This Ribu is one of the most popular hikes in Central Java, and has spectacular views to other volcanoes in all directions from the summit area. It has five calderas, Condrodimuko, Kombang, Kendang, Rebab and Sambernyowo but no serious volcanic activity has been reported here for many decades. Merbabu can be climbed from several trails near Kopeng in the north (less than two hours by car from Semarang) with starting points at Thekelan, Cunthel and Wekas, or from the south at Selo (between Merbabu and Merapi and closer to Solo).

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Lokon is a very active twin volcano with the adjacent Empung and is located close to the pleasantly cool town of Tomohon, which is surrounded by agricultural land. All recent eruptions have originated from the Tompaluan crater which lies in the saddle between the two peaks – when most people say they climbed Lokon they mean they visited the crater and most guides will think you only want to go to the crater.

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Gunung Ruang is the southern-most volcano in the Sangihe arc between North Sulawesi and Mindanao in the Philippines. The island volcano is situated in Kebupaten Sitaro next to the island of Tagulandang. The last significant eruption was in 2002 when two kampungs had to be evacuated. Since then, Ruang continues to be active with fumes around the crater. For some reason, many locals call the island and volcano ‘Duang’.

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This Ribu has two excellent paths to the top from the south, with the two trailheads just 800 metres apart (though in different provinces!) It is perhaps Java’s easiest 3,000m peak, especially since the two most popular paths start at an elevation of 1,900m, and is perhaps the island’s most mystical. It’s a great hike for those new to hiking in Indonesia and the views are fabulous.

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Papandayan (Malang)


This Ribu is located about one hour’s drive from the town of Garut and actually has a car park at over 2,000 metres above sea level on the edge of the active craters. There is an alternative route to the mountain from Cileuleuy and Pangalengan but the approach from the main crater is by far the easiest and most popular. The scenery is some of the most spectacular and varied in West Java and the active crater attracts a lot of tourists.

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Gunung Parang is one of the most interesting peaks in Java. Despite being clearly visible as a jagged rocky ridge from the Jakarta-Bandung toll road, up until recently it was something of a secret, generally known only to Indonesian rock climbers. From some angles it very closely resembles the famous and unusual Scottish mountain Suilven. By 2017, things have changed and this fabulous and accessible mountain is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

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Banda Api


Banda Api is a small but very active island volcano in the remote Banda islands. It has been observed and written about for centuries since it was a key location for the trading of spice when the British, Dutch and Portuguese sought the vast quantities of nutmeg on these islands – particularly Run / Rhun island. The last major eruption was in 1988 but there remains minor fumarole activity near the summit.

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