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Banyumas is one of twenty-nine districts in Jawa Tengah (Central Java) province, with Purwokerto city as the capital.
Located near Mount Slamet -the biggest mountain in Jawa island- and surrounded by valleys and rivers, Banyumas has plenty of beautiful waterfalls or “curug” the locals would say.
Not so many are opened for public, but here are five I would recommend you to visit:
Curug Cipendok (waterfall)
Curug Cipendok (waterfall), Banyumas, Java
Karang Tengah village, Cilongok sub-district – ±15 kilometers west from Purwokerto
The highest waterfalls in Banyumas (92 meters high).
Entrance ticket: IDR 7,000. They may give us a bottled drink, but I suggest you NOT to take it because they will charge you another IDR 3,000 and the drink tastes weird. Unless you want to keep it as souvenir.
Flying fox (for beginners) costs only IDR 10,000. Roasted corn ± IDR 3,000.
Curug Gomblang (waterfall)
Curug Gomblang (waterfall), Banyumas, Java
Baseh village in Kedungbanteng sub-district – ±12 kilometers west from Purwokerto
Two waterfalls with large water debit, but amazingly peaceful under. Get lost a little bit among the kauri trees (Agathis dammara), you’ll find a path down to the Logawa river that mostly covered with bush. Be careful of the thorns and look around for the possibility to find wild raspberries. It can be very slippery in rainy season.
Curug Belot (waterfall)
Pandak village, Baturraden sub-district – ±12 kilometers north from Purwokerto.
Swim and jump from the rock with the local children.
Curug Belot (waterfall), Banyumas, Java
Curug Bayan (waterfall)
Melung village, Baturraden sub-district – ±13 kilometers north from Purwokerto
Curug Bayan (waterfall), Banyumas, Java
You’ll read both curug Gedhe and curug Bayan on a sign post, but curug Gedhe is a sacred place for the locals, so it’s not recommended to visit because you can’t do much there.
Relax, sit on a stone, and soak your feet in the pristine cool water of curug Bayan while viewing the surrounding, or try river tubing. There are also villas you can rent cost around IDR 350,000 – 1,500,000 per night. Entrance fee IDR 4,000.
Warning: Do not swim right under the waterfall. Some people trapped and died.
Curug Ceheng (waterfall)
Gandatapa village, Baturraden sub-district – ±15 kilometers northeast from Purwokerto. This waterfall is located in the middle of the clove plantations and became one of the popular camping grounds in Banyumas. Access is fairly easy. There is a hall where traditional performances are held at certain times.
Curug Ceheng (waterfall), Banyumas, Java
The blend of curiosity and courage brings Eva to travel and explore exotic places. She believes that traveling is a journey of learning, a wide opened door into experience and wisdom. Got lost so many times made her decided to share more information on her travel blog and established an outdoor tour guide service in her hometown. Find Eva at her travel blog – Traveling and Discerning.
Culinary wise, you will find unique cafes in every corner and delicious local food everywhere. Culture-wise, there are the Lawangwangi art space performances while shopping wise, you will be spoilt for choices with its many factory outlets and boutiques.
To top it off, get around Bandung for excursions to famous places like the Kawah Putih Crater or chill by Situ Patenggang lake or look up the legend of Tangkuban Perahu.
Read on for our Bandung Trip 3 days itinerary plan that will help you to maximise your visit here!
Bandung is really quite a vibrant city and is considered a hub for retail and culinary tourism. Jalan Setiabudi, Jalan Cihampelas, and Jalan Riau are a couple of very popular areas where you’ll find the streets fill with shopping and eating opportunities!
Start the morning with a trip to Rumah Mode on Jalan Setiabudi (to beat the afternoon crowds!). This factory outlet bursts at the seams with all things retail. They also have a few eateries where you can taste local treats such as Batagor, Nasi Timbel, and Martabak, set around beautiful garden settings.
Midday head down to Jalan Cihampelas, popularly known as ‘Jeans Street’ due to the huge amount of denim sellers there. This is also a busy street with a notable lack of walking areas – so take care when moving from shop to shop! What makes this street stand out are the large cartoon statues that head some of the shops. You’ll find Rambo, Spiderman, Aladdin, Hercules, Superman, to name just a few! This street isn’t the cleanest or most organized, but it’s worth a visit if only just to see it’s unique visual appeal.
