There are a lot of ways to enjoy the gorgeous lush hills of Puncak, which lies less than two hours drive away from Jakarta. Mountain biking can be an excellent antidote to daily urban headache—going across the thriving nature of Puncak will not only grant you magnificent scenery, but also help you breathe more fresh air and get exercise, too. Many villas in Puncak provide mountain bikes or regular bicycles for guests, but you can also bring your own.
One of a few natural remedies amid the concrete jungle of Jakarta is the mangrove forest in North Jakarta. This lush green area is unlike anywhere else in the city—fresh air, sweeping greeneries, birds, lake, serene atmosphere all in one place, basically the things you’d yearn for but never thought Jakarta had. But beyond strolling, taking excessive pictures, and canoeing around the area, visitors can also take part in a short course about the environment that involves hands-on experience in planting mangroves.
Part of the exotic Thousands Islands just off the coast of Jakarta, Pari Island is not only one of the most idyllic, it also offers a lot of fun nature activities. When on this island, make sure to take part in the coral reef rehabilitation project, by taking half-an-hour out of your day to help plant coral reefs and learn about their conservation. Afterwards, you can continue straight with snorkeling, or enjoy the existing and thriving coral reefs that others help to plant and keep.
The area around this charismatic lake in Sukabumi has long become a lovely habitat for endemic wildlife, as well as favourite campsite for many urban dwellers. The lake view, cool breeze, morning mist, chirping of birds, and many other natural features make this area not only a sight for sore eyes, but also entice all the senses to relax and enjoy some quality time with loved ones. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike around the area to discover animals, waterfalls, and more beautiful views.
Rancabali in Bandung has one of the most beautiful and well-maintained tea plantations in town (and yes, Bandung has several of those). Taking a walk amid a boundless stretch of tea gardens is certainly one of the most soul-soothing things you’ll ever experience. Tourists can also visit the on-site tea factory and learn about the tea-making process, enjoy a meal in nearby restaurants, or even book a night at a glamping site at Lakeside Rancabali.
This deer breeding farm in Jonggol is less than a two-hour drive from Jakarta, but feels like a whole other world already. More like a whole village in itself, this deer farm has an extensive ground that includes vast pastures, a river, hills, fields, waterfalls, and other facilities. But the best thing about this place is of course the deers, roaming freely, and used to human interactions. So feel free to observe and approach, but don’t forget to heed the instructions from the farm officers, who will tell you all about these adorable animals and what you can and can’t do with them.
The sweeping mountain and sea view, tropical sunlight, intriguing crater rim, and black sand beach are definitely exceptional to behold, but the biggest pull about this volcano is its disastrous history. In 1883, this volcanic island gave way to one of the biggest geologic catastrophes ever recorded. The massive eruption killed at least 35,000 people on nearby areas while the rest of the world witnessed peculiarities in the sky and the disappearance of the sun due to the immense amount of ash in the stratosphere. The great volcano left a tiny part of itself, called Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa), which is a captivating destination for hikes, snorkeling, sightseeing, and even scientific observations.
This small town near Jakarta is loved and frequented by urban dwellers for many things, from idyllic staycation spots to a lively culinary scene. But perhaps one of its most irresistible charms is the glorious natural features. Waterfalls in particular are abundant in many of Bogor’s rural localities—there are areas packed with several different waterfalls, each with their own unique face and beauty. Visitors can opt for the Cilember area, which has at least seven waterfalls that come in sequence. Or the Halimun Salak National Park, which has dozens of waterfalls scattered around its vastness.
At the heart of Bogor lies southeast Asia’s oldest botanical garden, and one of the country’s biggest and foremost gardens dedicated for recreation, research, and cultivation. With more than 13,000 species over its 87 hectares (210 acres), there’s a lot to see and learn at this botanical garden. From spotting the presidential palace to walking around orchidarium, visiting the labs and museums or simply strolling casually while observing trees and reading the description boards, a visit to Bogor Botanical Garden will leave your mind more knowledgeable and at peace.
In Pramuka Island, one of the strings of island off the coast of Jakarta, wildlife is alive and thriving. The island has the honor of hosting and conserving the endangered hawksbill sea turtle, a duty that is taken very seriously. The turtle conservation has become one of the island’s highlights for tourists—it serves as an educational attraction where tourists can learn and observe the early life of the beautiful exotic turtles, before they get old enough to be released to the sea.