If you live in Jakarta, you may find yourself missing nature after some time. The city offers extravagance malls, skyscrapers, busy roads and constructions. City-dwellers may sometimes feel the need to get away from it. The city is lacking in public spaces, nature, and a breeze of fresh air. If you need ideas for a short weekend getaway that could offer you an ocean salty air, a nice view of hills and mountains, this mini-list might be a good idea.
- Tunda Island
Located in neighbouring Banten province, the island offers beautiful underwater corals and calm waters, perfect for freedive and snorkeling activities. It is not too difficult to reach the island, you can start from Karangantu harbour in Serang city. In order to get to Serang City, you can take a morning bus from Kampung Rambutan bus terminals. You can also join an open trip group tours that’s offered by local travel agencies. That way, you can share the cost for the fisherman’s ship that transport you to the island.
On the island, you can stay in a homestay that is managed by locals. That would be a great way to support local economy. There are no cars there, and the electricity only runs from 6pm to 9pm, which is perfect for weekend solitude, but we suggest you to put some power banks or mobile batteries in your backpack.
The people of Tunda Island still use traditional methods to get fish so they can protect the underwater marine life. That makes the island is also suitable for a fishing trip.
2. Purwakarta City
The city has 3 small mountains with stunning views to climb, perfect for people who love hiking but not wanting to set up a tent for camping. You can choose the popular rock climbing through via ferrata in Mount Parang, or day trip hike to Mount Lembu or Mount Bongkok, which all are suitable for beginner hikers and adventurous souls. Don’t forget to bring lots of snacks and water before the hike.
If you have decided to channel your brave and determined-self, from the top of these mountains you can see the big Jatiluhur dam. You can reach Purwakarta by train from Gambir station or Pasar Senen station, the name of the train is Parahyangan and Serayu. You can also reach it by car, as the city is located between Jakarta and Bandung.
3. Ujung Kulon National Park
The national park is located in Peucang Island, which has one of the most pristine beaches with amazing calm turquoise water. The island is a sanctuary for the critically endangered one-horned Javan rhino. There are only about 55 of them left on earth, so if you are lucky, you will spot them, but if not, it is still guaranteed that you will see other wildlife on Peucang island, such as wild boars and deers.
There is no cell reception on this island, and aren’t any local people’s houses either, only a few bungalows for tourists and travelers. Even though the island location is a little bit far from Jakarta, it is still a doable destination for your weekend. We suggest heading there on Friday night. And hey, sometimes great places are hard to reach!
It took me 8 hours by bus and 3 hours by boat to get to this destination, but the breathtaking beaches made it all worth it.
4. Pari Island
One hour speedboat ride from Marina harbour in Jakarta and you will get this stunning view. Pari island is one of my favorite place to visit in Thousand Island (Kepulauan Seribu). It is easy to reach and has a long sandy beach. You could jog on the uncrowded beach in the morning, something that is an amazing contrast from Jakarta’s car free day jogging. My favorite way to enjoy the island, is by bike, which you can rent there.
5. Bogor Botanical Garden
You can always take a 2-hour train to Bogor to relax and enjoy some picnic time with friends and families here. It can be a bit packed in the weekend due to its proximity from Jakarta, but the garden is huge, so there’s a nice spot for everybody in this 87 hectares area.
The garden is well-maintained because it is still an adjacent part of Bogor presidential palace. When you are strolling through this enormous garden that gives you clear air to fill your lungs, you will feel how lucky Bogor residents are.
We are lucky to work and live in Jakarta, with complete infrastructure, transportation systems, and enjoyable facilities. However, the means of travels are to experience something different than our day to day routine. A visit to nearby provinces can make you grateful for all the facilities we have in the city. Even though on the other hand, we sacrifice our adventurous side that loves spending time in nature.
So what do you think about these places? Are you interested in visiting any of these spots? You could contact me here to get more information or to arrange some private groups or individual tours to these destinations. I have all the contact of local tour operators that can help you enjoy these places!