If Jeans Street tired you out, which it most certainly will, you can pop into Ciwalk Mall for a bit of relaxation with more complete, organized shops and restaurants. It’s designed in a garden walk style which makes for pleasant strolling. Gokanna serves up traditional Indonesian and Sundanese (the local food in Bandung) dishes, or there are western favourites such as Soho, Raffles, and Pizza Hut among others.
After a bit of rest, Jalan Riau calls for more shopping and an abundance of delectable cafes and restaurants. Two favourite factory outlets here are The Secret Factory Outlet and Heritage Factory Outlet. They’re both comfortable, complete, and reasonably cheap. Heritage is set in one of the old Dutch buildings that have been refurbished to suit modern Bandung, and there’s quite a good restaurant next door called Dakken Coffee and Steak, also in a refurbished colonial building. They serve tasty local and western food, recommended! Otherwise, there’s a lovely café around the corner on Jalan Progo called Hummingbird Eatery, which also has a decadent selection of cakes and cookies!
If you don’t fancy settling in for dinner here around Riau, there’s a nice restaurant not too far away called Atmosphere Resort Café that has a stunning traditional décor and delectable menu.
Day Two – Excursions from Bandung
With shopping and eating thoroughly explored in the city, it’s time to find some nature!
Head to the south Ciwidey hills in the morning. You’ll find the temperatures drop and the natural scenery takes over. Kawah Putih Crater Lake is quite a beautiful sight! The enchanting turquoise crater, ghostly bare trees, grey hills and white mist make it a rather stunning spot for budding photographers and selfie-takers. Make sure you wear a mask or cover your nose and mouth as breathing in sulfur fumes can be uncomfortable. Nearby, you’ll find lushly green tea plantations such as Rancabali that will also take your breath away! They cover rather large areas, so crowds aren’t a worry and peaceful moments are enough for everyone. There are a few places that have thermal hot pools too, but they’re usually full of local families and can get really crowded.
Stop by Situ Patenggang lake and prepare to witness yet another sight for sore eyes. Take a small boat ride to Batu Cinta and hear the old story about this ‘Love Rock’ in the middle of the lake. This is a really picturesque lake so make sure you have your camera ready! No doubt you’ll be doing a lot of snacking on local treats around Ciwidey, but for a late lunch, there are some good traditional restaurants. Saung Gawir comes recommended, as does Sidang Reret, both boast delicious local cuisines and stunning natural scenery. They are located on the main road from which you come and go from Ciwidey area.
Situ Patenggang lake
In the evening, you might find yourself tired from the hectic traffic getting to and from Ciwidey. So it might be a nice idea to chill at your hotel or take an evening stroll along Jalan Braga, possibly the most unique and well-known heritage streets in Bandung that still holds it’s colonial style architecture. Here you’ll find cafes, restaurants, art shops and even a mall (Braga City Walk). On the southern corner sits Gedung Merdeka which houses the Asian-African Conference Museum that was first held in 1955, and its 60th-anniversary conference was held just recently in 2015. Masjid Raya Bandung is just around the corner in Alun-Alun. The most noteworthy mosque in the city is open to the public on Saturday and Monday. It should also be said that most shops on Jalan Braga are closed on Sundays, so a visit to this area would be best on Saturday (though very busy), or Monday.
Today can be a relaxing and unwinding mix of nature, art, and food.
30km to the north of Bandung lies a stratovolcano crater called Tangkuban Perahu (meaning: ‘up-turned boat’) which has an interesting local legend about love and tragedy that can be told by locals there, just ask! There are three main craters: Kawah Ratu, Kawah Domas, and Kawah Upas. The atmosphere is friendly and very local, with souvenirs, snacks, and plenty of photo opportunities. It gets pretty chilly up there so be sure to bring a jacket and scarf. Or you can buy colourful scarves and gloves on the site!
Also in the north, there are a few villas and resorts like Gracia Resort and Spa * (75,000 IDR entrance) and Ciater Hot Springs (40,000 IDR entrance) which have hot spring pools and nice restaurants. Spend a night here to experience the cool temperatures and steamy springs, and sample local delicacies in any of the cosy restaurants. Really, quite a treat! Again, the temperatures are comfortably neutral during the day but can get rather cold once night falls.
