Versi Bahasa Indonesia: https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/id/banyuwangi/tempat-wisata-hits-banyuwangi/
Written by Adelina Luft
Assisted by Imron Ramadhan
Although Banyuwangi is part of Java, many of you might have never had the chance to set foot in this region.
Positioned at the eastern tip of East Java, Banyuwangi is the connecting “bridge” between Java and Bali, a geographical characteristic also reflected in its cultural and artistic mix. So don’t be surprised when you find that many things from the neighbouring island of the Gods can be seen in this small region!
Not only is Banyuwangi known for its traditions, but its natural beauty is comparable to the beauty of Bali. In fact, at the beginning of 2016, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) endowed Banyuwangi with the Award for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism.
Widely known as “The Sunrise of Java”, Banyuwangi boasts of at least three popular touristic spots worldwide. From beautiful white sand, electrifying craters in the mountains, a National Park à la Africa, waterfalls, to ancestral traditions, Banyuwangi is nothing but a top destination in Indonesia when compared to its neighbours.
Have we succeeded in tempting you? Let’s guide you through the best of Banyuwangi!
1. Step into the land of Lord of the Rings: Jawatan Benculuk
Jawatan Benculuk was initially built in 1952 to aid in water absorption for oak tree hoarding, managed by the Banyuwangi Forestry Ministry.
Photo Via Linggapriadi
But the rain trees with leafy and exalted extensions create an exotic and mysterious scenery, and have since attracted thousands of visitors.
Photo Via Dhanukp
If you love photography, come during the late afternoon when the sun filters through the canopies and forms a magical colour, similar to the scenery from the blockbuster movie ‘Lord of the Rings’.
Photo Via Oingku
Don’t be surprised if you spot residents from nearby areas, who come frequently to relax and enjoy the fresh air, cycle, do sports or even take pre-wedding photos!
Photo Via Ahmadsyafa14
You can even fish or raft here!
Long ago, Songgon Tourism Village was a shared land where residents grow pine trees and other plants such as chilli, ginger and corn.
Photo Via Wsatapinus_Sgn
Now, it has become one of the most visited new spots in East Java due to its increasing popularity on social media.
So many Instagrammable photo spots have been constructed for tourists – treehouses that you can really climb onto, colourful lampions you can play with, red umbrellas on trees, and a gate decorated with flowers.
The best one? Hammocks! Aren’t they just the best things for a holiday?
Photo Via Cittywulan
Photo Via Gungde_Agung
We highly recommend you to visit during weekdays, unless you want to queue for every photo location!
Photo Via Fiaalfiana711,-Aghil_Sinatra
3. An ancestral place: Purwo Temple
Located in Alas Purwo National Park and a symbol of Javanese civilisation, Purwo Temple rises from the mangrove forest and is placed at the confluence between two rivers.
Photo Via Wira_Rh
Built to remind the Javanese about their ancestors and origin, and that the archipelago was first discovered in the East,the temple is aptly named “purwo”, which means oldest. It is also nestled in the oldest forest in Java.
Strategically situated at the crossroads between islands, the temple is a unique place where different communities visit and offer their prayers, especially the Hindus from Bali and the Hindus from Tegaldlimo district.
Photo Via Vivirdaus
Today, various rituals, art and cultural performances and local social gatherings are being held there.
4. Celebrate bamboo art: Gintangan Bamboo Festival
Gintangan Festival takes place every year and is probably one of the most unique festivals in Indonesia.
During the festival, the village of Gintangan will showcase exquisite bamboo designs made by the local village craftsmen. Bamboo as a medium is presented as art and fashion icons, and you can find bamboo products, trinkets and accessories!
Photo Via Lynda-Fieulien-Lie
You may have heard of them – Gintangan is nationally known as the centre for bamboo craftsmanship since the 1980s, and has been exporting products to other neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Japan.
And unlike many other major touristy festivals in the region, Gintangan Bamboo Festival was actually initially started as an initiative by the villagers to showcase their work during an annual parade.
