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This is your chance to visit the world’s largest archipelago state – Indonesia. Consisting of more than 17 thousand islands, this tropical paradise is home to stunning beaches, incredible wildlife, and spectacular natural landscapes. Indonesia is also known for its rich cultural history and ethnic diversity, its richness exemplified through traditional festivals and ancient temples found throughout the country. Unlock the key to Indonesia’s best sights as we take you on a journey to see volcanos, safaris, temples, and even pyramids. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or an avid photographer, we have a perfect weekend getaway from Jakarta for every type of traveler!
Domestic travel has partially resumed in Indonesia with commercial domestic air travel partially in operation. Our specially selected list of seven unique weekend getaways from Jakarta are all accessible by car. As always, remember to observe social distancing guidelines when traveling. Check out our handy guide for COVID-19 restrictions in Indonesia when traveling.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to embark on your dream weekend getaway just hours away from the city of Jakarta.
For the adventure seeker: Krakatau Volcano
Is visiting an active volcano on your bucket list? This is your chance! This journey takes you to Krakatau, an active volcano best known for its cataclysmic 1883 eruption. This eruption is considered as one of the largest and most deadly in modern history. Plumes of steam and ash rose into the sky as pressure waves wrecked the island. Reportedly, the volcano’s explosions were so loud that they could be heard all the way in Perth, Australia. Over the years, many islands have risen around Krakatau, including Anak Krakatau, which translates to “son of Krakatau.”
The aftereffects of this devastating eruption can be seen today as you step foot on the surrounding islands, many of which were created from the aftermath of Krakatau’s seismic activity. A typical tour to the Krakatau archipelago takes you up close and personal to Anak Krakatau. Here, you can hike to just below the summit, the maximum possible height for trekkers, to explore the otherworldly sight of steaming vents of vapor and sulfur. Additionally, several tours also feature snorkeling expeditions in the surrounding islands as the waters are teeming with tropical marine life.
Be safe! Make the necessary preparations before you depart for your weekend getaway from Jakarta. These tours are very dependent on current weather conditions as Krakatau is an active volcano and strict safety precautions have to be followed. You may monitor volcanic activity with the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) and local volcano monitoring services.
How to get there: Most tour operators offer a pick-up service from Jakarta city to the nearest coastal point of Carita Beach. The total time taken by car is about three hours.
For the nature lover: Mount Gede Pangrango National Park
Just three hours away from Jakarta city lies the oldest nature reserve area in Indonesia. With a history dating back to 1819, Mount Gede Pangrango National Park has been an important site for conservation and biological research for centuries. The park is part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. Nestled in the heart of the national park are two volcanoes: Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango. They are located so closely together that many consider them as one mountain.
Popular with many locals and tourists, the sanctuary features four main hiking trails to the summit. These trials typically take eight to ten hours to complete, with a climbing height of 2,769 meters. This makes for an excellent weekend getaway activity for family and friends as climbers typically set up camp midway on the first day before making a sunrise trek the next day. Don’t worry; though these trails are long, they are accessible to both amateur and advanced climbers!
Each trail features a rich diversity of both montane and subalpine ecosystems. As you make your way to the summit, immerse yourself in the sheer beauty of the ever-changing natural landscapes, passing by warm sulphuric creeks, an alpine meadow, and tropical rainforests on your journey. Though not a requirement, it would be helpful to hire a guide and porters as you make the climb. Put on your hiking boots and get ready to scale a volcano!
How to get there: Mount Gede Pangrango National Park is a two-and-a-half to three-hour drive away from Jakarta city.
For the animal lover: Taman Safari Bogor
Tucked away in the mountainous region of Cisarua is the sprawling complex of Taman Safari Bogor. This world-class safari is a zoo and animal theme park, one of Indonesia’s three safari parks.
What makes Taman Safari Bogor unique is its location. Built 1,000 meters above sea level, a visit to Taman Safari Bogor allows you to enjoy a cool tropical climate in the lush mountainous surroundings. The Panda Castle is located 1,800 meters above sea level and is the safari’s highest point. To get there, you can hop on a shuttle bus that takes you on a short but steep winding road up to the castle. Be greeted by the crisp mountain air, which provides the perfect climate for the giant pandas and red pandas that call this safari home.
Transform your weekend getaway from Jakarta into an electrifying safari adventure as you venture into the depths of the forest to discover wild animals. Taman Safari Bogor offers safari expeditions where guests can view animals such as zebras, deers, lion, tigers, and many more from the comfort of their own vehicle. Feeling lucky? Get up close and personal with the safari’s feline feeding adventure where you can try your hands at feeding some of the safari’s carnivorous big cats.
