Elevation: 3,078 m (10,098 ft) Prominence: 2,792 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSangat Tinggi Province: Jawa Barat (West Java)
Google Earth: kml Other names: Ciremay, Ceremai, Cereme, Careme
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes) Add your rating
Eruptions: 1698, 1772, 1775, 1805, 1937-38, 1951


    Bagging It!

    A solitary giant, this Ribu is the highest peak in West Java province and one of the most popular hikes in Indonesia. The starting points for the hike are 2 to 3 hours by car or public bus to the south of Cirebon, which itself is easily accessible from Jakarta by train. There are three starting points and it is easy to ascend by one route and descend the other. The Apuy route is the best as it starts at a higher elevation (approx 1,200 m). The crater is both deep and impressive, and a full circuit of the rim can be done in about one and a half hours.

    1. Apuy: take a bus or car to Maja, and from there continue by car or motorbike via Argapura to the beautiful village of Apuy. A neighbouring village is called Cibuluh – which may be better known. The road climbs steeply and is a little rough as you get to the lower part of Apuy village, and it may be necessary to hire a local motorbike taxi (ojek) to for the last 3 to 4 kilometres because car access might be impossible. There are official National Park porters and guides available in Apuy, if you ask. The trail from Apuy is in good condition and is steep, but shorter and easier than from Linggarjati which starts only a few hundred metres above sea level. The ascent should take 5 to 7 hours. After following a cement track which snakes up the hillside between fields of onions and potatoes you will reach the entrance to Ciremai National Park which is a cement shelter (1,442m) next to a small pond. There are five posts and it takes approximately one hour between each of them: Pos I (1,638m) a stone shelter beyond crop fields and just prior to entering the forest, Pos II Perempatan Lima (1,910m), Pos III Tegal Mawasa (2,156m), Pos IV Tegal Jamuju (2,321m) and Pos V (Sanghiang Rangkah, 2,561m). At 2,832m the Apuy route joins with the Palutungan route. Pos VI (2,948m) is a the best spot to camp, being just above a small extinct side crater called Goa Walet (Swallows’ Cave) and just 20 minutes from the crater rim. You may find a small amount of water inside the Swallows’ Cave. There are one or two places to camp on – or just below – the rim itself but it is pretty exposed. The rim itself is reached at an elevation of around 3,050m.
    2. Linggarjati (Cibunar): closer and easily accessible from Cirebon by the bus to Kuningan but over 2,000 metres of elevation gain required. A long, tough climb (or descent). Get off the bus at Linggarjati and then take a motorbike taxi (ojek) or mini-bus to the starting point at Cibunar. This ascent is very popular, but can be very dusty before entering the forest and the trail is heavily eroded in many places. The ascent should take 7 or 8 hours; there are porters and guides available in Linggarjati. Given the accessibility of Linggarjati it is a good option to descend this route after ascending from Apuy, though it’s a long way down.
    3. Palutungan: From Cirebon, take a mini-bus to Cisanatana, and then an ojek (motorbike taxi) to Palutungan. This route meets the Apuy route at around 2,830m.

    Assuming you reach the crater rim from the Apuy/Palutungan route there is a cement pillar on the rim just a hundred metres to the left (north) and if you follow the rim clockwise you will reach the highest point of Ciremai (and West Java) in just over 20 minutes. Some sections of the rim are too bushy or too narrow (or both) for hikers to be able to follow the absolute top so you have to drop down on the small, overgrown trail from time to time. The highest part of the rim is marked with a cluster of red bricks and further along with the remains of some kind of sensor equipment. A full circuit of the rim can be made in about one hour and a half, but not many people do this and it is better to do it the other way around (reaching the summit close to the end of the circuit). Several sections of the trail do not offer much in the way of panoramas but for – the most part – the views to Slamet, the north Java coast and the many hills of West Java are spectacular.

