// Argopuro

Facts

Elevation: 3,088 m (10,131 ft) Prominence: 2,745 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSangat Tinggi Province: Jawa Timur (East Java)
Google Earth: kml Other names: Argapura, Argopura, Argapuro
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Photos

ArgopuroNext »
Near the start of the Argopuro trail at Baderan (Dan Quinn, December 2012)Near the start of the Argopuro trail at Baderan (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
Near the start of the Argopuro trail at Baderan (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
Cikasur meadows on Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)Cikasur meadows on Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
Cikasur meadows on Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
Flowers at Cikasur, Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)Flowers at Cikasur, Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
Flowers at Cikasur, Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
First light at Cikasur, Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)First light at Cikasur, Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)
First light at Cikasur, Argopuro (Dan Quinn, December 2012)

English

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Bagging It!

The Argopuro mountain complex offers one of the longest and most isolated treks in Java with incredible scenery to match. Above the agricultural land (corn, cassava, tobacco, coffee, cocoa), at about 1,200m, the track enters tall, often moss/lichen/epiphyte-covered, lower-montane forest. At higher altitudes (above about 1,800m), casuarina (Casuarina junghuhniana) dominates the upper-montane slopes; this specie is especially resistant to fires that are quite common. Extensive “button-grass” meadows occur in depressions. Edelweiss (Anaphalis javanica) occurs in the sub-alpine zone around 2,600m and above. Many local hikers spend 4-6 days making the traverse and the 3-day trip is about a short as you can realistically make it.

The ruins of an ancient Hindu temple on Rengganis peak, named after Princess Rengganis who supposedly built the temple possibly as early as the 12th century, make for a mystical experience. The highest peak is Argopuro (3,088m) adjacent to Rengganis (3,066m). The track passes by the beautiful, secluded Danau Taman Hidup (Living Garden Lake) (2,000m).

The Rengganis/Argopuro peaks can be approached from either the towns of Baderan to the north-east or Bremi to the west. The Baderan ascent is more gradual although longer. This description starts at Baderan and finishes at Bremi. Guides/porters can be arranged and permits obtained from the Forestry Office, Baderan (at the end of the asphalt road), for which copies of passport/ID are essential.

Day 1: The trek from the Baderan Forestry Office (770m) to an old Dutch airstrip (2,190m) is about 14 kms and takes about 8-9 hours. The track climbs steadily through agricultural land, Protected Forest and into the National Park. White, numbered, posts mark the track every one hundred metres, with zero being the edge of the Protected Forest. Villagers ride motorbikes up this track as far as the Protected Forest. Two unreliable water sources are at elevations of 1,830m and 2,165m (at post No. 19) before the trail leads up to a mini ‘puncak’ (near post No. 32 at 2,261m) before descending a hundred metres or so. The first large meadow reached (‘Alun-alun Kecil’ about post No. 40) offers an excellent lunch stop. Not long after this meadow is another, larger meadow known as Alun-alun Besar (at post No. 63). The trail then leads over a small bridge (post N0. 73) before leading for another 45 minutes and descending slightly to Cikasur (2,215m).

The Airstrip at Cikasur (post No. 92 – flowing water) lies on an extensive meadow where deer, pigs, peafowl, pheasants and jungle fowl are always heard and often seen. The Dutch administration apparently built this airstrip around 1919 for the visit of Dutch Royalty to promote conservation and management of the area; another report informs that it served to establish a ranch and meat factory. In 1943, the Dutch sabotaged the air strip to prevent its use by Japanese forces. There is a small shelter on the edge of the meadow and fresh water salad can be collected in the nearby stream (eaten raw or cooked).

Day 2: The trek from the Airstrip to Rengganis peak is about 13 kms and takes about 7-8 hours. The track continues up through casuarina forest interspersed with open meadows with some views eastwards to Gunung Raung, until descending into a valley with a small hut (Cisentor – flowing water, 2,445m) at post No. 142 (about 3 hours). The white markers abruptly end higher up in the forest at no. 150 for no apparent reason! The trail is a little vague at this point at it crosses a dry riverbed (‘sungai kering’, 2,650m) before leading up through Edelweiss. The area was badly affected by forest fires in September/October 2012 but it is hoped the area will have been rejuvenated before long. Water is available again in a small, hidden spring at Rawa Embik (rawa: marsh; embik: bleat of a goat, 2,755m) about 2 hours from Cisentor. From this point, no more sure water is available until Danau Taman Hidup or until reaching Bremi.

The saddle between the Rengganis and Argopuro peaks is reached after about another 2 hours. Here, the track divides into three directions. The “left-hand” track ascends to Rengganis with the ruins of the Hindu temple (good camping – about 20 minutes – no water) and views to the east of the Ijen mountain complex on the eastern tip of Java and Gunung Agung in Bali. The “right-hand” track ascends to Argopuro, the highest peak (just under 30 minutes each way) where there is a cairn/grave but, unfortunately, casuarina trees at the summit obscure the view. Danau Taman Hidup, the north coast of Java and Madura and the Ijen mountain complex can be seen through the trees.

