Easy hiking trails in Indonesia

More and more people seek to escape to nature during this pandemic, and hiking is one of the most popular options for city-dwellers who’re usually stuck at home all day. Thankfully, Indonesia is blessed with numerous hiking trails, including the easy ones that even beginners can enjoy to the fullest.

We’ve compiled a list of 8 easy hiking trails in Indonesia, from the stunning Cibeureum Waterfall just outside Jakarta to the magnificent color-changing lakes of Mount Kelimutu in East Nusa Tenggara.

1. Cibeureum Waterfall – easy day trip from Jakarta

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - cibeureum waterfall
Image credit: Ryan Mazure/TripAdvisor

Those who seek to recharge from Jakarta’s hustle and bustle without getting too far from the city center will feel right at home at Cibeureum Waterfall, part of the Gede-Pangrango National Park which is only about a two-hour drive from Jakarta. 

At the end of your hike, which can take up to two hours from the gate entrance, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of the stunning waterfall that’ll make you momentarily forget about your deadlines awaiting you at home.

While not all of us are accustomed to hiking and trekking, there’s no need to worry – the trail toward the waterfall is well marked with stone and wooden footpaths to cater to beginners. The paths can be slippery, however, which is why good footwear – either running shoes or hiking boots – is a must.

To get there, go to the Cibodas entrance of the national park, where you will need to pay a hiking fee of Rp. 18,500 (~USD1.29) for Indonesian citizens or Rp. 155,000 (~USD.10.74) for foreigners. We recommend leaving from Jakarta in the early morning to avoid the notorious traffic jams.

Difficulty level: Easy
Hiking fee: Rp. 18,500 (~USD1.29) per person for Indonesian citizens/Rp. 155,000 (~USD10.74) per person for foreigners
Address: Jalan Cisarua Puncak KM 10, Cisarua, Puncak, Cianjur Regency, West Java

2. Sentul Hills – beautiful off-road trails just outside Jakarta

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - sentul hills
Image credit: @jakartatrekkingsentul

Another popular hiking location among Jakartans thanks to its close proximity to the city, Sentul Hills offers a chance for a short escape to nature with scenery aplenty, from soothing waterfalls to a mesmerizing pine forest.

As you hike, expect green paddies and hills along the way, as well as a small river running through the area. The hills also have off-road trails, which make them a popular spot for cyclists and motorcyclists alike.

Thanks to the area’s popularity, there are plenty of guided tour packages available from Rp. 150,000 (~USD10.42) per person which you can book for individual or group trips.

Difficulty level: Easy
Address: Sentul, Babakan Madang, Bogor Regency, West Java

3. Mount Andong – mesmerizing sunrise views

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - mount andong
Image credit: @mira_me240730

Many hikers are on the hunt for the best sunrise views in the mornings, and Mount Andong in Magelang, Central Java is one of the best places to find them. The mountain, standing at 4,800 feet, is a popular hiking location among beginners as it takes only about two hours to reach the summit, from where nearby mountains such as Merapi and Merbabu are visible.

Adjacent to the summit is Mangli Forest, where you can camp among picturesque pine trees and vast green grassland. Alternatively, you can also stay overnight at one of the hotels or guesthouses available in the nearby town of Magelang before ascending in the morning.

We recommend that you start ascending at around 3AM so that you can reach the summit just in time for the sun to rise.

Difficulty level: Easy
Entrance fee: Rp. 20,000 (~USD1.39) per person
Address: Magelang Regency, Central Java

4. Mongkrang Hills – green hills straight out of fairy tales

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - mongkrang hills
Image credit: @sandha.sakti

Located on the south side of Mount Lawu in Central Java, Mongkrang Hills is another popular hiking destination for beginners – it takes only one hour to reach Puncak Candi 1, the hills’ best-known summit.

At the end of your hike, you will be rewarded with a fairytale-like view of green hills which you can enjoy while camping on the summit. At each hiking post, there are warungs or small kiosks available, so you can recharge with a snack or drink along the way up or down.

The closest town to the hills is Karanganyar, where there are plenty of hotels and guest house for you to spend the night before ascending in the morning. It’s best to ascend at around 4AM-5AM just in time for the sunrise.

