2-18 Jun 2020
2-18 Jul 2020
1-17 Aug 2020
3-19 Sep 2020
The tour will be accompanied / guided on location by one of our professional local guides in Indonesia, typically Andi or Galih. They have extensive knowledge not only about the volcanoes, but also about their country and culture.
Our guides all speak English and Indonesian, some also French.
The hikes in the program range from fairly easy to challenging (up to 1200 m climbing and 10 km distance, total duration max. 6-8 hours) for everybody with good normal fitness. You should, however, be prepared for hot and humid climate typical for any tropical country.
Arrival in Jakarta and transfer from Jakarta International airport to a hotel in a lively downtown district of central Jakarta, where you are awaited with a welcome cocktail. In the evening, we meet for group dinner in a local restaurant and discuss the program ahead.
In the morning, a private minibus picks us up at the hotel and brings us straight to Bandung city, a volcanic city, the central of volcanological survey of Indonesia and monitoring volcanoes. After a visit to Museum of Geology Indonesia, in the afternoon we will visit Tangkuban Perahu volcano.
Transfer to Garut city, proceed to Papandayan volcano and climb in the beautiful volcanic area to explore hot springs & volcanic craters (Papandayan).
Visit Kamojang geothermal field and Galunggung volcano and its surroundings
An early train (first class) brings us comfortably directly to the beautiful, lively city of Yogyakarta, Central Java's capital, and Java's cultural and spiritual heart. The train ride (about 7-8 hours), an intense cultural experience in itself, passes spectacular landscapes of rice fields and mighty volcanoes in the background. It is considered as one of the most beautiful train rides in Asia. Lunch is served from the train's restaurant. Upon arrival in Yogya, the famous riskaws will bring us to our friendly, quiet and very comfortable hotel in a central downtown location. The rest of afternoon and the evening is for you to relax at the hotel's swimming pool or start walk around and exploring the city.
In the morning, we visit the famous Buddhist Temple of Borobodur, the largest and one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Asia. Depending on its activity at the time of the tour, this day could be dedicated to observe Java's most active volcano in eruption (possibly at night, involving an early start from Yogya and driving and walking to good viewpoints). If there is no activity at Merapi, other activities in and around Yogya will be decided on the spot, depending on the weather and group's preferences etc.
Today is mostly free program, but you are invited to join an amusing & interesting 4-5 hour city tour on becak (the local name for rickshaws): we can visit the Kraton (the old walled city) with its Sultan's Palace, the famous bird-market, the water-castle etc... Yogya is a charming city with many and busy colourful markets,- inviting to explore near-infinite possibilities of culinary and shopping offerings, esp. local crafts such as batik, silver, wood carvings etc. In the evening, we visit Java's largest Hindu temple complex near Prambanan (ca. 1 hr from our hotel). Those who are interested could combine this with attending one of the traditional Ramayana ballet performances held out against the silhouette of the temples in the evening (if there is performance that day; otherwise, one of the following nights could be used instead).
Climb Merapi starting at around midnight to reach the top at sunrise. After descending and lunch back at the base, transfer to Kediri city near Kelud volcano in East Java.
A relaxed day to visit Kelud volcano (conditions allowing), the observatory post and observe its activity after the last explosive eruption in 2014 which ejected debris and ash column 12 miles into the air and recorded historically as one of the biggest eruption of Kelud. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Transfer to Malang, then scenic drive into the Tengger caldera via an impressive route to a village at the base of Semeru.
Accompanied by porters and well-equipped with food, cooking and camping gear, we will start a long (ca. 8-10 hrs), but in most parts easy trek across hills and forests to the beginning of the volcanic rocks and ash wilderness. Finally, we reach a basic campsite below the summit cone of Semeru at around 2700 m elevation. Lunch snacks on the way, and a fully cooked warm dinner at the campsite will keep our energy high.
