Anak Krakatau


Elevation: 350 m (1,148 ft) Prominence: 350 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSpesial Province: Lampung
Google Earth: kml Other names: Anak Krakatoa
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Eruptions: Krakatau 1530, 1680-81, 1684, 1883. Anak Krakatau 1927-47, 1949-50, 1952-53, 1955, 1959-63, 1965, 1969, 1972-73, 1975, 1978-81, 1988, 1992-97, 1999-2001, 2007-12, 2014, 2018


Bagging It!


Known incorrectly as ‘Krakatoa’ to most of the Western world, this cluster of small islands is the site of one of the most well-known volcanic eruptions in history. Krakatau exploded in August 1883, creating serious devastation and loss of life across the region and having an impact on the global climate. The eruption was so huge that the island of Krakatau was almost completely destroyed – what we now see in its place are a few fragments of the original island and – in the centre – a new, growing volcano named Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatau) which emerged in 1927.

It grows by approximately 5 metres per year and in May 2011 was 324 metres high. It is therefore estimated to be at least 350m at the time of writing (November 2018).  The new volcano is very much active, so take great when visiting the island and heed warnings to stay away. At present, there is a 2 kilometre exclusion zone around the island, meaning landing and/or hiking is not currently possible due to ongoing frequent eruptions. However, these stunning displays can be observed safely from the neighbouring island of Rakata.

There are several organizations offering day-trip tours from the seaside resorts of Carita and Anyer on Java or Kalianda, Sumatra. Although this can be done as a long day-trip, it is much more enjoyable to spend a night camping on a neighbouring island (Rakata or Sertung) especially if the volcano is erupting as you will probably observe the orange glow of lava shooting out of the summit vent at night and hot rocks and pyroclastic flows hurtling down the side!

It is significantly cheaper to hire a boat from the Sumatra/Sebesi side but it takes a lot longer to get there from Jakarta and the vessels tend to be far more primitive. From Carita, it takes about 1 and a half hours by speedboat to reach the group of islands. The usual approach if actually setting foot on the island is to sail between the impressive cliff of Rakata island (on your left) and Anak Krakatau itself (on your right) and then dock on a small sandy beach on the backside of the island. There are a remarkable number of trees desperately trying to grow at the base of the volcano but just a few metres beyond and all you will encounter is black volcanic rock and sand. Reaching the highest point is a little dangerous because the volcano is notoriously unpredictable. It is very common for the volcano to eject large rocks which can easily reach the trees and vegetation area near the start of the hike. However, during quiet phases, you may well be allowed to climb to crater rim and summit.

It takes just under 2 hours to reach the top from the bay at the start of the hike. Once beyond the trees, the path gets steeper as you climb the black volcanic sands. After 30 minutes you will have reached Anak Krakatau’s outer cone. This is a flat ridge offering fabulous views over to Rakata island and other, smaller islands in the Krakatau group. From here you can also gaze up at the steep, black volcanic cone and watch as sulphur gases rise from the earth. Most hikers are advised not to go beyond this point but during quiet periods it is sometimes possible – though dangerous – to ascend to the spectacular crater rim itself. It’s a tough and exhausting hour of clinging to black sand on the steep cone, zig-zagging across the volcano, trying to find places to dig your feet into in order to not fall all the way back down. There are often also a lot of sulphur gases around which may irritate your lungs. It’s not a good place to sit and ponder the meaning of life because after just a few seconds your feet will start to get very hot as they sink into the earth! If you’re worried, don’t risk it!

For the few that make it to the crater rim, the views are incredible – especially over to the steep cliffs of neighbouring Rakata island, which – at 813m – is the highest remnant of the original Krakatau island. Anak Krakatau crater itself truly looks like the devil’s cauldron! Bubbling mud, thick gases, hideous rockfaces and a narrow, slippery crater rim make this is terrifying yet fascinating place to explore. In May 2011, the highest point was marked with a small cairn, but given the volatile activity of this volcano by the time you read this the top probably looks completely different already.

You can slide back down to safety very quickly (rather similar to the scree-running that is possible on the cone of Gunung Semeru) and be back on the boat in no time. There are nice places to eat lunch, camp, swim and snorkel on some of the smaller islands in the group – Pulau Sertung to the west offers good views of the volcano at sunrise but for those keen on watching eruptions from afar then Rakata is the obvious choice as the most recent activity (in 2018) is on the southern side. If you’re lucky during the trip, you’ll also encounter plenty of monitor lizards and flying fish.

Anyone visiting Bandar Lampung might wish to visit the simple Monumen Krakatau (Krakatoa Monument) at Taman Dipangga where there is a large metal buoy which was left pretty much where it landed around 1 kilometre inland after the tsunami in 1883.

