4KThe best treks in Indonesia feature smoking craters, giant waterfalls, magnificent forests, and exotic wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth.
This island nation is home to 400 volcanoes, more than any other country in the world, most of which are open to tourists for hiking. Although the most famous volcano climb in Indonesia is Mount Batur in Bali, there are actually better volcanoes to climb in places like JavaMaluku, Sulawesi and Sumatra.
Indonesia is home to nearly 20 percent of the world’s animal species, so there’s also plenty of endemic wildlife to see here if you go on a jungle trek, including cute orangutans and feral Komodo dragons!
I will never forget my first trip to Sulawesi, when I realized how many amazing hiking trails are waiting to be discovered in Indonesia if you get off the beaten track and start exploring new islands.
Now that Indonesia is my second home (and my wife’s actual home!), I plan to keep this guide updated as we find more of the best hiking trips in Indonesia. If one of your favorite trips in Indonesia is missing from this list, you are also welcome to recommend it in the comments below this travel blog post!
The best trips in Indonesia
1. Mount Bromo (East Java)
Mount Bromo It’s an epic Indonesia volcano tour in East Java, with stunning views of a whole host of volcanoes, plus an active crater you can climb to get up-close views.
The easiest way to visit Bromo is to fly to Malang or Surabaya, then book a flight Day tour to Bromo From there.
A full-day tour is enough time to see all the park’s highlights – the sunrise, the jeep ride in the sea of sand, the hike to the crater – and then you can add Madakaripura Waterfall as a bonus to your itinerary.
There’s no need to hike to see the classic main viewpoint at Mount Bromo, but if you want to get up close and peek at the smoky crater, you’ll need to do some hiking.
The entire trek to the top of Mount Bromo Crater (starting at the Sand Sea) takes about one hour, although you can speed it up if you ride a horse halfway.
The final part of the trek must be done on foot, which is a short but steep climb up a concrete staircase to the top of the crater.
Once you reach the top of the crater, you can look directly into a smoking volcano, with an unpleasant smell of sulfur!
2. Ijen Crater (East Java)
Volcanic crater lake in Aegean Crater It is the largest acid lake in the world and is also famous for the crazy “blue fire” phenomenon where you can see hot it looks like lava in the dark flames of blue burn.
Since Mount Ijen is located in the far east of Java, it is very easy to visit it from Bali and other parts of Indonesia. Most people either visit Mount Ijen on an overnight tour from Bali, or do it as a combined road trip with Mount Bromo and other epic sights in East Java.
The hike to Kawah Ijen Volcano is all dirt and fairly steep, but the trail is well-marked and safe. You’ll be sweating because of the incline, so for people who aren’t into hiking, I’d rate it as moderate.
In total, the trip to see the lake takes about 1.5 hours depending on your speed. If you walk fast, I’m sure you can do it in an hour, and even slow hikers won’t take more than two hours to reach the lake.
A guide is not required for the hike, although it may be helpful to have one if you want to see the Kawah Ijen Blue Fire, which requires a midnight start, a gas mask, and some extra hiking time to descend into the park. the pit.
For those of you who plan to skip the Blue Fire (like we usually do), you don’t need to start at midnight, although I still recommend you get an early start and try to get to Kawah Ijen Crater Lake for sunrise if you want. Best views and photos.
Overall, Mount Ijen is one of the best places for hiking in Indonesia!
3. Tumbak Seu Waterfall (East Java)
the Tumbak Siu Waterfall The East Java Falls have become famous as one of the most stunning waterfalls in Indonesia, or anywhere in Southeast Asia.
A waterfall might be called that, but it’s actually a thousand waterfalls put together. Because of that, the name loosely translates as ‘many waterfalls’, or ‘many waterfalls’ in local Java.”
These waterfalls tumble into a horseshoe-shaped forest ravine that looks like something out of Jurassic Park. The end result is a natural wonder that can’t be missed!
After you finish admiring the waterfalls from above, there is a hiking trail to go down and see the waterfall up close.
