Choose between mountains, beaches, gardens, or cultural immersions. All of them being a must-do in if you are staying in the area.
Find below the five best destinations to escape from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta city.
In the little village of Baduy, you will experience the simple life of Baduy ethnic tribes that are willingly disconnected from the outside world.
For the Baduy locals, the world is separated into 3 regions : Baduy Dalam (inner Baduy), Baduy Luar (outer Baduy) and Luar Baduy (everything outside Baduy).
Please note that Baduy people live without electricity and mobile phones, also it is better to always ask permission before using your camera as they are not allowed in some parts of the village. Bring some food in case, as there are no restaurants around the area. However the locals are very friendly and will be happy to welcome you to join them at their tables.
The village is made of bamboo houses and offers a great insight on a very traditional way of living while women do their own hand weaving clothes and local people bath in the river.
Reaching the village from Jakarta will require a bit of adventure.
The first option will be by public transportation; take the morning express train from Tanah Abang Station at 8.30 AM and get down at Rangkas Bitung Station (1.5hour train ride). Then jump into a bus to the Ciboleger village (1hr bus ride), specifically to the Ciboleger Station. Ciboleger is the main entrance to the Baduy village where you will find many locals offering their services to be your guide during your visit.
From Ciboleger, you will need to do a short 30 minutes trek over the beautiful terrain to finally reach your destination, so bring some comfortable clothing to trek and an open mind ready to explore a new culture!
If you wish to stay overnight, there is a homestay in Kampung Gajeboh. You can also stay in a local’s house and get a great insight on their traditions and culture. You may start with a morning bath in the river, no shampoos or soaps are being used in this area, good luck!
2 – Batu Karas
Batu Karas, also sometimes referred to the Bali of Java, is one of the secret destinations in Indonesia that everyone would love. This is a place where you will feel warmly welcome by the friendly locals and be stunned by the beauty of the landscape.
What you will see there is basically a wonderful combination of nature, green canyons, valleys, and surf beaches that are suitable for all levels.
If you are looking for some culturally enriching activities, we recommend that you try the Pencak Silat- a traditional Indonesian martial art.
There is a local Pencak Silat school in the village, ask the locals for the way. You will be warmly welcome to join for a class. The students and their trainers are always very happy to do some demos for you, executing martial art postures with traditional weapons flowing to the rhythms of the Javanese music. With one lesson, you will be able to learn the basic of Pencak Silat and perhaps execute some harmful kicks if you’re good!
To get there, you will have to fly from Jakarta to Pangadaran, which will cost around Rp 1,5 million for a return flight. There is only one airline currently operating this flight, and that is Susi Air, with a small plane of 8 seats only. The flight will be a new adventure by itself!
The best place to stay in Batu Karas is the Javacove, with rooms from Rp. 350,000 facing the beach.
Batu Karas is a perfect place for a weekend getaway from the urban jungle that will let you great memories.
3 – Bandung
Bandung is decidedly the number 1 destination for people living in Jakarta, being just less than 3 hours away from the capital.
Nicknamed the Paris of Java by the Dutch, Bandung offers wonderful panoramas from the hills and fresh chilly air due to its hilly nature.
People mostly go there for shopping, feel the fresh air of the mountain and also taste some delicious Sundanese dishes.
Additionally, there is a beautiful Batik factory named Batik Komar where you can learn about all the different techniques of doing Batiks. Batik Komar also exports to Europe and the US. In store, they have an amazing collection of ready to wear Batiks, worth having a look!
Another activity we recommend is the traditional music performance at Angklung Udjo. There, artistically talented children play and dance to the rhythm of the Angklung, a traditional musical instrument made of Bamboo. The show costs Rp.100,000. At the end of the performance, the owner of Angklung Udjo will be more than happy to teach you how to play the Angklung. This is definitely a fun and educative way to spend your afternoon!
As for the food, it is basically healthy, spicy and tasty! Most traditional Sundanese dishes include crispy fresh vegetables, seasoned rice with cinnamon, and seasoned fried chicken. Also famous is the Batagor, which is basic beef balls and tofu, eaten with spicy peanut sauce.
4 – Thousand islands (Pulau Seribu)
Get up early and catch a ferry to one of those beautiful islands!
Pramuka island is famous for diving thanks to its rich marine life. Here, the dive cater to all levels, with popular sites such as the Tabularasa shipwreck and Poso shipwreck.
If you are looking for some tranquility, Tidung island will be the place for you. You can stay at a homestay, cycle around the village, eat some traditional food, or enjoy some snorkeling. This is just about relaxing and a much needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta!
On a side note, our personal suggestion would be to visit the Puri island. It remains one of the least explored island and offers untouched beaches, nice corals, mangroves, and seaweed cultivation. Pantai Pasir Perawan, meaning virgin white sand beach in Bahasa Indonesia, is the spot you need to be for sunrise. You may also enjoy the beautiful sunset with your own seaside barbeque. Make sure to bring a garbage bag as littering is not allowed on this island!
To get to these islands, the shortest boat ride will be from Muara Saban Cituis Port, Tangerang, with a travel time of approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. The longest boat ride is from Muara Angke Port by a traditional wooden fishing boat with a capacity of 100 to 120 people, and takes about 1 ½ or 2 hours of travel. A Return Ticket costs about Rp. 60,000 to 70.000 (USD 6,00). Be sure to be there at 6 AM to catch the first boat!
5 – Bogor & Puncak
Bogor is the closest getaway from Jakarta, within just an hour by car via highway or by train. With its relatively cooler weather and greener landscape, this city has gained much popularity from the Jakartans to escape to during the weekends.
The best place to relax while in Bogor is the botanical garden, also known as Kebun Raya in Bahasa Indonesia. Sprawling across a massive 87 hectares of land, this world-renowned botanical garden is famous for its collection of plants and flowers. You can enjoy the visit of gardens such as the Orchid Garden and Mexican Garden.
Why not going for a picnic by the lily pads ? Bogor’s botanical garden is definitely a beautiful place for refreshment and relaxation away from the noisy Jakarta.
While in Bogor, we advise you to check out Puncak to admire a breathtaking view above the city. There, you will also get to see some tea plantations. If you’re feeling adventurous you can jump off the hill, and discover the sensations of Paragliding. Otherwise, you should head to Puncak simply for the sunset, and have a drink while at the top of the hill: a romantic and relaxing experience indeed!