Mount Papandayan has always been my favorite mountain so far. Located in Garut, West Java, Mount Papandayan is very easily accessible nevertheless offering a nice view for those who want to have a relaxing camping time and enjoying the scenery. Since it is not too high (2665 meters above sea level), you don’t have to worry if you’re still a beginner because the trek is not too extreme. Still and all, you have to be fit and wrapped yourself with jacket and shoes for your safety.
After leaving the base camp, a short walk will take you directly to the crater. It’s quiet unique where most of the crater can be seen once we climb to the peak, means the base camp normally was built on the opposite side of the crater but in Papandayan, the position of the base camp is right under the crater. Lots of steam vent on this site, producing such an incredible view with the combination of volcanic rocks and the bubbling sulfur hole. Passing through the crater around 20-30 minutes, the path leads you to the ridge. A small greenish lake can be seen on the right side, made by the eruption in 2002.
Next, follow a small path on the right side downward until you find a small stream. Be ready, it’s time to push your energy climbing up the steep path. There’s a branch, the left one is slope but a little bit further, right one is the shortcut but it’s more tiring. About 1-2 hours, finally a camping ground named Pondok Salada welcomes you. You may set your tent overnight, or continue to Tegal Alun. There are three ways pointing to Tegal Alun. Choose the right way if you want faster route cutting through the middle of the jungle on the other ridge. It’s very steep but around 30-45 minutes you’ll arrive at Tegal Alun. Otherwise, the left one is easier, passing through the astonishing dead forest. Last time I did the right one, then go back through the left route. It’s just the same. And here we are, the magnificent Tegal Alun filled with edelweiss allover the place.
If you wish to proceed to the summit, I suggest you don’t have to do that. You still have to walk for another one hour to see nothing at the top. The highest point is just a spot surrounded by the trees like in the middle of jungle. From what I could remember, after Tegal Alun, there’s a place like a valley with another stream flowing and another hill in the front. That’s one of the memorable place. I guess you understand why I love this place. It’s very near from Jakarta/Bandung, weekend trip is possible. The view is varies with the crater, edelweiss, dead forest, very relaxing.
Tips to Mount Papandayan
Getting there from Jakarta
Buses from any station (Pasar Rebo, Kampung Rambutan or Rawamangun) go to Garut. Approximately 5 hours to reach Garut Station. It’s closer if you visit Bandung first, and from Leuwipanjang Station, a small van goes to Garut Station. Travel time around 2 hours (Rp 20,000), last bus ends at 6 p.m.. The benefit from taking this small van is it passes the Cisurupan Junction so you don’t have to change transportation in the Garut Station. From Cisurupan Junction, many pickups can take you to the base camp. Price is Rp 200,000/car/way can fit to 10-20 people.
Guide cost you around Rp 250,000/day
The path is very clear actually but if you think getting guide is better and safer, why not.
Traveled in 26-27 December 2013
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