Head down the trail for about 20 minutes to reach the valley floor. The path is mostly made of bamboo steps with bamboo handrails, and is a bit sketchy in places, but nothing too terrible. Just proceed carefully.
Once you reach the bottom of the valley, you’ll only be a 5-10 minute walk to the main event at Tumbak Siu Waterfall. The towering walls on either side of the canyon let you know just how small you are, and how epic things are about to happen!
4. Rainbow Mist Waterfall (East Java)
The hills and mountains of Java are full of amazing waterfalls, but this is one of the best Rainbow mist waterfall In East Java.
This place is not quite as well known as Tumpak Sewu, but at least it is amazing in my opinion, and many people visit it in combination with Tumpak Sewu on a day trip from Malang.
The drive to Cabot Pelangi takes about 45 minutes one way, and the return takes a little longer because it is located on a steep hillside. It’s not a very difficult trail to get to the main waterfall, but the trail can be difficult to see at times, especially if you go during or shortly after the rainy season.
We went in May and things were a little swollen in places, and there were several river crossings that required getting your feet wet. The trail should improve as this spot becomes more popular.
Anyway, Cabot Pelangi is worth the trip. If you love waterfalls, this is definitely one of the best treks in Indonesia!
5. Sekonir Hill (Central Java)
the Dieng Plateau It is one of the natural wonders located in the highlands of Central Java, Indonesia, not very far from the city of Yogyakarta.
This former caldera complex has everything from active volcanoes to ancient Hindu temples, smoking sulfur springs, multicolored lakes, pure mountain air, sunrise views, and endless terraces covering the hills in every direction.
Dieng means “abode of the gods,” and this name seems appropriate for the incredible size and mystery of this place!
One of the main attractions of the Dieng Plateau is watching the sunrise over Mount Sundoro, one of Java’s active volcanoes.
A popular place to do this is Sikonir Hill, on the eastern edge of the plateau. Your driver can help you find the start of the trail, and the trail itself is very easy to follow.
From the parking lot, it is a steep but short hike to the top of the hill, taking only about 30-45 minutes. It was still beautiful to see the despite the fog!
6. Stone Garden Sittah (West Java)
Stone Garden Citatah is a popular tourist attraction in West Java where you can see a beautiful “garden” of limestone rocks and peaks. The park can be reached in about an hour’s drive from Bandung.
It is unfortunate that chalk mining factories have outgrown this area, so it really needs better maintenance. Even the air is smoky and dark due to the chalk factories.
There are a number of short and easy walks in Stone Garden, including the bat cave called Gua Pawon, which has wild monkeys and interesting prehistoric artifacts inside.
If you really want to enjoy the best views of the entire area, you should climb Tipping Massegate, the main peak in the park. The trail starts near a small hut at the entrance to the rock garden.
It’s so steep and overgrown, the weeds hit you in the face, but you can get to the top in about 30 minutes. After all, you’re crawling on exposed limestone rocks, so it’s dangerous.
Proceed at your own risk! This top is very small and only one or two people can sit on it at a time. The views are amazing.
7. Corug Sekanteh Waterfall (West Java)
Curug Cikanteh is one of the largest waterfalls in Ciletuh Geopark in West Java, and it is truly gigantic.
This is part of a ANESCO designated geopark Loaded with beautiful waterfalls in Indonesia. It can be reached by a half-day drive from Jakarta, and there are some amazing places to stay Close to waterfalls.
The geopark requires a little effort to get to since it is a 4-6 hour drive from Jakarta or Bandung, but once you get there, you can reach this waterfall within 15 minutes by car and then 15 minutes of hiking.
There is also a small, steep trail to climb to the base of the falls and see them up close, which takes an additional 5-10 minutes of hiking. If you go here in the late afternoon, you can even stand under a large rainbow!
8. Mount Dokono (North Maluku)
Mount Dokono It is a stunning active volcano on Halmahera Island, in North Maluku. It has been erupting non-stop since 1933!
You can visit Dokono as a very long and strenuous day hike, but it is more common to spend a couple of days camping on the mountain due to its difficult access and amazing views.
A local guide is essential for navigation and safety in Dokono.
