Versi Bahasa Indonesia:

Written by Leo Daphne
Co-written by Matin Firas Harahap and Cisca Lim

Tired of the city life in Jakarta? Yearning to find adventure on weekends, when you can finally get away from your daily work routine and the trappings of a concrete jungle?

If your wanderlust is that strong, we’re guessing that even our best unique themed restaurants and exciting modern entertainment in the city would be insufficient to satisfy you.

What you need is a short weekend getaway where you can fill your eyes, heart and soul with majestic sights and immerse yourself in cultural activities.

So what are you waiting for? Join us now to 7 destinations within driving distance from Jakarta, where you would be at risk of extending your holiday!

1. Of Cultural Treasures and Natural Wonders: Banten

Unlike other destinations in West Java, Banten is not dominated by mountainous landscape.

Here, you can find exotic beaches, the famous Ujung Kulon National Park, and unique cultures that have been preserved for centuries.

So if you love the natural and the ancient, come check out our recommendations!

1-a. Discover hidden beaches: Tanjung Lesung and Sawarna

If you ask your friends about beaches in Banten, the popular Pantai Carita Anyer would dominate the answers.

But if you’re looking for pristine sand and sea that are quieter and off-the-beaten tracks, you can travel to Tanjung Lesung and Sawarna.

Photo via najlafakhriyahnbila

Tanjung Lesung is nestled along the West Coast of Java, and their white sandy beaches are known as good surfing destinations and calm swimming spots with healthy reefs to explore. You can also see Krakatau from the beaches, and even travel there from Tanjung Lesung!

Photo via sup id, saudagarr

Though there are less accommodations than in Anyer (which makes this place much more tranquil), there are still some local homestays and resorts to choose from.

Another place that’s gaining more hype is Sawarna in the south. Like Tanjung Lesung, there are many beaches to visit around there, only that there are more iconic rocks on Sawarna’s beaches.

Photo via Daniel Ab

You can also swim, surf, and explore the underwater here.

Photo via jeremysitorus
Photo via yadi27

And if you want to move away from the beach a little, why not explore the village and enjoy the green paddy fields?

Tanjung Lesung and Sawarna

More info on visiting Tanjung Lesung and Sawarna

Getting there: It takes around 3-4 hours to get to Tanjung Lesung (coordinate: -6.480287, 105.654373). To get to Sawarna, it will be a 4-5 hours trip (coordinate: -6.984569, 106.306686). Be prepared, as the road conditions may not be good.

1-b. Explore Banten’s National Park: Ujung Kulon National Park

This is where you can spot some of the rarest animals on earth – the one-horned Javan rhinoceros!

As one of eight UNESCO’s world heritage site in Indonesia, Ujung Kulon National Park boasts of housing several species of endangered plants and animals.

But as there are less than 70 of the endangered rhinos within the 76,000-hectare land, you will have to be very lucky to chance upon them!

You can also spot a wide variety of birds, wild cattle (banteng), otters, deer, monkeys and monitor lizards in the park, and even predators such as panthers, pythons, and crocodiles around the river.

If you’re up for some exercise and want to explore the natural surroundings, not only can you hike up to the peak of the national park, but you can also do some jungle trekking and snorkeling in Peucang Island or the other islands around.

Photo via rijalgh
Photo via riskaautami
Photo via donnyosmonso, fannybudiman

What are you waiting for? Let your adventure begin!

Ujung Kulon National Park

More info on visiting Ujung Kulon National Park

Getting there: The easiest (and probably most cost-effective) way to get there is by joining an arranged tour. By joining a tour, the cost per person will be reduced as there will be many components that can be shared with other travelers (e.g: boat, room, etc). The tour may start from Jakarta or Anyer in Banten.

If you have more spare time and decide to go by public transport, you can take a bus from Jakarta to Labuhan in Pandeglang, Banten (3 hours). From there, you can hire a boat heading directly to Ujung Kulon (depending on which island you’re going to).

If you still prefer to go overland, you can continue by taking another bus to Taman Jaya for 4 hours. Taman Jaya is the closest town to the national park. If you don’t manage to get the direct bus to Taman Jaya, alternatively, you can get a bus heading to Sumur (3 hours) and continue the trip by ‘ojek’ (motorcycle taxi). Once you arrive in Taman Jaya, then you can enter the national park either by walking or hire a boat, as there’s no road in Ujung Kulon.
Contact: +62-254-801731
Email: [email protected]


Entrance fee: USD 1 for Indonesians. IDR 150,000 (USD 12) for foreigners on weekdays and IDR 225,000 (USD 18) on weekends. If you’re coming with a group of 10 people, it can be lowered down to IDR 100,000 (USD 8) on weekdays and IDR 150,000 (USD 12) for weekends. Please note that you may have to pay more if you are going to trek, camp, do snorkeling/diving, surfing, fishing, etc. However, there’s not much price difference between locals and foreigners for those activities (ranging from USD 1 – 2).

