It's an area filled with immense beauty and a daytrip here from Malang is worth the minor inconvenience involved in touring around the region.
To reach Batu, catch an ADL angkot from central Malang to the Landungsari angkot terminal for 2,500 rupiah. From here, regular angkots make the 30-minute journey up the hill to the Batu angkot terminal for 3,000 rupiah. Then the following sights are accessible:
Air Panas Cangar
Nineteen kilometres from Batu, Air Panas Cangar is a recreation area set within a forest 1,650 metres above sea level and is filled with local tourists enjoying the steaming pools of water heated by natural hot springs. The pools themselves are not attractive, but the setting is quite tranquil if you can get here outside of the holiday season. A cave up the hill nearby is not worth the trek -– it only goes 20 metres inside the cliff and stops abruptly.
Arguably the best reason to visit Air Panas Cangar is the drive there. It's an amazing ride up through the surrounding hills which at times are shrouded in clouds and mist. The views back to Batu are amazing and make the journey all the more worthwhile. Angkots plying the route from the Batu terminal to Sumber Brantas pass within two kilometres of the hot spring entrance and charge 5,000 rupiah. Angkot drivers will drop you right at the entrance for an additional 10,000 rupiah fee. Alternatively, ojeks will make the return journey for 50,000 rupiah.
Entrance: 3,000 rupiah
Coban Rondo, located 11 kilometres west of Batu, is a spectacular waterfall which tumbles out of the surrounding forest 84 metres into a tiny pool below. Often shrouded in mist and light rain, this powerful waterfall retains a magical feel and is a great place to just chill for half an hour or so. It's located at 1,135 metres above sea level, so the weather is naturally cooler than the surrounding lowlands and when the light rain and mist rolls in, a jacket is recommended.
Public transport doesn't service the waterfall directly as it is located deep within a park off the main road. The easiest way to visit this attraction is by hiring an ojek or angkot from the Batu bus terminal for 50,000 rupiah return.
Entrance: 10,000 rupiah
Both of these attractions can be visited on the back of a motorbike or in a chartered angkot for around 80,000 rupiah and are well worth visiting if you have spare time in Malang.