In total, my guide and I spent about 12 hours hiking Dokono, which was mostly an uphill trek over rough volcanic terrain and slippery mud trails in the jungle. Along the way, we saw a snake, a monitor lizard, rare birds, and some giant centipedes.
Of course, we also had to crawl to the edge of Dokono Crater and look inside as it spewed smoke and some red-hot molten lava.
However, for your safety, do not approach the crater if it is spewing lava rocks. Dokono sometimes hurls lava boulders, which land like bombs on the slopes of the crater, and a single hit can be fatal.
As you may have guessed, the overall safety of this trek is questionable (to say the least), but there is no doubt that it is one of the best treks in Indonesia! If you want to be safer, you can only view the volcano from a distance and not climb to the top of the crater.
The remote and difficult access to Dokono makes it less popular than Mount Bromo in Java, but on the plus side there are no crowds, so you’ll have the volcano to yourself!
9. Kelimutu Lakes (Flores)
the Kelimutu National Park Its mmulti-coloredtriangular volcanic lakes have to be one of the most stunning sights on Flores Island, Indonesia.
These are three volcanic lakes known to regularly change colors (to blue, green, pink, or brown!) due to changes in gases and essential elements. Lake Kelimutu changes colors up to 6 times a year.
Most people visit these lakes by flying to Ende, driving to Kelimutu National Park, and then hiking the remaining 15-30 minutes to the lakes. The route is easy and good for all ages. Voilà, you have arrived at Kelimutu Mountain Lakes!
10. Komodo Island (Komodo)
the Komodo National Park The Indonesian city is famous for being home to the monstrous Komodo dragons, the largest lizard in the world. It is the only place in the world where you can see these animals.
You will go to the beach on one of the two main islands where dragons live in Indonesia (Rinca Island or Komodo Island) and take a short trek in search of dragons while accompanied by a park ranger.
The trekking path is flat and suitable for all fitness levels.
On Komodo Island, there is a short, medium, long, or adventure trip. If you’re on a day tour (island hopping), you’ll likely only have time to do the short or medium ride (both under one hour).
You’re almost guaranteed to see at least a few dragons (after all, it’s Komodo Island), and with the help of a guide, you can even take pictures with them!
It is an amazing experience to be able to see these animals up close in the wild.
11. Padar Island (Komodo)
despite of boiler One of the smallest islands in Komodo National Park, this scenic viewpoint has become a famous natural landmark in Indonesia, even appearing on the 50,000 rupiah note.
This place looks like a dinosaur country, with rocky hills, giant bays, and beaches stretching in all directions. The island looks like it’s shaped like a giant X, with three bays where you can see White Beach, Black Beach, and Pink Beach.
Each of these sand colors is very special in its own right, but seeing them all in one place is crazy. This is probably the only place in the world where you can witness this!
Hiking to the top of Padar Island is one of the best hikes in Indonesia, and it only takes about 20 to 40 minutes depending on your pace.
There is a gravel path ao the top now, but it is still a steep and exhausting climb. Along the way, there are some viewpoints where you can stop to rest as you make your way to the top to get the best view.
A tour of the Komodo Islands would not be complete without taking this trip! You can visit Padar Island on a day tour, or you can spend a few days on a boat to see many of the islands.
The northern side of Padar Island contains a Pink beach With the unique red sand it has become another popular sight for tours in Komodo National Park.
12. Bukit Holpung (North Sumatra)
Bukit Hulpung is a beautiful, grassy green hill in North Sumatra where you can enjoy panoramic views of Lake Toba from the top.
A little-known fact about Indonesia is that Toba is ahe largest volcanic lake in the world, and Bukit Hulpung has to be one of the best viewpoints along the outer rim of the lake!
The road to Bukit Holpong is very bumpy, so it is not suitable for motorbikes. It is better to come in the car. There is a small entrance fee and then you are free to walk around.
Even a 15-minute walk into Holpung gives you great views without a lot of work, or if you’re an avid hiker, you can reach the top of the hill in about an hour.
I love this hike. The scenery looks like something out of a fantasy movie – perfect green hills in all directions!
