10 Majestic Volcanoes in Indonesia

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Indonesia sits between the most active seismic region in the world, the Pacific Ring of Fire. About 130 active volcanoes are vulnerable with volcanic eruptions that conduce to earthquake. Perhaps, It sounds eerie due to the unpredictable activity but adventure-seekers are challenged here to climb some stunning cloud-topped volcanoes in Indonesia. Climbing a volcano is a distinctive experience, especially in Indonesia where you have to bring all the equipment by yourself, no built-shelter up there, off the unbeaten track, and less information, on the other side, finding yourself in a whole package of lush rain forest, smoky crater, and laid-back lake, is something uncomparable. 

1. Mount Papandayan, Garut, West Java (2,665 masl)

Let's start from the closest mountain from the capital city, Jakarta. Mount Papandayan is my lifetime favorite mountain. Two-days hike is more than enough except you want to stay longer. The trek is suitable for beginners. Its uniqueness lies in crater where most crater can be seen once we climb to the peak, means the base camp was normally built on the opposite side of the crater, instead in Mount Papandayan, the position of the base camp is right under the crater. Lot of steam vent producing such an incredible view. Other highlights are the dead forest and the edelweiss. 

2. Mount Merbabu, Central Java (3,145 masl)

Often mentioned as the twin of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Mount Merbabu is equally exceptional as Mount Merapi. It is possible to climb two mountains in a row. If you're lucky, you will see the best sunrise ever with the cumulus cloud forming a comfy bed-alike. There are two peaks next to each other, Syarief Peak and Kenteng Songo Peak.

3. Mount Prau, Wonosobo, Central Java (2,565 masl)

Actually Mount Prau is not an active volcano but it stands in a large volcano complex, Dieng Plateau. Geothermal activities still happen around and there are some acid lakes exist in Dieng Plateau. Prau or Prahu means boat derived from the shape. Only a short hike is needed to reach the top, that is why the mountain is very popular for fun-camping. Nevertheless, the view is absolutely jaw-dropping as the two volcanoes, Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing stand valiantly. On the opposite side, the whole area of Dieng Plateu is visible.

Crowned as the highest volcano in Central Java, third in Indonesia, Mount Semeru is categorized as a strenuous hike. From the base camp to the last shelter is relative slope and easy, then, after reaching the last point, about 500 meters from the peak, the steep rocky part, you will need extra effort to reach the peak. The view up there is mind-blowing, wait for the routine small explosion, local called them "wedus gembel", is an activity of small steam explosion. Make sure you spend a night in the lake, Ranu Kumbolo.

5. Mount Batur, Bali (1,717 masl)

Aside from beach haven, Bali has several beautiful volcanoes, one of them is Mount Batur. Mount Batur is acknowledged as the sacred place by local. It is a small volcano in the center of a huge crater, facing the crescent-shaped Batur Lake. Hiking can be possibly done in a day.

6. Mount Rinjani, Lombok (3,727 masl)

Mount Rinjani is arguably the most beautiful volcano on earth previewing a surreal view of the rim surrounding the lake. There are two routes to climb Mount Rinjani, from Sembalun and Senaru, both serve a pleasant journey. Sembalun is more a savanna trek and Senaru is the typical rain forest. The challenging long trek is a pressure but the view up there will pay everything off. Make your way down to Segara Anak lake and relax with a magnificent view of the small active volcano called Mount Baru, don't forget to immerse with nature in the natural hotspring.

7. Mount Bromo, East Java (2,845 masl)

Mount Bromo is definitely the jewel of East Java and Indonesia. Travelers coming to Indonesia surely will make a stop here to witness the breath-taking view of the mountain range, consists of Mount Bromo, Mount Batok, and the highest one Mount Semeru. Every side of the mountain takes part in leaving impression to whoever comes, the detailed carving and shaping of every inch is like a nature masterpiece.

8. Anak Gunung Krakatau, Sunda Strait (230 masl)

The legend of massive explosion of Mount Krakatau, or known as Krakatoa in 1883 remains written in the world history. After the deadly eruption, a new volcano was born and continuously grow. Visit some islands around such as Sebuku Island, Umang Island, and Sebesi Island. Hike up to Anak Krakatau and you will see an incredible view of old Rakata. 

9. Mount Sibayak, Berastagi, North Sumatera (2,212 masl)

A small stratovolcano overlooking the town of Berastagi, North Sumatera, Mount Sibayak is a nice quick stopover for a day hike. The steam vent producing a thunderous sound like a jet passing by. Here you can also enjoy the hot spring.

10. Mount Kerinci, Jambi (3,805 masl)

Strike as the highest active volcano in Indonesia, even in South East Asia, Mt. Kerinci stays remarkable with its impressive landscape both on the top and the feet of the mountain. Exactly located in Jambi, Sumatera Island, Mt.Kerinci vaults 3,805 meters above sea level, home to the endangered species of Sumatran Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros. The feet of mountain is surrounded by a fresh tea plantation, while on the top, the reddish area of rocks also as the spot to view Gunung Tujuh Lake is unforgettable.

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