1-c. Visit an Isolated Tribe Trapped in Time: Baduy Luar

Have you heard of the Baduy tribe that resides in Lebak Regency in Banten?

Yes, the tribe that does not use electricity and any form of modern devices such as phones and even vehicles.

The origin of the names came from the term ‘bedouin’ given by Dutch researchers to liken the tribe with Arabian people who live nomadic lives or outside the city. Ethnically descended from the Sundanese, the Baduys call themselves the ‘Kanekes’ people, and practise animism as their religion.

Photo via leila ella

This tribe guards their culture and traditions so protectively that they have rejected any form of modern influences of the outside world, so yes, no electricity, phones or other electronic devices, no schools, soap, toothpaste… Basically there are no traces that these people are living in the 21st Century.

Photo via vulee panjuleha, sharita miranda, andisoehandi

Although they tend to keep a distance from the external world, travellers can visit the Baduy Luar (which means the ‘Outside Baduy’), observe their way of life, and even stay there. The Baduy Luar are more moderate and commercially-aware than the people of Baduy Dalam (‘Inside Baduy’) who are cultural fundamentalists.

Photo via alettdjudie

Foreigners are not allowed to enter the villages of Baduy Dalam, and only local Indonesian travellers are allowed in. Strictly no photos are allowed in Baduy Dalam villages.

And just don’t forget the most important thing during your visit – respect their culture!

The Baduy Tribe

More info on visiting The Baduy Tribe

Getting There: If you’re driving, this is the coordinate of Ciboleger bus terminal (-6.594065, 106.225027). If you don’t drive, you can take the Commuter Line from Stasiun Tanah Abang to Rangkasbitung (about 2 hours). Once you’re in Rangkasbitung, you can take the minivan (locally called ‘Elf’) to Ciboleger bus terminal for around 2 hours. Just make sure to ask the driver that you intend to visit the Baduy tribe, so you will be dropped off in Ciboleger. You will need to walk on for about 45 minutes to hours, depending on which village you’re heading to.
Price: Most visitors travel there by joining a tour (starts from USD 25 for an Indonesian-speaking tour), which includes at least a one-night stay in a local’s house. But if you decide to go by yourself, the fees charged there are mostly based on donation.

1-d. Learn about the local Chinese culture: Benteng Heritage Museum

Banten was a famous port for many international traders and immigrants in the past. That includes the ethnic Chinese who arrived since the 1400s. They were later known as ‘Cina Benteng’ (Benteng Chinese), referring to the area as ‘Benteng’ (meaning ‘fortress’, that was once present).

The Benteng Chinese has been acculturating and assimilating with the local Sunda-Betawi culture since, though they still keep some of their Chinese roots, such as celebrating major Chinese cultural events like the Chinese New Year.


The Benteng Heritage Museum puts serious effort to preserve those historical memories and cultural artifacts, including traditional utensils and trinkets, etc. The layout of the museum also resembles a typical Chinese home in the past.

You can also visit the nearby Boen Tek Bio Temple, one of the oldest temples in Tangerang, which is only a two-minute walk from the museum!

Museum Benteng Heritage

More info on visiting Museum Benteng Heritage

Address: Jl. Cilame nomor 20, Pasar Lama, Tangerang, Banten 15118 (located close to the local market)
Contact: +6221-55791139 / +6221-44544529
Email : [email protected]
Opening hour: 10.00 – 17.00 (Tuesday to Sunday)
Entrance fee: IDR 20,000 (USD 2) for Indonesians, IDR 50,000 (USD 4) for foreigners


2. The Hidden (and Underrated) Gem of West Java: Sukabumi

A chilly city in the south of West Java, Sukabumi has long been dubbed as ‘the next Puncak’. Sadly, it is not there yet, because of many factors such as the readiness of the infrastructure.

Fortunately, several years ago, the Bogor-Sukabumi railway was reactivated. So you don’t need to fight the traffic, and can simply enjoy the two-hour ride, passing by rice fields, mountains, and local villages along the way!

Sukabumi has more destinations than what you know, such as caving, a Thai-style Buddhist temple facing the legendary Southern Sea, a turtle sanctuary, cool surfing spots, and many more.

2-a. Waterfall-Hopping in Geopark Ciletuh and Surade

If island-hopping feels too ordinary for you, waterfall-hopping may rejuvenate your mind.

Due to its hilly geographical position, Sukabumi is home to a dozen waterfalls. And first of all, you should know that the word ‘curug’ means ‘waterfall’ in Sundanese.

Don’t want to go far? The 54-meter-tall Curug Cibeureum at the foot of Mount Gede is not far from the city. You just need to walk for about an hour from Pondok Halimun (a tea plantation).

Another waterfall that not too far from the city is Curug Sawer, which close to Situ Gunung.

Curug Cibeureum (Photo via handrisanjaya
Curug Sawer (Photo via rizkiifebriann)

If you love the thrill of a greater challenge, you can travel to Surade in Southwest Sukabumi, where you will find the triplet falls Curug Cikaso, which stands at 80 meters tall. You’ll reach it within a 10-minute walk, or you can also hire a boat to get there.