    If doing a full circuit, we would recommend doing it anti-clockwise, as the first half of the trail is frequently used because you must pass this way to get from the Apuy/Palutungan route to the Linggarjati route. Key points (in anti-clockwise order) are as follows. Puncak Sunan Mataram (3,058m according to the sign) which is a flattish, exposed area with space for 5 or 6 tents on the rim itself and with great views down to Waduk Darma (Darma Reservoir), another ten minutes and you’ll be at a mini-top with great views over the crater. After this, the trail gets bushier and passes under the highest parts of the rim and past a couple of spots suitable for a tent or two and with great views of Gunung Slamet in the distance. Another ten minutes and you will be at Puncak Panglongokan (3,027, according to the sign) which is close to the area where you descend on the Linggarjati route and features a cement pillar. Further along the rim the trail gets rougher and you will need to clamber over a few dead branches and under low bushes. The views here of Ciremai crater are particularly good.  After a minor drop to a superb viewpoint over the edge of the rim there is a very narrow section which you must be very careful on. Following this, the overgrown trail leads fairly gently up onto the highest section of rim. This section has two or three spots of equal height, the first being where the broken equipment lies and the final being where the red bricks are. The latter is a far, far better viewpoint, particularly of the other peaks of West Java notably the pyramid-shaped Cikuray, steaming Papandayan and the great mass of tops north of the Bandung plain. Another couple of minor ups and downs and you will be at the cement pillar just north of where the Apuy and Palutungan routes reach the rim.

    Bagging information provided by Andy Dean (2009), updated thanks to John Hargreaves (September 2011), and Dan Quinn (April 2013).


    Getting there To get to Cirebon from Jakarta, the best option is an executive class train from Gambir station. The journey takes 3 hours. To reach Majalengka (the nearest town to Apuy) from Jakarta by car takes about 5 or 6 hours.
    Accommodation There are some hotels in Cirebon, but not a huge selection. For the Apuy route, try Hotel Sederhana Baru or Putra Jaya in Majalengka. In Linggarjati, try Sangkan Indah.
    Permits You are required to register at the starting points. At Apuy it costs Rp 8,500 per person (September 2011).
    Water sources None on any of the routes except sometimes a small amount in Swallows’ Cave. Take plenty with you.
    Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): cirebon


    Origins and Meaning

    The name Cereme or Ciremai is derived from the Sundanese word for Otaheite gooseberry or Malay gooseberry. (Wikipedia, 2011)

    Links and References

    Wikipedia English
    Wikipedia Indonesia
    Wikipedia. 2011. Mount Cereme. Accessed from

    27 thoughts on “Ciremai

    1. Some note for those are going, please bring along mosquitoes repellant, not sure anyone have mentioned but on the summit, i went there in sunny day in November, that time the surrounding flower in bloom, thousands thousands of flies that look smaller and a bit like mosquitoes and look strange , they are everywhere, on the flowers, on the flag, on my hand, on my hair 🙁

      other than that, the view are stunning, the nature is so beautiful since the flowers are in bloom, a bit cloudy at some points which make it more scenery

    2. You can get an angkot from Cirebon to Majalengka then another one most of the way to Argapuro, then get an ojek to Apuy. Took 3 hours from Cirebon to Apuy. There is a place to stay in Apuy. You can go by ojek to Pos 1, register at Pos 1 & get your entry permit. They were open at 5:30 AM when I was there. This is one of the easier 3000M gunungs, straightforward via the Apuy route. Took 3 hours 20 mins. up to the crater rim, then did the circuit in 1H 20″, total 7 hrs up & down via Apuy including breaks to talk to people. The crater circuit is well worth doing, be careful as parts involve exposed but easy scrambling although a lot of it can be bypassed. Nearly everyone just goes to the crater rim & very few go on to the true summit.

      • Hi Frank,

        I’m planning to climb gunung Ciremai this weekend.

        I’ve read you completed the full ascent-descent in 7 hours only ! In the description above it is written the ascent “should take 5 to 7 hours” by itself. This is far less.

        I don’t know if it is reasonable to do the full trip in 1 day only. I’m 25 years old, in good physical shape and used to climb mountains (I’m Swiss).

        Did you do the trip alone or with a local guide ? Did you returned to Apuy or another destination ? Last question: did you climb to the highest point ?

