Top 10 Volcano Mountains You Must Hike

Although boasting 17,000 islands, Indonesia may come to mind with lots of islands and beaches and sea, but you be surprised that it has just as many mountains. Being an archipelago that is situated at the confluence of the tectonic plates – Asian, Australian, Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, it has as many as 129 volcanoes making it the country with 13 percent of the world’s volcanoes. These volcanoes encircling the stretch of Indonesia has a name with a cool ring to it – Indonesia Ring of Fire.

The volcanoes, some active (some very active) and some not, provides a naturally stunning scenery unlike any other. Some of the mountains are situated within a large volcanic lake or some with craters that spurt blue fire.

The highest peak in Indonesia is the Puncak Jaya in Papua while the largest volcanic lake is the Lake Toba in Sumatra.

Here are Top 10 Volcano Mountain in Indonesia for you to visit:

Volcano Mount Bromo with Mount Semeru at the back, Java, Indonesia

Volcano Mount Bromo with Mount Semeru at the back spewing smoke


Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo, at 2329 m, is one of the most iconic mountain in Indonesia. This is due its majestic beauty, where it stands forebodingly within the Tengger caldera sea of sand while spewing off white sulphurous smoke. Mount Bromo is one of the most active volcanoes of the world and one of the frequent visited ones. Travelers from far and wide come here to view the sunrise over this mountain, where the ethereal landscape is not to be missed.

Volcano Mount Ijen and its lake, Java, Indonesia

Volcano Mount Ijen and its lake, Java

Ijen Crater

Ijen Crater or locally known as Kawah Ijen is another popular mountain of Java after Mount Bromo. Many travelers continue to visit here after Mount Bromo and the experience is refreshingly new. Inside the crater you will see a magnificent turquoise sulphur lake that exudes flames, blue fire at night and smoky white in the day.You will also meet many sulphur collectors on your hike up and be shocked by the condition of their work consuming the harmful fumes all the time. Ijen volcano contains the world’s largest acidic volcanic lake that shines in beautiful turquoise color. By night the lake will throw off blue flames which many hikers brave the dark for.

Hike Volcano Mountain Semeru, Java, Indonesia

Hike Volcano Mountain Semeru, Java

Mount Semeru

Mount Semeru is the tallest mountain in Java, located at the east. It is also known as Mahameru by the locals which means The Great Mountain, deriving from the mystical Hindu-Buddhist mountain of Meru and Sumeru the gods. Climbing to the peak takes two hiking days and it is relatively easy for seasoned hikers. The only challenge is the last slope up to the summit. Mount Semeru is an active volcano with constants smoke from it’s crater.

Hike Volcano Mountain Merbabu, Java, Indonesia

Hike Volcano Mountain Merbabu, Java

Mount Merbabu

Mount Merbabu, the name loosely translated as “Mountain of Ash”, is the only volcano mountain in this list that is dormant. But even with that, it is still a volcano to be reckoned with. It lies adjacent to Mount Merapi towards the southeast at the height of 3142 m. It is a challenging hike up to the peak, there are two peaks – Syarif (3119 m) and Kenteng Songo (3142 m), forming a U-shaped valley. The area of the mountain had been declared as a national park in 2004.


Mount Krakatoa or Krakatau

Hike Volcano Mountain Krakatau, Java, Sumatra, Indonesia

Anak Krakatau between Java and Sumatra

Krakatoa or also known as Krakatau, is a volcanic island situated in the Sunda Straits between Java and Sumatra of Indonesia. The eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883 had been noted as one of the most violent volcanic events ever recorded. The huge explosion blast over 4,000km all the way to Australia and India. This massive explosion cause giant tsunami and the dust from it stays in the stratosphere for several years after while killing more than 35,000 people. Mount Krakatoa is still very much an active volcano and scaling it takes precaution and would require camping a night at Rakata Island, where you can enjoy the view of Krakatoa eruption at night.