Curug Cikaso (Photo via cahyaanugrah)

And don’t miss the impressive Curug Cigangsa nearby!

Curug Cigangsa (Photo via aditya.putra.21)

Three to four hours from Sukabumi lies an area that’s gaining popularity recently – Ciletuh Geopark, which accommodates at least nine waterfalls, including Curug Awang that resembles a mini Niagara Falls.

Curug Awang (Photo via xaverius endro, reginaistiana)

Don’t miss Tebing Panenjoan, a gorgeous lookout spot before you enter Ciletuh Geopark!

Tebing Panenjoan (Photo via wira.depe)

Ciletuh Geopark and Surade (Curug Cikaso and Curug Cibeureum)

More info on visiting Ciletuh Geopark and Surade

Getting there: Ciletuh Geopark can be reached by car (around 4 hours from the city of Sukabumi), while Surade is around 3 to 3.5 hours.
Curug Cibeureum (-6.829538, 106.974762)
Curug Sawer (-6.837177, 106.926905)
Curug Cikaso (-7.360127, 106.617833)
Curug Cigangsa (-7.311891, 106.543032)
Ciletuh Geopark (-7.183883, 106.460255)

The roads to those destinations are not in good condition, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.

Price: Less than USD 0.5, though you may have to pay the parking fee of USD 1-3.

2-b. Explore the ‘Lost Pyramid’ in Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, Cianjur (2 hours from Sukabumi)

Want to know how it feels to be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft? You need to make a visit to this ancient megalithic temple founded on a 100-meter-tall hill.

Photo via dahlandestian09

Gunung Padang is one of the oldest and largest megalithic sites in Southeast Asia. Some pseudoscience lovers even believe that it could be a pyramid which lies on this hill, buried under the soil, and dates back to 9,000 – 20,000 years ago!

Reaching the top requires a 20-minute hike up a stone path. Visitors will be greeted by a large tree in the middle of the first and largest terrace.

As you move up, the platforms become smaller until you reach the top, a symbolism of the layers of ascending authority in society in the past.

Photo via PaulKijlstra

When you stand on the ancient place of worship surrounded by volcanoes and trees, the mesmerizing serenity you take in will bring about a picture of how life once was in prehistoric times. Muse about the significance of residing in the highest terrace, while gazing at the life and wilderness below.

Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, Karyamukti, Cianjur, West Java

More info on visiting Gunung Padang Megalithic Site

Getting there: From Jakarta: Drive on Jl. Raya Puncak until the end at Cianjur. Turn right at the roundabout. Drive straight past one large intersection. Turn left into Jl. Gunung Padang (there will be a small sign and an arch that says Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, it is not very visible so slow down). Follow the main road until you are reaching a train station, and make a sharp left turn. The destination will be at the end of that road. Coordinates here
Opening Hours: 6:00 – 18:00
Entrance Fee: 6000 IDR (0.43 USD)

2-c. Glamp and water raft at Bravo Adventure

Are you looking for some outback experience, but can’t bear to leave your comfy bed? Want to enjoy being in the midst of lush greenery, but don’t want to trek into the depths of the forest?

Conclusion – camping is not for you. Glamping (which stands for ‘glamorous camping’ ) is.

Photo via bravoadventure

And Bravo Adventure can be a perfect place for you! Here, the elements of nature are blended into luxurious camping facilities.


As it is in Citarik, which is famous for white-water rafting, you can enjoy the activity with your family and friends! The river is among the best in Indonesia to experience rafting on!

Photo via intanthl

Does this sound comfortably adventurous enough for you?

Bravo Adventure

More info on Bravo Adventure

Campsite Address: Kp. Bantarselang, Kecamatan Cikidang, Sungai Citarik, Sukabumi
Office Address: Wisma 31 – 3rd Floor Jl. Kemang Raya No. 31, Jakarta Selatan 12730
Email : [email protected]
Facebook page
Contact: +6221-7182250, +62812-80208020
Price: starting from IDR 650,000 (USD 50) per night

Check rate on Agoda Check rate on

2-d. Sit by Your Own Little Lake in the Middle of the Woods: Situ Gunung, Sukabumi

How many times have we felt our hearts quieten when we spend time by a lake in the middle of the woods?

Situated at the foot of Mount Gede (the other side of Puncak, Bogor) lies a hidden gem many city dwellers tend to forget.

Photo via harysubastian

Only four hours away from both Jakarta and Bandung, Situ Gunung is located in the extremely vast Gede-Pangrango National Park. With several hundred meters in width, canoeing across would require some effort.

The sheer size of the premises, coupled with little interest from locals, makes exploring the jungle treks feel like you are the only people there. You don’t even need to go during a weekday just to avoid the crowd.

Photo via harysubastian

If you can’t bear to leave, you can even rent one of the several villas in the area.

For a more intimate experience with nature, you can set up a tent in the open campground provided. Just make sure to inform the guards for safety reasons.

