Pulau Weh (Cot Kulam)

PULAU WEH (Cot Kulam)

Weh island, also known simply as Sabang (the main town), is a small volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra. It is a wildlife protection area and is attracting more and more visitors – especially foreigners who come for the snorkelling and incredibly relaxed atmosphere. On the edge of the Andaman Sea it is the beginning or end of Indonesia, and is famous for its Kilometer Nol monument (Kilometre Zero) and is immortalised in the nationalist song “From Sabang to Merauke”. A hike to the highest point remains a tough proposition and is rarely done, but perhaps this will change in time.

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Gunung Gawalise is Palu’s iconic mountain and gives its name to a local sports stadium. Given that it is only about 20 minutes from a major airport with direct flights to Jakarta, you would expect that Gawalise must be one of Indonesia’s most accessible mountains. The views over Palu valley, bay and city are magnificent from its slopes, but considerable access issues remain at the foot of the mountain.

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Gunung Colo on Pulau Una-una is Central Sulawesi’s only active volcano. It is perhaps the most isolated of the Togean Islands group in the Gulf of Tomini, but access is fairly easy given how popular the islands are with divers. The volcano has only erupted three times in recent history, but the most recent one in 1983 devastated the island, permanently altered the shape of its rivers, and forced all residents to evacuate.

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Less a single mountain and more a large, low range, Gunung Sebatung dominates the northern half of Pulau Laut (‘Sea Island’). Despite the name, Pulau Laut is certainly not an ‘island of louts’ – the local people are very friendly and there are plenty of activities to do here to make it worth your while visiting a large island off Borneo that sees few tourists at present.

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Dieng (Prau)

DIENG (Prau)

The Dieng Plateau is a huge volcanic complex near the pleasant town of Wonosobo. It is quite rightly one of Central Java’s leading tourist attractions and there are so many fascinating sites, both geological and historical, that it definitely makes sense to stay in Dieng village itself and properly explore the place. Colourful lakes, hissing and bubbling craters and numerous temples are dotted all over the landscape.

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Batu Daya


Batu Daya is one of the most iconic mountains in Indonesia but very few people know of its existence. Along with Gunung Kelam (also in West Kalimantan), Puruk Sandukui (Central Kalimantan) and the huge Merabu karst region in East Kalimantan it is an area which is bound to become a major natural tourist attraction in the next couple of decades, particularly if the Indonesian capital is relocated to Kalimantan and local infrastructure improves.

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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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