13. Bukit Lawang (North Sumatra)
Sleepy little village Bukit Lawang It is located on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park, a large rainforest where you can go on a trek and see all kinds of amazing animals.
On two trips in Bukit Lawang, we saw orangutans, gibbons, Thomas’s leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards, giant anteaters, a magnificent banyan tree, and other jungle sights.
Bukit Lawang is a great place to see orangutans in the wild, and although you need to hire a local guide, it is still budget-friendly.
If you want to see wildlife, a trek in Bukit Lawang is one of the best treks in Indonesia.
The difficulty of the jungle trek in Bukit Lawang is not too bad, but it is harder than I expected. This is not like Tangkuku National Park where you can walk on flat ground all the way and burn minimal calories while enjoying the wildlife.
There are some steep hill sections in Lawang where your legs will get a great workout, and the ground can be muddy and dirty at times with thorns and leeches. The humidity during the day can be crazy too.
Don’t let this scare you away! It all adds to the experience. If you don’t think your fitness level is there, I recommend doing a one-day trip instead of two. You’ll still likely see an orangutan!
14. Sibisu Besu Waterfall (North Sumatra)
the Sibiso-Biso Waterfall Is a giant river 120 meters (400 feet) long that flows into the famous Lake Toba in North Sumatra, surrounded by farms and highlands.
It delongs on any Lake Toba or Sumatra road trip itinerary, and you can even visit it on a day trip from Medan.
You can get beautiful panoramic views from the parking lot, but going down the falls is also worthwhile if you have the time.
Hiking to Sipiso Piso Waterfall only takes about 30-40 minutes each way, and you can get some better photos at the bottom. The trail is very worn, but still mostly paved.
There are a bunch of stunning views along the way to Sibiso, but the most amazing thing is seeing the waterfall up close.
You can walk right to the edge of the falls, where there is a huge amount of wind and spray!
15. Batu Baginda (Belitung)
the His Majesty’s Stone The hike may be one of the shortest trails I’ve done in Sumatra, but it’s still one of the best hikes in Indonesia.
The views are very extraordinary. This hike on Belitung Island takes you to the top of an incredibly massive granite rock overlooking the jungle.
The views from the top are beautiful, but if you have a drone it’s even better because you can take some aerial selfies to see how small you are atop the rocks!
The trek to the top of Baginda Rock is short but steep. If you keep a good pace, it will only take about 15 minutes or so.
Once you reach the rock, there will be a ladder and rope to climb. It seems scary at first, but it’s not that difficult to manage.
At the top, there is a nice breeze and you have views of the mountains to the north, the Java Sea to the south, lots of forests and palm oil plantations below, and another giant rock in the distance!
16. Balancing Rock (Belitung)
This is another short and easy trip to Belitung Island Where you can see some giant granite rocks.
Balance Rock is not too far from the famous Tanjung Tinggi Beach in Belitung, so it’s easy to blend in with other sights on the island.
From the road, it takes just 10 minutes to reach the rock, and at the top, you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding countryside too.
This rock is huge and great for photos from almost any angle!
17. Mount Karangitang (Siao)
Gunung Karangtang is a beautiful Jurassic Park-like volcano that dominates the area of Siao Island In North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
You can’t go anywhere on the small island of Siao without seeing this majestic volcano and its smoking craters. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see it spewing molten lava and rock bombs at night, which it does often.
Karangitang is a very active volcano, perhaps one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The local guides are very experienced and any seismic activity is monitored by the Indonesian government, but there are still a lot of risks involved in climbing this mountain.
You can climb to the top of Karangitang if you’re feeling extra crazy, but to be safe, most people only hike part of the mountain and look at the smoking craters from a distance (and even that is a bit risky).
Climbing any volcano in Indonesia obviously carries some risks, but this one is unusually active, so proceed at your own risk.
When I climbed Karangitang in 2021, no one had done the climb recently due to the lack of tourists during the pandemic, so the forest was so overgrown the guides had to hack through it with machetes.