        Thank you for your answers =)


        • Hi Zoran,

          how was your climb

          I did solo, 5 hours up, 2 hours down, i stayed in Puri Elsas hotel,they helped me to get one motorbike, i started at 6, reach there at 7, i reached summit at 12, back to base at 2pm, all good, i dont bring anything,just some snack, so it was very light

    3. another ribu attempt.another failure.
      i have decided that there should be a hall of shame for people who get to 20 failed ribus before 20 successes.of course it was all of my own undoing and a dodgy knee.
      i had climbed tampomas the previous evening and went directly to apuy. after a few different forms of transport i arrived at apuy around 12.00pm.i had a choice to make. either hang around until the next day and rest or get going and camp somewhere on the way hindsight i should of rested up and tryed the next daywith a guide .my knee was already hurting from tampomas. i couldnt really find anyone in apuy to help. one guy offered to give me a lift up to pos 1 so i took it saving me probably 1 hour of hiking on farm tracks.i had planned to find a guide and maybe a porter but knowone put their hand up so i just went off by myself.when i got to pos 2 there were people coming down and they were warning me it was a long way to go.i was looking at a sign that said puncuk and i thought it was strange that they would spell puncak wrong. had the locals at pos 2 not been there to tell me that puncuk is another mountain i probably would of gone up the wrong trail. when will i learn that you dont do these ones without a i entered the forest the clouds opened up and i spent the next 3 hours getting drenched.the trail then became a waterfall and some of the gullys became almost impassable due to the slipperyness. i got up to pos 5 and was totally spent.with only half an hour left of light in the day i decided to make camp.overnight my knee was telling me this was all wrong and the fact that i hadnt seen anyone on the mountain except for the locals at pos 2 made me feel rather lonely.also having no phone reception and hearing rustling in rubbish outside my tent from animals didnt daylight i got out and looked up at the summit and knew that i had to make the correct decision and abandon the climb. i was at 2500 meters and still had 500 height meters to knee ( it band syndrome) wasnt good and going alone would have been too risky. so i lipmed my way back down to apuy and made my way back to bandung with my tail between my legs.
      its a real shame because unlike my last indonesian trip up gede where i felt like i was getting ripped off by everyone and just seemed surrounded by bad people, i had very positive experiences this time. i found the people from bandung to apuy very helpful. i got rides from people and they didnt expect anything in return.the landscape around ciremai is great.the apuy trail in dry weather would of be fine. lots of wildlife( monkeys,pigs ,etc..).
      one thing i noticed thats been mentioned in other posts is the bottles of urine.they wernt hanging on trees. but just in bottles on the ground.
      lessons hopefully learned
      dont go alone.
      if you have dodgy knees dont try and do to many gunungs over consecutive days.even if its only a small one like tampomas.
      ill be back to give ciremai another try when the dry season starts.

      • Here’s a report from Chris on his second attempt….

        “after my last effort in april i was haunted by not reaching the
        summit. so i went back last week and bagged ciremai without too many
        dont underestimate how long it will take you by transport to get
        there. i thought it would take me 3 hours to majalenka from bandung(
        which was last time) this time it took 8 hours.the bus had to take a
        detour around sumedang due to road repairs. 8 hours for 80km is not
        fun. in apuy at the park office next to the mosque i asked for a
        porter and one showed up within 10 mintues. this made a huge
        difference. what took me 5 hours to get to pos 5 last time only took
        me 3.and 4 hours to the crater edge.not carrying a 20kg bag and no
        rain helped alot. both times on the mountain somewhere between pos 2
        and 3 i saw a large mob of white faced monkeys jumping around the
        trees so look out for them. added advantage of having the porter(
        think his name is ojat) is that he will drive you on his scooter up to
        pos 1 saving you a hour.he also brought a machete and chopped down a
        heap of wood to make a fire at the campsite( pos 6 goa walet). when
        you reach the crater rim to bag the real summit trust the advice from
        dan,andy etc . at first i was worried thinking id have to take
        dangerous risks walking along the crater edge to get there , but after
        the concrete pillar you will find a overgrown path maybe 20 meters
        below that will take you right around. just look for the red bricks on
        the more roundish hump on the cirebon side and you know you are on the
        summit.from goa walet back down to pos 1 where the scooter is only
        took 3 hours. it is steep and for me a total knee a bule
        be prepared to take alot of photos with the locals.
        still lots of bottles of piss lying around. do not make the mistake of
        drinking it thinking its gatorade.
        its a nice climb.nice views.worth while but i think my favourite part
        is the traveling between majalenka and apuy.the countryside is
        stunning with some rocky outcrops of hills. theres a nice parang
        looking one near kadipaten and also saddle mountain near maja.locals
        in this area are very friendly.
        also keep in mind that july is the month of ramadan where the muslims
        cant eat between 4am and 6 pm so expect some understandably lazy
        guides and porters around indonesia during this time.”

