The Best Hikes in Indonesia!

- by Pritika Chatterjee

22 Jun 2020

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Indonesia has so much to offer and one of the best ways to explore the country is from up above!

Whether you like casual strolling or a multi day trek up the smoking volcanoes, this country has it all! Rice fields, temples, islands, mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, local cultural villages and a lot of other breath-taking sights await you on your hikes in Indonesia. In this blog, we will take you through some of the best hikes in Indonesia for all difficulty levels!

Swim with Stingless Jellyfish!
Kakaban Island, East Kalimantan [2/10]

Kakaban Islands is one of the only places in the world that has a lake full of stingless jellyfish and you can actually go swim with them. Along with this it is also home to gorgeous reefs and forests which you will want to explore as soon as you see the island approaching.

The hike to the lake begins at the 120-metre dock that extends into crystal clear waters. From the end of the dock, the path takes you up a staircase so that you can cross to the other side of the island. You will then pass quickly through a dense mangrove forest before reaching your destination, the stingless jellyfish lake. The hike (including return) and swimming with the jellyfish should take about two hours. If you have some extra time, don’t miss the chance to snorkel in the lively waters surrounding Kakaban Island.

Snorkeling and swimming along with hiking makes this one of the more interesting experiences ever.

Explore Jurassic World of Today
Padar Island, Komodo National Park [3/10]

Once home to the Komodo dragons, this island offers stunning views of its pink, white and black sand beaches. The island is about 20 miles (30 km) from Labuan Bajo, a fishing town on the westernmost part of Flores. Padar is small, but is the third largest island of Komodo National Park.

Padar is mostly savannah-covered, surreal landscape fringed by bright green-capped mountains of fairy-tale shapes. Visitors can do a 30 minute hike to Padar's summit to see a panoramic view of the island, go trekking for around an hour, snorkel or just hit the pristine tri-colored beaches. There are daily tours departing from Labuan Bajo for one, two or three day visits.

Mask on, come and conquer the active volcano!
Bromo Caldera, Mount Bromo, East Java [3/10]

Not one of the tallest mountains in Indonesia but its stunning beauty lies in its incredible setting. Easily accessible, tourists hike to the rim - situated at 7,641 feet - to observe the otherworldly landscape that is often found on so many Indonesian postcards. Sunrise from the top is truly spectacular.

A few things to note is that due to its popularity, it is better to visit Mount Bromo during the week or during off season. Also private cars are not allowed in the national park so it is best to be a part of an organized tour. From the jeep parking area, you will be required to walk through the sand dunes for a good 15 minutes before reaching the set of stairs that lead to the top of the crater.

If luck is on your side and you’re visiting at the right season (we recommend coming during Ramadan), the walk up will be pretty easy, as long as you don’t rush it and take breaks in between. During peak season, it is a whole different scene as the area is packed to the brim with adventurous travellers and horses, which makes it less enjoyable. Once on top of the crater, you’ll be able to relish on the beautiful surrounding views and be thrilled with the thick fumes puffing out (be sure to wear your mask and drink water!). You can also take a walk around certain areas of the crater and sometimes you can even hear the volcano roar!

Check out Bali’s most epic sunrise!
Mount Batur, Bali [4/10]

The most magical spot to watch daybreak in Bali is undoubtedly the iconic Mount Batur. It is amongst the most active volcanoes in Bali, but it is definitely worth a visit. Standing tall at the height of 5,600 feet above the Sea Level, it saw its last volcanic eruption in the year 2000.

The hike can take upto 2-3 hours depending on your personal fitness level but it is definitely doable and does not really need any pre prep if you are a fairly active person. Mount Batur is quite the spectacle to catch a morning dose of golden hour, although it might get crowded during the tourist season. The spot is often covered in a thick mist first thing in the morning and gives the impression of floating above the clouds.

Whether it’s your first time in Bali, or you’ve been there several times and are looking for something new to do, Mount Batur should be at the top of your list.

The 3 colored lakes
Mount Kelimutu [6/10]

Mount Kelimutu is known for its very bright coloured 3 lakes and offers hikers a bright reward once they reach up there! Each of the three lakes has its own colour, ranging from vibrant blue to muddy brown. The lakes can change colour several times a year. You usually have to start your day very early (around 3:30-4 AM) as the top of Mount Kelimutu is covered by impenetrable fog so getting there by sunrise is a good idea.

Most often, hikers catch an 8-seater truck version of public transportation between 3:30 and 4 AM. This truck drops passengers at the Kelimutu National Park parking lot. From there, it is a well-marked, 30minute climb. Those who suffer from motion sickness might want to consider the longer hike. A 20-kilometre path leads to the lakes from Moni village. This takes at least 4 hours to climb. The gate opens at 4.30am, the best time to start hiking in order to catch the gleaming sunrise.

Make sure you stay on to see the sun shine on the lakes as that is when the vibrancy of the lakes shows the most! Also don't only go to the viewpoints, go off the fence to find quieter points to sit and soak in the beauty as it can get crowded up there sometimes!

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The Highest Volcano in Bali
Mount Agung [8/10]

Bali is just one of the 17,000 islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago, but it’s called the “Island of the Gods,”. And Mount Agung is the island’s highest—and holiest—volcano. According to a Balinese legend, Agung was created when the Hindu God Pasupati split Mount Meru and formed Mount Agung with a fragment. This hike up the mountain is not for the unfit or the faint hearted and while it can be done in a single day- it can get very strenuous.

Most people start their hike at midnight and it usually takes 6 hours to get up to the summit which means they can make it in time for the sunrise. There are two routes to be followed: The Pura Besakih route or the Pura Pasar Agung Route. Another advantage this hike has is that it sees far less tourists than the other popular hikes so it is a win ! white

The Hundred-Mile View!
Mount Rinjani, Lombok [9/10]

One of Indonesia’s most popular hikes, Mount Rinjani in Lombok is famous for its breathtaking views and eerie isolation.

You can choose how adventurous you want to be and pick between 2 days, 3 days or 4 days when it comes to climbing the peak depending on your fitness levels. The climb will take you through a range of ecosystems, from sub-montane rainforest to savanna.

At the top, you are rewarded with views of the crater lake called Segara Anak. If the day is clear, views can extend outwards to around the entirety of Lombok island and even to Bali.

This hike is not easy and as there are several different routes up the volcano. It is highly recommended to book through a trusted hiking company as they will take care of your pickups, porters and meals while on the trek.