Waterfalls to Visit in Banyumas, Central Java

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 Indonesia

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 Indonesia

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 Indonesia

Curug Belot (waterfall), Banyumas, Java

Curug Bayan (waterfall)

Melung village, Baturraden sub-district – ±13 kilometers north from Purwokerto

Curug Bayan (waterfall), Banyumas, Java Indonesia

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 Indonesia

Curug Ceheng (waterfall), Banyumas, Java

Eva Indonesia Travel Guide
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.

Other articles by Eva:
Rock Climber’s Paradise in Siung Beach, Yogyakarta

Related article:
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Java Travel Guide
Top 10 Things to Do in Java Island, Indonesia

Borobudur Temple Compounds, Central Java

Borobudur is not a stranger to the world traveling scene, being a unique Buddhist temple of Asia, it is also the largest Buddhist structure on earth. This 8th century stupa and temple complex in Central Java, Indonesia is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Many travelers came here to experience the wonders of this structure and note its unique differences with the other Buddhist temples in terms of architecture and also down to the details of its construction and also the grandness of it. Borobudur is also set against a backdrop of volcanoes enhancing the drama of the place.

Full view of Borobudur Temple Compounds

Full view of Borobudur Temple Compounds

History and Facts

There is no exact detail written record on Borobudur in terms of who built it and why is it created. It is theorized to be made as a religious site in 8th century during the Sailendra dynasty of central Java. For some centuries, Borobudur had been lost to Indonesia until following an Anglo-Dutch Java War, the British governor at that time, Thomas Stamford Raffles took an interest in the history and mystics of Java and therefore investigated and aid in unearthing this amazing monument once again. Raffles are also responsible for the re-discovery of Prambanan, another major religious structure, this one Hindu not far from Borobudur.

Statues and relief panels at Borobudur Temple

Statues and relief panels at Bormbudur Temple

Borobudur was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status at 1991 after it had been fully restored. It had become a major international tourist attraction with its 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues and also detailed wall carvings. Borobudur consists of six square platforms and the highest point is 35 m from the ground.

Borobudur consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is decorated with no less than 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues of various types. The main dome, located at the centre of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas. The square base is 118 m (387 ft) long on each side and the highest point 35 m (114 ft) above ground level. The distinctive shape and structure of Borobudur is the dome and its three circular symmetrical terraces. There are also six different postures of Buddha as you ascend the platforms. The wall reliefs are recounting the life stories of Buddha, from the law of Karma to birth of Buddha and his journey towards searching for the ultimate truth.

Relief panels / wall carvings of Borobudur Temple

Relief panels / wall carvings of Borobudur Temple

Where is it

It is located in Magelang district of Central Java, about an hour drive from Yogyakarta.

Why visit

Borobudur is the largest Buddhist structure in the world and it is entirely unique and different from the rest of the Buddhist temples around Asia.

When is the best time to go

Lanterns at night during Waisak in Borobudur

Lanterns at night during Waisak in Borobudur

If you want to experience Waisak in Borobudur, you should go around May, check for the exact dates of celebration for the year.

Else most times is good for visiting Borobudur, whether it is the dry season (April – October) or wet season (November – March) of the two seasoned Indonesia.

Dry season will have a peak of tourists and also can be really hot while the wet season will see rain later in the day so go early for your visit.

Where to Stay at Borobudur Temple

The most recommended place to stay at Borobudur temple is the Manohara Resort *. Here you can catch the temple at the dawn of light (when you pay for the sunrise tour) or at least be the first to go in when it opens at 8 am. This is the best way to enjoy the temple, when it is at its most quiet, with just a trickle of travelers like you who appreciate the silence and marvels at the beauty with respect.

-> Check out Manohara Hotel’s latest prices at Booking.com * or Agoda.com *

Fees

The entry fees to Borobudur is 25 USD for non-Indonesian Adult and 15 USD for children under 6 (as of 2017). It is 40,000 Rp for Indonesians or foreign holders of work permit.

