Mount Papandayan, or Gunung Papandayan in Bahasa Indonesia, is a lovely volcano in central Java. Fully kitted out with camping grounds, chalets for rent and small food stalls, this mountain is a real treat for beginners.
There are some interesting features; a pretty impressive crater with large vents, the ‘dead forest’ from the last eruption and an Edelweiss forest are among the highlights, along with one of the better sunrises I’ve seen. Perhaps what is most charming about this mountain is that it is very well set up, but relatively quiet. That and the fact that the route is simple enough for anyone to follow.
The largest challenge on this trip is getting to the volcano itself. Driving overnight from Jakarta took over 10 hours (it should have taken around 6, however traffic in this area of the world can be incredibly bad).
The closest settlement is a small town called Garut, and the largest city is Bandung. It’s easy enough to get to Garut, however from there it gets a little quieter. It’s possible to hire drivers in Garut, but if possible I would drive yourself as getting back will be a hassle (not to mention more expensive.
The majority of the route is fairly straightforward, however towards the summit the roads and turnings become a bit more irregular, so watch out for that.
Need to know
- Access per person costs Rp 300,000 without KITAS visa, with KITAS this is reduced to Rp 30,000, or local price
- You can hire tents and sleeping bags
- The temperature drops at night- bring extra layers
- Food is readily accessible
- No ATMs close by, bring some cash
- Trainers with a slightly sturdier sole will be fine, hiking boots are not a necessity
- Extra layers- temperature drops at night
- Torch for heading up the mountain for sunrise
- Small day pack will suffice if camping in the first campsite
- For second campsite, a larger bag and your own tent/sleeping bag will be necessary