As Indonesians breathe a sigh of relief after a barrage of warnings of eruptions from the country\’s most active volcanoes, Baturraden resort at the foot of Mount Slamet in central Java remains calm and shines as an eco-tourism jewel.
Mount Slamet or Gunung Slamet in Indonesian, is an active volcano and the second-highest peak on Java island, reaching 3,428 metres above sea level.
The resort itself was established in 1979, and is surrounded by beautiful green gardens, hot springs, ponds and bungalow-style hotels 650 metres up the slopes. As we indulge ourselves with the harmonic surroundings of a vast pine forest and green valley, we can also dip our feet in the cold spring water running through the middle of the resort.
‘It’s such a great place to breathe fresh, clean air for me and my family,’ said Widyanarti, 32, a mother who came all the way from Jakarta and who goes by a single name.
‘You don’t get this kind of weather in the polluted cities such as Jakarta,’ she said, adding that the resort is also a perfect place for children to learn about nature and the importance of preserving it.
The cool mountain breezes are a special draw for domestic and international visitors, and the resort caters to all. Admission is only 3,000 Rupiah or 0.30 cents. It opens daily from 5:30 am and closes around midnight.
Baturraden is also a well-known spot to spend a day trekking through its splendid natural forest and villages. Always green, blanketed with a light misty air, the area is blessed with an abundance of natural water resources spouting in numerous waterfalls and rivers, which flow between the huge boulders of hardened lava.
‘Baturraden has been a great example of how a mountainous area can be managed as a potential asset for eco-tourism,’ Indriyani, a programme manager at Indecon, a non-governmental organization specializing in the expansion of eco-tourism in Indonesia, said.
Destination: Baturraden mountain resort located near Purwokerto city in central Java, Indonesia.
Climate and best time to travel: Tropical country, best time is in the dry season between March to October.
How to get there: Seven to nine hours drive from Jakarta by car, bus or train. Bus ticket costs around 40,000 Rupiah with AC (about 5 dollars) or by executive train with AC is 190,000 Rupiah (about 20 dollars).
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