Difficulty level: Easy
Entrance fee: Rp. 10,000 (~USD0.69) per person, additional Rp. 7,500 (~USD0.52) camping fee
Address: Tlogodringo, Gondosuli Village, Tawangmangu, Karanganyar Regency, Central Java

5. Mount Gandul – easy hike for all seasons

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - mount gandul
Image credit: @onesimussatrio

Choosing the best time of the year to hike poses a challenge in itself, but Mount Gandul allows you to go on an easy hiking trip at any time of the year, including during the wet season. The area has paved footpaths with stairs in some parts, which makes the area popular for beginner hikers – even those with children.

It takes only 30 to 45 minutes to reach the top, from which you can see the town of Wonogiri in its entirety – the town itself is only 30 minutes’ drive from the area’s entrance. Along the way, you’ll be greeted by the sight of cliffs standing tall along the footpaths.

The best time to hike is at around 8AM before the sun gets too hot, or 4AM to 5AM just in time for the sun to set as you reach the top.

Difficulty level: Easy
Address: Jalan Gunung Gandul, Wonogiri, Central Java

6. Mount Batur – breakfast atop a volcano

8 easy hiking trails - mount batur
Image credit: @hueyyismile

You’ll never run out of things to do in Bali, and hiking is one of them. Mount Batur offers beginners a chance for a quick morning hike, after which they’ll be rewarded with the magnificent sight of the sun rising above the Island of the Gods.

It takes two to three hours to reach the summit of the mountain, which stands at 5,633 feet. After you reach the summit, make sure to spend an extra hour or two to have a simple breakfast with food, usually eggs and bread, cooked using the volcano’s steam – the food will be prepared by your guide when you go on one of the guided tours, which are available from Rp. 350,000 (~USD24.29) per person.

As you make your way down, make sure to stop by a traditional coffee processing plant near the summit, where you can enjoy a taste of Balinese traditional coffee to fuel your day. The closest village to the mountain is Kintamani in Bangli Regency, where there are several hotels and other accommodations you can spend the night at before starting your hike in the morning.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Entrance fee: Rp. 75,000 (~USD5.20) per person
Address: Bangli Regency, Bali

7. Tegallalang Rice Terrace – hike along rice paddies

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - tegallalang rice terrace
Image credit: XT Koh

You might be familiar with images of picturesque Bali rice paddies that often grace postcards or magazines, and Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Ubud happens to be one of the most popular rice terraces on the island. It’s also a popular hiking trail, where tourists flock to hike while enjoying a breath of fresh air and the green scenery.

You can include the hike in a day trip from or around Ubud, as it takes only up to 1.5 hours to explore every corner of the terrace. The trail is easily accessible but steep, which is why we recommend that you wear comfortable shoes suitable for hiking.

After finishing your hike, allocate some extra time to recharge at the nearby Tirta Gangga Water Palace, where you can take selfies and swim in koi-filled ponds.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Entrance fee: By donation
Address: Jalan Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Gianyar Regency, Bali

8. Mount Kelimutu – color-changing lakes

8 easy hiking trails indonesia - kelimutu lakes
Image credit: @ratufalina

As you reach the summit of Mount Kelimutu, prepare to be blown away by the breathtaking view of the mountain’s famous color-changing lakes, ranging from shades of black, green, and red. The lakes change colours from time to time thanks to chemical reactions from the minerals contained in the water.

It only takes 30 minutes to reach the summit, and as you make your way you’ll be greeted by the sight of pine trees along the footpaths. It’s best to head to the summit in the early morning, just in time for the sun to rise above the lakes.

The closest town to the mountain is Moni, and you can stay overnight at one of the numerous guest houses and lodges before you head to the mountain in the morning.

Difficulty level: Easy
Entrance fee: Rp. 5,000 (~USD0.35) per person for Indonesian citizens, Rp. 150,000 (~USD10.40) per person for foreigners
Address: Kelimutu National Park, Ende Regency, East Nusa Tenggara

Easy hiking trails in Indonesia

While hiking might seem like an extremely physical activity at first, these easy hiking trails allow you to enjoy some of the best scenic sights Indonesia has to offer with an average fitness level.

As you make your escape to nature and indulge yourself in the beautiful scenery, make sure you do your part in caring for the environment by not littering and leaving the purity of the areas as it is. As the old adventurers’ wisdom says, take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time.

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Cover image adapted from Dedisdoger/Wikimedia Commons and @hueyyismile

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