Day 3: the descent (in total, about 2,100m) to Bremi (990m) can be made by two routes. A longer, but steadier, descent is made by returning to Cisentor and circumnavigating Gunung Rengganis to the south and west via Taman Kering (about 8-9 hours). The alternate, more direct but steeper and less often used, descent is via the “middle” track on the saddle between the Rengganis/Argopuro peaks (about 7-8 hours). The two routes meet at a small stream (water not guaranteed even during the rainy season) after about 3 hours via the shorter route. Our preference is the shorter route which, although quite steep in places, offers great views of the mountains and valleys to the south and west including Semeru. Danau Taman Hidup, complete with a dilapidated wooden pier, is reached after another 2 hours at around 2,000m. Bremi is a further 2-3 hours down the track, which is quite steep and badly-eroded in parts. The final track passes through agro-forestry plantations before reaching Bremi (also spelt ‘Bermi’). Irregular angkots run down to the main road at Pajarakan (Rp 15,000, just under one hour) from where you can catch a bus to your next destination.

Bagging information by Nick Hughes, updated by Dan Quinn (January 2013).

Practicalities

Getting there The nearest airport is Surabaya from where it takes several hours to reach the trailhead by car. The tiny Banyuwangi airport is an alternative option and may save you an hour or so. Regular buses travel along the northern coast road. Alight at Besuki and take an ojek (Rp 20,000 or 30,000) up to Baderan.
Accommodation Plenty of basic accommodation available in nearby towns – try Hotel Nirawana in the Banyuglugur area just east of Paiton power station.
Permits Guides/porters can be arranged and permits obtained (Rp 6,000 per person) from the Forestry Office, Baderan. Porters cost a reasonable Rp100,000 per day (December 2012)
Water sources In the Baderan-Bremi direction, reliable sources available at Mata Air 1, Mata Air 2, Cikasur, Cisentor, Rawa Embik and Taman Hidup. Note that Mata Air 1 & 2 are not always reliable during the dry season.
Recommended Hotel:
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): probolinggo

Location

Origins and Meaning

From the Javanese words ‘arga’ meaning ‘hill/mountain’ and ‘pura’ meaning ‘shrine’. The ruins of a Hindu temple are at the top and the mountain is an important pilgrimage site.

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

11 entries for “Argopuro”

  1. avatar

    I went there yesterday. Took from Bremi than start trek to Taman Hidup (6pm-2am). Argopuro has longest trek in Java. I also recorded its track in my gps.

    Posted by Gita | September 16, 2010, 23:11
  2. avatar

    A good article on Argopuro in the Jakarta Post by Phil Rich, December 2010….
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/11/12/hiking-java%E2%80%99s-forgotten-mountain-argopuro.html

    Posted by Dan | March 16, 2011, 12:11
  3. avatar

    Baderan to “Airstrip” (locals called it Sikasur (=the matrass), there are 2 water sources. Mata-Air-1 is 3 hours from Baderan and then another hour to Mata-Air-2. Mata-Air-1 is at the left side of the trek and Mata-Air-2 on the right. Both springs are a few minutes below.

    Before Mata-Air-2 you can see on your right some kilometers away 3 tall waterfalls.

    At Sikasur small river you can eat the selada air (nasturtium microphyllum). The vegetable is edible both raw and boiled. Extremely delicious to accompany your lunch or early dinner.

    The small stream of Sicentor also has plenty of selada air. Two hours from Sicentor, towards Bremi, there is another small stream of Aengkenik (little water). Small camp site for 3 tents. Then 8 hours hike to Tamanhidup Lake.

    Around Tamanhidup you are not allowed to scream unless you want to invite bad weather.

    There are fishes in the Tamanhidup. So you could fish over there.

    Exiting the woods, if you are lucky you would meet the villagers on their motorbikes. They collect grass for their cows. They can take you to Bremi, saving you 1 hour of walking in the confusing area of the plantation.

    Posted by Handjono | September 4, 2011, 16:21
  4. avatar

    Had planned to climb Argopuro at the end of October but apparently there are still forest fires affecting the mountains – or potentially affecting the mountains. Either way, many of the giants of East Java are out of bounds right now with the prolonged dry season causing all sorts of chaos. Arjuno-Welirang was particularly badly affected… http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/forest-fires-continue-to-ravage-east-and-central-java/547433
    So, check before you head out this month, especially for peaks in the drier East Java.

    Posted by Dan | October 8, 2012, 21:18
  5. avatar

    Three of us decided to climb this mountain over the Christmas holidays. Pak Suryadi sent down ojeks to collect two of us at Banyuglugur (Rp 30,000 each, we gave them 50,000 each for what is quite a journey) at 5am on Day 1. Unfortunately the morning was nearly overshadowed by unpleasantness when we were asked to pay Rp600,000 ‘logistic’ fee on top of the already agreed Rp 100,000 per day per porter and enough for food and local transport back round on the final day. I said there was no way we would be paying it as no Indonesian would ever pay anything like that amount. You may wish to pay such a sum if you have a large group and require a guide in addition to your porters but don’t be bullied into what is by no means obligatory. So, finally, we ended up paying the Rp6,000 that everyone else pays in order to hike in this area.