Photo Via Arofikjono, Ninasakina22, Bboy, Ivany
Don’t forget to check the dates for the next Bamboo Festival on this Indonesia Events site and get your cameras ready!
5. Did you say Raja Ampat? Find a miniature version at Waduk Bajulmati
Have you ever dreamt of visiting Raja Ampat in Papua, but finding it impossible to save enough?
Why not opt for a cheaper alternative that almost matches up to Raja Ampat’s natural beauty? Check out Waduk Bajulmati, located along the border between Banyuwangi and Situbondo in East Java.
Photo Via Riconovi1404
Besides retaining 10 million cubic metres of water, this basin first opened in July 2016. Its beautiful panorama resembles that Raja Ampat, with the agglomerations of small islands in the basin.
Photo Via Piwinta
If you want to take photos just like in Wayag in Raja Ampat, go to the reservoir area after the gazebo.
Photo Via Nanangfauzi
You can also do various activities such as ATV and outbound training! There’s even cafés as well.
6. Traversing plantations and mountains by train: Kalibaru Rail Tour
Don’t want to drive or walk excessively to enjoy the natural scenery of Banyuwangi? Why not take a rail tour?
Starting from Kalibaru station to Mrawan PP station, the rail tour will take you through coffee plantations at 400 metres high, passing Mount Gumitir with its fresh air, and also stop briefly in a dark tunnel where you can snap some quick photos.
Photo Via Antarafoto2
Photo Via Frinoka, Pecintawisata
One rail train has a capacity of only 16 passengers, and you can either rent the entire train for Rp.1,200,000 (approximately USD $90) or at less than Rp.100,000 per person (approximately USD $7.50). The trip will take around 50 minutes.
Photo Via Antarafoto
Besides enjoying natural scenery from the train, you will also learn about the history of the railway system in Indonesia. The rail tour operates on Saturday and Sunday, but it is still possible to book a trip on weekdays if you wish to do so.
Photo Via Pecintawisata
7. Wake up to a mesmerizing view of the volcano: Ijen Resort & Villas
Haven’t found the best place to stay in Banyuwangi? You will never regret staying in this resort.
Every room offers a beautiful view of the harmonious gardens, green carpets of paddy fields, jungle woods, and the majestic Mount Ijen.
You can enjoy the priceless panorama not only from your balcony, but from all areas in the resort, such as the restaurant and swimming pool. Just imagine lounging by the pool with a book, some refreshments, and this amazing view.
Photo Via Voiceoverindonesia, Cia 14
Located at 643 metres above sea level, with the closest residential home being 700 metres away, you can be sure your privacy is guaranteed.
Photo Via Pratiwijaya88
If you ever get bored within the resort (which we doubt!), you can request for the staff to arrange outdoor activities for you, such as exploring nearby villages, taking a walk along the rice fields, or visiting the coffee plantation at Kaliklatak by renting a jeep.
8. Dine with Ubud’s rice paddy views: Pondok Indah Banyuwangi
Do you know that Banyuwangi has beautiful rice paddy landscapes comparable to those in Ubud, Bali? You can actually enjoy this view while digging into the delicious dishes at Pondok Ingah Banyuwangi restaurant.
Photo Via Miauwcantik, Karencahyono
The owner of this restaurant intentionally built this place 10 kilometres away from the city centre, so that visitors can escape from the urban fatigue.
Photo Via Andreyongz, Blestarisa
You can find this isolated restaurant if you travel in the direction of the trails to hike up Mount Ijen. The parking area is also a distance away from the restaurant, so you can dine in a pollution-free environment.
You can dine in wood cottages here, including a unique cottage at the edge of the slope directly facing the rice paddies, with Ijen in the background. If not, you can always dine at the outdoor tables too.
Photo Via Rijal160
A must-try from the menu are their various processed fries, which are a specialty in Banyuwangi, such as Pepes Oling, Oling Pedas, and Tongseng Oling. If you don’t like fries, you can also opt for Pedho Grilled Rice or the Village Grilled Chicken.
