It’s not about conquering nature. Scaling mountain peaks is about getting in touch with your inner adventurer, communing with the natural world and reaching for the sky.
1. Rinjani (3,726 metres)
Rinjani, the second-highest volcanic mountain in Indonesia, looms over Lombok Island, a mysterious sentinel watching over this tropical paradise. Rinjani is home to a gorgeous lake, Segara Anak, where many hikers make camp to experience the beauty of Rinjani’s morning views. When the weather is clear, Rinjani offers sweeping views of Mount Agung on neighbouring Bali from its peak. Like a femme fatale, you have to pay dearly to experience this ancient beauty. People call Rinjani the Seven Hills of Regret because its tracks are so difficult and it leaves trekkers weary down to the bone.
2. Merbabu (3,142 metres)
Merbabu is a stunning destination with gorgeous views that are a reward for a track that is difficult even for experienced hikers. It takes about eight hours to reach the summit on a track that winds through thick forest and fog. Merbabu has seven summits but the most famous ones are Kenteng Songo, Syarif and Triangulasi, which is the highest point on Merbabu.
3. Merapi (2,968 metres)
This is one of the most popular mountains for trekkers because of the views. There are a number of popular tracks, including Selo (Boyolali, Central Java), which takes about five hours to reach the summit. Kaliurang (Sleman, south of Yogyakarta) is another choice, but more difficult and takes about six to seven hours to reach the summit. There are many legends surrounding Merapi including Bubrah Market, which people say is a devil market on the top of the mountain. Every Thursday night, people say, voices can be heard from the summit, like people bargaining in the market.
4. Semeru (3,676 metres)
Semeru is located near Malang, East Java, and is home to the mysterious Lake Ranu Kumbolo. There are fantastic mountains views and, if you are lucky, you will see Wedus Gembel, the name for the hot clouds that periodically gather around the summit, adding an extra dimension Semeru. Semeru is the highest mountain in Java and on the wish list of any trekker worth her name. Summiting Semeru is an achievement for hikers. Semeru is known variously as the Summit of Gods, the Roof of Java and Mahameru.
5. Sindoro (3,136 metres)
Sindoro and its twin, Sumbing, tower over Central Java and trekkers often make these twin peaks one destination. Located between the cities of Temanggung and Wonosobo, Sindoro offers some rare views, such as the Dieng Plateau when the weather is clear or the magnificent sight of mountains like Sumbing, Merbabu, Merapi, Ungaran, Slamet and Ciremai. Sindoro is blanketed by green forest and trekkers have to be prepared for face-to-face meetings with the local wildlife.
Text by Ester Pandiangan | Photos by Tektok Team