Photo: Crater views.

Gunung Sirung

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Dominating the southern reaches of Pantar, Sirung isn’t a particularly tall volcano (the peak is just 862 metres) and the climb, at least to the crater, isn’t all that taxing as far as volcanoes in Indonesia go.

We approached the volcano from the village of Kakamauta (also referred to as Mauta), roughly one hour from Baranusa by ojek. In the village the headman insisted that we take a local guide for 100,000 rupiah and pay a village fee of 100,000 rupiah. These charges appeared to be non-negotiable (and unreasonable, given how the climb panned out) but your mileage may vary.

There she blows. Photo taken in or around Gunung Sirung, Pantar, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

There she blows. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The villagers also believe that the volcano should only be climbed at certain times of the years as it may otherwise affect the cashew harvest. See Gunung Bagging’s page for Sirung for more information on this situation, but essentially depending on the mood of the villagers, only October, November and May are considered ok to enter the crater (though we did so in April).

Having a guide of some description is strongly advisable, whether from Baranusa or Kakamauta, as the path is not signposted or all that clear. You follow a dirt trail out of the village but after about 10 minutes of walking you leave the trail and start bush-bashing through tall grasses and then eucalyptus forest.

Some huffing and puffing required. Photo taken in or around Gunung Sirung, Pantar, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Some huffing and puffing required. Photo: Stuart McDonald

As you slowly rise from the dirt trail the terrain gets rockier, but there is still plenty of shade from the eucalypts. Don’t forget to look behind you as, after a while, you can see Kakamauta and Baranusa directly to the north and, over to the west, Pantai Tiga Warna. The views are beautiful.

The trees slowly fade away as the terrain becomes rockier and steeper and you end up on a trail leading up towards a pass into the crater. Be sure to look up to your left (east) and in the distance on the rim you’ll see a small building—it is apparently a wildlife spotting hide, belonging to a wildlife photographer from ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Location map for Gunung Sirung

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