For refreshments, try the Green Diamond Lime made from lime and Japanese cucumber. Do you know of any other drink that’s more refreshing than this?
Photo Via Ditesebastian, Benwi300313, Andika Rahmat, Dennyirawan27
9. Find indigenous homes and take part in a traditional coffee festival at Osing Kemiren Village
Every region in Indonesia has long-lasting ancestral traditions and Banyuwangi is no exception. A stop in Osing Kemiren village will offer you authentic insights of the lives of an indigenous tribe called the Osing tribes.
Photo Via Lili Soesilo, Edwin Wijaya
The local people inhabiting this village, situated at 15 kilometres from the city centre, preserve ancestral traditions from the Majapahit Kingdom era in Java. The name “Kemiren” is derived from the names of two different types of trees, ‘kemiri’ and ‘duren’ that once grew on the land where the village sits on today.
Photo Via Faslah Rinaldo, Agus Susanto2, Adventure Wisata
The heritage endowed by the Osing tribe are century-old houses, including the main performance hall used today to practise and perform local dances such as Gandrung, Angklung Paglak, Barong Kemiren, Othek, and many others. If you have the chance to witness any one these performances, you’ll notice that sweets and local traditional food are served.
Photo Via Vicky.Buyung, Widya_0192
The village also holds annual festivals and parades to maintain their unique traditions. Ngopi Sepuluh Ewu, (from Javanese, meaning Ten Thousand Coffees) is a famous coffee festival attracting thousands of visitors every year. As the festival name suggests, the organizers not only prepare ten thousand coffees, but they also place the coffees along the streets and in front of the villagers’ homes, that can even be tasted by pedestrians who are passing by!
Photo Via Sulan Umamdani Wow, Steva Erinta, Andreasdsetiawan, Vicayunita
Photo Via Haris Efendy, Vicayunita, Cindesutro
If you are a coffee lover, you must purchase some local coffee treats, together with traditional batik with Banyuwangi motifs!
Photo Via Agus Susanto, Andreyongz
10. Conquer one of the toughest mountains in Indonesia: Mount Raung
If you love a dose of adrenaline during your travels, take the challenge to climb the second highest mountain in East Java, Mount Raung.
Photo Via Hamdanii Azmi
But before you get all excited, do bear in mind that hiking this mountain is very tough and requires prior hiking experience.
Geographically, Mount Raung belongs to Banyuwangi, Bondowoso and Jember districts. Raung is different from other neighbouring mountains due to its 500-metre-deep caldera surrounded by a grayish rim.
Photo Via Lukman Anggara88
You can hike up one of Mount Raung’s four peaks – you will pass by Bendera (the Flag Peak), 17 Peak, Tusuk Gigi (Toothpick Peak – named after its towering pillars), and the highest point at Sejati (Real Peak) at 3,344 metres.
Photo Via Raung Camp
Raung Mountain is the second most active volcano in Indonesia after Mount Tambora, and enjoying its uniqueness and beauty is no picnic to start with. The hike up is one of the most difficult and extreme ones in Java Island, and an expert level of trekking, hiking and rock climbing is required to complete your mission.
Photo Via Peakk Adventure, Lorenzia Sanjaya
But if you are a seasoned hiker, you can be sure that all your efforts will be paid off when you reach the peak and enjoy the spectacular view.
Photo Via Peakk Adventure, Noviyantikartika1
11. An expedition to an “African savanna”: Baluran National Park
As you enter Baluran National Park, the largest natural savanna in Java, you will feel as though you have stepped into an African safari.
Photo Via Littlew00dy, Fullarisalia
Don’t be surprised if you randomly chance upon a herd of deer galloping freely, a peacock opening his graceful tail, a troop of bulls, a dozen eagles hunting for prey, or a group of monkeys swinging around in the trees, alongside herds of mice, storks, and more. Get ready to meet the local fauna in this rich habitat!
Photo Via Farisangger, Dimas Arya1919, Akbarftg, Backpacker Gembel
You can also camp in the national park – a campsite and a guesthouse with basic utilities have been set up.