For a fantastic account of the 1883 eruption, and more information on the Krakatau islands, read Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded by Simon Winchester.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn


Getting there From Jakarta, take the toll road towards Merak. You have several options including these two: exit at Cilegon and follow the bumpy road down to Anyer and Carita, or exit at the Pandeglang turn-off and head to the coast at Labuan. Then follow the road north to Carita and Anyer. The former option is easier for navigating but the latter has better quality roads – check with Google Maps or similar for traffic info first. For Kalianda, take a DAMRI bus towards Bandar Lampung and get off at Kalianda town. Then head to Canti pier and take a boat over to Sebesi.
Accommodation Plenty of options in Anyer and Carita. Carita is much cheaper. A range of accommodation in the Kalianda area (Sumatran side) too.
Permits Your boat captain will arrange it (probably in advance).
Water sources None except seawater – take sufficient supplies with you.
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): bandarlampung


Origins and Meaning

Uncertain. There are four main theories. The first suggests that the name is onomatopoeic, imitating the noise of birds inhabiting the island. The second – most likely – theory is that the name comes from Sanskrit ‘karka’ or ‘karkata’ or ‘karkataka’ meaning ‘lobster’ or ‘crab’. ‘Rakata’ also means ‘crab’ in old Javanese. The third theory is that the name comes from the Malay word ‘kelakatu’ which means ‘white-winged ant’. It is argued that before 1883 Krakatau slightly resembled an ant seen from above. The fourth – and least likely – theory is based on a linguistic error when a ship’s captain asked a local man for the name of the island. The local man replied ‘Aku nggak tahu’ which means ‘I don’t know’ in Indonesian/Betawinese. (Wikipedia, 2011).
Given the likelihood that Krakatau had been the site of a vast number of violent eruptions dating back many centuries, perhaps the onomatopoeic theory actually be strengthened by the idea that the name imitates the sound of volcanic eruptions.
‘Anak Krakatau’ meaning ‘child of Krakatau’ is the name given to the new volcano which emerged in 1927.

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia
Wikipedia. 2011. Krakatoa. Accessed from

17 thoughts on “Anak Krakatau

  1. Had an absolutely brilliant weekend watching the Anak Krakatau eruptions from our camp area on the beach on neighbouring Rakata. Headed down after work on Friday, arrived at Carita by about 9pm. Had originally thought about getting the commuterline (train) all the way to Rangkasbitung and then hiring a car/driver/taxi to get from there to Carita (2 hours) but we didn’t need to do this in the end.

    Stayed at Sunset View as usual as it a reasonable price, is very close to the pier (Lippo Marina) and has a bizarre framed map of the islands with ‘potential for popping’ written across it. Had Samsul as guide as usual. If you have 6 or 7 in your party then you can charter him and his boat and crew (08129611218). Good food provided as always.

    We had cloudy and rainy weather most of the weekend, but if anything this made conditions even more atmospheric, with the Anak erupting pretty much every 20 minutes or so. Very impressive to watch from the beach below the steep cliffs of Rakata, with old gnarled tree trunks and stumps in the foreground. There were a handful of other boats and campers for Saturday night, but more than enough room for all. Saw some monitor lizards either fighting, dancing or mating near camp!

    After dark, we could see orange spurting out of the summit vent, and huge orange rocks hurtling down the slopes of the cone. This is difficult to get on normal cameras so consider bringing something special with you or at least getting your night settings ready before you have had half a dozen beers.

    This was my 4th time to the islands and it never gets dull. Probably the best weekend trip you can do from Jakarta without getting on an aeroplane.

  2. Hi, I just went to Krakatau and could only climb to the viewpoint around 150masl. The park ranger didnt let anyone go beyond that point and the reason given was that the soil was too hot to walk on.

  3. Visited Anak Krakatau again at the end of last month. Unusually fine weather for the time of year. The Anak was not belching, but there was a vast quantity of white gas being expelled making it impossible to climb any further than to the outer cone. Some great view of Sebesi and the mainland Lampung peaks in the distance. Quite a number of impact craters on the way up created by rocks hurled down the mountainside in recent weeks. Take extra care on this one at present and remember to cover your nose and mouth if you do bother to climb up to the outer cone.
    Back in Carita I was sold some red bananas. Having never tried them I simply had to give them a go. Taste not too dissimilar to the regular yellow ones but slightly less sweet. Apparently locals don’t eat them, regarding them as being inferior. No wonder the old woman have me the entire bag full for Rp20,000.

  4. Just back from a weekend to bag both Anak Krakatau and Rakata. We camped on the lovely Pulau Sertung on Saturday night, looking directly at Anak Krakatau and Rakata which from this perspective look approximately the same height! One member of our group was swimming in the sea at 6am when what he thought was a small piece of wood stuck its tongue out at him!!! These islands are simply full of monitor lizards (biawak). There were also signs that a turtle or two had been onto the beach to lay eggs not far from hwere we were camping.
    We had been told that after a few weeks of relative quiet, the Anak had started getting a little active again although despite seeing a lot of white gas being ejected from the crater we didn’t hear any noise or see anything major going on.
    So, we decided to give it a try. Once at the outer cone I would have been happy enough just to take pictures of Rakata island and leave the true summit for another, quieter day. However, others in the group pushed on so after lots of slipping around on what seems like near-vertical hot, black volcanic scree we all managed to make it to the spectacular crater rim. There was a lot of gas around so I we didn’t stay long at the summit, but long enough to get some great photos. My GPS gave a reading of 324m, which sounds about right given that the beast is growing by 5 metres a year.
    When we reached the outer cone on the way down a National Park warden had his arms very much folded in a disapproving manner. Apparently we shouldn’t have climbed it. It is a risky business but so is crossing the road.
    Afterwards we headed over to a beach on Pulau Krakatau Kecil for a quick swim before returning to the Java coast.

