accomplish it in an hour.
Although it is not necessary to hire a tour guide for the trip, it may be useful to do so if you want to witness the Kawah Ijen blue fire, which requires a midnight start, a gas mask, and additional hiking time to reach the crater's interior.
Overall, hiking Mount Ijen is undoubtedly among the greatest in Indonesia. However, if you want to witness the Kawah Ijen blue fire, which requires a midnight start, a gas mask, and additional trekking time to descend down into the crater, it might be good to have one.
You don't have to start at midnight if you're going to forgo the blue fire, which is what we normally do. However, if you want the finest views and photos, I suggest getting an early start and trying to be at the Kawah Ijen crater lake before daybreak.
Overall, hiking Mount Ijen is undoubtedly among the greatest in Indonesia.
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall (East Java)
The Tumpak Sewu waterfall in East Java is rising to prominence as one of Southeast Asia's most breathtaking waterfalls, if not all of Indonesia.
The name of this phenomenon is generally translated from the native Java language as "many waterfalls," although it really resembles a thousand waterfalls together.
These waterfalls crash into a horseshoe-shaped rainforest ravine that resembles a scene from Jurassic Park. An incredible natural marvel is a finished product!
There is a trekking route that you may use to descend and observe the waterfall up close when you have finished enjoying it from above.
To get to the bottom of the ravine, continue down the route for approximately 20 minutes. The walkway is largely made of bamboo stairs and bamboo rails, and although it is a bit tricky in some places, it is not very dangerous. Just go cautiously.
It takes about five to ten minutes to walk from the bottom of the ravine to the major attraction at Tumpak Sewu waterfall. You can tell how big everything is going to be by the imposing walls on each side of the valley.
Kabut Pelangi Waterfall (East Java)
Amazing waterfalls may be found across Java's hills and highlands, but the Kabut Pelangi waterfall in East Java is one of the greatest.
This one is not nearly as well-known as Tumpak Sewu, but it is at least as impressive in my view, and many people go from Malang to both of them as part of a day excursion.
It takes around 45 minutes to trek to Kabut Pelangi, and due to the steep terrain, the return trip takes a little longer. The route to the main waterfall is not too challenging, although it may sometimes be difficult to view, particularly if you visit during or just after the wet season.
When we visited in May, several areas were a touch overgrown, and some stream crossings required drenching your feet in the water. As this location becomes in popularity, the walkway ought to get better.
In any event, the journey to Kabut Pelangi is definitely worth it. This is undoubtedly one of the top walks in Indonesia if you like waterfalls!
Sikunir Hill (Central Java)
In the highlands of central Java, Indonesia, not far from the city of Yogyakarta, is the Dieng Plateau, a natural marvel.
Active volcanoes, old Hindu temples, 1sulfur springs2 that smoke, lakes of all different colours, pure mountain air, dawn vistas, and countless terraces that blanket the hills in all directions may all be found in this former caldera complex.
Dieng, which translates as "Abode of the Gods," seems a fitting moniker for this location given its amazing size and mystique.
Observing the dawn above Mount Sundoro, one of Java's active volcanoes is one of the highlights of the Dieng Plateau.
On the eastern side of the plateau on Sikunir Hill, this is a common activity. The trailhead may be located with the aid of your driver, and the actual route is not too difficult to follow.
It only takes 30 to 45 minutes to climb the hill from the parking lot, and the journey is steep but quick. The dawn was stunning, even on a gloomy day!
Stone Garden Citatah (West Java)
West Java's Stone Garden Citatah is a well-liked tourist destination where you can witness a beautiful "garden" of limestone rocks and peaks. From Bandung city, the park may be accessed after roughly an hour of driving.
Unfortunately, chalk mining industries are encroaching on this region, necessitating more preservation. The chalk industries have made the air much darker and smokier.
The 3Stone Garden features many short and simple walking pathways, including Gua Pawon, a bat cave with wild monkeys and intriguing ancient relics within.
Tebing Masigit, the park's main mountain, must be scaled if you really want the area's greatest views. At the entrance to the rock park, next to a little hut, the walk begins.