    The porters soon proved to be some of toughest, fittest chaps in Indonesia – marching ahead leaving us sweating miles behind. Indeed, these blokes could probably do the whole trek in a single day if they really wanted to. They were also ingenious, skilled at constructing shelters in a matter of minutes and starting a fire with soaking wet wood (the secret it to take a bit of rubber to help things along).

    We heard lots of peacocks at Cikasur but didn’t see any. There was a lot of birdlife down at Cisentor – two I managed to photograph have been identified as Indigo Flycatcher and Plaintive Cuckoo.

    Finally making it up to the higher slopes on the afternoon of the second day it was raining when we made the short detour to ‘bag’ the highest peak itself, an atmospheric little top of cairns lurking in forest.

    The weather had been pretty wet as expected but early morning on the third day at the top of Rengganis was perfect for the excellent view of Gunung Raung in the distance to the east. We could even hear it rumble at around 6am (it has been very active as of late). Early morning is also the best time to explore the fascinating ruins of Rengganis temple. There is a distinct smell of sulphur in places which suggests there is still some limited volcanic activity in the area.

    The trek down to Bremi was knee-destroying but well worth it for the views of Danau Taman Hidup and Semeru from the short cut which skirts round close to one of the deep summit craters.

    Finally back down at the main road after 3 days on this magical mountain, it was on to Probolinggo before getting the train round to Madiun to make a second attempt on another wild peak – Liman.

    Posted by Dan | January 2, 2013, 14:30
  6. avatar

    Hi Dan,
    Congratulations on another bagging! A couple of questions: how did you travel from Jakarta? Did you fly/take the train to Probolinggo first, and then ojek to Banyuglugur? Where is Banyuglugur?
    M

    Posted by Marcus | January 2, 2013, 17:20
  7. avatar

    That would make the most sense, Marcus. The Mutiara Timur executive class train runs from Surabaya to Banyuwangi once every 12 hours and calls at Probolinggo. Best get a bus down to Besuki rather than ojek all the way.

    Actually I worked my way there from further east, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have other places you want to visit over that way first….

    Banyuglugur is between Paiton and Besuki…closer to Paiton.

    Posted by Dan | January 2, 2013, 17:29
  8. avatar

    Dan must have started from Baderan and descended to Bremi. Reaching Baderan is better from Besuki. In Baderan the BKSDA Chief will arrange the porter for you. The BKSDA also has a modest guest house next to the office. Logistics can be collected from a warung nearby, owned by the retired BKSDA Chief.

    Be careful with the jelatang (fire leaves) around Sicentor a little higher. The leaf stings you like a bee and the itch stayed for some hours.

    If you are a durian lover, both Baderan and Bremi have very delicious durians. The season is March – April.

    Posted by Handjono | January 3, 2013, 22:20
  9. avatar

    Selamat sore Pak Quinn .. hehee .. kita bertemu di cikasur . remember me ?

    Posted by Zyco | January 6, 2013, 17:39
  10. avatar

    I did the Argopuro trek a couple of weeks ago.
    I arrived to Pos Baduran from besuki by ojek (40.000Rp) and after register at the Pos, the ranger asked me if i wanted a lift for the first 3km (40.000Rp) and as it was already noon I accepted.
    I arrived to Cikasur and spent the night there.
    On day 2 I walked to Cisentor ealy in the morning. It is an easy and short walk. After I set up my tent still wet from the night, I took just a small backpack with water, snacks and camera and walked to the summit of Argopuro and Rengganis.
    I was back at Cisentor quite early and i decided to pack and walk to Danau Taman Hidup. BE CAREFUL!!! as this part of the trek is not just descent, there are 2,5km quite steep and hard if not in a good physical condition. It took me 4 hours to complete this part of the trek. The path is overgrown and also uncomfortable to walk, don’t underestimate it.
    On day 3 I just walked from Danau Hidup to Kurcil, this is quite an easy walk.

    My track log is in wikiloc.com ready to download and load into your gps. I used some waypoints from gunungbagging.com.

    Please keep the paths and camps clean, bring a 500ml empty bottle with you to use as a garbage bin. All your food wraps, even the part you tear off, cigarette butts, tissue after going to “toilet”, batteries, etc can fit in there… you would be surprised. And avoid cans and other food “containers” that you cannot put inside the bottle unless you take them back with you. Please avoid increasing the amount of litter in Indonesia’s beautiful Nature.

    Posted by pedro | September 23, 2013, 19:29
  11. avatar

    Argopuro. How could I forget it?
    Dense big old towering trees, steep trek to climb with both hands and feet, flat terrain on the savannah, wet forest covered in moss, big rotten logs lying across the trails that force you either to stoop or stretch your legs, blessing rain and wet shoes as a bonus. It is really an “all in one” mountain. Quite hardcore I’d say. Back from the mountain, I just slept and ate and drank for the next two days.

    Posted by paul | March 11, 2014, 23:57

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