Best Attractions for Nature Lovers in Bandung, Indonesia
Bandung, the capital city of West Java, might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Indonesia. While most people would know about Bali from Eat, Pray, Love, or Jakarta for its traffic. Bandung is much a lesser known location, but definitely a hidden gem especially for nature lovers.
Located about 800m above sea level, Bandung is known for its cooler climates, ranging between 17-24o C. Bandung is also surrounded by up to 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) high volcanic terrain, making it an incredible spot for nature lovers.
While I personally believe that the best way to enjoy Bandung’s nature is to get a local person, NOT travel guides, to show you around the mountain. One way would be to google maps your way to one of the highlands, drop by a random street-side bamboo shophouse and ask someone to show you around the mountain. They will be happy enough to do it for you for IDR 100,000 - 200,000 ($10-20), BUT, you have to be able to speak Bahasa Indonesia.
If you can’t speak Bahasa Indonesia, fret not! These are some of the places you can still visit even if you don’t understand a single word of Bahasa. Don’t worry, these places are not one of those hyper-commercialized tourism places where there’s hardly anything natural left.
Kawah Putih is located around 50km south of Bandung, and the road you have to travel might feel a little crazy especially for International tourists. Yet after that approximately 1.5 hours of meandering and bumpy roads, you’ll be awed by the beauty of the turquoise blue volcanic lake that will just drive your car sickness away. There are unique varieties of flora surrounding the lake, and the exotic trees, plants and flowers and the whole landscape make a really stunning picturesque view.
The crater makes the peak of Mount Patuha and is located at around 2400 m above sea level. Do bring your jacket as it may get chilly. Also, despite how tempting it is to dip into the beautiful waters, stay away from the highly acidic water! The smell from the yellow sulfur might get too overwhelming so you might want to bring a mask beforehand. There will be people selling dust masks to ease it a little, but I personally don’t think that it helps much. It’s okay if you still want to get one of those, but pro tip from me, try to get a local to buy the mask for you, just ask the surrounding tourist. Otherwise, the vendors can jack up the price by 5x the moment they know that you don’t speak Bahasa!
Ranca Upas is one of my favorite destinations, besides the fact that I am a hopeless animal lover, it is also a beautiful place to be immersed in nature. Located at 1,700m above sea level, what was once a military training ground is now a conservation forest cum camping ground for nature lovers!
Aside from the various outbound activities in the forest setting, my favorite thing to do there is definitely feeding the deer at the deer farm there. You can feed the deer with carrots and leaves while enjoying the cooling weather and breathing in the fresh air.
Be careful with the muddy ground and the occasional pile of droppings, but, look at that cute deer face! Isn’t it just worth it?
Situ Patenggang + Rancabali Tea Plantation
Lake Patenggang (or Situ Patenggang) is another must-visit destination. Located at 1,600m above sea level and surrounded by green landscapes of tea plantations and mountains as the backdrops, it is a jaw-dropping destination that will surely amaze you.
The lake itself is about 45,000 hectares (huge!), and you can hire a boat to explore the lake. However, be sure to get there early because the boat-keepers usually wrap up before 5 PM! While you’re in the area, make sure you visit the tea plantation, Rancabali Tea Plantation just around the lake. Don’t worry, you won’t miss it! It’s HUGE!
So, to all of you nature lovers out there, make sure to put Bandung as one of your next travel destinations! And you don’t even have to worry about getting internet connection as Yogofi is here for you. Stay connected as you connect with nature in Bandung with Yogofi! Get exclusive deals at #FollowJane app.