And while you’re here overnight, you don’t want to miss catching a photo of the sunrise the next day – it’s a most spectacular one where the sun slowly goes up in the foggy sidelines. You can also enter before the official opening hours to watch the sunrise, but you will need to call the office to arrange your visit the day before.
Photo Via Totohandoko, Rafa El Siddiq
Photo Via Sangperegrine
When you are here, please do not disturb or destroy the flora and fauna in the park, or dirty the place. Let’s protect nature and keep the environment clean!
12. Be captivated by electric-blue flames at Ijen Crater
Isn’t this the most stunning natural turquoise water you’ve ever seen?
Photo Via Jmprophoto
Although Indonesia’s landscape is dotted with volcanoes, Mount Ijen is one of the most spectacular natural formations you would ever experience.
Positioned at the peak of the mountain, at exactly 2,443 metres above sea level, a caldera lake retains the saltiest water in the world. This turquoise acidic crater lake with foggy sulfur fumes is the main highlight at Ijen, and a natural wonder you don’t want to miss!
Photos Via Mifuguemiraison
The best time to visit the crater is early in the morning to catch the sunrise. This is also the time when you can watch the labour-intensive sulfur mining operations in action, during which sulfur-laden baskets are carried by hand from the crater floor.
Photo Via Wanderlust East Java
You will need to hike for two hours before you reach the rim of the crater, followed by a 45-minute hike down the bank of the crater. Don’t forget to bring protective masks, as it’s unhealthy to inhale excessive sulfur fumes blown into the trekking area. If you walk around the crater area, it will take you 8 to 10 hours by foot.
If you love the thrill of an adventure, you can choose to go the caldera at night with a guide. The blue flames will appear to be even more mesmerising in the dark!
Photo Via Puchong Pannoi
Photo Via Marc.Wegner
13. Tropical beaches à la Bali: Sukamada, Pengkung, Teluk Hijau, and Tabuhan Island
What’s a relaxing holiday without white sand beaches and clear water?
Located at the eastern tip of Java, Banyuwangi has many beautiful beaches comparable to those in the island of the Gods. Here are a few we’ve discovered for you.
13-a. Release baby turtles at Sukamade beach
Want a meaningful and different holiday by the beach? At Sukamade beach, you can help to release hatchlings and baby turtles into the sea.
Part of the Meru Betiri National Park with rich fauna and flora, Sukamade is not only known for its natural beauty, but also for its endangered giant turtles.
Photo Via Littlejaajaa
You can join a guided tour participate in the release of baby turtles, with just a small fee of Rp.50,000 (approximately USD $3) per group to UPKP (Management Unit for Turtle Conservation).
Photo Via Debster24, Saandraholmgren, Tessatioarina
You can even stay till late (from 7.30pm till midnight) to watch the turtles lay eggs. One option is spend the night at a homestay in Sukamade village located 4 to 5 km away from the beach.
13-b. Paradise for the world surfers: Plengkung beach (G-Land)
Plengkung beach is well-known internationally among surfers. So it’s no surprise that this white sand beach in the Alas Purwo National Park is said to be the best surfing spot in Southeast Asia. It is even in the international list of the top 7 surfing spots in the world!
Photo Via Agentwisatabromo
If you’re looking for a high-level surfing experience, Plengkung beach, also known as G-Land, should be your priority between July and September. During these 3 months, the waves can reach up to 6 to 8 metres high. Such a surfing feast!
Photo Via Yayangsurya, Edipranto Tarigan
For non-surfers, you can simply come to enjoy the spectacular sunset, cycle in the national park, snorkel, fish, or sunbathe while watching the professional surfers.
Photo Via Campurjanggrang, Siateddy
You can even take up yoga classes here, directly on the beach!
13-c. The green bay with a waterfall: Teluk Hijau beach
As the name suggests (“teluk” means bay and “hijau” means green), this beach is known for the green shade of its water. The underwater algae creates a green reflection on the surface, causing the water to appear as though it is the same shade.
