Although boasting 17,000 islands, Indonesia may come to mind with many islands, beaches, and seas, but you are surprised that it has just as many mountains. Being an archipelago 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 have a name with an excellent ring – the Indonesia Ring of Fire.
The volcanoes, some active (some very busy) and some not provide a naturally stunning scenery unlike any other. Some mountains are within an immense volcanic lake, while others have craters that spurt blue fire.
Here are the Top 10 Volcano Mountains in Indonesia for you to visit:
Top Volcano Mountain in Java, Indonesia
Mount Bromo, at 2329 m, is one of the most iconic mountains in Indonesia. This is due to its majestic beauty, where it stands forebodingly within the Tengger caldera sea of sand while spewing off white sulfurous smoke. Mount Bromo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and one of the frequently 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.
Ijen Crater, locally known as Kawah Ijen is another famous mountain of Java after Mount Bromo. Many travelers continue to visit here after Mount Bromo; the experience is refreshingly new. Inside the crater, you will see a magnificent turquoise sulfur lake that exudes flames, blue fire at night, and smoky white in the day. You will also meet many sulfur 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.
Mount Merbabu, translated as “Mountain of Ash” in Javanese, is the only dormant volcano mountain in this list. 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, but with a guide, one can conquer Mount Merapi. The area of the mountain was declared a national park in 2004.
Mount Semeru is the tallest mountain in Java, located in 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 constant smoke from its crater.
Top Volcano Mountain in Sumatra, Indonesia
Mount Krakatoa or Krakatau
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 has been noted as one of the most violent volcanic events ever recorded. The colossal explosion blasted over 4,000km to Australia and India. This massive explosion caused a giant tsunami, and its dust stayed in the stratosphere for several years after killing more than 35,000 people.
Mount Krakatoa is still an active volcano; scaling it takes precaution and would require camping a night at Rakata Island, where you can enjoy the Krakatoa eruption at night. Else you can stay at the nearby hotels * on the mainland side.
Mount Kerinci is the tallest volcano in Indonesia and the highest peak in Sumatra. It is located within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, 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 three days and two nights to reach the summit, or one day less if not. There are 15 lakes surrounding this mountain, one of the lakes being the highest lake in Southeast Asia at 1996 m, Gunung Tujuh Lake (Seven Mountains Lake – 7 peaks surrounding this lake). The biggest lake here is the Kerinci Lake, at 4200 hectares. Most visitors would stay at either Padang or Jambi *, before transferring to Kerinci Sablat National Park.
Top Volcano Mountain in Bali, Indonesia
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 it can be a pretty challenging 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. 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.
Mount Agung, standing at 3142 m in the East, is Bali’s highest mountain. 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 Mount Meru, which is the spiritual axis of the universe. This mountain can be scaled in 6-7 hours with a demanding hike. The hike is an adventure, and many travelers find it a rewarding experience. On the way, you can visit the Pasar Agung temple, one of Bali’s nine directional temples. There is also the Besakih Temple, which stands dramatically on the southern slopes of Mount Agung.
Top Volcano Mountain in Lombok, Indonesia
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 has a caldera of 50 km square with a crater lake called Segara Anak. Many pilgrims come yearly to this lake to make offerings to the gods and the lake. Hiking this Indonesian volcano 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 several travelers scaling this mountain with you but fret not, as the beauty is for all to marvel at together.
Top Volcano Mountain in Flores, Indonesia
Mount Kelimutu is home to the famous tri-colored lakes, which people travel through long, tortuous roads to get to. The lakes are in blue, green, and red hues due to their volcanic substances, and it changes colors depending on season and time, making them somewhat magical. These magical lakes are the reason enough to scale Mount Kelimutu. The highest peak here is Mount Kelibara at 1713m. Mount Kelimutu is situated in Kelimutu National Park in the Central Flores of Indonesia.
Top Volcano Mountain in Papua, Indonesia
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 highest summits and the only mountain in Indonesia with a glacier top. Puncak Jaya, or Cartensz Pyramid, is the highest point between the Himalayas and Andes, crowning it as 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 challenging. Therefore, getting a guide and preparing yourself thoroughly for it is well advised. Conquering this mountain is part of the peak-bagging list of Seven Summits of the world.