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Jakarta Post

Mount Papandayan: The mountain for beginners

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Sat, June 1, 2013   /  05:03 pm
Mount Papandayan: The mountain for beginners

Panoramic: The view atop Mount Papandayan, with its sulfur crater in the background.

At only 2,665 meters above sea level, Mount Papapandayan is known among hikers as '€œthe mountain for beginners'€.  

Yet there are very few mountains in Indonesia that are like Mt. Papandayan, cramming as it does into its breathtaking view a beautiful edelweiss meadow, a dead forest and a steaming sulfur crater.

In reality, the experience of climbing the stratovolcano complex located in Garut, West Java, frequently surpasses the expectations of almost all hikers '€” even those who, at first, might underestimate the still active volcano and take the ascent there lightly.

Hikers can see and play in the warm water flowing in Mt. Papandayan'€™s small sulfur river during their climb to the top.

How to get there: From Jakarta, hikers can take a bus from Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in East Jakarta or Lebak Bulus bus terminal in South Jakarta, straight to Garut, West Java, which departs every 30 minutes. The fare is Rp 35,000 (US$3.60).

From Garut bus station, take an angkot (public minivan) en route to Cikajang for Rp 8,000 '€” just say
Mt. Papandayan and the angkot drivers will know where to drop you. You'€™ll arrive at a three-section road with a mosque nearby. From there to the starting point for hiking, climb aboard a pick-up that will cost Rp 10,000 per person, depending on the number of passengers.  

Hard effort: A hiker pushes forward during her early climb at Mt. Papandayan.Hard effort: A hiker pushes forward during her early climb at Mt. Papandayan.

Flowers all around: The view at Tegal Alun, around 200 meters below the summit of Mt. Papandayan. Famous for the breathtaking view of its edelweiss meadow, the place is frequently used as a camp site for hikers looking to rest before performing the last assault on the summit.Flowers all around: The view at Tegal Alun, around 200 meters below the summit of Mt. Papandayan. Famous for the breathtaking view of its edelweiss meadow, the place is frequently used as a camp site for hikers looking to rest before performing the last assault on the summit.

Dry as a bone: Most hikers ascending Mt. Papandayan look to savor the exotic view of Hutan Mati (the dead forest). The forest'€™s vegetation has been scorched away by the lava flow from a past eruption.Dry as a bone: Most hikers ascending Mt. Papandayan look to savor the exotic view of Hutan Mati (the dead forest). The forest'€™s vegetation has been scorched away by the lava flow from a past eruption.

Cooling off: Hikers take a break during their ascent.Cooling off: Hikers take a break during their ascent.

Crater: A 20-minute walk off the normal climbing track of Mt. Papandayan takes one to its beautiful sulfur crater.Crater: A 20-minute walk off the normal climbing track of Mt. Papandayan takes one to its beautiful sulfur crater.

'€” Text and photos by JP/Putera Satria Sambijantoro

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