Situ Gunung, Sukabumi

More info on visiting Situ Gunung, Sukabumi

Location: Desa Sukamanis, kecamatan Kadudampit, Kabupaten Sukabumi 43153
Getting There: From Jakarta, head onto Tol Jagorawi and exit Towards Sukabumi.When you reach Cisaat, head left and follow the roads towards Situ Gunung.
Entrance Fee: 18,500 IDR (1.4 USD)

3. Explore caves, mountains and green terraces in Cirebon

Bluntly speaking, Cirebon is probably the least popular among other destinations on our list, as tourism is not as big here as compared to Bali or Yogyakarta.

But hey, this underdog has some big surprises for us!

A coastal city located north of Java, Cirebon is right next to the border of West and Central Java. The location has historically attracted Javanese, Sundanese, Arabic, Chinese, and other ethnic groups, and they soon settled down in Cirebon after. The origins of the word “Cirebon” may mean ‘mixed’ due to its role as a cultural melting pot.

If you’re traveling from Jakarta, the city can be reached by public transport (train or bus) or you can drive eastward, which may take around 4 hours (220 km).

But it will all be worth it – keep your eyes peeled for interesting discoveries along the way!

3-a. Wander into the Flintstone ‘cave’: Sunyaragi Cave

Do you think this cave is natural?

It may look so natural, but unfortunately we need to disappoint you – this had been built more than 300 years ago (though was rebuilt and repaired multiple times)!

Photo via vjbubu

Sunyaragi Cave is actually not a real cave, but it is said so as it has many dark spots that resemble caves.

Some said it was initially built as a water palace for the Sultans of Cirebon while the surrounding area was a lake before got drained, while others said it was meant to be a relaxation and meditation spot for the royal families since the word ‘sunyaragi’ means ‘the quiet body’ in Sanskrit.

Photo via alinda utami, d luqmaners, angelaacecilia

While exploring the Flintstone-like complex, you would notice that the ornaments decorating this impressive site are derived from a mix of various influences – local culture, Hindu, Islam, Chinese, and even European.

Pay attention to the sculptures, gazebo, ceramics, ladders, windows, and you would see different cultures infused in this historical place!

Sunyaragi Cave (Goa Sunyaragi)

More info on visiting Sunyaragi Cave

Address: Jl. Brigjen AR Dharsono, Cirebon, West Java (check this coordinate on Google Maps: -6.735979, 108.543348)
Opening hour: 08.00 – 17.30
Entrance Fee: IDR 10,000 (USD 1)

3-b. Conquer The Highest Peak in West Java – Mount Ceremai National Park

Mount Ceremai in the southwest of Cirebon is home to the highest point in West Java, at 3,078 meters high. That reputation should give sufficient reason why

getting to its peak could be your coolest story to share with your colleagues while returning to your routine on Monday!

Photo via felanifirman

Prepare for a 12-hour return journey (and bring enough water as there are no water sources up there), during which most people would spend one night to camp and do the ‘summit attack’ while trying to catch the sunrise.

Once you arrive at the summit, you can enjoy the view from the top as well as the scenery of other peaks in Java, such as Mount Cikuray and Mount Slamet.
Photo via

And it’s not just the highest point, but also the crater rim of Mount Ceremei!

Some light information: Did you know, the name ‘Mount Ceremei’ is colloquially known as ‘Ciremai’ or ‘Ciremay’? And some syllables pronounced in Sundanese often become a joke for Indonesians (not an offensive one, but just as a light gag between friends). For example, many people assume Sundanese can’t pronounce ‘f’ as ‘ef’ correctly, they pronounce it as ‘eph’ with closed lips. Hey, who said so? That’s clearly ‘dephamation’!

Mount Ceremei National Park (Gunung Ceremei)

More info on visiting Mount Ceremei National Park

Address: Balai Taman Nasional Gunung Ciremai, Jl. Raya Kuningan-Cirebon Km 9 No 1 Manislor Jalaksana, Kuningan – West Java 45554, or check this coordinate (-6.902200, 108.490363).
Getting there: There are at least three trails you can take to reach the summit – Apuy, Linggarjati, or Palutungan. This site gives detailed information about each track.
Contact: +62232-613152
Email: [email protected]
Entrance fee: IDR 50,000 (USD 4) per person for the SIMAKSI (a permit for national park entrance)


3-c. Magnificent Green Terraces Tucked Away: Argapura, Majalengka

Looking at these beautiful terraces, you would think they are in Tegalalang (Ubud) or Jatiluwih in Bali?

Photo via alvingunturs

No, you don’t have to travel that far from Jakarta. You can see it this beautiful sight in Argapura (Majalengka), which you will pass by before reaching Cirebon when travelling from Jakarta, after you have driven for around 3 to 4 hours.

Relatively hidden, Argapura holds the best seat to its greenery on the top of Sunda British Hill. This stunning location promises clear blue sky, white fluffy clouds, the silhouette of hills in the distance, and a crisp cool breeze.