While you’re in the area, visit an art gallery and restaurant. One popular gallery is called Lawangwangi Art Space. They have alternate exhibitions monthly with both local and international artists, a café, event rooms, garden, and photogenic balcony with a beautiful view of Bandung. Another famous gallery is called Selasar which has similar features but specializes in delicious Indian dishes among other Indonesian and western flavors. Selasar tends to be a lot quieter and calmer in the atmosphere than the ever-popular Lawangwangi.
Tam has lived in Bandung and traveled Indonesia for more than 6 years. You can connect with her at Instagram
Best Accommodations in Bandung
Stays here range from high end to mid-range hotels to hostels, B&Bs and budget hotels or hostels. Being a fairly popular travel destination for both locals and foreigners, Bandung does not lack in choices of place to stay. Most people like to stay in the center of Bandung for easy access to shopping and food, but if you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil getaway, a little up north are some beautiful retreats, with quicker access to tourist spots
Agoda.com is a great choice because they have the most extensive hotel listings in Asia with great deals. Booking.com * is a favourite of many because it offers cancellation allowing flexibility.
Hilton Bandung For those looking for a well-known hotel with world class services and strong security. You will find all the usual luxury here, with impressive rooftop pool, featuring beautiful views of Tangkuban Perahu mountain. Also well located, it is only 5 minutes walk to the shopping center and 5 minutes drive to the airport. Book quickly as this hotel often sells out. Find latest prices or reviews at Agoda.com * Find latest prices or reviews at Booking.com *
Below are the two types of most common visas for non-professional longer term stays.
You should note that the date of arrival in Indonesia is counted as day one of the permitted stay and the date of departure is also counted as a full day even if the flight leaves just after midnight.
Visa on Arrival
As the name states, this is a visa you can purchase when you arrive in Indonesia at designated entry points by paying US$35. The VOA is a single entry visa good for up to 30 days and can be extended ONLY ONCE for an additional 30 days for another $35. So essentially its $70 visa for a maximum stay of 60 days. You can also apply for this visa before you travel at your respective country’s Indonesian embassy/consulate if you’re not a slacker.
Social/Cultural Visit Visa
For people who want to stay longer than 60 days, a social/cultural visit visa may be your best bet. Commonly used for those overseas coming to study, for research, training programs or to visit family members, the visa allows you to stay for 60 days, but can be extended up to four more times, for a maximum of 180 days total. Applying for this visa takes a little more effort because all good things in life must be earned and you must do it while you’re out of the country.
A letter of invitation/sponsorship from
an Indonesian citizen
a foreigner with a Temporary (ITAS)
Permanent (ITAP) Resident permit
A photocopy of the sponsor’s ID card (KTP or ITAS /ITAP)
A photocopy of the Kartu Keluarga (family card)
A copy of your bank statement from the last two weeks, or a letter from the bank stating that the applicant has a sufficient fund
Proof of return or onward ticket booked for a date no later than 6 months after your date of entry into Indonesia for the maximum stay
Two passport photos
Completed application form which you can get here
The letter of invitation/sponsorship must include:
The full names and addresses of the visitors
Visitor’s passport numbers
Description of the purpose of the visit
Principal addresses during the stay
A guarantee that the sponsor will cover all living expenses, transportation costs, and any other costs incurred during the visitor’s time in Indonesia
The validity of the social/cultural visit visa will be three months from the date of issue. If you want to extend this particular visa, you must apply for the extension in the same wilayah (district) as the address stated by your sponsor’s identity card. This means that if the KTP of your sponsor has been issued in Java, you must apply for all extensions in Java and not Bali.
If you do happen to overstay your visa, you will be fined Rp 200,000/day for every day, then deported once you have paid the fine. The maximum fine for overstaying a visa is Rp 25 million and 5 years in jail, so just don’t do it!
If you’re planning a family holiday to Bali, there are a number of important things you’ll need to take care of in advance, such as checking the latest travel warnings, selecting a suitable travel insurance policy, ensuring everyone’s vaccines are up to date, and last but not least, putting together an itinerary that will keep everyone happy. When it comes to choosing things to do, however, you may find that many travel advisories list activities like water parks and kids play clubs for families with kids.
But since the thought of visiting overcrowded attractions that are quite similar to the ones at home may not appeal to you, here are ten outdoorsy yet family-friendly activities that will allow you to take in as much of this beautiful island as possible.
