Stretching from Pelabuhan Ratu to Pangandaran, West Java is one of the most populous regions of Indonesia. Known as the Sunda Kingdom in the past, the Sultanate of Cirebon from the 16th Century still stands to this day, ensuring that the art and culture of West Java is kept alive. Home to a handful of volcanoes along the pacific ring of fire, West Java is also commonly referred to as Panghegar (which means ‘abode of the Gods’). It showcases a collection of natural wonders that’s just a few hours’ drive from Bandung or Jakarta – you’d never expect it!
From mountain-top lakes to sandy beaches and everything in between, we present you with the most spectacular sights West Java has slung on its sleeve.
1. Stumble into Jurassic World (a Komodo Island Alternative): Pulau Biawak, Indramayu
Pulau Biawak literally means Monitor Lizard Island – a name that says everything. It was initially a marine science research facility and previously closed off to the public.
2. A Test of Courage and Determination: Tebing Citatah, Padalarang
Currently under the supervision of the Kopassus Special Forces, the cliffs are mainly used as military training grounds. But on weekends, the three cliffs; Citatah 48, Citatah 90, and Citatah 125 are open to the public for rock climbing activities – free of charge!
3. Explore the ‘Lost Pyramids’ in Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, Cianjur
A discovery that changed history has been found nestled between a chain of volcanoes in Cianjur. When a temple was found on a 100-metre-tall hill, it was no big deal. But 20 years ago, it was discovered that the temple was not standing on a hill, but a man-made pyramid buried under the soil!
4. Witness the Weeping Rocks of Curug Batu Templek, Bandung
A rare geological phenomenon, the rocks of Curug Batu Templek is actually a small notch on the Earth’s plate, formed by tectonic movements. This causes underground water to pour magically from the cracks into the rocks.
5. Cruise through the Green Canyon of Indonesia: Cukang Taneuh, Pangandaran
Popularised by a french tourist who called it the ‘Green Canyon’, Cukang Taneuh (which means Earth Bridge) has been described as the Grand Canyons of Arizona covered by a layer of green.