> Several volcano-climbing tours across Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi in  Indonesia during all seasons <

  

 

Ever heard of the 'Ring of Fire'?  Stretching from Indonesia in south to the Kurils and Kamchatka in north, the Ring of Fire belt is where the Indian Ocean and western Pacific crustal plates collide with the massive Eurasian plate to form a massive chain of volcanic mountains.

 

Indonesia lies on a significant part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire". Being a land of fire, destruction and rebirth, Indonesia has massive volcanic activity. Therefore it is arguable also the best place in world for volcano trekking. It has 129 active volcanoes - more than any other country - and most are accessible and safe for trekking, when not erupting. All over seems to be steaming gunung api, fire mountains, dominating the landscape from Sumatra in West to Papua in East. 

 

We have been “hunting” volcanoes across the Indonesia archipelago for several years and on numerous trips. On Java Island, for example, Gunung Merapi at 2.930m height is the most active volcano in Indonesia. When not erupting it can be carefully climbed in about 8-10 hours with spectacular views to nearby volcanic summits and fertile highlands. On neighboring Bali, the Gunung Agung volcano standing at 3.142m can be climbed during 10-12 hours. The view from the summit reveals views over Bali, East-Java, Lombok and Gunung Rinjani on Lombok as well as more islands in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago. On Lombok Island, Gunung Rinjani offers phenomenal trekking. The base camp offers a surreal view towards the 3.726m summit. Inside the enormous crater is situated a lake, and in the center of that lake is another miniature volcano: A volcano inside the volcano. Rinjani is perhaps the most beautiful trek in Indonesia and all of SE Asia. On Sulawesi Island, Gunung Lokon and Gunung Mahawu are active volcanoes located in the Minahasa highlands. The former has an almost perfect cone and offers beautiful views towards Bunaken Island, Manado Tua Island and the tip of Sulawesi. In Central Sulawesi, in the heart of Tana Toraja, an extremely exotic and culturally rich region, we trekked from village to village in the highlands on old volcanoes.

For another climb in South East Asia, check our ascent of Mount Kinabalu on the island of Borneo.

 

 

Selected pics :

INDONESIAN VOLCANOES

Volcano "hunting" along the Ring of Fire

Ring-of-Fire Volcanoes climbed
Ring-of-Fire Volcanoes climbed
Borobudur Temple....
Borobudur Temple....

... in the volcanic highland of Central Java in Indonesia

View of Merapi & the lush Kedu plain
View of Merapi & the lush Kedu plain

One of our favourite treks is in Central Java, home to some of the greatest Buddhist relics of SE Asia: Borobudur. Near he upper terraces of this temple complex sits Gunung Merapi (2911m), one of Indonesias most active and destructive volcanoes

View of "Fire Mountain"s summit
View of "Fire Mountain"s summit

Meaning Fire Mountain, Merapi's towering peak can be seen from many parts of Central Java on a clear day. Merapi has erupted numerous times. Our climb starts in from the small village of Selo.

Early start on Merapi
Early start on Merapi

Typically, a 1.30 am start is nesseacy to reach the summit for dawn. It can only be attempted if Merai is quiet, but even then extreme caution is advised.

Climbing Merapi
Climbing Merapi

It is a tough, demanding walk mostly through loose volcanic scree. But we loved the entire walk and the beauty of the volcano.

Sunrise on Merapi
Sunrise on Merapi

View over the Sungai Boyong valley and Central Java.

Near the summit of Merapi (2911m)
Near the summit of Merapi (2911m)

The morning skies roll in on Merapi

View towards Gunung Sumbing (3371m)
View towards Gunung Sumbing (3371m)
Trekkers on their way up on Merapi
Trekkers on their way up on Merapi
On the way down from Mt Merapi...
On the way down from Mt Merapi...

... with view to fertile lands and nearby volcanic summits

Another climb: Gunung Agung (3142m)
Another climb: Gunung Agung (3142m)

Another great climb is Gunung Agung (3142m) on Bali. We've been to Bali several times and spend 2+ months here, yet we have never met any other travelers attempting the climb up Agung. Perhaps because it is difficult to arrange, the route is bad, and the climb is 12+ hours. The view here is from Lembongang Island during dusk where we stayed while doing dives off Nusa Penida.

Another Agung view before the climb
Another Agung view before the climb
Arrival in Besakih village
Arrival in Besakih village

Besakih village is up 1000m on the SW slope of Agung, and useful for planning the climb. There is also a complex of 23 temples often obscured by mist.

Jakob enjoyng a 6.30 AM view
Jakob enjoyng a 6.30 AM view

The first 3-4 hours is through pine forest on stony and muddy ground with a head torch during night time.

View towards Gunung Abang
View towards Gunung Abang
Up, up, up on Agung
Up, up, up on Agung
Near the summit and Rinjani view
Near the summit and Rinjani view

We've reached the higher edge of the crater rim on Agung, where a 360 degree view is revealed. In the bacdrop, 3726m high Rinjani can be seen - another great trek in Indonesia that we've done.

Summit of Gunung Agung (3142m)
Summit of Gunung Agung (3142m)

Niels, Anders, Hans & Jakob on summit

Acrobatics on Agung summit
Acrobatics on Agung summit
View of Central Bali from Agung
View of Central Bali from Agung

In the distance we could see Gunung Catur (2096m), Gunung Pohon (2063m), and Gunung Batukau (2276m) and behind that the volnacoes on East Java, including Merapi (2800m)

Relaxing on the ferry to Lombok Isl.
Relaxing on the ferry to Lombok Isl.

A third great climb in the Indonesian atchipelago is Guning Rinjani (3726m). Rinjani is, outside Irian jaya /West Papua, the highest mountain in Indonesia.

Gunung Rinjani from Gili Islands
Gunung Rinjani from Gili Islands

Sunrise from the beach on Gili Trawangan, one of the fine coral atolls with white sand beaches, off the coast of Lombok, the day before we travel to Lombok and start the climb.

Rinjani view from Senaru
Rinjani view from Senaru

Good place to stop for one day to arrange guide, porters, food, etc.

4x4 drop-off in Sembalun Lawang
4x4 drop-off in Sembalun Lawang

The trailhead starts here.

Leg 1 on Rinjani
Leg 1 on Rinjani

Leg 1 from Sembalun Lawang to Pelawang II. The forest giv way to grassy slopes, and as you approach the volcano it comes drier, rockier and steeper. Leg 1 is a long and hot climb.

View on leg 1 on Rinjani
View on leg 1 on Rinjani

A fine view over the Sembalun Valley sandwiched between Rinjani and another range of mountains, Sambalun Bumbung.

Arrival in Pelawangan II (2900m)
Arrival in Pelawangan II (2900m)

Putting up the tent and enjoying the view as the afternoon clouds roll in. The campsite is right on the crater rim.

Preparing dinner
Preparing dinner

Our two porters and guide in Rinjani

Pelawangan II (2900m)
Pelawangan II (2900m)

Niels, Jakob and Anders relaxing with a cup of coffee