Mount Kerinci

Mount Kerinci is the highest volcano in Indonesia and the highest peak in Sumatra. It is located within the Kerinci Seblat National Park that is home to the endangered species – Sumatran Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros. It is still a very much active volcano with constant annual activities. The climb up this mountain would take 3 days 2 nights to reach the summit, or one day less if not. There are 15 lakes surrounding this mountain with one of lake being the highest lake in Southeast Asia at 1996 m which is called Gunung Tujuh Lake (Seven Mountains Lake – there are 7 peaks surrounding this lake). The biggest lake here is the Kerinci Lake at 4200 hectare.

Hike Volcano Mountain Kerinci, Sumatra, Indonesia

Hike Volcano Mountain Kerinci, Sumatra


Mount Batur

One of the more popular mountains in Bali, Mount Batur is an active volcano standing at 1700m, many travelers hike a do this short but can be quite tough 2 hours hike up the mountain to have a sunrise view over Bali and its surrounding islands. Getting here from Ubud might take some time but the climb and the view of the landscape and Lake Batur is all worth it in the end. It is also one of the popular activities to do when you are visiting Bali long enough to get bored of the beaches and sea and want to do some excursions.

Hike Volcano Mountain Batur, Bali, Indonesia

Hike Volcano Mountain Batur, Bali

Mount Agung

Mount Agung, standing tall at 3142 m at East is the highest mountain in Bali. It holds a spiritual significance to the Balinese as the Mother Temple of Besakih. Legend has it that it is created by the Hindu God Pashupati when he split the Mount Meru which is the spiritual axis of the universe. This mountain can be scaled in 6-7 hours with demanding hike. The hike itself is an adventure and many travelers find it a rewarding after experiencing it. On the way, you can visit the Pasar Agung temple which is one of Bali’s nine directional temples. There is also the Besakih Temple which stands dramatically on the southern slopes of Mount Agung.

Volcano Mountain Agung by the beach, Bali, Indonesia

Volcano Mountain Agung by the beach, Bali


Mount Rinjani

Mount Rinjani in Lombok is the second highest volcano in Indonesia at 3726 m. It is also among one of the most active volcanoes here. It ha a caldera of 50 km square with a crater lake in it called Segara Anak. Many pilgrims come yearly to this lake to make offerings to the gods and the lake. To hike this volcano mountain would take two days of demanding trekking but the view at the summit is all so worth it. Due to Lombok being one of the emerging travel places in Indonesia, you will find quite a number of travelers scaling this mountain with you but fret not as the beauty is for all to marvel at together.

Hike Volcano Mountain Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Hike Volcano Mountain Rinjani, Lombok


Mount Kelimutu

Mount Kelimutu is home to the famous tri-colored lakes which people travel through long tortuous roads just to get to. The lakes are in hues of blue, green and red due to its volcanic substances and it changes colors depending on season and time making it somewhat magical. These magical lakes are the reason enough to scale Mount Kelimutu for. The highest peak here is Mount Kelibara at 1713m. Mount Kelimutu is situated in Kelimutu National Park in Central Flores of Indonesia.

Hike Volcano Mountain Kelimutu, Flores, Indonesia

Hike Volcano Mountain Kelimutu, Flores


Bonus mountain as technically this is the hardest to scale and probably not everyone can do this as a mountain to hike, it is still notable as it is the highest peak in Indonesia.

Puncak Jaya (Cartensz Pyramid)

This is one of the world’s seven ultimate summit and the only mountain in Indonesia which has a glacier top. Puncak Jaya or Cartensz Pyramid is the highest point in between Himalayas and Andes, crowning it the highest island peak in the world. It lies in Lorentz National Park in Papua, Indonesia. The climb up this mountain is highly technical and tough, therefore it is well advised to get a guide and prepare yourself thoroughly for it. Conquering this mountain is part of the peak-bagging list of Seven Summits of the world.

