Located in the Eastern-most part of Java province is the breathtaking city of Banyuwangi. This city is where the sun first rises and shines its rays over the entire Java province in the mornings. Banyuwangi, which translates to Fragrant (Wangi) Waters (Banyu) in English, is known for its natural beauty and cultural attractions. Here you can find lush greenery over an area of 5,800 sq km, featuring beaches and majestic mountains.

Banyuwangi is a traveler’s favorite stopover before heading to its more famous and commercial neighbor, Bali. Exploring its untouched lands, embarking on adventurous activities and basking in its stunning views make Banyuwangi a perfect secluded getaway to add to your itinerary.

Below are some of the most popular accommodations based on travelers’ ratings:
Dialoog Banyuwangi
eL Royale Hotel & Resort Banyuwangi
Bangsring Breeze Resort
Hotel Blambangan
Hotel Santika Banyuwangi
Grand Harvest Resort and Villas

How to Get There

The easiest way to get there is by air. There are direct local flights to Banyuwangi, while International flights will most likely connect via Jakarta, Surabaya or Bali. If you could spare longer travel time, some people enjoy driving down Banyuwangi from Surabaya, which is a 239 km scenic drive away. There is an option to travel by train from Surabaya as well. And if you wish to head to Banyuwangi from Bali, you can also catch a ferry from Gilimanuk port, located on the Western part of Bali, which will drop you off to Banyuwangi’s Ketapang port.

The choice is yours.

Things You to Do

Trek to Ijen Crater


Photo: www.befreetour.com

Trekking to Ijen Crater is at the top of Banyuwangi’s bucket list – we recommend every traveler to attempt it. Banyuwangi has some of Indonesia’s most incredible volcanoes and Mount Raung, which stands 3,282 meters above sea level, is one of the most popular and majestic ones. Here, you will find Ijen Crater, known for its legendary and fascinating electric blue flame, which lights up the skies at nights. The blue fire is created by the combustion of sulfuric gases at high pressure and temperature, which turns into flame as it comes in contact with the air. Be careful to not wear any silver jewelry while visiting the crater as the high amount of sulfur can taint it.

If you are more of a daredevil, you could also take a detour to the top of Mount Raung first before heading to the crate. But take note, as one of the paths for hiking to the top of Mount Raung is considered to be one of the most difficult and extreme mountain climbs in Indonesia, so it requires a lot of strength and stamina to do so. Once you get to the top, however, it will be incredibly worth it to take in Banyuwangi’s breathtaking lush views.

Discover the Beaches

Photo: JejakPiknik.com

Banyuwangi is a destination internationally known for its many incredible, clean and untouched beaches – a plus for surfers! Plengkung Beach, also known as “G-Land” is a professional surfer’s paradise. This beach, considered to have the best waves for surfing after Hawaii, is famous for its average seven rolls of waves that can reach up to six meters high, thus earning its title: “The Seven Giant Waves Wonder”.

Red Beach or “Pantai Merah” is one of a tourist’s favorite beaches, not only because it has unique reddish sand and soil – thus, its name – but it also has one of the best sunset views in the city. This beach has no coral reefs along the beach line and has calmer waves compared to Plengkung beach, which makes it ideal for less-riskier surfing. 

You can check out Grajagan beach for its black sand, where you will also find traditional fishermen ready to take you on a fishing journey. Or embark on an off-road adventure and travel to Sukamade Beach, a center for green turtle conservation, where turtles come to hatch their eggs. You can also head to Green Bay or Sarongan Pesanggaran. As the name suggests, green color dominates the white-sand beach, as it is rich in algae. Aside from surfing, some of the typical activities you can do on these beaches include diving, snorkeling, boating, kitesurfing and more.

Explore The Wild 

Baluran National Park (Photo: Tripcetera)

Banyuwangi is home to many amazing parks, where you will witness wild animals roaming freely. Trek through the savannah of Baluran National Park, also known as Africa Van Java or Little Africa in Java. The park features more than 400 types of flora and 200 types of fauna and has many great sites to explore such as the lush Evergreen Forest, historical Goa Jepang (Japanese Cave) and coral-rich Bama beach. Be prepared to see interesting animals including large Java water buffaloes called “banteng”, small Java mouse-deer is known as “kancil”, peacocks, eagles, macaques, and also many more here.

Alas Purwo

Another park you can explore is the Alas Purwo National Park, the oldest natural reserve on Java. Not only will you find some of Indonesia’s rare and endangered species in the wild here, Alas Purwo, which literally means “Ancient Forest or The Primordial Forest”, is also famous for its mystical essence. According to local legend, Alas Purwo was the spot where the earth allegedly first emerged from the ocean, thus many people seek spiritual enlightenment here, especially during the Javanese New Year.

Meru Betiri National Park

About 3,5 hours away from Banyuwangi city is Meru Betiri National Park, a wonderful spot for nature lovers to embark on an adventurous exploration of the wilderness. The name “Meru Betiri”, comes from a combination of two mountains located in the park: namely Mount Meru and Mount Betiri. The 580km sq park, which also features a beach, is home to many endangered species. Expect to see turtles, Java tiger, bulls, flying squirrels, peacocks, deer, eagles and many other wild animals, here.

Visit Blambangan Park

Visit Blambangan Park, the landmark of the Banyuwangi Regency to enjoy a range of cultural shows every night, a program held by the Banyuwangi Tourism Office named “Banyuwangi Culture Everyday”. Besides entertaining tourists, the program is meant to preserve Banyuwangi’s rich culture.

By: Divyha Pridhnani-Bhojwani