Sunrise tour with the Manohara Hotel * is 400,000 Rp for foreigners, 270,000 Rp for domestic tourists and 250,000 Rp for hotel guest (as of 2016). This will get you in early to catch the sunrise and explore for an hour before the rest of the tourists flock the place.

To hire a guide to explain reliefs will cost about 95,000 – 120,000 Rp per hour. Agree on the price with your guide before starting and it is best to tour in the morning when it is not too busy.

Sunrise Tour at Borobudur Temple at Borobudur Temple

Sunrise Tour at Borobudur Temple

Opening Times

Open to public from 6am to 5pm but only those with sunrise tours can get in before 8am. For walk ins you can get in at 8am.

Get in and get around

Buddha statue against the sun, Borobudur

Buddha statue against the sun, Borobudur

From Yogyakarta to Borobudur, you can take the public bus or hire a car to get there.

From Wonosobo to Borobudur – catch a public bus heading towards Yogyakarta and drop off at Borobudur.

From Jakarta to Borobudur – take a train to Purwokerto and then connect with a bus to Wonosobo and onwards to Borobudur.

From Surabaya to Borobudur – hire a car to get there or take a bus/train to Yogyakarta before connecting to Borobudur.

Nearby tourist attractions

Prambanan – well known ancient Hindu temple built in the 9th century for Trimurti as an expression that God is the Creator (Brahma), Preserver (Vishnu) and also the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound lies just 18km east of Yogyakarta and would take 102 hours of car to get there.
Yogyakarta – head back or onwards to Yogyakarta as there are lots of things to do in Yogyakarta.
Mount Bromo – a volcano in East Java that is popular for the sunrise view of the crater. Many travelers attest to this one, don’t miss out!

Borobudur Temple Compounds upclose

Borobudur Temple Compounds upclose

Travel Tips

Try to go in at the earliest hours that it is opened to public to truly enjoy this massive and unique Buddhist temple. You will appreciate the serenity and peace and fully immerse in its significance without the hordes of tourists spoiling it. If you do not want to pay for the sunrise tour then get in at 8am once it is open for walk in, the effort is well worth it.

Photo credits from top: Prayudi Hartono, Rachel, Rachel, Imam Hartoyo, Thrillseekr, Rachel and Rachel

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Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Bali

Quickly becoming the top destination in Indonesia, and even in Asia, Bali has a lot of tourist attractions to offer. Since it is well trodden by tourists from near and far, the wonders here despite its crowd, are world class and definitely worth the hustle for. Here you can find a good range and variety of attractions, such as beautiful ancient temples, rice fields, romantic sunset dinners, traditional dances, mountains and beaches. What more can one ask for during traveling with choices from art to culture to nature that are sure to please every sense of wonder and exploration?

There are definitely more than just 10 attractions in Bali but here is a list of the top ones for you.

Side view of Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Side view of Pura Tanah Lot Temple. Photo by Vladimir E

Pura Tanah Lot Temple

Arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Bali, Tanah Lot temple definitely lives up to its fame, with its dramatic setting. It is one of the six revered, cardinal temples of Bali and is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Located at the edge of the rocks, it gives a breathtaking view and looks, especially during sunset. The temple itself is 100m offshore and is only accessible to the Hindus. It cannot be reached by anyone during the high tide. The cliff-side path to the north passes the Pura Enjung Galuh temple (behind which are the best views of Tanah Lot) and then some steps down to the beach and onwards to Pura Batu Bolong temple perched atop a rocky headland.

Kecak Dance at Bali, Indonesia, Indonesia

Kecak Dance at Bali. Photo by Meru Muhammad

Kecak Dance

Kecak dance is one of the traditional dance and musical drama in Bali that is enchanting and one of the top attractions to tourists. This dance is from the legend of Legong and Barong, a dance from the south of Bali, with a story of a never-ending battle between good and evil. It is more commonly known as the fire dance that is set to impress. The best place to watch it is on the temple grounds of Puri Dalem Taman Kaja, where you will find an authentic atmosphere and setting. Another popular place to watch this dance is at Tanah Lot temple, with a dramatic setting.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, Bali. Photo by melburnian

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple

Pura Luhur Uluwatu or Uluwatu Temple is a famous Balinese sea temple in Bali. It is one of the nine directional temples of Bali meant to protect it from evil spirits. This spectacular temple is one to marvel with as it perched at the edge of the rock overlooking the sea as if on guard. The inner sanctum of the pura (temple) is perched at the edge of steep cliffs which tower over Bali’s legendary surf breaks at the south. Most travelers enjoy the view of this temple from two different vantage points, from both northern and southern part of the area.