Photo Via Clarasoca
Newly open to the public, this beach is still considered as a hidden gem kept in its natural condition. This is mainly because the way to get here is full of steep dirt roads, so it is less accessible for the usual travellers.
Photo Via Herlambangbgs, Anggirizk
The waves here are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. You can even find a waterfall on the shore!
Photo Via Laksi Mandina
Photo Via Iwan Putra2153, Jofunk.Reza, Endah Lestariati
13-d. Where the sea whispers: Tabuhan beach
This charming beach promises clean white sand and amazing clear water with colour gradations.
The name “tabuhan” means beat, as the powerful wind looming in the bay creates a sound similar to percussion beats.
Photo Via Melindapriskila
The strong wind in Tabuhan beach has actually reached international recognition. The beach is best known for kite-boarding and windsurfing, as well hosting an international kitesurfing event.
Tabuhan beach is also blessed with coral reefs and colourful fish, so it’s an ideal place for snorkelling. If you get tired of water activities, you can try birdwatching – you may even discover rare birds such as Maleo or Helmeted Hornbill (Enggang Gading) – or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the beach.
Photo Via Repathony, Zein Zainal, Dissa Dissull
P.S. You will not only find a beautiful sunrise here, but also an enchanting sunset!
Photo Via Yanto Bejjo
10-e. A hidden paradise: Teluk Biru
With ocean blue, clear water, green cliffs, a small lagoon, and the place entirely to yourself, Teluk Biru has everything you look for in a beach getaway.
This hidden gem has an ecosystem that guarantees a genuine tropical experience for lovers of unexplored beaches.
Photo Via Haneztdjantiko
With such a rich and colourful marine life, you can snorkel and dive here the entire day. And if you’re into watersports, you can sail and waterski too!
Not fond of getting into the water? Why don’t you bring your own fishing kit and watch the sea from above?
The best part of this hidden spot is the sunrise – so come early!
Photo Via Gerrydarismon, Elokpi, Dwigamas
14. We never get bored of Waterfalls: Jagir Indah, Pertemon, and Lider
Indonesia is peppered with some of the most gorgeous waterfalls, many hidden, and some require tough souls and persevering hearts to be able to behold their magnificence and beauty.
Banyuwangi is no exception. Need we say more?
14-a. Three waterfalls in one: Jagir Indah Waterfall
Dubbed as the “three-in-one” waterfall, Jagir Indah is a unique waterfall formation where three different water currents are shaped and fall from 50 metres high. Other names for this natural beauty include Twin Waterfall, Sister Waterfall, and even Angel’s Waterfall (due to its clear water where it is said that angels take their bath).
Photo Via Oddzhaheho
“Indah” means beautiful, a very apt name for this magnificent sight.
Here, you can chill at a shelter spot, and find various local snacks and souvenirs to bring home with you.
Photo Via Shindi_Ayu
14-b. A waterfall at the foot of Mount Raung: Pertemon Waterfall
You won’t regret stopping by at Pertemon waterfall, as the clean air and dense plantations on the way there will refresh your mind.
The beautiful one-kilometre walk from the nearby village will pass by a coffee plantation, mountain slopes, rice terraces, and clear rivers. Can you even ask for more?
Photo Via Luluk_Rofita,-Halimsantoso
Photo Via Jatimparadise
The villagers of Sambrungrejo are very friendly and they will show you around.
Located near Mount Raung, the water at Pertemon is very cold and fresh. If you’re brave enough (for the cold water!), let the waterfall shower you with its freezing spray!
Photo Via Princezkajoel
14-3. Drama at high peaks: Lider Waterfall
Falling from 60 metres high, this waterfall is nestled in a forest conservation area, surrounded by shady trees. Due to the powerful release of water at high altitude, a natural pool is formed at the base of the waterfall.
With a water source directly from the mountains at 1,300 metres above sea level, Lider waterfall provides clean and refreshing water.
Photo via aufabilly
At 45 kilometres away from Banyuwangi city, on the eastern slopes of Mount Raung, you can reach this waterfall easily via public transport, though it also involves quite a bit of walking and trekking.