Photo via Felgra Photography

If nature is the best medicine, Argapura would surely be the best therapy that everyone will appreciate.

Argapura, Majalengka

More info on visiting Argapura, Majalengka

Getting there: Check this coordinates on Google Maps. We suggest to use small car or motorcycle to get there due to small road size.

4. Discover the remote island of Krakatau

We bring you the legendary volcano with a lot of spelling alternatives – Cracatoa, Krakatoa, Krakatau, …. Cockatoo (just kidding!).

Let’s just stick with ‘Krakatau’ here, as has been written in official records.

Krakatau is a volcanic island located west of Java and south of Sumatra. It’s actually pretty remote! Adventurers out there – are you tempted yet?

Back in 1883, its eruption was the loudest ever in modern human history. The sound could even be heard from Perth (Western Australia) and some other parts of the world nearly 5,000 km away!

Here are three essential things you must experience in Krakatau:

4-a. Sail and Admire the Mighty Volcano of Anak Krakatau!

Although the mountain is no longer there due to the enormous eruption, a new island has been formed from the previous caldera – Anak Krakatau, where volcanic activity can also be detected. That’s where you will be heading towards!

Photo via wansatriaandanu

You can sail your own private yacht from Banten, or rent a traditional boat called ‘jukung’ from Sebesi Island (the closest inhabited island from Krakatau). And as you glide along the sea, savour the moment as you gradually approach the smoking mountain in the middle of the sea. The moment of adventure!

Photo via jemmynababan

Prepare a IDR 1,000 note – no, not to pay for an entrance fee, but check the picture on it. Do you notice what’s on the note?

Yes, it’s Krakatau!

4-b. Hike up Mount Anak Krakatau (and say hi to huge monitor lizards!)

What’s better than seeing and admiring the tremendous volcano?

Of course to set foot on it!

You can go for an easy 30-minute hike, and if you’re lucky, you may encounter some wandering monitor lizards. They can be on the beach or on the way up the volcano. (We are preparing you mentally in advance, so you won’t scream when you find one staring at you.) But don’t worry, they are harmless 🙂

Photo via wayfarer tales, jacquelinecheng

When you reach the shoulder of the volcano, you can see the islands surrounding the volcano – a breathtaking sight! Even better if you are there at sunrise or sunset. If you are following a tour, you can discuss the timing you want to reach with your tour organizer or the captain of your boat.

Photo via sasamihardja

Note: You would not be able to reach the summit due to safety reasons.

4-c. Explore the underwater secrets of Krakatau

Krakatau may not boast of unique and exotic diving spots you can find in other parts of Indonesia, but it still has a rich underwater kingdom for you to uncover. Although you may not dive here, if you have not snorkeled before, this is a good place to start.

Photo via wunderbarschatzi, simonuska27

One of the most popular spots is Lagoon Cabe, located in the south of Anak Krakatau.

You can appreciate the wonderful corals and colorful fish swimming around you, including these clownfish guarding their anemone house!


More info on visiting Krakatau

Getting there: The easiest and most convenient way to get there is by joining a tour (usually it starts from Friday night or Saturday morning). The departing point of the boat can be either from Banten or Lampung.

If you plan to do it without a tour, prepare to do put in a lot of effort to get there. We suggest going there with friends (5 in a group would be ideal), which will reduce the cost per person.

You may reach Krakatau via Dermaga Canti in Kalianda, Lampung Regency. You should go on Friday night, catch the train or bus (or drive) to Merak Port, and cross the Sunda Strait to Bakauheni Port. Don’t worry about the time, as it operates 24 hours. From Bakauheni Port, you can drive, take or charter a local minivan called ‘angkot’ to Dermaga Canti, which is a small dock connecting Lampung and Sebesi Island – the closest island to Krakatau. The drive is around 1-2 hours from the port.

Come as early as possible, just in case the departing schedule has changed (the last time we went there, it departed at 1 PM). Once you arrive in Sebesi, you can ask the locals for details on renting a boat to Krakatau. Alternatively, you can hire a boat at Dermaga Canti to Sebesi Island and Krakatau. Please note that if you’re driving, you should leave your car at Dermaga Canti.


– Anak Krakatau: -6.101408, 105.422969
– Lagoon Cabe: -6.146736, 105.462766
– Sebesi Island (the closest inhabited island to Krakatau): -5.939838, 105.488409
– Dermaga Canti: -5.800075, 105.584163

Price: Many tour operators offer different packages. It starts from around USD 50 per person for an Indonesian-speaking tour, while an English-speaking tour can be more expensive.

Tour Recommendations

Indonesian-speaking tour:
English speaking tour:

Note: For travelers who are not following a tour, you will need to get a letter or permit to enter the national park called ‘SIMAKSI’ (you don’t need it if you’re on a tour). The office that releases this letter is located in Lampung City, which is a bit far from Jakarta. However, the local people in Sebesi Island may help you to arrange this, and be prepared to negotiate. Price is usually included with the boat rental, starting from USD 70 per boat for a 1-day trip.

