1.BOGOR (1 hour from Jakarta)

Although Jakarta`s Ragunan Zoo is world`s 3d oldest zoo and the 2nd largest in our planet, way more impressive is the Taman Safari in Bogor (80 km from Jakarta), where visitors are encouraged to drive through the park, and it is possible to come within touching distance of most of the animals.

Six wildlife shows are offered, including a Wild West Show, Dolphin Show, and Elephant Show. The amusement park section of Taman Safari also contains small rides and specialised exhibits that focus on Humboldt penguins, nocturnal animals from Indonesia and India, wallabies and kangaroos, and crocodiles.

The park also features a small petting zoo built to resemble the Taj Mahal. For a small fee, guests can take photographs with baby lions, tigers, orangutans, and leopards.


Taman Safari in Bogor provides bungalows and camping sites that are available for guests who wish to stay in the park overnight as there is so much to do – an ideal option for families!

Taman Safari Bogor – the best safari experience in Indonesia

2.PUNCAK (2 hours from Jakarta)

Escape the tropical heat and relish the cool climate in Puncak – a one of the most popular holiday destination for the Jakarta residents.  This stunning mountain pass is a green oasis in this eerie volcanic area, and it is an ideal place for exploring the local nature, hiking and trekking.

The reserve is defined by lush forests, tropical waterfalls, mountains, volcanic lakes, tea plantations and boundless purpose-built attractions (Sunshine Bay Water Park, Cibodas Botanic Gardens and Zoo).

Especially, Agro-tourism and eco-tourism boost here, and there are many gorgeous hotels and eco-friendly resorts built within the tea plantations or rainforest.


Visit the Puncak Tea Plantation established by the Dutch in the colonial era and its tea factory at Gunung Mad where you can learn more about the drying and packaging procedure of the world-famous Twinings and Pickwick Tea. You can take a tour or hike through the plantation and see how the tea is picked and perhaps buy some tea-leaves as a souvenir.

Puncak tea plantations are a popular tourist attraction

3.BANDUNG (3-4 hours from Jakarta)

Bandung region offers outstanding natural attractions, including volcanoes, crater lakes, hot springs, jungle waterfalls, tea plantations and lush tropical forests, but also a well-developed tourist infrastructure and fairly good roads, it is easy to move around independently. This is an ideal weekend-away spot for families, within a 4-hour`s drive from Jakarta.


Lembang, for instance, is a good place for walks and hiking. Pay a visit to Mount Tangkuban Perahu volcano and its crater Kawah Ratu (Queen`s Crater), Kawah Domas crater, Sari Ater hot springs with lovely restaurants where you can try traditional Sundanese cuisine, Juanda Forest Park (excellent hiking opportunities), Dago Tea House Walk (2 hrs walk, waterfalls, hot springs). Bandung Village and Bandung Treetop Adventure will surely be the kids` favourites, though!

Bandung Bamboo Village


This is something for nature-loving families! Gunung Halimun Salak National Park is a spectacular wilderness area, successfully protecting endangered endemic fauna and flora since 1992 and it is worth seeing in the dry season.

The reserve territory comprises of Mount Salak and Mount Halimun and it is a great destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Activities like rafting, jungle trekking, tracking a leopard, exotic birdlife watching are amongst the favourite.


Climb the Halimun Volcano which is known for hot springs, healing mud pools, gorgeous waterfalls and undisturbed nature or the most accessible and less challenging Mount Salak with beautiful Ratu Crater. Cikaniki or Sukagalih Villages are good starting points with nice homestays and developed eco-tourism.

Halimun-Salak National Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities and eco-tourism

5.SUKABUMI (3-4 hours from Jakarta)

 Sukabumi is characteristic of exceptionally scenic panoramas. The region boasts rice fields, mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rivers and lush greenery. It is a good location for camping, trekking, boating and river rafting.

Besides, the region is situated close to the southern coastline of Java, which also features fantastic surf conditions.


Citarik River Rafting is well-recommended for all families with older children. Package tours can be booked from Jakarta or in Sukabumi if self-driving. Check out the Riam Jeram tour operator.

Citarik River Rafting, Sukabumi

6.PELABUHAN RATU BAY (4 hours from Jakarta)

This gorgeous white sands beach is a popular vacation destination for the Javanese. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, resorts, and tourism facilities built in the vicinity. The famous Samudra Beach Hotel, established in 1966 is not to be missed.

Palabuhan Ratu has become a popular location for surfers in recent years, with its Indian Ocean location providing good waves for surfing. Several spots that are popular with for surfers are Cimaja Beach, Sunset Beach, Karang Sari Beach and Karang Aji Beach.


Every June, the visitors can witness one of the most important surfing competition that is proudly part of the Indonesian Surfing Championship and Asian Surfing Championship Tours. West Java Surfing Championship takes place at the Cimaja Beach (Beach Without Sand) which has 750-meter beach and wave about 1 to 2 meters height (6 stars surfing premium that is the highest rank).

Palabuhan Ratu Bay is well-known amongst surfers and holidaymakers (Karang Hawu)

7.PANDEGLANG COAST (4 hours from Jakarta)

Some of the best beaches and tourist attractions can be found in Banten. There are gorgeous sandy beaches dotted with holiday resorts along the Pandeglang Coast.

Carita and Anyer Beaches, overlooking Anak Krakatau, are known for calm waters and good swimming whereas Sawarna Beach, facing the Indian Ocean, offers spectacular karst scenery and exciting caves.

The highlight of tourism here is definitely the Krakatoa volcano and there are various tours that can be booked at any hotel or guesthouse in Carita.


The westernmost tip of Java is occupied by vats tropical rainforest – Ujung Kulon National Park, which is home to some of the most endangered species in our planet, e.g. Javan Rhino.  Excursions can be arranged in Carita or Anyer Beach but you can also travel directly from Jakarta via a package tour.

A tour to Anaka Krakatau can be booked in Carita

8.THOUSAND ISLANDS (2 hours from Jakarta)

Jakarta`s favourite beach-weekend-away destination is the nearby Thousand Islands (Kepulaun Seribu), and to get here, you will need to take a boat or fly. The gorgeous off-shore archipelago can be reached by a jetty in just a couple of hours-time from the Muara Karang Port, and they provide a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Pulau Seribu Marine National Park offers abundant coral reef ecosystem with exotic fish and sea turtles and beautiful mangrove forest with radiant birds and reptiles. Families will find here gorgeous holiday resorts, restaurants and multiple attractions such as scuba diving and snorkelling, swimming and a wide range of water sports.


Although Pulau Macan is not the cheapest one it is the perfect island to stay on – it is the top paradise in the Java Sea.  NOTE The best snorkelling is at Pramuka Island and Tidung Island.

Thousand Islands (Kepulaun Seribu)

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Eva Bodova

Sunday 22 July 2018

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