Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season

It’s February. In Indonesia, some bad raining still accompany our days recently. But that won’t cancel our plan to hiking to Papandayan Mountain, one of famous mountain in Garut, West Java. I ever been there on 2013 http://wp.me/p3rRlp-bv and http://wp.me/p3rRlp-c5, it was my second time to hike this mountain. For me, usually I prefer to go to another place I never been, especially hiking to a mountain which need lots of energies. But I applied an exception for Papandayan, since this mountain is counted as beautiful place in my list and a real place to be missed and make me crave to go there again. Even after we finished hiking the mountain, and I am here writing for this journey, I still want to go there again one day – but this time, I wish it’s not in the raining season again.

Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season28

Hello again Papandayan!


Preparation to go to Papandayan was quiet challenging this time – some of my travel partners who usually join the trip, suddenly have so many stuff to do and made some of them cancel the plan and weren’t able to join with us. From around 15 person, only 7 person who is able to go (including me – PS : I am the only girl in this trip) – then on our way to the mountain, we met with another 3 hikers who eventually join with our group, so now we are 10 person in this trip.

Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season1

Meet with another hikers on our way to Papandayan and we shared the ride together


Hiking to Papandayan Mountain is possible to do on the weekend. We were going from Jakarta (Kampung Rambutan Bus Terminal) at Friday night around 11 pm. But the bus waited until it’s full and doing the return driving around and around, until it’s 1.30 am then it’s finally moving to Garut. The bus ticket is 42.000 IDR/person/one way. The seat is so narrow. I felt bad for my taller boyfriend who has long legs. He was so uncomfortably sitting. We purposely chose the evening trip, because we will arrive in Garut in Saturday early morning. Around 5 am, we already arrived in Garut Bus Terminal. We waited until the sun is fully up while enjoying our breakfast (yellow rice and chicken porridge).


From Garut terminal, we rent a public car. The cost is per-person, not per-unit car. So one person cost 12.000 IDR (we tried to bargain from previous offer is 15.000 IDR/person). The public car took us until Cisurupan and from Cisurupan, we need to hire a pick up car to bring us to Camp David (the mountain’s foot/parking car) with cost IDR 20.000 per person (the best price we got). Bus or truck is not allowed to cross the street to Camp David because in some parts the road are very broken. Some of us were standing while the other trying to balance their body with the continuous jumping moves because of the bad bumpy road.

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Try to enjoy the ride, very bumpy road ever…

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Former welcome gate – now move to Camp David since the last eruption on 2002.


Arrived in Camp David, we didn’t want to be hurry because the rain also started to pouring down the area. We waited until the sun shine a bit and the rain stop while enjoying some coffee, hot tea, pisang goreng (fried banana) and instant noodles. I also able to take a nap for almost an hour while waiting, a good revenge after disturbing sleep in the bus last night. Then we started to walk, hike up to the mountain.

Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season9

Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season8


Papandayan mountain actually is one of the 19 mountains that had alert status by the government because of the link of active volcanoes in Indonesia. But many still go there and I can say (and the local says as well) that the mountain still safe to be hiked. Only the sulfur smell quite strong when we passed the area. We skipped the crater – look not really safe at that moment and continue to walk until Pondok Salada – the camping ground. It’s prohibited to camp on the top of the mountain or called Tegal Alun, because the area is so narrow and closer to the top of the volcano. Usually, there are many Edelweiss flower as well close to Pondok Salada. But this month really not a good month for them to blossom, instead, we saw many spiders try to build their home around the dry grass.

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Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season19

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Edelweiss flower garden close to Pondok Salada


Raining came while we walk and try to reach the camping ground. It was my first time to hike under the hard raining. Fortunately I brought my umbrella, so I walk slowly with the umbrella in my hands. All my clothes and stuff on my bag were successfully wet. It was so unfortunate for me, especially because I forget to put them first inside of the plastic bag before put it to my backpack. But the show must went on! We kept walking until we arrive in Pondok Salada and now, another challenges come! We need to find good place to build the tent and build the tent under such a hard rain really not a cool activities to do, but we should, we all very tired and want to be warm inside of the tent.

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Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season11

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Try to build up the tent in the middle of rain… And I just look at them, ahh… how lucky I am to be a woman 😀


Finally the tent was successfully built up. We tried to warm ourselves inside of the tent when the ground surface was so dump and had a bad smell. There was no choice except to cook inside of the tent. That’s what pretty cool as well because one of our friend brought the trangia cooking set which is safe to use inside of the tent. What a fun to cook inside of the tent while our friends waiting in their own tents. When the food is ready, we shouted to them to come inside of our tent, the tent who supposedly for 4 person, now full with 7 hungry people who enthusiastically eat the spaghetti and nugget we cooked together. That’s the fun thing of camping, when everyone sitting together, eating, talking or just make simple joke to each other.