We started our hike early in the morning and the ascent took about 2.5 hours. For safety reasons, we did not go to the top of the peak but instead stopped at a lookout point below where I could fly my drone to the top and look at the peak safely.
The sunrise at Karangitang was amazing, and so were the drone photos! It was one of my favorite experiences in Sulawesi, which is why I rate it as one of the best hiking trips in Indonesia.
18. Tangkuku National Park (North Sulawesi)
the Tangkuku National Park is a large nature reserve located on the northeastern tip of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, not very far from the city of Manado.
This park covers more than 8,700 hectares (21,000 acres) of magnificent forest, and there are hundreds of unique animal species that live in the area. It is a great place for jungle trekking in Indonesia.
The best thing about Tangkoko Nature Reserve is that it is very easy to visit on a budget, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. This park is located a 1-hour drive from Manado.
The only way to explore Tangkoko Park is by taking a guided walking tour which lasts about 4 hours. A guide is required for this, but any hotel or hostel in Tangkoko can easily arrange a guide for you.
Walking in the forest is very simple and not strenuous at all. It follows a flat path through the forest, which is mostly paved at first, then occasionally crosses trees on a dirt road.
I spent two days exploring the park, and in total, I saw at least 50 Sulawesi black macaques, rare birds (kingfishers, owls, hornbills), lizards, snakes, cicadas, tarsiers, and more!
19. Mount Lukon (North Sulawesi)
Mount Lokon is an active volcanic crater in Tomohon, about an hour’s drive from the main city of Manado in North Sulawesi.
You can reach the crater at the top of the mountain after about 60-90 minutes of hiking uphill, so it’s not too difficult, although a guide might be helpful for navigation.
On most of the hike, you will be walking through ancient lava flows that look very elegant but can be soft when wet. We got rained on every time we climbed Locon.
Overall, it’s a great trek to do in North Sulawesi and one of the easiest volcanic treks in Indonesia!
20. Ramang Ramang Village (South Sulawesi)
Ramang Ramang Maros is a private village in the karst mountains of South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The scenery at this place is mind-blowing. Watch out for dinosaurs.
This is one of the largest karst regions in the world, just behind Tsingy in Madagascar and Shilin in China.
The best way to explore Ramang is on foot or by traditional boat. There are walking trails you can use to get to all the main things of interest, and the trails are very flat. The only challenge is the midday heat, which can be quite intense.
You can see many of Ramang’s highlights on a full-day trip from Makassar, but if you want to see everything you’ll need a few days.
It is a stunning area where you can see karst mountains, prehistoric cave art, a green lake, and a sparkling limestone cave. This village trek is one of the best in Indonesia.
21. Mount Batur (Bali)
Mount Batur Bali trip is probably the most popular trip in Indonesia, at least for international tourists. The views honestly aren’t as stunning as some of the other volcano treks in Indonesia, but it’s still a very beautiful trek.
One of the great things about hiking Batur Volcano is that it is not very difficult and you do not need to be very fit to do it. The entire trip takes about 2 to 4 hours one way, depending on your pace.
At the top of the volcano, you can see lots of cheerful monkeys and even cook eggs for breakfast using heat vents from the active volcano.
There are many tourist offers available for Mount Batur, which include a transportation service to and from the hotel, in addition to a guide for the trip.
The locals in Kintamani force you to hire a guide for this trip, although it is not at all necessary. There are ways you can do this without a guide if you feel cheated and know the right way.
Sunrise treks are especially popular in Batur because you can enjoy amazing views of the sunrise from the top of the mountain, usually in a sea of orange clouds.
Overall, Batur is a great introduction to volcano hiking before you start doing some of the larger volcanoes in Indonesia!
22. Mount Agung (Bali)
Mount Agung is the largest and baddest volcano on the island of Bali, Indonesia, and walking to the top is no joke.
This mountain is the highest point in Bali, with a height of 3,142 meters, and is also one of the top 100 iconic peaks on Earth. There is at least 1,500 meters of elevation gain on this hike, regardless of where you start. Your legs will be jello.
At the top, you can stand on the edge of the crater rim and look straight down into a massive, 900-meter-wide active crater.
