The Great Outdoors in Jakarta

Found out about some of the more popular outdoor activities available in and around Jakarta...

Jakarta has plenty of outdoor activities for all tastes. There are national parks and botanical gardens for hiking and walking, as well as cycling along car-free roads every Sunday morning. For adventure sport enthusiasts, there are diving and paragliding clubs.

National Parks

Java has nine national parks, which are protected by the Ministry of Forestry. Only the Thousand Islands National Sea Park (Kepulauan Seribu, which comes from pulau meaning island and seribu meaning one thousand) is within the province of Jakarta. Three others are located 80 to 240 Km from the city, or about two to four hours drive away.

The Thousand Islands National Sea Park or Kepulauan Seribu, is about 45 Km north of Jakarta, and it can be reached by ferry from Ancol Marina in one to two hours. There are also ferries from Muara Angke to Pulau Pramuka Island, with a travel time of 2.5 hours.

A mini archipelago off the coast of North Jakarta, the Thousand Islands is also an administrative regency forming part of the region of Jakarta. Among the many islands is Pulau Onrust, where the Dutch East India Company was originally allowed to settle its naval base by the Banten Prince Jayakarta in 1610. Later, the island became a quarantine port for returning hajj pilgrims from Mecca. After Indonesia’s independence, it was briefly a leper colony.

Apart from Onrust, other islands worthy of note for their private resorts and ecological tourism are: Pulau Bidadari, Pulau Ayer, Pulau Tidung, Pulau Putri and Pulau Pramuka, Pulau Semak Daun, Pulau Kelapa and Pulau Panggang.

The Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park is located in West Java province about 100 Km south of Jakarta. To get there from Jakarta, take the the Jagorawi toll road towards Puncak, then go through the Puncak Pass in the direction of Cibodas. The area surrounds the twin volcanoes of Gede (2,958m) and Pangrango (3,019m) south of the city of Bogor.

Endangered species are found throughout the park, among them the Javanese hawk, the silvery gibbon, and lutung (Trachypithecus auratus), and non-endangered species like the leopard cat and Malayan porcupine.

Hiking and camping are allowed. Permits are required and can be booked in advance at the Park. Hiking activities are limited to a maximum two-day period. There is also a quota on the number of people per day who are allowed to walk up the mountains.

Gunung Halimun Salak National Park is also located in West Java province (about 80 Km southwest of Jakarta). Between Sukabumi and Pelabuhan Ratu, it can also be reached from Jakarta by following the Jagorawi toll road and then taking the Jalan Raya Sukabumi in the direction of Cisolok.

The Park is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna, such as 75 species of orchids (among them rare species such as Bulbophyllum binnendijki, Cymbidium ensifolium, and Dendrobium macrophyllum), deer, mouse deer, and the endangered Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas).

In addition, there are also interesting cultural and historic sites, such as the Candi Cibedug, a megalithic site 8 Km from Citorek village and the indigenous Sundanese community of Ciptagelar (Kasepuhan Banten Kidul), which holds annual fertility and harvest festivals in July during the Seren Tahun. The indigenous Baduy community is also found in this Park.

  • Halimun Salak National Park
    At
    : Parungkuda PO Box 2, Kabandungan, Sukabumi, West Java 43157
    Tel
    : (0266) 621 256
    Fax
    : (0266) 621 257
    email
  • For further information about the park: Click here

Ujung Kulon National Park is about 240 Km south-west of Jakarta in Banten province. Ujung Kulon means ‘the western end’ in the Sundanese language. The park can be reached either by land or sea. If travelling by road from Jakarta, take the Merak toll road up to Pandeglang, and continue to Labuan-Tamanjaya. If travelling by boat from one of the marinas in Jakarta, go to Anyer, then to Carita-Labuan, down to Tanjung Lesung and then to Tamanjaya.

The endangered species synonymous with Ujung Kulon is the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus). Several species of orchid are also found throughout the park, and there are other lesser known species such as the Javan banteng, Javan deer, and the Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas).

The park has fees, which vary depending on whether a visit is for tourism or research/educational purposes.

  • Ujung Kulon National Park (website in Indonesian)
    At
    : Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan No. 51, Labuan, Pandeglang, Banten 42264
    Tel
    : (0253) 801 731
    Fax
    : (0253) 804 651
    email
  • For further information about the park: Click here

Cycling

In Jakarta, Sunday is a car-free day between the hours of 06:00 and 11:00, so cyclists can ride along the main avenues of Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Thamrin.

Several active cycling communities promote cycling to work, including Bike2Work.

While there are bicycle lanes that have been made available by municipal governments, these are often used by ojek (motor taxis), and other commuters.

In the suburbs there are several good places to ride a bicycle. In Jakarta’s south-west: Alam Sutera, BSD and Bintaro Jaya; south of Jakarta: Cibubur and Sentul in particular; and in the east: Cikarang Bike Park at Kota Deltamas.

  • IPSJ Cycling Club
    At
    : Jl. Kaji Raya No. 1 F, Jakarta 10130
    Tel
    : (021) 633 2727
    Fax
    : (021) 630 2727

Botanical Gardens

The Bogor Botanical Gardens and its extension, the Cibodas Botanical Gardens are close to Jakarta and are ideal for flora and fauna enthusiasts, who can enjoy calm excursions. In addition, the Puncak area and its immediate surroundings have tea plantations. Tea walks can be organised either from nearby hotels, or by enquiring at the state-owned PT Perkebunan Nusantara VIII (headquarters in Bandung), which is responsible for tea plantations in West Java, surrounding the Jakarta area. There is also Mekarsari, the largest tropical fruit biodiversity conservation garden in the world.

Adventure Sports

Snorkelling and diving

The Indonesian archipelago has some of the most beautiful snorkelling and SCUBA diving sites in the world. Near Jakarta, the Thousand Islands is a popular diving area. There are also locations near Carita, Anyer and in the Ujung Kulon National Park.

There are several diving clubs and diving schools in the city. Clubs are affiliated with the Indonesian Sub-Aquatic Sport Association (Persatuan Olahraga Senam Seluruh Indonesia, PB POSSI).

  • PB POSSI
    At
    : Stadion Renang Gelora Bung Karno, Senayan, Jakarta 10270
    Tel
    : (021) 5790 0486
    Fax
    : (021) 5790 0487
    email

Paragliding

There are several clubs in the greater Jakarta area, with the main ones centred around Bogor and Puncak. Paragliding clubs and schools are organised under the Indonesian Paragliding Association (Persatuan Olahraga Dirgantara Layang Gantung Indonesia - PLGI).

  • PLGI
    At
    : Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, GF Room 31-33, Jakarta
    Tel
    : (021) 8089 9465
    Fax
    : (021) 800 7250
    email