Booking.com

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple

Lake Bratan’s temple, called Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and also known as the Floating Temple, is one of the most mesmerizing temples in Bali. The gorgeous volcanic lake of Danau Bratan is also the favourite of many local tourists but not as well known with foreigners, therefore relatively still unknown, it is a true gem to discover. What makes it truly special is that since it caters for the local tourists, weekdays here would be the best time to enjoy the lake and the park at peace.

Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali. Photo by whyyan

Rice fields of Tegalalang

The rice fields of Tegalalang near Ubud is one of the top attractions in Bali because of its beautiful landscapes. Lined with rice terraces, running through with brilliantly blue streams with dramatic limestones and valleys as a backdrop, the view is an unforgettable one. The best way to explore this area is on a motorbike so that you can feel the cool refreshing wind while you hear every sound and see every sight in person. At the northeast of Tegalalang, you will find the classic rice terraces that are so revered all over Asia. Riding here will keep you well entranced as you see the greeneries stretch out as far as the eye can see. If you are not keen on motorbike, then you may find one of the rice fields trekking tours that will take you around.

Rice fields terraces, Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali

Rice fields terraces

Ubud’s Monkey Forest

Thanks to its good location at the famous Ubud, Monkey Forest is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bali. This area of lush forest is perched at the bottom end of a busy shopping street. It is home to hundreds of cute but cheeky Balinese Macaques. Be careful though of your belongings as they can be menacing. Tickets to the sanctuary include a useful map with locations and explanations of the three temples located there. It is well worth a visit and noted for its good maintenance by the local community. The forest is also home to 115 species of rare plants that are used for religious and medicinal purposes.

-> Visit Monkey Forest, rice fields and Tanah Lot temple all in one tour at City-discovery.com *

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali attractions

Monkey Forest, Ubud. Photo by ValeriosVeo

Ayana bar on rocks

We had two temples on the cliff, and now we get to drink off a bar perched on yet another cliff at Ayana bar resort * in Bali. This bar is known as the best bar in Bali, having a long line of people daily trying to get in and have a drink or two with some bites (which is surprisingly good) while overlooking the sea crashing into the rocks below. Think about drinking, chilling and also dancing atop a cliff with the roaring sea stretching behind you to infinity while you watch white water crashed onto the side of the wall creating a spectacular natural show. If you decide which is the one bar you must go to in Bali, Ayana bar on the rocks is the place. You may get special access to the bar as a guest of Ayana Resort and Spa or RIMBA Jimbaran by Ayana *.

Bar on rocks @ Ayana, Bali

Bar on rocks at Ayana, Bali. Photo by Fabien LE JEUNE

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 Mount Batur, Bali. Photo by Kevin Poh

Kuta Beach

Further down the line from the city Kuta is the Kuta beach. Thanks to its location, this is definitely one of the beach that almost every tourist in Bali would visit. The waves are higher here and the currents are strong making it a perfect beach for surfers. The beach is always crowded with locals or tourist, mostly for the vibe and energy that circles around here. At night you can find the Kuta beach parties among the beach clubs that are guaranteed to entertain. The local Hard Rock Cafe Bali is situated here so you can eat, drink and party whole day and night. Best hotels with quick access to Kuta Beach would be either the famous Poppies Bali * at Kuta or D’Kubu Legian Hotel * at Legian.

Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Kuta Beach, Bali. Photo by Kojach

Sunset dining at Jimbaran

One of the most popular meal in Bali for every tourist is the romantice seaside dining at Jimbaran Bay. Walk down along this beach and you will find it dotted with warungs and candle-lit tables like mushrooms after the rain. Here you can dine on fresh seafood like prawns, squids and fishes fresh of the sea onto your table, almost literally. Couple it by feasting over the sun setting over the horizon make this authentic setting much more atmospheric. Unsurprisingly, as one of the popular area for people to stay, Jimbaran hotels * are people’s favourite.