    4. Dan,

      If we climb Ciremai and use guide, do we suppose provide the guide with tent,sleeping bag and food ? or we just bring supply for ourselves ?


    5. just climbed this mountain via Palutungan on 7-8 april, unfortunately the weather was really bad. Started the hike at 6.30 am, we’re built a camp about 100 meters above Sanghyang Ropoh Pos and got rain from 3 pm until 5 am next morning, we’re failed to reach the summit as the weather at dawn was terrible. windy, misty and ice rain. Maybe next time we’ll get something better..

    6. I know what you mean Dan but you are actually missing the point – we are guests in their country and that is the way they do things so just grin and bear it buddy – or go somewhere quiet. If you want to do your head in try Bali, particularly around Ubud, if you want to know what real noise is about in a religious context, for there it can go on all night – and they are Hindu!

      But the compensation is Ciremai, the views and the solitude when you move away from the well worn tracks.

      Have you tried walking with the Ciremai Hash House Harriers – every Sunday they leave at 6.00 a.m. from Cirebon for varied walks around the mountain of about 12km and an annual walk up to the summit using less frequented paths – and they are happy to provide transport. If you want any more info just let me know

      • I appreciate your comment but with that reasoning where do you draw the line? We are all inhabitants of the same planet.

        I don’t personally live in or near Cirebon but I’m sure there are others out there that would be keen. Presumably you have a website people can ask Mr Google about.

    7. Climbed this mountain for the second time at the weekend, with Java Lava. It took quite a while to get out of Jakarta on Friday night (much better to go by train to Cirebon) so we didn’t arrive in Majalengka til almost 3.30am. Wake up call was at 5am!
      If we weren’t lucky with traffic we were certainly very lucky with the weather – no rain except light rain on the way down. A handful of us made a complete circuit of the crater rim – very worthwhile indeed. Wind was very light so most of the group actually camped on the crater rim.

      The guides/porters from the National park team at Apuy were excellent. Friendly and fast. Very much better than in previous years when they drank from our water supplies which is a very serious matter considering there is basically no water to be found on the mountain.

      On the way up I did spot a tiny stream to the left of the trail between Pos 1 and Pos 2 which would be worth a try in an emergency or during the wet season.

      Another good thing was the lack of plastic bottles filled with urine and tied to trees which people have previously reported (perhaps on other routes only?) due to the ‘holiness of the mountain’ which would be offended if urine fell directly to the ground but not if bottles of piss were left hanging from trees. Thankfully this bizarre practice seems to be ending.

      A fair bit of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great!) being shouted at dawn, which is a little off-putting to non-Muslims but I tried to counter it with a bit of Socrates Akbar!

      • Why should subuh (the dawn call to prayers for Muslims)be a little off-putting to non-Muslims Dan? – didn’t you realise that the Cirebon area is widely regarded as the birthplace for the spread of Islam in Indonesia and the area continues to be more Islamic than a lot of other areas in Java. I would hope that all visitors would respect the religious practices and beliefs of their hosts and not regard them as threatening or off-putting in any way.

        • Just because of the volume, actually. Really, really loud. I know it wouldn’t be appreciated the other way around either at such high volume. Live and let live, you know, but don’t force it on others, whatever the religion.

    8. Surprised at your opening comment that there is not a huge selection of hotels in Cirebon. I can think of at least 30 in all different price ranges – how many do you need for a huge selection?

      It’s unlikely to be slippery in the dry season(usually April-October) and as for the litter please bear in mind that, sadly, most Indonesians regard the ground everywhere as a trash can!

