Indonesia is situated within the world’s most active seismic region, the Pacific Ring of Fire, where around 130 active volcanoes are at risk of erupting and potentially causing earthquakes.
While it might sound daunting due to the unpredictable nature of volcanic activity, it’s precisely this sense of adventure that entices hikers, especially those interested in hiking volcanoes in Indonesia.
Hiking volcanoes in Indonesia offers a distinctive experience.
Here, you need to bring all your equipment, as there are no built shelters up there, and you’ll often find yourself off the beaten track with limited information.
On the flip side, you’ll discover a captivating world of lush rainforests, smoky craters, and tranquil lakes that is truly incomparable.
So, here’s my list of the top 10 majestic volcanoes in Indonesia.
1. Mount Papandayan, Garut, West Java (2,665 masl)
Let’s begin with the closest mountain to the capital city, Jakarta: Mount Papandayan, my all-time favorite. A two-day hike is more than sufficient, unless you wish to extend your stay.
This trek is suitable for beginners. What sets it apart is the crater. While most craters become visible only once we reach the peak, requiring base camps to be on the opposite side, Mount Papandayan bucks the trend. Here, the base camp is positioned right under the crater.
You’ll encounter a lot of steam vents that produce incredible views. Additional highlights include the eerie dead forest and the enchanting edelweiss.
2. Mount Merbabu, Central Java (3,145 masl)
Frequently referred to as the twin of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Mount Merbabu stands out as an equally exceptional mountain.
Climbing two mountains in succession is entirely possible.
If luck is on your side, you’ll witness the best sunrise ever, with cumulus clouds forming a cozy bed-like blanket in the sky.
Adjacent to each other, you’ll find two peaks: Syarief Peak and Kenteng Songo Peak
3. Mount Prau, Wonosobo, Central Java (2,565 masl)
Mount Prau is not an active volcano; however, it is located within the vast volcanic complex of Dieng Plateau, where geothermal activities continue, and there are some existing acid lakes.
The name ‘Gunung Prau’ or ‘Prahu’ derives from its boat-like shape.
A short hike is all that’s needed to reach the summit, which is why the mountain is immensely popular for fun camping.
Nonetheless, the view is absolutely jaw-dropping, with the two volcanoes, Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing, standing proudly.
On the opposite side, the entire area of Dieng Plateau comes into view.
4. Mount Semeru, East Java (3,677 masl)
Crowned as the highest volcano in Central Java and third in Indonesia, Mount Semeru is categorized as a strenuous hike. The path from the base camp to the last shelter is relatively sloped and easy.
However, after reaching the last point, which is about 500 meters from the peak, you’ll encounter a steep, rocky section that will require extra effort to reach the summit.
The view up there is mind-blowing. Be sure to wait for the routine small explosions, locally known as “wedus gembel,” which are small steam eruptions.
Also, make sure you spend a night at the beautiful Ranu Kumbolo Lake.
5. Mount Batur, Bali (1,717 masl)
Aside from beach haven, Bali has several beautiful volcanoes for hiking in Indonesia, one of them is Mount Batur.
Mount Batur is acknowledged as the sacred place by local.
It is a small volcano in the center of a huge crater, facing the crescent-shaped Batur Lake. Hiking can be possibly done in a day.
6. Mount Rinjani, Lombok (3,727 masl)
Mount Rinjani is arguably one of the most beautiful volcanoes on Earth, offering a surreal view of the rim surrounding the lake.
There are two routes to climb Mount Rinjani: from Sembalun and Senaru, both offering a pleasant journey.
Sembalun provides a savanna trek, while Senaru offers the typical rainforest experience.
The challenging, long trek can be demanding, but the view at the summit makes every effort worthwhile.
Descend to Segara Anak Lake and unwind while gazing at the small active volcano known as Mount Baru.
Don’t forget to immerse yourself in nature in the natural hot spring.
7. Mount Bromo, East Java (2,845 masl)
Mount Bromo is undoubtedly the jewel of East Java and Indonesia.
Travelers coming to Indonesia will certainly make a stop here to witness the breathtaking view of the mountain range, which includes Mount Bromo, Mount Batok, and the highest one, Mount Semeru.
Every side of the mountain plays a role in leaving an impression on whoever visits.
The detailed carving and shaping of every inch is like a natural masterpiece
8. Anak Gunung Krakatau, Sunda Strait (230 masl)
The legend of the massive explosion of Mount Krakatau, also known as Krakatoa, in 1883 remains etched in world history. After the deadly eruption, a new volcano was born and continues to grow.
Visit some of the islands around it, such as Sebuku Island, Umang Island, and Sebesi Island. Hike up to Anak Krakatau, and you will witness an incredible view of old Rakata.
9. Mount Sibayak, Berastagi, North Sumatera (2,212 masl)
A small stratovolcano overlooking the town of Berastagi in North Sumatera, Mount Sibayak is a perfect quick stopover for a day trip when you’re looking to hike volcanoes in Indonesia.
The steam vent produces a thunderous sound akin to a passing jet, and you can also enjoy a relaxing dip in the hot spring here.
10. Mount Kerinci, Jambi (3,805 masl)
Standing tall as the highest active volcano in Indonesia, and even in Southeast Asia, Mount Kerinci never fails to impress with its stunning landscapes both at its peak and around its base.
Located in Jambi, Sumatera Island, Mount Kerinci soars to an impressive 3,805 meters above sea level and is the habitat of endangered species like the Sumatran Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros.
The foothills of the mountain are enveloped by lush tea plantations, while at the summit, the reddish rocks and the opportunity to gaze upon Gunung Tujuh Lake make for an unforgettable experience.
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Hi, my name is Velysia – a travel blogger from Indonesia. I’ve traveled extensively around Indonesia and Asia. I love hiking and learning new cultures. I hope you can find this blog useful, if you like my work, you can support me through paypal.