Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Mountains in West Java
The twin peaks of this park speak of a turbulent natural past. Heat, rock and ash push and thrust to create this spectacular mountain yet the story does not finish there. Today, there is continued activity, which pushes these peaks higher and higher now standing at 2,958 m and 3,029 m. Yet this is a sleeping giant, or should we say napping giant, with the last major activity being over 60 years ago.
150 square km of national park host a great variety of things to do and see. There are of course the mountains themselves that can be climbed. From the base it takes around 6 to 8 hours of trekking to reach the craters then of course another similar journey to come back down. Most people choose to take 2 days to complete the trip, as there are many places to camp and enjoy the views. The trails themselves are well walked and you are sure to find fellow trekkers as you make your ascent.
When you reach the peak you will find sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphate being belched into the air, the sickly scent is your reward for getting that far as you peer into the massive crater below. The best photo opportunities come from the higher of the two peaks and then looking across into the other crater below.
On your stroll through the park, you will come across wildlife activity throughout the day and well into the night. As in so many jungles across Indonesia you will wake to the sound Javan Gibbons serenading you with their distinctive calls. Keep your eye to the ground as you might just stand in the world’s most expensive coffee, Palu Civet also frequent this area and when they eat the ripe coffee cherries and their output is the start of Coffee Luwak, the world famous coffee. At night cast your gaze up, as you might just be lucky enough to see the flying squirrels jump from tree to tree. As they jump they cast out their arms and the skin beneath acts as a glider allowing them to soar great distances.
If you are not able to venture too deep into the jungle you can take in the botanical gardens near the main entrance these gardens boast a wide range of flora and fauna. There is a touch of everything for the adventurous to the relaxed at heart.
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