5. Get in touch with nature and traditions: Bogor

Buitenzorg’ was the original name of this satellite city from Jakarta. According to several sources, this means ‘worry-free’ in Dutch – an excellent reason for residents in busy Jakarta to escape from the city.

Its proximity to Jakarta (if you don’t drive, you can take the train or bus), friendlier weather, and unique places to dine in may become the main reasons why Jakartans really love to visit Bogor.

And Puncak would be the top spot in most Jakartans’ minds if they are asked about their favourite place in Bogor. A beautiful and chilly area with green tea plantation, it’s simply a perfect family destination!

But that’s not all to Bogor! Let us share more with you:

5-a. Visit the Oldest Botanical Garden in Southeast Asia – Bogor Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Bogor)

Bogor is also known as ‘Rain City’ since it’s raining almost every day – and this is one advantage of building the botanical garden here.

Bogor Botanical Garden is undisputedly the most prominent botanical garden in Indonesia and the oldest in Southeast Asia, built in 1817 when Indonesia was still called ‘East Indies’. This 87-hectare garden hosts around 14,000 specimens of trees.

Photo via yoyogiyo, hutabarat prime

One unique bloom is the Titan Arum, which is the largest unbranched flowering species. It can reach 2 meters tall, and if you’re near, you’ll catch a whiff of its rotten smell. The locals call it ‘Bunga Bangkai’, which literally means ‘the carcass flower’.

Photo via mbilung, adihendunant, ltns999

Bogor Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Bogor)

More info on Bogor Botanical Garden

Address: Jl. Ir. Haji Djuanda No.13, Paledang, Bogor, West Java 16122
Getting there:  if you don’t drive, it can be easily reached via the commuter train. Stop at Bogor station.
Opening hour: Daily, 07.30 – 17.00
Entrance Fee: IDR 25,000 (USD 2) for Indonesians, IDR 35,000 for foreigners (USD 3)


5-b. Experience exotic traditional festivals: Seren Taun and Cap Go Meh Festivals

Tired of just sightseeing? Want to experience the culture of Bogor and its traditions?

Don’t miss their harvest festival and unique Indo Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations!

Photo via Thejakartapost, Pathfestival

Their rice harvest festival is known as the Seren Taun Festival, celebrated by the Sundanese (people of West Java) as a symbol of gratitude toward God for the current harvest, as well as a request for His blessing for the upcoming season.

One place where you can experience this unique festival is at Kampung Budaya Sindangbarang House, a traditional Sundanese village. Check out our story on Bogor to get a better idea of the village.

Photo via Thejakartapost, Pathfestival

Also, like many cities in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, Bogor has been influenced by Chinese culture, which has inspired a wider celebration of the Cap Go Meh festival in the city (essentially the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year).

However, the parade doesn’t only show the Chinese culture (think lion-dragon dance, lampions, etc) or its acculturation with the Sundanese, but involves other local cultures too.

Photo via cayusup, herrymarsphoto, cgmbogor fest

Catch the parade along the main street of Bogor, with around 10,000 performers! What a celebration of Indonesia’s diversity.

Seren Taun at Kampung Budaya Sindangbarang House

More info on Seren Taun

Address: Jl. Endang Sumawijaya RT02 RW08, Sindang Barang, Dukuh Menteng, Desa Pasir Eurih, Kecamatan Tamansari, Jawa Barat
Contact: +6287770302144, +6281311150014, +6285697589324
Price: From IDR 400,000 (USD 35) per person. Please check the website for updated prices and time of the upcoming festival.


Cap Go Meh Festival

More info on Cap Go Meh Festival

Address: The festival usually starts at Hok Tek Bio Temple, while the main event is held at Jalan Suryakencana in Bogor
Time: 15th day of Chinese New Year

5-c. The perfect hike in West Java: Mount Gede-Pangrango National Park

Mount Gede-Pangrango is a National Park whose area crosses three cities: Bogor, Sukabumi, and Cianjur. So you can imagine vast forest that you will be exploring during the hike.

Photo via sailmuarif

Mount Pangrango (3,019 meters) is the second highest mountain in West Java, while Mount Gede is 2,958-meters high. Although the hike can be rather challenging, you’ll be able to do it as long as you’re physically fit enough to walk for hours.

Photo via backpackertampan, binawagana

Two days and one night would be the ideal duration you should set aside for the hike. You can camp overnight on Saturday evening, catch the sunrise, hike up to the peak, and return to Jakarta in the afternoon.

Photo via sutrisnositorus

Does it sound like the perfect plan to unwind in the midst of lush nature over the weekend?

Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park

More info on visiting Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park

Address: There are three official hiking trails – Cibodas, Gunung Putri, and Sukabumi. The first two are closest to Bogor. More information here (in Bahasa Indonesia). We personally think the easiest starting point to reach is Cibodas, and it’s located along the way to Cibodas Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Cibodas) on Jl. Raya Cibodas, Cipanas, Cianjur, Jawa Barat 43253, Indonesia
Contact: +62263-519415, +62263-512776 ext 101
Email: [email protected]
Entrance fee: USD 3 for Indonesians, USD 12 for foreigners (it’s mandatory for foreigners to hire a guide and report at the Mount Gede-Pangrango National Park office)



Note: You should plan your hike by making a booking at least 2 days prior to your arrival, on the website mentioned above. We suggest to book as early as possible, since there’s a limit on the number of people allowed to hike. You also need to get a letter called ‘SIMAKSI’ (a permit for national park entrance), which is also explained in the link above.

6. Exotic island getaway closest to Jakarta: Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu)

Tired of Bali? Looking for a different exotic island getaway in Indonesia?

You must not miss the famed Thousand Islands.

The name ‘Thousand Islands’ refers to the chain of islands around the region, while the word ‘Seribu’ literally means ‘a thousand’ in Bahasa Indonesia. The area is also known as a marine national park, you know exactly what it implies – many snorkeling and diving spots to explore!

Photo via acylagony, alvi kgs

With the growing popularity of Thousand Islands, you have a wide range of accommodation options as well, from exclusive private islands to humble villas managed by the locals – so choose one that your wallet is comfortable with!

6-a. Stay in a water villa at Pulau Ayer Resort

Located less than 30 minutes from Marina Ancol in Jakarta, Pulau Ayer is known as an exclusive but relatively affordable island.

In the past, it used to be a retreat destination for the former kings of the Thousand Islands, as well as the first President of the Republic of Indonesia. So you can imagine – your holiday is fit for a king!

Pulau Ayer is equipped with more than 40 cottages, which include bungalows on land and overwater villas! From your floating cottages, you can enjoy the glorious view and harmonious sound  of the sea.

Photo via adhenila, erika destyarini

If you’re tired and are lazy to explore the underwater in the open sea, the resort has much more to offer – you can take a dip in their pool, canoe, let your kids run around in the playground, and even arrange to do some watersports!

Simply put, an idyllic and nearby getaway from busy Jakarta!

Pulau Ayer Resort
More info on visiting Pulau Ayer Resort

Office Location: Jl. K.H. Samanhudi No. 47-49 (Classic Building) Krekot, Jakarta 10710
Island coordinate: -6.003826, 106.781347
Contact: +6221-3852004
Email: [email protected]
Rate: start from USD 60 for 2 persons (weekday), excluding the boat price

Check Rate on Agoda

6-b. Time-Travel and marvel at the Colonial Ruins

Did you know that besides underwater activities and watersports, there are intriguing historical sites on some islands that are worth visiting too?

Kelor Island, Cipir Island, and Onrust Island are among the best to do historical sightseeing. On these islands, you can see the remains of Dutch colonial buildings, such as the fort-tower, colonial houses, cemeteries, barracks and old hospitals.

Photo via santo kakui, photolucu, deboralizabeth

These pictures show the iconic Martello Tower in Kelor, the ex-quarantine house and hospital in Cipir, and some ruins in Onrust.

6-c. Jump from the Iconic Bridge on Tidung Island

Tidung Island is one of the most popular islands in Thousand Islands. Located close to some snorkeling spots, the island has many accommodation options, watersport facilities, and an iconic bridge.

The 800-meter-long bridge connects two islands situated next to each other, Tidung Besar (which means ‘Big Tidung’) and Tidung Kecil (which unpredictably means ‘Small Tidung’ ).

And how can you have fun here?

Jump from the 8-meter high bridge into the beautiful waters below!

Photo via yhpratamaaa, eriwijaya, febryrama

The bridge has a rather cheesy name – ‘Love Bridge’ (Jembatan Cinta). And you don’t need to be a psychic to guess the myth that follows after the name – it is said that you would find your true love once you jump from the bridge!

Perhaps that would give you more motivation!

Thousand Island

More info on visiting Thousand Island

Getting there: You can choose from two routes from Jakarta to Thousand Islands. You can either take a speedboat from Marina Ancol  (1 hour) or take the regular boat from Muara Angke (which may take around 3 hours). When you buy your ticket, you need to choose which island you’re going to (do some research first before you make a choice). Most of the boats depart in the morning, so you should be there at 6 or 7 AM. Once you arrive on the island, you can hire a boat to explore some snorkeling spots.

You always have the easiest option (often the most cost-effective one if you’re travelling alone) which is to join a tour.

(Boat) Price: Starts from around USD 4 for a regular boat from Muara Angke, USD 7 for speedboat to the closest island (weekday) from Marina Ancol. Price depends on which island you’re going to.

The price for renting a boat for island-hopping or snorkeling varies and relies on your negotiation skill, the period of renting time, and the kind of boat you choose (modern or traditional).

7. Jakartans’ Favorite Chilly Escape: Bandung

The land of Pasundan was created when God is smiling,” said M.A.W Brouwer, a Dutch who spent most of his life in Indonesia.