After a hot tea or coffee, we start well before sunrise to start the final, but demanding climb up the very steep, loose slope of Semeru. As it gets light, the stunning spectacle of the volcano's eruptions gets slowly into sight. Finally, we will stand on Java's highest top with an incredible view over Java and Bali, with many other volcanic peaks around and below us. A bit further Semeru volcano's crater belches out its curling clouds of ash. Watching hot gas, ash and some volcanic bombs being thrown in the air that closeby is a highlight of our trip. Extreme caution, however, must be excercised while being on the summit plateau. After some time spent on or near the summit plateau, we head back to our second camp, near a lake, where we can relax.Important note: Every one climbing Semeru's summit should do this in his/her own full responability, which implies awareness of the volcanic risk at the summit: even during normal conditions, sudden unpredictable larger eruptions can reach the relatively safe summit plateau, and throw deadly rocks and lava bombs at climbers. During periods of heightened summit activity, the decision to limit the time on the summit to a minimum or even to give up the attempt to climb is a wise decision, which our experienced tour leader would take if deemed necessary. Despite this, there will be a rest risk, because Semeru, as all volcanoes, is unpredictable. You should NOT go further than the summit plateau near the true summit and walk towards the active crater, even if it is tempting and only an easy stroll. Even if you see some people go up to the crater rim, don't! You will find tour "guides", tour operators and TV shows bringing you right there, but we think that the risk is unacceptable. In past and recent years people have been killed when going near the crater rim, and not on the much safer summit plateau.
We hike back to Ranu Pani where we have lunch; afterwards, an adventurous jeep drive will bring us to the village of Cemoro Lawang, crossing the sand sea of the Tengger caldera. In Cemoro Lawang we will take our rooms in a comfortable family-run hotel, located right on the edge of the caldera with spectacular views on Bromo volcano. The rest of the afternoon is free.
This day is used to further explore the Tengger caldera and to make the easy to moderate hike up to the rim of Bromo´s active crater in the centre of the large Tengger caldera. (about half a day round trip on foot from the hotel; you can also rent horses or take a jeep ride) In the afternoon we can visit the nearby volcanological observation post of Bromo and get an introduction to volcano monitoring techniques.
For those who feel fit enough to get up early in the morning, a hike or jeep excursion to Indonesia's most famous viewpoint will be arranged. Before sunrise, we drive to the summit of Mt. Pananjakan (2775m) on the E rim of the caldera. The sunrise over the caldera with the steaming peaks of Semeru and Bromo in alignment is a truely unique spectacle. After a relaxed breakfast we drive through scenic landscapes to the Ijen plateau, where we will stay in a guesthouse of a coffee plantation and enjoy a relaxing bath in a natural hot spring.
Early in the morning, we drive a short way to the start of the trail that leads up to the beautiful active crater of Ijen volcano (Kawah Ijen) (about 1 hr climbing) with its famous turquoise acid lake (which is the most acid in the world!) and the hot, partly liquid sulphur deposits. The fumaroles are so hot that sulphur comes out as green vapour. The vapour is collected by large pipes, through which the vapor condenses, and at the exit you see red rivulets of liquid sulphur, that then freeze to solid deposits, which are quarried, in order to obtain huge blocks of pure sulphur. Ijen’s sulphur deposits are infamous for the local workers who quarry the sulphur with primitive, health-devastating methods,- an incredibly hard job. Note: gas-masks are needed for the visit to the crater. In many cases, we can provide you with some (please inquire). After plenty of observation time, we leave the Ijen Plateau and drive down to the coast facing Bali, where we have a good lunch in a nice restaurant overlooking the sea. In the early afternoon, we embark on a ferry, cross the busy waterway (about 1 hr) and within about 1,5 hours of driving, we have reached one of Bali’s most beautiful beaches near Lovina. The day is ended in a beautiful pool hotel on the beach, and as the last highlight of the tour, we meet later for a delicious dinner in a beach tavern.
Final day of your volcano adventure with transfer to Denpasar airport for your international flights back home (or own extension program on Bali).