Mt Papandayan and the Dead Forest

Visit one of Indonesia’s most popular volcanos, Mt Papandayan, with some of nature’s most mesmerising marvels. 2 days.

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Mt Papandayan and the Dead Forest

Visit one of Indonesia’s most popular volcanos, Mt Papandayan, with some of nature’s most mesmerising marvels. 2 days.

There are over 100 active volcanos in Indonesia and this is your chance to visit one of the most popular.

Mount Papandayan is located 2665m above sea level but this trip will take you exploring the lower-level wonders making it the perfect easy hike for beginners or even first-timers.

There’s even more to this trip than the hiking experience and fantastic views; Mount Papandayan also offers some of nature’s most mesmerizing phenomena – bubbling mud pools, Sulphur fields, skeletal dead forests, hot springs and rivers bright with mineral traces. Included in this experience you get:

  • 2 day guided trek
  • 1 night camping
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide and porters
  • All meals while trekking
  • Air-conditioned transportation from and to Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta airport
  • All permits and taxes for access to Papandayan Mountain.
  • Cooking and eating equipment
  • Standard first aid kit
  • Mineral water on the hike
  • Camping equipment (Summer weight 4 man tents, mattress and sleeping bag)

Perfect for: Anyone of reasonable fitness and agility can manage this hike. There are tricky sections but this is an accessible hike, where you’ll even find the occasional warung serving tea.

What to Expect

Day 1: Hike to camp at Pondok Selada

You’ll be collected from Soerkarno International airport at 05:00 for the drive to Papandayan Basecamp; an early start, yes, but you’ll have plenty of time to rest on the journey over to camp. After lunch in the West Java town of Garut you’ll head off into the wild.

You’ll hike the majestic crater to Hutan Mati (the Dead Forest). Once a green forest, the vegetation in this area was scored by lava flow during a past eruption, leaving a stunning yet almost haunting landscape of blackened tree skeletons.

Now you’ll continue to Pondok Selada, a beautiful campsite cradled in the volcanic landscape and sheltered by trees.

As your guide and porters put up tents and make dinner, you will be free to soak up the environment.

4-5 hour drive and 7-8 hours trekking. Approximately 13.5 km.

Day 2: Trek to Tegal Alun

Another early start this morning at 05:00, but a good breakfast, stunning sunrise, and a moment to savor your surroundings will get you raring to go.

You’ll continue the trek uphill to Tegal Alun. This part of the trail can be pretty steep but there are plenty of trees to pull on for a helping hand and you’ll gain some amazing views.

When you arrive at Tegal Alun (2622m) you’ll be greeted by one of the wildest edelweiss meadows in West Java. Take time to explore this dramatic crater with its Sulphur field and multi-coloured mineral tinted rivers.

With your camera full of shots of nature’s marvels, it’s time to head back down to camp where you’ll be picked up and driven back to Garut for Lunch. You’ll even have the chance to soothe your limbs in a hot spring before the drive back to Jakarta.

5-6 hours trekking. Approximately 13.5 km.


You’ll camp at the beautiful Pondok Selada campsite, cradled in the volcanic landscape and sheltered by trees. You host will provide your camping equipment - summer-weight 4 man tent, mattress and sleeping bag.

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Trip Photos


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Papandayan is part of the ‘Ring of Fire,’ a section of fault lines that stretches through Japan and south-east Asia. Volcanic Ash makes for fertile ground, allowing rainforest to dominate the volcano’s lower slopes. It is known for its sulphurous caldera and dead forest.

Start point?
The meeting point is Soekarno Hatta International Airport. This is Indonesia’s major hub for international flights. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
After completing the trek you will be dropped back at Soekarno Hatta International airport to catch your onward flight. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Soekarno Hatta Airport is served by direct flights from all over the world. You will need to arrive early on the day of your trek, or spend a night in Jakarta to prepare for your trek.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to Indonesia
  • Accommodation after the tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 10. There will be 1 guide for a max of 4 hikers. On our social dates, this trip will run with a minimum of 4 people. If the minimum group size is not hit 30 days prior to departure, the trip will either be cancelled or rearranged.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our adventures are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travellers and very small groups, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

The lower slopes are relatively gentle and easy, and the temperature is warm. As you climb the terrain becomes more challenging. Some sections through the forest are steep and slippery, even exceeding 50-degree slopes.

Above the treeline and descending into caldera the ground can be loose and ashy—think two steps forward, one step back. It can also be windy, cool and occasionally wet. The hiking is not hugely challenging here but we guarantee you’ll sleep well that night.

Reasonable fitness is required to negotiate the steeper slopes in Papandayan. In places the terrain can be challenging, with steep gradients with loose ash and rock, but previous mountain hiking experience is not required.

Your hosts are very eco-conscious. They pack everything out—including human waste—, are adamant about not littering, and encourage travelers and guides to clean up the mountain as they go. Additionally, for each person booked on a trip your host will plant a tree.

Your guides and porters will cook delicious, fresh meals for you throughout the trip—and plenty of it. Examples include mee goreng (fried noodles) and nasi goreng (fried rice) with veggies, egg and meat; curries; fried bananas; pancakes; popcorn; and biscuits. Hot drinks are always available, and you’re provided with 3L of water per person per day.

Absolutely, just let us know at booking.

In Jakarta temperatures are invariably hot. On Papandayan the temperature is cooler, approaching freezing at night.

The sun shines pretty much every day from April to October. November and December are a bit wetter but still dry enough to have an enjoyable trip.

Your host will provide water, food, a toilet tent, and cooking and eating utensils. Porters will carry all this equipment along with the food and water. They can also provide a rain coat on request.

On Papandayan you’ll hike in warm, humid conditions at the base and but this will cool as you ascend and will drop further at night. The sun is powerful even when it’s cold out, so don’t skimp on sunblock. Please pack the following:

  • Light-weight, breathable hiking shirts and long trousers
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm jacket (fleece, wool or down/synthetic)
  • Thermal top and bottom
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • Bug repellent
  • Sturdy, broken in hiking shoes or boots
  • Swimsuit and small towel
  • Head torch
  • Small backpack for carrying all your personal gear
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Sandals (optional)
  • Trash bag for collecting litter and helping clean up the mountain (optional)

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