Pasundan is the old name of West Java, whose capital city is Bandung. That saying is still relevant now, as we still love to travel to Bandung and the beautiful natural attractions around it.

With so many activities you can get up to in Bandung, what can you do if you’re just there over the weekend? We give our best recommendations.

7-a. A House on the top of a Waterfall at Situ Patenggang

Just 10 minutes away from the well-known ‘Kawah Putih’ lies a lake that you would definitely regret to miss.

Legend claims that Prince Putra Prabu of 15th Century West Java and Putri Titisan Dewi met in a heart-shaped island in the middle of Situ Patenggang, after being separated for years due to the difference in their beliefs.

Photo via grandhysetyo

The surrounding view is purely breathtaking – tea plantations circle the area, so it looks as though someone had spread a green wool rug across the landscape.

There’s even a house right on top of a natural waterfall!

Photo via Alchroniclez

Situ Patenggang

More info on visiting Situ Patenggang

Address: Patengan, Rancabali, Bandung 40973 (10 minutes from the well known Kawah Putih crater)
Entrance: 15,000 IDR for domestic visitors, USD 4 for foreign tourists

7-b. Lay Eyes on the Magnificent Javanese Niagara: Curug Malela

Standing at 70 meters tall and 50 meters wide, Curug Malela can be considered as Bandung’s largest waterfall.

Photo via adhip4

Either because of the distance (it’s about a three-hour drive from the city), or the rough terrain (much needs to be conquered to get there!), Curug Malela is the kind of place that people talk about but have never really gotten the chance to see it for themselves.

So if you get there – congrats – achievement unlocked!

Curug Malela

More info on visiting Curug Malela

Address: Kampung Manglid, Desa Cicadas, Kecamatan Rongga, West Bandung Regency, West Java. Coordinates here
Entrance:Rp. 5,000 (approximately USD $0.34)

7-c. A Divine Experience in Nature’s Hidden Paradise – Sanghyang Heuleut, Cipatat

Tucked away in West Bandung in a remote area of Cipatat, Sanghyang Heuleut is a small pond surrounded by large white cliffs, lush jungle and a small waterfall as the water source.

Photo via rijaljauhari

It flows to the stream of Citarum river which is also part of a hydropower plant.

Through geographic evaluation, Sanghyang Heuleut is deemed as a prehistoric pond that has existed through time.

Legend also has it that its secluded location was meant for the strategic bathing place for goddesses.

Photo via dindinbrave

It’s no wonder that the place was deemed “sanghyang” which means “holy” while “heuleut” means “the space between 2 worlds”, referring to the way this holy place is reserved for divine beings.

Sanghyang Heuleut, Cipatat

More info on visiting Sanghyang Heuleut, Cipatat

Getting there: The best route is to use the Saguling Hydro Power Plant (PLTA Saguling) as the main reference point, as the pond is just 5 km away from it. The central giant pipe of the power plant is a good landmark to start from, and you can walk towards the forest against the stream for about 1 km. You’ll pass the Sanghyang Poek cave, which means you’re now just 2 km away from Sanghyang Heuleut and Sanghyang Poek. Coordinates here
Currently there’s no entrance fee, but you’ll have to pay a parking fee (prior to the walk in) of around Rp 8.000 or USD 0.5.

7-d. The Mystical lake above the Clouds: Kawah Putih

This Crater Lake, formed after Mount Patuha blew its top, has been considered a mystical one – birds that flew near the area would die, which made people reluctant to find out what was really up there, until the 19th century, when a German botanist discovered a beautiful crater lake.

Photo via rudicahyonoputro

Its crystal blue water changes with the weather conditions and is lined with fine white sand, giving visitors an otherworldly experience. Even the vegetation around the area appears different compared to those below.

Although situated at the top of a mountain, essential facilities such as toilets and parking space are available, along with small eateries.

Kawah Putih

More info on visiting Kawah Putih

Address: Jl. Raya Soreang, Ciwidey, Bandung, Jawa Barat
Coordinates:  -7.165833, 107.401944
Getting there: the easiest and most convenient way to get there is by driving, which takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

However, if you are feeling adventurous and want to get an authentic experience travelling budget with the locals, you can take the public transport. You can take the minibus from Leuwi Panjang terminal to Ciwidey terminal. Once you arrive at Ciwidey terminal, get into a minivan (usually yellow in color) and tell them to stop at the entrance gate of Kawah Putih. Then, you can take the vehicle provided by the management from there.

Be prepared for more than a 4-hour trip. Set your expectations lower as you won’t get a seat that’s convenient for you.

Entrance: Rp. 20,000 (Approximately USD $1.37) for locals and Rp. 50,000 (Approximately USD $3.43) for foreigners
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7am – 5pm

Have you decided which would would be your best ideal weekend destination? If you can’t decide, why not take one trip every weekend – you’ll have seven fulfilling weekends ahead!

If you know of any other destinations in Indonesia that can be a perfect weekend holiday from Jakarta, let us know in the comment sections below!

PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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