How to get there: Taman Safari Bogor is only two hours away from Jakarta city. It is also accessible by public train.
For the history buff: Gunung Padang Megalithic Site
Forget Egypt! Visit what could possibly be the world’s oldest pyramid right here in Indonesia. At first glance, Gunung Padang might seem like a pile of forgotten, broken columns strewed across a hill with no signs of a pyramid. However, beneath this hill, as deep as 90 feet, lies a hill-pyramid dating back to 20,000 BC. Be transported into the many mysteries that shroud this ancient site. Could this be the key to discovering a lost civilization? What secrets does the pyramid hold? No one really knows.
Easily accessible from Jakarta, the journey to Southeast Asia’s largest megalithic site takes you through several small village streets and a tea garden with gorgeous views. Once you reach the bottom of the hill, go on foot via a hiking trail to the summit of the hill. There, explore the ancient volcanic ruins atop this 100-meter hill. The majority of the 100-meter hill is human-made and not actually a hill at all. Buried underneath is a terraced pyramid, built up over millennia by the oldest civilizations, yet to be discovered.
Here’s a tip: This site is not yet on the foreign tourist route. As such, site diagrams and information in the building near the ticket office are in Bahasa. A local guide is provided as part of the admission ticket.
How to get there: The Gunung Padang Megalithic Site is a three-and-a-half-hour drive away from Jakarta city.
For the photographer: Kampung Tridi
Escape the doom and gloom of Jakarta city with a weekend getaway of a splash of color! Indonesia’s 3D village, Kampung Tridi, is known for its eye-popping mosaic, and three-dimensional murals painted all over the village. Step into this rainbow settlement to admire the funny murals of cartoon characters or navigate the alleyways to find a multitude of hidden graffiti paintings tucked away in secret corners.
Image credits: Maartje Hensen
This playful rainbow wonderland does more than please the eye. The village was first painted under an initiative by university students to raise awareness of the pollution and poor sanitation conditions in the village. The murals transformed the village into a fun and cheerful destination visited by many, eager to get the best selfie. Money raised from the entry fee goes a long way to support the local community by revitalizing and boosting the local economy. This colorful village is a must-visit destination for the ultimate Instagram-worthy shot!
How to get there: Kampung Tridi is an hour’s drive away from Jakarta city.
For the cultural junkie: Cangkuang Temple
Image credits: piknikasik.com
Find yourself immersed in the history and culture of the only Hindu temple of West Java. Built in the eighth century, Cangkuang Temple, though small, is an important piece of Javanese history, a reflection of the first Sudanese Kingdon: Galuh Kingdom.
Getting to this ancient relic is quite the journey. To get to the island, you will need to cross a lake on a traditional bamboo raft. Magnificent views of paddy fields surround you as you undertake the journey. Cangkuang Temple sits on a tiny island that only houses six families and six houses. It has been traditionally assigned that the houses’ arrangement should always remain at six, with three on the left and three on the right. This interesting and unique cultural residence also houses a mosque for prayer, a small museum for visitors, and several heritage graves.
How to get there: This temple is accessible by a three-and-a-half-hour car journey. Alternatively, you may take a public bus from Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in Jakarta directly to Garut.
For the beach bum: Pulau Macan
Escape Jakarta, one of the world’s most populated cities, to the tranquility and serenity of Tiger Island Village and Eco Resort on Pulau Macan. Surrounded by pristine shores and emerald green waters, this is the only resort on the island.
This eco-resort prides itself on eco-tourism. Most of the resort’s furniture is made from driftwood, and many measures have been taken to reduce the resort’s impact on the natural environment. These include rainwater harvesting, organic gardens, and, best of all, the entire resort runs on solar energy.
Start your ultimate weekend getaway from busy Jakarta by discovering the surrounding waters of the island. Take a dip into crystal clear waters as you snorkel in one of the many nearby coral reefs. The island also provides rentals for kayaks and boats for you to go island-hopping to the nearby islands. Despite its name, the island is not home to large cats. Instead, find the resort teeming with giant monitor lizards that roam freely on the island. Come back to authentic Indonesian cuisine and rejuvenate in one of the island’s many glamping-style huts and bungalows. What are you waiting for? Your dream beach vacation is less than two hours away from Jakarta.
How to get there: The resort offers charters by boat from Jakarta city. The trip there is slightly less than two hours long.
We hope our list has inspired you to embark on a weekend getaway from Jakarta! Remember to bookmark our handy resource, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, to remain up-to-date with regulations around the world.