    9. According to Java Lava (who have been planning a hike up Ciremai for the last few weeks), forest fires on the slopes of the mountain has meant that there is currently no access for hikers. It has been incredibly dry recently. Presumably it will be open again by mid-October.

    10. i’ve climbed this mountain on june 2010, linggarjati trail was really tough, i’m also have to bring 8 litres of water, what a hell for skinny senior high school student like me.. haha!

    11. We climbed Ciremai last weekend- 10th to 11th September- starting from Apuy and descending to Cibunar (Linggarjati).

      On Friday we travelled by car from Jakarta to Majalengka via the Bandung toll road. This was about 4.5 hours journey- 2.5h to Cileunyi, a further 1h to Sumedang and another 1h plus to Majalengka, enigmaticaly described on the Nelles map of Java as a “nice town”. In Majalengka we stayed at Hotel Sederhana Baru, which has clean rooms for Rp250,000 or tatty rooms for Rp125,000. We just arrived in time to find the rumah makan Padang before 21.00, when everything in Majalengka seems to shut.

      On Saturday morning we proceeded toward Maja- follow the main road through Majalengka and turn right at the roundabout (no sign) at the east end of town. From Majalengka to Maja is about 20 minutes. Turn left immediately after the bus terminal in Maja to ascend to Apuy. The road is good for 5km but then deteriorates- not good for sedans. At Argapura village continue straight rather than following the main road round to the left and cross the valley to reach Apuy. We took 40 minutes from Maja to Apuy (alt. 1220m).

      In Apuy we paid Rp8,500 for the various tickets required from Pak Memeng and looked for guides/ porters. Getting here early would be an advantage; when we arrived at 08.00 we were told that many potential porters had already left to work in the fields. Eventually though we negotiated a price and set off with our guide Pak Jaja.

      The first part of the climb followed a broad farm track, and then a path through vegetable fields until after an hour we reached Pos II, a solid stone shelter at 1654m, having somehow bypassed Pos I. Different websites seem to disagree about the altitudes of the various Pos; on our visit they were all marked with fresh-looking red-on yellow painted signs, so the altitudes should be accurate. Pos III was at 2156m, Pos IV 2321m, Pos V 2561m. All these are just campsites with no shelter.

      The hike itself was a pleasant and typical Javanese forest hike on a good path, steep but seldom requiring use of hands and not slippery at all. The overcast sky kept the temperature cool, but never cold.

      The birds in the forest were remarkably bold, often perching right beside the trail. We also heard a troop of lutung in the trees near pos III, though they remained hidden among the foliage. The forest undergoes the usual transition from leafy evergreens in the lower montane forest to dwarf shrubs and mosses on the upper slopes.

      After Pos V the mountain’s volcanic nature becomes more apparent, with the trail emerging onto a ridge with ravines on either side and the top fleetingly visible among the swirling clouds. The old trail appears to have subsided and a new path is being worn above the edges of the old path, requiring more careful foot placement than on the lower slopes.

      At 2823m altitude, the Apuy trail joins up with the Palatungan trail coming from the south, then continues to pos VI at 2948m. At Pos VI there are several flat, though somewhat gravelly pitches, where we set up our tent. Goa Walet is directly below Pos VI; although it looks sheltered, some campers who had slept there the night before reported that it was a wind funnel.

      Total distance climbing time, including long stops and lunch, was 7 hours from Apuy to Pos VI, but fast movers could easily cut that by a couple of hours.

      We enjoyed a cold, but clear night with a full moon, beautiful stars and about a dozen camping companions.

      After breaking camp just before dawn, we set out at 5.20 Sunday morning for the crater. From Pos VI it’s only 20 minutes to the rim. The trail is steep but hand supports are available and there is none of the volcanic scree that makes the summit sections of mountains like Slamet and Rinjani such a challenge.

      After sunrise at 5.45, we cooked a leisurely, wind-free breakfast on a broad, flat section of the crater rim and admired the view. While the nearby villages were visible the far distance was hidden under cloud cover, with only a handful of mountains peeking out. To the southwest was what I took to be Gunung Sawal, with several other Tasikmalaya area mountains nearby, and in the western distance what I guess were the 2000m mountains north of Bandung. Toward central Java, only Slamet was visible, imposing itself far above the cloud line.