Agung sunrise tours start by picking you up very early (probably around 11 p.m.) so your guide can lead you to the main trail to hike to the top of the volcano in time for sunrise.
This means you’ll be working on very little sleep (if any), making the entire trip more difficult. Have you ever tried to stay up all night while hiking for 8-12 hours on a steep rocky volcano in the dark? Chances are, maybe not.
The final part of the journey involves trotting on all fours. This is the hardest part, and some of the sites are steep enough to be dangerous if you’re not careful, especially since you’re hiking in the dark. A good flashlight and guide are essential here.
I’ll never forget the first time I climbed Agung: I was clinging to the side of a steep volcano alone in the dark, half asleep and torn to shreds when as soon as I realized I was above the clouds, the sky turned orange. It was a really special moment.
This is my favorite hike in Bali, and it’s also one of the best hikes in Indonesia.
23. Sekumpul Waterfall (Bali)
A group of waterfalls It is a large double waterfall in northern Bali, with two 80 m (260 ft) streams cascading from the treetops of the jungle.
There is no doubt that this is Bali’s largest and best waterfall! What’s more, you can see some of the most beautiful forests and rice terraces on the island while hiking to the waterfalls.
The locals in this village will try to hire an expensive guide to go see the waterfalls, but this is not at all necessary unless you just want someone to take pictures of you (they will be happy to do so if so).
I wrote a custom Blog post for Sekumpul Waterfall This explains how to make the trip without hiring a local guide.
The hike to Sekumpul Waterfall is quite simple, although the steep path up and down is quite a workout. To get there, it takes between 30-60 minutes, depending on your starting point.
Before you start the trip, you’ll take dozens of photos. The views in northern Bali are stunning – steep green mountains and rice terraces in all directions!
There are at least 7 waterfalls to see in the Sekumpul area, so it is one of the best hiking tours in Indonesia if you love waterfalls!
24. Kelingking Beach (Bali)
the Pinky Cliff The island of Nusa Penida is easily one of the most famous views anywhere in Bali. If you are staying in Bali, you should go see it!
It’s possible to visit Kelingking on a day trip from Bali, or you can spend several days seeing all the other great sights in Bali Nusa Penida IslandWhich is located near Bali.
After you’re done gazing in awe at Kelingking Cliff, there’s also a simple path with stairs to walk down to the pristine white sand beach below.
Walking on Kelingking Beach is a major workout and takes at least two hours each way. The stairs are steep and the descents pose a real safety hazard if you’re not careful. Be safe and have fun!
25. Mount Rinjani (Lombok)
Of course, I couldn’t make a list of the best treks in Indonesia without mentioning Mount Rinjani in Lombok!
This is a fantastic Indonesia volcano tour with a range of different trekking routes. There is a lot of elevation gain and it is a very strenuous hike, no matter how you slice it.
A local guide is required and can also help you carry your equipment up the mountain. Tour packages can be as short as 2 days or as long as 5 days. The sweet spot is probably a 3-day trip, allowing you to see and do a lot.
On this trip, you usually have to climb to the top of Rinjani Volcano, then camp in the tranquil lake inside the crater!
More of the best trips in Indonesia
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoy this list of some of the best treks in Indonesia!
We’ve barely scratched the surface here, and the list is always growing as we see more volcanoes, waterfalls, forests, and other hikes in this amazing country.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my full profile Indonesia travel guide For more tips, photos, and blog updates about Indonesia!
What is the best time to visit?
Depending on your interests, there are various best times to visit Indonesia:
☁ The rainy season extends from November to April. The weather can be hot and humid during the day at 90-95°F (32-35°C), but it is less crowded during this time, and rain often falls at night. The waterfalls are vibrant, and the landscape is bright green.
☀ The dry season extends from May to August. Temperatures are more moderate and cooler, and it is breezy and sunny. This is the most beautiful weather, perfect for Indonesian volcano hiking or island hopping. It’s also high season, so it’s generally more crowded with tourists.
Happy travels! No matter when you decide to visit wonderful Indonesia, you are sure to see some amazing sights!