Puncak Jaya / Cartensz Pyramid Volcano Mountain in Papua, Indonesia

Puncak Jaya / Cartensz Pyramid Volcano Mountain in Papua

Photo credits from top: borderlys, Richard Liblanc, Michael Day, uncle.capung, Paul Hessels, WahyuS, Kevin Poh, Ben Godfrey, Blek, NeilsPhotography and Alfindra Primaldhi

Recommended tours *:
Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour
Ijen Blue Fire Trekking Tour

Related articles:
Ijen Crater, East Java
Trekking Mount Rinjani, Lombok
Hiking Mount Bromo
Puncak Jaya at Lorentz National Park

Author: Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+

19 thoughts on “Top 10 Volcano Mountains You Must Hike”

  1. Hi Rachel,
    my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Indonesia soon. We are interested in hiking a volcano. Can you recommend the best one? we are both experienced hikers and are looking for some serious adventure. Any information you can share would be fantastic.
    Thank you!

        1. Yes, if you’re an experienced trekker, try Mt Rinjani. I have just trekked it a couple of weeks ago. It is tough especially the last stretch to the summit. Even to reach the base camp, it takes plenty of effort, not to mention dust as well. If you had trekked Mt Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, Mount Rinjani is approx. 3 times more demanding. :)

          1. Did you do it on your own or with a guide/trek tour?
            If so, any recommendations? I’m a solo traveller, therefore I would like to join some people to do it :)

    1. Hi, I did Mount Agung few days ago. It was unforgettable experience. Was tough, slippery and loose rocks but it was worth it after all. I used the agency and cost me a fortunate. I have my tour guide contact number : 0823 40396074(Komang).He was really good and looked after me well. He followed my pace and and helped me when walks down as very slippery. I fell more than 3 times lol. If you contact him directly it would be cheaper as don’t have to pay commission to the agent.

  2. Was thrilled to stumble across this post – I am planning a trip to the region in January and had to decide between Nepal and Indonesia. Deciding on Indo, I wanted to compromise and find great trekking there instead. Kerinci and Agung in particular caught my eye. THANKS!

  3. Hey Rachel,
    I’m visitin Bali for a mountain bike race next week. Thinking of visiting few volcanic mountains for some steep trails and advanced downhill terrain. Any suggestions?

  4. Hi Rachel
    thank you for your great overview on the must sees in Indonesia. Could you recomend me a tour operazer who could organise and guide me on a 14 days tour? I am looking for a tour to travel in a group, because I will be booking only for myself. Thamk you very much for your reply

  5. Hello Rachel, can you tell me something more about climbing Puncak Jaya please? I am an experience climber but it seems there are a lot of permits required to climb this mountain.

  6. Hi Rachel,

    I have recently moved to Indonesia, and wanted to explore the country’s volcanoes. But I want to take my family (wife, 2 year kid) with me. Keeping this in mind, do you recommend visiting any volcano? If yes, which one?


  7. Hello! Im looking to go to Bali for about a week at the end of Jan 2016. Im an avid hiker and love scenery (photography), especially volcanoes…. So Im hoping to do 3-5 day hikes in Bali, and I would reserve 1-2 days to fly to Java to hike Mt Bromo. I dont mind if the hikes are difficult, just as long as they can be done within a day (4-8 hours). Any cant miss hikes (other than Bromo) that I should definitely consider?

  8. Hi,
    My friends and I plan to go to Bali soon. We are beginner hikers. Could anyone kindly suggest the best place to hike w the best view? Of course we want to see a breathtaking view like Bromo, Kelimutu and puncak jaya for instance :) any recommendations or tips? The longest hike I’ve ever been is maybe 2 hours.

  9. hi, im planning to visit Indonesia end of March 2016. i would like climb a volcanic Mt. and prefer to climb the best one of course! anybody can suggest the best climb, in terms of scenery and beauty in this month?

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