Although it is steep and very overgrown, you can climb to the summit in approximately 30 minutes. Weeds will smack you in the face as you do so. It's risky at the very end since you're crawling on exposed limestone karsts.
At your own peril, continue! Only one or two persons may sit on this peak at once due to its limited size. The views are magnificent.
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Curug Cikanteh Waterfall (West Java)
One of the largest waterfalls at the Ciletuh Geopark in West Java is Curug Cikanteh, and it truly is a giant.
This is a section of an Indonesian geopark with many lovely waterfalls that have been designated by UNESCO. There are various lovely locations to stay close to the waterfalls, and it can be reached by car in about a half-day from Jakarta.
The geopark requires some effort to get there since it's a 4-6 hour journey from Jakarta or Bandung, but once there, you may drive for 15 minutes and then hike for 15 minutes to get to this waterfall.
It takes another 5–10 minutes of climbing to reach the foot of the falls and observe them up close along a steep mini-path. You may even be able to stand underneath a large rainbow if you visit in the late afternoon.
One of the largest waterfalls at the Ciletuh Geopark in West Java is Curug Cikanteh, and it truly is a giant.
Mount Dukono (North Maluku)
On the island of Halmahera in North Maluku, there lies a magnificent volcano called Mount Dukono. It hasn't stopped erupting since 1933!
Dukono is accessible only by a very arduous and lengthy day trip, but due to its difficulty in access and stunning scenery, it is more common to camp there for a few days.
At Dukono, a local guide is necessary for both safety and navigation.
I spent around 12 hours trekking at Dukono with my guide, largely uphill on rocky volcanic terrain and slick mud trails in the bush. We observed a python, a monitor lizard, uncommon birds, and some enormous centipedes on the trip.
Of course, we also had the opportunity to get up to the crater's edge and see inside when it was spewing smoke and some blazing molten lava.
However, if the crater is spewing lava rocks, stay away from it for your own safety. A hit from one of the lava rocks that Dukono occasionally spits out, which land like bombs on the crater's slopes, could be fatal.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest climbs in Indonesia, as you may have predicted, the general safety of this walk is dubious (to put it mildly). If you want to play it safe, you may merely observe the volcano from afar rather than making the ascent to the crater's summit.
Dukono is less well-known than Mount Bromo in Java due to its isolation and challenging access, but on the plus side, there aren't any crowds, so you'll have the volcano to yourself!
Kelimutu Lakes (Flores)
One of the nicest sites on the Indonesian island of Flores has to be the Kelimutu National Park and its trio of colourful crater lakes.
These three volcanic lakes are known to undergo frequent colour changes due to variations in the underlying gases and elements (blue, green, pink, or brown!). Up to six times a year, the hues of Kelimutu Lake change.
Most visitors arrive in Ende by plane, then go by car to Kelimutu National Park before trekking the last 15 to 30 minutes to the lakes. For all ages, the route is simple and suitable. You have now arrived at Mount Kelimutu's lakes.
Komodo Island (Komodo)
The terrifying Komodo dragons, the largest lizards in the world, are known for living in the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. You can only see these creatures there and nowhere else on earth.
A park ranger will accompany you on a short hike to one of the two major Indonesian islands—Rinca or Komodo island—where dragons are known to reside.
All levels of fitness may use the flat hiking trail.
You may go on a quick, medium, long, or adventurous excursion to Komodo island. There's a good chance that you'll only have time for the short or medium walk if you're on an island-hopping day excursion (both less than 1 hour).
Since it's Komodo island, you're virtually certain to encounter several dragons, and with the aid of the guide, you can even get photographs with them!
Getting to witness these creatures up close and in the wild is an incredible experience.
More Of The Best Hikes In Indonesia
Feel free to visit! I really hope you liked reading this list of the top climbs in Indonesia!
I've just begun to touch the surface here, and the list is always expanding as we climb more of this incredible nation's mountains, waterfalls, rainforests, and other treks.
For additional information, pictures, and blog updates about Indonesia in the meantime, be sure to check out my comprehensive Indonesia Travel Guide!
Additional resources and citations
- 1sulfur springs
- 3Stone Garden