Kids at the beach in Bali
Have a tree-top adventure
The Bali Treetop Adventure Park located within the Bali Botanical Garden in Bedugul is the perfect mix of nature and organised fun. There are circuits to suit all ages, from the Squirrel Yellow Circuit for small children to the Adrenaline Black Circuit for older kids and adults, which includes challenges such as uphill nets, climbing walls and flying swings.
Dolphin spotting with kids at Bali
Visit the Bali Bird Park
The Bali Bird Park is home to 250 species of birds and plays an important role in protecting and conserving the endangered wildlife in Indonesia. Aside from watching and learning about the different types of birds, kids will enjoy wandering through the various natural environments that have been recreated to simulate the birds’ natural habitats, including a tropical rain forest and African savannah.
Visit Bali Bird Park with kids at Bali
Go dolphin spotting at Lovina Beach
Watching dolphins glide through the water in their natural habitat is an experience neither you nor your kids will quickly forget. Lovina Beach is one of the best places to view dolphins in Bali thanks to its calmer waters, and while you’ll have to get up pretty early to catch one of the dolphin-watching boats that head out at sunrise, it will definitely be worth it when you see the dolphins twirling, jumping and playing right next to your boat.
If your kids are a bit older and you feel up to a more adventurous activity, Bali is an excellent place to try white water rafting for the first time. The Ayung and Telaga Waja rivers located north of Ubud are great for rafting all year round, although the Ayung River is calmer and better suited to younger kids between five and eight years old. Also, keep in mind that the rapids will be easier for kids and beginners in the dry season when water levels are lower.
Snorkeling with Kids at Menjangan Island, Bali
Visit a cacao plantation
There are numerous coffee and cacao plantations in Bali, and learning about how cacao beans are transformed into chocolate can be an entertaining and educational experience for kids. Some plantation tours also include a chocolate tasting, so kids can sample some different types of chocolate for themselves and even try their hand at turning the bitter cacao into something delicious.
Visit the Cacao Plantation with Kids, Bali
Try some snorkelling at Menjangan Island
If you want to try snorkelling while in Bali, Menjangan Island is one of the best places to go. The island is part of the West Bali National Park and getting there requires hiring a boat, so it’s still relatively secluded compared to some of the other popular spots around Bali. Kids will be thrilled to watch the many colourful fish, sea turtles and coral, but make sure you bring or hire everything you’ll need, including food, drinks and snorkelling gear, as there are no shops on the island.
Stroll or cycle through the rice paddies
Although Bali is famous for its white sandy beaches and clear waters, the inland scenery is spectacular too and well worth visiting if you want to get a glimpse of rural life. You take guided walks or cycle tours through the rice fields and terraces, and you may even get to visit with a local family and sample some authentic island cuisine. Just make sure your guide knows you’ll be bringing kids so the tour can be adjusted to include more rest stops or a quicker route if necessary.
Stroll the rice paddies with Kids, Bali
Take a surf or body board lesson
Even if your kids have never surfed before, taking surf or body board lessons can be an exciting experience, and may even help them discover a brand new hobby. Although Bali is known for its big and powerful waves, there are plenty of beaches suited to kids and beginners who are still learning the basics. Some surf schools even provide group lessons for families who want to learn together.
Surf or beach board with the Kids at Bali
Enjoy a morning at the Bali Butterfly Park
If you’re looking for a lower-key family activity after all the excitement of surfing, rafting or snorkelling, the Bali Butterfly Park or Taman Kupu Kupu in Balinese might be just the thing. It’s a lovely tropical garden where you can spot hundreds of colourful butterflies as well as a number of other interesting insects including stick and leaf insects. The best time to visit is in the early morning when the butterflies will be more active.
Go strawberry picking with the kids at Bali
Go strawberry picking
Another place you can spend a peaceful but memorable morning or afternoon is the Bali Strawberry Farm located in the mountains of Bedugul. You can start with a tour of the lush strawberry fields and even pick some of the juiciest ones to bring back with you. Once you’ve gathered as many strawberries as you can carry, the onsite restaurant serves up refreshing strawberry snacks and desserts like pancakes, smoothies and ice-cream.
Have you travelled to Bali with kids? Share your recommendations for family-friendly activities with us in the comment section.
Marianne Stenger is a freelance writer and travel fiend. You can connect with her on Google+ and Twitter, or find her latest articles Google+ and here.