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Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season17

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Nom nom nommmm!!!


The rain kept pouring down the whole night. We were sleep earlier and don’t have any plan for see the sunrise. It’s also raining, anyway. After some sleepy conversation, we tried to sleep even the ground surface not so flat, it makes me always going down while sleeping. The good thing about camping in rainy season, the weather at night not so cold as in dry season. That night, I felt ok, last time I was there, I freeze and can’t sleep well because of the cold weather.


Morning comes! And everything always clearly beautiful in the morning. After washing all the mess in our stuff because of the mud and rain last night in the river, time to cook the breakfast for everyone. It was a good sunny morning. Only rain comes again in the end of our breakfast time. Not so much and we also go prepare our stuff to going down back to Camp David. On our back, we chose a route to pass the dead forest. It was before a real forest, until the eruption on 2002 burn some of area and make all the trees scorched. Ironically, it makes the area looks so creepy but also beautiful. Just like a place where the scene of Lord of the Ring movies taken.

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After a break for a while, we continued to going down the mountain. Now we passed the crater again. Thick smell of the sulfur made us want to going down faster. I almost forget, yesterday, in our way going up, we saw some of motorbikes try to going up as well. Such a brave and (I think) too many effort. I have no idea where are they going and why they pushed themselves to passing the mountain with their motorbike?

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Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season10


Going down was not so difficult I think, only need to be in balance. Glad the weather not so bad as the first day we were here. We returned to the same warung (store) in Camp David and.. (this is the best part) we go to the hot pool – yes, it’s hot because of the natural hot water from the crater. The water contains sulfur, even not so thick but you can smell it. I think sulfur in some way, good for our skin. And the hot water definitely helps to recharge our energy and make us feel relieve from the tired legs. Just a bit suffer when we need to stand up from the pool and clean ourselves a bit in the bathroom, the wind flew so strong, so chill and cold!

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Hiking to Papandayan Mountain in Rainy Season27


On our back to Cisurupan then Garut terminal to take the bus to Jakarta again, a group with 6 person wanted to join with us because they lost their money somehow while camping, so they don’t have any budget to rent the pick up. We think it’s a natural to help each other, but it’s kind of challenging, since we already 10 person. Me and my boyfriend have a privilege to sit next to the driver while the others try to enjoy the bumpy road with overloaded stuff – 14 person with 16 heavy bags – that wasn’t nice at all. But anyway, it all went well. We arrived safely in Cisurupan then go to bus shelter. This time the journey from Garut to Jakarta was fine, not so much traffic – only the bus stopped many times to pick up and drop their passengers which is taking lots of times for sure. But other than that, the journey was fine and we all safely back to Jakarta.


For this trip, the general cost for one person as it is :

– Bus from Kampung Rambutan – Garut (return) = 84.000 IDR

– Public Car from Garut to Cisurupan (return) = 24.000 IDR

– Pick Up from Cisurupan to Camp David (return) = 40.000 IDR

– Shared cost for food = 60.000 IDR

Est Total Cost (without your personal needs) = 208.000 IDR


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My happy face, lalalalallaaaaa…. 🙂


As always, always, I have a new fresh energy after an one fine weekend escape from Jakarta – especially nice hiking like we had in Papandayan. So hey now routine, hey now weekdays, I’m back to you again. And thank you my friends for such a good time together (again!) 🙂





  1. hi..may i know how long the ride from garut terminal to cisurupan? is it easy to rent a car at garut terminal on the spot?

    and is it also easy to find a pick up car from cisurupan to camp david? how long was the ride?

    will be going in august..thanks for your help! 🙂


    • Halo Nurul, dari Garut terminal ke Cisurupan sekitar 30 menit. Iya gampang untuk charter angkot dari garut terminal. Biasanya pas kita turun (rombongan pada pakai tas backpack), orang-orang sana langsung nyamperin dan nawarin. Kalau kamu kurang orang, gabung aja sama pendaki lain supaya murah 🙂 dari Cisurupan ke Camp David musti naik pick-up, iya gampang juga, bisa ditanya sama orang-orang sana pas udah sampai Cisurupan. Pegangan kencang-kencang ya, karena jalannya bumping abis hehehee – Keep safe! Cheers, Dea


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