Mount Papandayan Trekking


A visit to Mt. Papandayan is one of the most spectacular outings to an active volcano you can make. Golden sulphur crystals, hissing steam, boiling mud and water, blue and black creeks, all set in a large crater with a commanding view over the Garut Plain make this outing an unforget- table experience.

You can easily combine a visit to Mt. Papandayan with a weekend in or near Garut. Also, you can make it a one-day outing from Bandung, in which case you need a good seven to eight hours for the round trip. From Cipanas, expect a round trip to the Mt. Papandayan crater to take three to four hours.

MOUNT PAPANDAYAN NATIONAL PARK : Mount Papandayan is a complex stratovolcano, located in West Java, Indonesia. At the summit, there are four large craters, and it contains active fumarole fields. The 1772 eruption has truncated the volcano into a broad shape with two peaks and a flat 1.1 km wide of Alun-Alun crater in the middle. It looks like a twin volcano. One of the peaks is called Papandayan and the other is Mount Puntang.

This interesting place lies in the border of the Bandung and Garut regencies, about seventy kilometers south of Bandung and about 19,25 km from Garut. It is one if the most spectacular volcanoes in this province and the top of the mountain are easily reaches, because there are special road leading to the crater. Mount Papandayans crater is probably one of the most spectacular mountain scenes on Java Island. There is a Cangkuang temple situated by Cangkuang Lake, which was a major discovery of archaeological value as it was the first of its kind found in West Java, dating back to the 8th century. This volcano is situated 17 km from Garut or 50 km from Bandung.

Access to the mountain is easy with any vehicle. Public buses take you only to within 9 km of the crater, so you either have to walk the rest of the way or take an ojek (private motorbike with driver).

Though you can drive directly to the rim of the crater, keep in mind that your safety is not guaranteed—hot steam and boiling water and mud can scald you badly, and many of the sharp-edged rocks are rather loose. Do be careful.

There are two routes to Mt. Papandayan: one from the Garut area in the east and the other from the west via Pengalengan. Note that the two routes do not connect—not even a jeep can drive the 1 km across the crater.

From the east
The eastern approach from Garut is by far the easiest. Good roads take you right to the lower edge of the crater. Between Cipanas and Garut is the Tarogong roundabout, 42 km from the Cileunyi toll road exit. When you come from the north (Bandung or Cipanas), head toward Garut and Papandayan at the Tarogong roundabout. Half a kilometer past the roundabout, turn off to the right to bypass Garut and follow the Papandayan road sign. Continue on past the turnoffs to Kamojang (7km) and Darajat (9 km). Some 15 km from Tarogong the road connects with the main Garut-Cikajang road. After another 7 km, in Cisurupan, where the main road takes a sharp turn to the left, you go straight up the hill. From here it's 9 km to the crater.

The road winds up the mountain, at times steeply, but is reasonably well surfaced and should not pose a prob- lem for any car. At the car park, park- ing and admission fees are required.

Approaching Mt. Papandayan across the Garut Plain, you can see the horseshoe-shaped crater with a gap- ing hole to the northeast. This open side resulted when, on 11 August 1772, a terrible eruption shook the mountain and the whole Garut area. What had once been a solid mountain flank exploded sideways across the Garut Plain.

Geologists estimate that several cubic kilometers, or several thousand million tons, of rock mass were blown out that night. If trucks were loaded with that mass and lined up bumper-to-bumper, they would encircle the earth three dozen times! Small wonder that more than 3,000 people lost their lives during that eruption.

From the car park it's a 20-minute walk to the middle of the crater, and now you see why it is sometimes called the "Golden Crater's—its cen- tral part is a dome of yellow sulphur. Sulphur vapor hisses out of many small fissures in the dome to form columns visible from far away.

Shining yellow crystals of crystallized steam are everywhere, and in one place have collected to form a statue-like figure more than 2-meters high. In earlier times local people channeled the steam through pipes to control this crystallization process to be used for commercial purposes. Be extremely careful not to step on one of these old brittle pipes, for it is likely to break and release scalding steam.

You may wish to take a few sam- ples of sulphur with you as souvenirs, but it would be best to wrap them first—sulphuric acid may form and burn holes in fabrics. Apart from sulphur deposits, boiling springs and streams flow in dark blue and gray colors. Be sure to avoid the soft patch- es of ground.

Through the open northwestern side of the crater a fantastic view stretches before you across the whole Garut Plain and as far as Mt. Ciremai near Cirebon, 80 km away The Mt. Papandayan crater is truly a visual feast. To the Mt.

From the west
The western route takes you to the upper crater rim through some mem- orable scenery. Be forewarned, how- ever, that long sections of the road are often in poor repair and only passable with a jeep. Public transportation is unreliable. You can drive up either the Cisangkuy Valley or the Citarum Valley to the village of Santosa and then on to Mt. Papandayan (see the relevant sections in "South of Ban- dung"). From Bandung you may need about four hours to reach the crater on this

Duration: 04 DAYS / 03 NIGHTS
Start / Finish: JAKARTA
Grade: Easy - Moderate

Upon arrival at Jakarta Airport, you will have drive to Garut at the southern of Badung.This land journey will takes 7 - 8 hours drive in normaly traffic road condition. Stay Overnight at hotel in Garut. (D)

Transfer to Papandayan entry gate, then you will have to start trekking up the Mt. Papandayan pass through the active rim Crater, and Hot spring to reach Pondok Salada. It will takes 4 - 5 hours trek from the parking area. You will have stay overnight in tents at Pondok Salada base camp for aclimatization. (B, L, D).

Early morning proceed to the summit of Mount Papandayan (2,640 M) for about 2 - 3 hours walk. After you take picture then you will have descend down to base camp for have breakfast. At the approtiate time, you will transfered to Bandung for another sightseeing on the Paris Van Java. Traditional performance of sundanesse people will be present during stay in Bandung.(B, L, D)

On today , you will have drive back to Jakarta. Enroute stop at Indonesia Safari Park, a free range zoo on the mountain slopes. Overnight at a hotel in Jakarta Or transfer to the airport for flight to your next destination. (B, L)