Whether it’s the next stop on your travel itinerary or your beloved lifelong home, Indonesia has 129 volcanoes and many more mountains to explore! Best of all, they’re so close to major cities that you really could climb them this weekend.

When thinking of a holiday in Indonesia most minds tend to wander off to the partying down in Bali, the snorkelling in Lombok, or the bargain deals in Jakarta. What mostly tends to slip our minds is the actual geographical wonder that Indonesia really is! Along with its pristine beaches and rich biodiversity, Indonesia is home to the most number of mountains and volcanoes in Southeast Asia. Being an archipelago situated right in the midst of numerous tectonic plates, Indonesia boasts a mind-blowing 129 volcanoes, accounting for the most active volcanoes along the Pacific Ring of Fire.

With so many Instagram-worthy views of the rolling hills and scenic landscapes spreading like wildfire on social media, mountain climbing has been growing in popularity amongst travellers to Indonesia. Whilst there are several treks that take days to summit and require months of preparation, many peaks in Indonesia are suitable for amateurs. To narrow down your search and help you decide on which summits to add to your list of Indonesian mountains to climb and explore, here’s a list of the best Indonesia mountain treks that you have to do, here are a few suggestions from the team at Summits.com.

1. Mount Bromo

Height: 2,329m (7,641ft)
Climbing Height: Less than 500m
Duration to Summit: Approximately 2-3 hours
Best Time to Visit: May to August
Difficulty Level: Easy

One of the easiest and most popular hikes in Indonesia, Mount Bromo is famous for its stunning views. The active volcano lies within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, releasing puffs of white sulphurous smoke up into the clouds. This majestic beauty has both local and foreign travellers from all over the world, climbing just to catch a glimpse of the breath-taking sunrise.


2. Mount Merapi

Height: 2,930m (9,610ft)
Climbing Height: 1,300m
Duration to Summit: Approximately 8 hours
Best Time to Visit: May to October
Difficulty Level: Medium

Merapi rightfully translates to “Firemaker” and rest assured, this volcano lives up to its name for being the most active volcano in Indonesia, erupting on a regular basis since 1548. Due to Merapi’s active nature, you’ll probably want to do a check with the local news to get up-to-speed before adding it to your itinerary. There are two trails to summit Mount Merapi, starting from Selo and Kinahrejo, with the former being the popular, safer route. Once you’ve made it to the top in time to catch the sunrise, the flat lands and shadows of the rising sun will take your breath away!


3. Ijen Crater

Height: 2,799m (9,183ft)
Climbing Height: Less than 500m
Duration to Summit: Approximately 2-3 hours
Best Time to Visit: May to September
Difficulty Level: Easy

A part of the same volcano complex that covers Mount Merapi, Ijen Crater was once a volcanic caldera that has now evolved into a sulphur mine. What makes this climb stand out is the spewing of electric blue flames, visible only at night. The location has grown vastly popular amongst travellers in recent years after a feature by National Geographic. Knowing that Iceland is the only other option available for those who want to catch a glimpse of this magical sight, many are willing to brave the exposure to toxic smoke, albeit in small quantities and with gas masks on.


4. Mount Agung

Height: 3,031m (9,944ft)
Climbing Height: 3,031m
Duration to Summit: Approximately 7-12 hours
Best Time to Visit: May to October
Difficulty Level: Medium-Hard

The sacred Mount Agung takes first place for the highest peak in Bali. Right now probably isn’t the best time to visit, with eruptions still ongoing. However, on a clear day Mount Agung is a hike you’ll enjoy on a spiritual and physical level. Holding a spiritual significance to the Balinese, Mount Agung is believed to be the home of the Balinese gods with the Mother Temple of Besakih located atop its slopes. As you reach the top, Bali’s entire coastline stretches out before you.


About the author:

Lakshika Pinto is a Writer at Summits.com – a new website for mountaineering in Southeast Asia. Lakshika enjoys writing about her travels! She would be more than happy to receive your questions or feedback at lakshika@summits.com.