      The crater of Ciremai itself is not the most spectacular, but it does have craggy sides, active fumaroles and a small milky white lake to provide good color contrast.

      The Apuy path emerges on the west edge of the crater, while the Linggarjati path emerges on the east. We toured anti-clockwise around the south edge of the crater to reach it. The rim path sometimes stays on the rocky edge or sometimes dips down into the vegetation outside the crater rim, avoiding the knife-edge parts!

      After 40 minutes and 1,8km we reached the painted signs at the top of the Linggarjati path, only to realise that the actual summit of the mountain is atop a hump on the north side of the crater. With true Gunungbagging style dedication, we therefore continued around the crater rim to bag the summit, a rather rougher section of path seemingly much less trodden- perhaps the approach around the north west edge is more used.

      At the northeast corner of the crater rim is a small campsite, after which the trail drops down about 20m outside the lip. You have the option of staying on the lower path, which drops annoyingly a full 50m below the rim, or climbing back up to the crater edge, which involves a jagged rock section for 20 or 30 meters but then improves. We went to the summit on the lower path and returned on the upper path; either way it’s about 30 minutes from the top of the Linggarjati path to the summit. On the north side of Ciremai you get to see the range of jagged and intriguing hills that lie between Rajaguluh and the Java Sea.

      The first section of the descent on the Linggarjati path made a bad impression, a steep, dusty drop down a stony gulley with frequent need for hand support. Although the dust and gradient gradually become less severe once you enter the forest at about 2600m altitude, the path still compares unfavorably to the Apuy trail; it’s steeper, dustier, messier and strewn with litter at the campsites that crop up every 100m or so of descent. Even once you enter the pleasant pine forest and cacao plantation at about 1000m altitude, civilization still lies far below you. Only after a further 200m descent to Cibunar do you finally get to guzzle mineral water to your heart’s content and find an ojek down to Linggarjati. Descent time from the crater rim to Cibunar was 5 hours.

      The one advantage on the Linggarjati side is that you can visit the hot springs resort at Sangkanhurip to rest your weary limbs. Sangkan Indah is a nice hotel with a pool open to the public for Rp10,000; Alinda is a good Sundanese restaurant (but bring your own beer from the hotel or from a shop in the village.)

      Overall, Ciremai, if you climb from the Apuy side, can be recommended as a rewarding weekend- with pleasant forest, a good trail and a scenic crater. The trail on the Linggarjati side though, had less appeal. From any side, keep in mind the absence of water sources. We carried 3 liters each, which was barely sufficient for the two days.

    12. In Apuy you can stay overnight in pak Ubuh’s house. Pak Ubuh also takes care of the registration. He and his son can take you to the summit.

      Try to get to Apuy before 9:00 pm otherwise you could lose your way. No one to ask in the night.

      At least along the Apuy trek to the summit, you are not supposed to name any animal with its name. If you talk about monkey, you do not say “monkey”. If you talk about snake, you do not say “snake”. And so on. Otherwise you would invite bad weather or some other obstacles.

      Apuy approach is the shortest as Apuy is 1400m and the trek is straightforward.

      Palutungan approach is longer as Palutungan is 1100m and the trek is meandering at places. Palutungan is close to Kuningan, and Kuningan is a sizeable town.

      Linggarjati is 500m, but the trek is quite straightforward. Since the distance is not so far, you will know how steep it is.

      • I stayed in sangkanurip a hot spring at the foot of Mount Ciremai, its a resort near Kuningan city. From there we rent an old landrover to palutungan then climbed the mountain, no water source in the mountain, so bring a lot of water is recommended

    13. I tried to climb this moutain a couple of years ago but only had 2 days to do it. there 2 famous routes to the summit.The well known route from Kuningan, and the Oh My God! route.It is well advised to take the regular route if you are pressed for time. However The Oh my God route is very rewarding as it is filled with some of the most beautifully preserved jungle I have seen in that part of Java.

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