The Big Durian might not be the most ideal city if you want to live in a city with a lot of access to nature and public parks. Most of the foreigners (tourists & expatriates) I had encountered saying they’re not impressed with Jakarta, if not hating it. I’ve only been knowing 2 people who said they enjoy their visit and life in Jakarta, which kind of surprised me. Been living in Jakarta for a long, I know exactly what they meant when they shared their frustrations. I sometimes feel tired of the city life too. Once in a few weeks, I find myself looking for a way to get away from my daily work routine. My mind often wondered, how to escape the concrete jungle to have adventure on weekend?. As I scrolled down old photos album on my Facebook, I found one perfect idea for Jakarta weekend getaway, hiking in Puncak.
Puncak has been become the common destination for Jakarta weekend getaway, especially for those who are longing for natural scenery and clean air. Literally means the peak, Puncak is a highland area spread within the regencies of Bogor, Cianjur, and Sukabumi in West Java province. It has already been popular as a resort area for the inhabitants of Batavia who are looking for cooler air during the Dutch occupation era. While most people come to Puncak to rest in a villa or encounter animals in Taman Safari, a safari park, my choice for Jakarta weekend getaway is hiking in Mount Gede Pangrango National Park.
JAKARTA WEEKEND GETAWAY : HOW TO GET THERE
It takes 2 hours drive to reach the entrance of the national park from the center of Jakarta. We wanted to avoid traffic jams so we departed pretty early, at 7 AM. Since Puncak is a popular destination for Jakarta weekend getaway, the road is often jammed, especially during weekends, long weekends, and national holidays. We were lucky as there was almost no traffic jam, but we got stopped by police for a few times. They checked if we had a free-Covid-19 letter or not. Around 9AM, we got to the park entrance via Cibodas Botanical Gardens.
JAKARTA WEEKEND GETAWAY: THINGS TO SEE & DO
Mount Gede Pangrango National Park isn’t a foreign place for me. I’ve been hiking there with my coworkers 5 years ago. That’s a pretty old memory, but indeed a good one. I still remembered how fun the hike was, how scenic the scenery was. The sky looked bright blue, a rare thing in Jakarta, in contrast with the colorful flowers at the foot of the mountain. I hiked to the national park last month during the rainy season. There were no colorful flowers, but the scenery still look pretty and the fresh air I breathed can get rid of the accumulated stress.
Mount Gede Pangrango National Park is centered between two volcanoes, Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango (2.958 m and 3.019 m respectively) in West Java, Indonesia. Most people come here for hiking to the peaks. There are 3 official hiking trails which each one has its own wonders and difficulties. The most traversed hiking trail is the Cibodas trail. It takes around 7-10 hours to reach the peak, but you will enjoy breathtaking scenery along the way, such as a lake, waterfall, swamp, and some craters. The second hiking trail, Gunung Putri, is more difficult than the first one, but you only need around 6-8 hours to reach the peak. Meanwhile, the last hiking trail, Selabintana, in Sukabumi Regency is the longest one. You gonna need 9-12 hours to conquer the mountain peak.
I didn’t prepare myself for a long hike during the Jakarta weekend getaway. So I’d preferred to hike toward Cibeureum waterfall or Curug Cibeureum (in Sundanese, West Java local language). The trail is part of the hiking trail towards the mountain peak and was very walkable. Along the way, we encountered a small beautiful lake called Telaga Warna and also some snack vendors. After hiking for one hour, we got to the waterfall. Here, we took some time to catch the breath but not for swimming. Although its beauty tempted me, I’d preferred to continue the journey back to the entrance. For me, the walk, the hike, and the feeling closer to nature are enough to refresh my mind, body, and soul.
Aside from hiking to the peaks and Cibeureum waterfall as I’d done during the Jakarta weekend getaway, you can also opt to visit the other waterfalls if you have plenty of time and energy. There are 17 waterfalls in the national park, 58 rivers, and 1075 creeks. The other activities you can consider are camping and enjoying the scenery bypassing the suspension bridge.
Entrace ticket : Rp.17.000/ person.
My Jakarta weekend getaway was satisfying and worth every effort. It was a nearly perfect weekend activities which is not including visiting shopping malls and hip restaurants, a typical weekend in Jakarta. If hiking or exploring a national park isn’t your thing, but you are still wishing a short escape from Jakarta, you can opt to visit some historical sites in Yogyakarta or having adventures in Bali.
Curious about my adventures in Europe and America ?. You can click the following links to see my traveling videos that have aired on Net TV :
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