Gunung Papandayan

Gunung Papandayan

Ethereal active volcanic landscape

More on Cipanas

Gunung Papandayan is one of Java’s most active volcanos and also justifiably the area’s top attraction—a wander around the otherworldly landscape with hissing hot water streams, boiling lakes, bubbling mud and jets of sulphur spewing out of the earth with the whooshing roar of a jet engine is simply out of this world.

Travelfish says:
No swimming in the lake. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
No swimming in the lake. Photo: Sally Arnold

Gunung Papandayan sits about 30 kilometres southwest of Cipanas (Garut) reached via a steep and winding but scenic road. The mountain peaks at some 2,665 metres above sea level but most visitors don’t try to reach the summit and the casual visitor can simply walk along the paths, an easy 20 minutes from the main carpark to view the ethereal scene.

However, there are a range of interesting treks around the area for the more adventurous wanderer and it’s advisable to hire one of the friendly guides from the park headquarters as some parts of the volcano are extremely hazardous and unpredictable. This fascinating primal landscape incorporates four main craters with active fumarole fields, a colour-changing sulphuric lake, a ghostly forest of burnt out trees from the 2002 eruption and fields of pretty montane wildflowers including Javan edelweiss. It’s also possible to camp in the popular campground Pondok Salada (2,320 metres).

Just in case you didn’t know. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
Just in case you didn’t know. Photo: Sally Arnold

Guide fees are 250,000 rupiah for a one-and-a-half hour trek or 350,000 rupiah for a two-and-a-half hour trek for groups of up to five. Camping fees are 105,000 rupiah per person for foreigners and 35,000 rupiah for Indonesians. Guides for camping cost 500,000 rupiah and porters 300,000 rupiah. Equipment sufficient for a group of four including tents, mattresses and sleeping bags can be hired for 300,000 rupiah and food can be supplied at 30,000 rupiah ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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Reviewed by

Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

Tours in Indonesia

Our top 3 other sights and activities in and around Cipanas

Kawah Kamojang
Kawah Kamojang

Interesting geothermal action

Kampung Naga
Kampung Naga

Stunning views and traditional culture

Candi Cangkuang
Candi Cangkuang

Small ancient Hindu temple