  5. Went to an excellent Go Wild talk last night at Hotel Kristal, South Jakarta. The speaker, Mike Dobie, gave a brilliant talk on the history of volcanoes in Indonesia. One of the most interesting things he mentioned was the theory that there was an enormous eruption in the Krakatau area in approximately the year 535 which created the Sunda Strait (i.e ripped Sumatra and Java apart into two separate islands). There’s a book about it called Catastrophe by David Keys. The truth of it is obviously incredibly hard to verify but it’s probably worth a read.
    Have a look at:

  6. Hello,

    I have just came back from Krakatua this Sunday. Some Indonesian friends of mine arranged the trip via from a port in Lampung (Pelabuahan Canti). We rented a APV in Jakarta and took the ferry from Merak to Sumatra. We had arranged a boat from the islanders of Pulau Sebesi who live within 2 hours of the volcano. We left the port in Sumatra around 8 am adnd dropped our bags off in a little room which was arranged for us on Pulau Sebesi. We then jounied onward to Anak Krakatau which took another gut busting two hours, The seas were rough and I thought our boat was going to fly apart. We were treated to numerous large eruptions and did some island hopping.When our boat went back by Anak Krakatau were greeted with more eruptions. The local park service was apprehensive about letting us get on the island as I am sure you can underdstand. Krakatau is truly another world unto itself and should be treated with great respect.especially those rough seas. thanks Zac

  7. I’ve been out there half a dozen times with the guys from the Marina at the Mambruk Hotel in Anyer. They have a good fast boat, and the trip takes around 45 minutes. If you want to organize the trip in advance, just call the Mambruk, and ask them to transfer you to the Marina. Cost is around Rp 2 million for the whole day, and the boat seats six people.

    The three top things to do when there would be (i) climb Anak Krakatau (unless it’s too dangerous to do so); (ii) do a circumnavigation of Anak Krakatau by boat; (iii) visit Pulau Sebuku on the way back to Anyer.

  8. Hi Henny,

    I visited Anak Krakatau in Jan 2009. I prearranged a pick up from Jakarta and an one-day boat trip to the volcano with Java Rhino ( ). The owner is Ian Sebastian, nice guy.

    The pick up cost Rp.900,000 while the one-day tour package cost Rp.3,500,000. Guide, life jackets, snorkelling equipments, food and drinks are provided for the tour. If you wander around Carita beach for those touts, you can get an one-day tour for around Rp.2,000,000, however, there’s no guarantee of boat quality, and no extra services except for taking you to the volcano.

    I stayed at Sunset View Hotel. A very basic hotel but convenient location. If you’re to stay there, make sure you drop by the fish market of Labuan town to buy some fresh seafood, and get the hotel receptionists make some BBQ out of it. VERY tasty!

    Hope this helps.

    Jia Hao

    • I went last year on what was an expensive trip compared to what you could get on the day in Carita. With 3 others and including transport to/from Jakarta it was less than a million each. A car should be no more than about 600,000 for the day.
      As for getting a boat, if you’re Indonesian you’d get a much better price than us foreigners!
      I’ve also seen local group tours that go to Krakatau and Sebesi island – and include 2 nights accommodation, transport, meals etc – for less than a million in total for the whole weekend. For example, this local organization (but they don’t have a trip scheduled at present)

  9. Hey there,

    My friend and I plan to go to Krakatau on 3-5 November 2010. I was looking for a schedule trip but there was non available. So I decided to arrange the trip myself.

    As you have been there, do you still have the contact person for the boat to reach the island? Can you tell me how much was it, daily or per trip? Please tell me the detail of your trip to Krakatau? Do you know any guide to assist us in climbing the mountain?

    I would highly appreciate if you could write me in detail.

    Thank you

    • Henny
      I know it may seem strange, but if you do travel to Cerita you will have no problem finding a local boat that is keen to take you to Krakatau. It’s not so easy to arrange in advance, but usually your guesthouse or hotel can do that for you. Make sure you get a good boat because it is quite a long trip to the Krakatau islands. You will have no problem when you arrive as anak Krakatau is very small – you arrive on the small beach and hike up one of the ash slopes. Note that it is currently too dangerous to go to the summit! A nice diversion afterwards is to do a bit of snorkling around the edge of one the remnants of the old Krakatau. Your boat will surely know this.. Good luck – go for it – it’s a fantastic trip once you escape the industrial suburbs of Jakarta.

  10. Hi Henny
    I don’t have a number for the contact person but I don’t think it should be too difficult to arrange in Carita (or Kalianda, Lampung). You should be able to find some phone numbers if you do a Google search.
    Good luck with the weather…

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