While Indonesia is home to heaps of renowned man-made attractions, a trip to the country is truly incomplete without experiencing its stunning natural sites. There is no better way to take in Indonesia’s beautiful surroundings than to hike up one of its many mountains. Laden with volcanoes, Indonesia offers you the unique experience to climb up even active ones. Here’s our list of some of the best mountains to climb for breathtaking views! .
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Mount Bromo, standing at a height of 2,329 metres, is one of Indonesia’s most famous mountains. Belonging to the massive Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java, Mount Bromo is part of the Tengger massif and is the one of the most popular and visited peaks of the massif. Mount Bromo also happens to be one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and thus some areas of it have been blocked off to tourists. The site of legends and myths, Mount Bromo offers dramatic landscapes that will make the journey up worth it. You must also make it a point to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo from a vantage point on Mount Penanjakan.
While hiking up Mount Bromo will not be as challenging as climbing some of the other mountains on this list, the trek may not be advisable for those with leg problems. The temperature also tends to get quite low at certain times, so don’t forget to take along some warm clothes, along with a camera to capture the breathtaking beauty of the area! .
One of the top spots for hikers is Kawah Ijen or the Ijen plateau, in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java. The Ijen volcano complex consists of a group of stratovolcanoes, with the Gunung Merapi being the highest point of it. The Ijen volcano is an active volcano that is home to a famous kilometer wide turquoise sulfur crater lake which lies 2,148 metres above sea level. The sulfur-rich lake is the site of a sulfur mining operation; which means that while hiking up the crater, you may be able to see sulfur workers at their job.
While hiking up to the crater rim is possible, the walk is quite steep and will take approximately 2 hours. The view from here is however magnificent, and when hiking at night, you may be able to experience the phenomenon of a glowing blue flame from the cracks of the crater - a result of the combustion of sulfuric gases. You are advised to take along a handkerchief to cover up your nose and mouth, to prevent yourself from inhaling the sulfuric gases. .
Towering over the island of Lombok, within the Gunung Rinjani National Park, is the mighty Rinjani Mountain. This active volcano is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, rising to a height of 3,726 metres. By climbing to the top, you will be able to experience one of the most stunning views in the country. Green forests, gushing waterfalls, and the Segara Anak; a crescent-shaped lake within the mountain, all contribute to the breathtaking scenery.
The hike will however not be easy. Surrounding Mount Rinjani are over 20 villages, all of which offer routes up the mountain. Main access is however offered from Senaru and Sembalun Lawang. For those who wish to climb to the summit of the volcano from Sembalun Lawang and end it in Senaru, the trek will take a whopping four days. You can check out a variety of trekking packages offered by the National Park of different rates and durations. .
Another worthy hike is the one up Mount Batur, in Batur village, in the Kintamani region of Bali. Set in a large crater that is 14 kilometres in diameter, Mount Batur is a sacred mountain, and is one of Bali’s top attractions due to this and its stunning setting. The active volcano stands at 1,717 metres above sea level, and it takes experienced and fit hikers over 2 hours to reach its summit.
The best time to climb Mount Batur would be early in the morning, as the sunrise above the volcano is truly spectacular, making the long, tiring climb worthwhile. This trek is again recommended to those who are fit, as the trail can get quite steep. .
The popular mountain trekking destination of Mount Semeru is last on our list, but is certainly not the least in terms of the unique experience it offers. The highest mountain on the island of Java, rising to 3,676 metres above sea level, this active volcano is one that almost all mountaineers aspire to climb. You will be able to admire the jaw dropping scenery, and also witness regular ash explosions which occur every 10 to 20 minutes.
The climb to the summit from the lowest camp takes about 7 hours, and is not advised for inexperienced climbers as it is quite demanding, but you are sure to enjoy the ethereal views of the surroundings, including the turquoise blue Ranu Kumbolo Lake, and the greenery that surrounds it, without even climbing to the top. Those who do decide to make the trek to the summit will have to climb throughout the night, and descend by around 10 am, as the wind direction shifts, and the poisonous gas that is emitted also shifts onto the route used by climbers.
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