Seafood dining at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia

Seafood dining at Jimbaran Bay, Bali. Photo by Güldem Üstün

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Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

Arguably the most popular temple in Bali, Tanah Lot definitely lives up to its fame, with its dramatic setting. It is one of the six revered, cardinal temples of Bali and is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Tanah Lot means “Land in Sea” in the Balinese language.

Tanah Lot is located at the edge of the rocks, giving it a breathtaking view and look, especially during sunset. The temple itself is 100m offshore and is only accessible to the Hindus. It cannot be reached by anyone during the high tide. The cliff-side path to the north passes the Pura Enjung Galuh temple (behind which are the best views of Tanah Lot) and then some steps down to the beach and onwards to Pura Batu Bolong temple perched atop a rocky headland.

Nowadays, there are many souvenir stalls surrounding the area, catering to the tourists. There are also some eateries that will open up for sunset drinks and meals.

Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali. Photo by Madeleine Deaton

History and facts

Tanah Lot temple was built back to 500 years ago by a Javanese priest and has been part of the Balinese mythology, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple.

Where is it

Pura Tanah Lot temple is located in Tabanan at the north-west of the southern part of Bali, about 20 km from Denpasar or Kuta.

Side view of Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Side view of Pura Tanah Lot Temple. Photo by Vladimir E

Why visit

Although overrun by tourists, Tanah Lot temple is worth a visit just for its architecture, location and its significance as a very important worship place in Bali. The stroll over ragged ocean stones and the sunset cast over the whole setting will be unforgettable.

When is the best time to go

Many people come here during the sunset to catch the sun’s setting magic but if you want to avoid the crowd, early morning (before 9 am) is also a good magical time to admire the temple in silence.

Kecak Dance is held here every evening after sunset at 6.30 pm for 45 minutes. There is also a ceremony held here every 6 months, check with the place you stay.

Carvings of Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Carvings of Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali. Photo by Ken Marshall

Fees

The fee to enter the grounds surrounding Tanah Lot Temple is 60,000 Rp. (as of 2016). You’re not allowed to enter the temple except to pray. Parking fee for a car is 5,000 Rp. A guide is not necessary.

Opening Times

Open from 7am to 7pm for visitors. For worship purpose it is open for 24 hours daily.

Beach and sea, Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Beach and sea. Photo by Thomas Schlosser

Get in and get around

From Kuta or Seminyak – about 45 minutes drive
From Denpasar – public transport are limited and it is not available after sunset.

Where to stay near Tanah Lot

The nearest popular luxurious hotel you can find to Tanah Lot temple is the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort *. This would be a great choice if you want to keep catching the beautiful sunset by the temple. Besides, there are also affordable hotels nearby such as Villa Puspa and Kubu Kedungu *. If you are in a budget, then you are in for luck with this highly rated affordable inn called Kedungu Surf Camp *

-> Find the best hotel deals near Tanah Lot Temple *

Where to eat

Recommended restaurant here is Melasti Tanah Lot. It is on the headland just north of the temple and has one of the most beautiful settings for a restaurant. Here one can enjoy candlelight dinner of fresh seafood while enjoying the famous sunset view. The meal may be a little expensive and the prime view tables are only reserved for evening diners.

Sunset at Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Sunset at Pura Tanah Lot Temple. Photo by koyne


Nearby tourist attractions

Taman Ayun temple at Mengwi – one of our top temples in Bali, this is more unknown but still a very beautiful royal temple.

Travel Tips

It is recommended to hire a car for the day in Bali for other excursions since all the tourists spots are far from each other. The road to Tanah Lot temple is also dangerous, so it is better to hire a car with a driver to take you there, or get a taxi and ask them to wait while you visit.

If you come early in the day, the paddy fields view along the way is worth the slow ride to take it in. A detour to the rugged beaches nearby such as Pantai Seseh is also recommended.

Related articles:
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Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali