Unique day trips from Jakarta that will refresh your mind

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While there are a lot of interesting things to do and historical places to see in Jakarta (I’ll save these for another post), as a local who lives here, I often like to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a more laid-back environment. In this post I’ll share my recommendations of day or weekend trips that you can take from Jakarta.

1. Visit cool Bogor

Bogor is surrounded by three mountains and receives its portion of rain, which makes it a place with a lot of greenery. A day trip to Bogor is one of my favorites, since it’s only 1 hour away by train. Every time I go to this city, I often visit the same places simply because they’re doable for a day trip. This day trip contains a lot of fresh air while walking under the big trees and a treat for your tummy!

Photo credit Fransisca Angela

Enjoy nature in Kebun Raya Bogor

As a starting point, spend an hour or two exploring the botanical garden that recently just celebrated its 200-year anniversary. It’s the perfect place to walk, jog, ride a bike, or to even get lost in your favorite book. I often just sit near the big pond to relax, overlooking the majestic Bogor palace from a distance. The newest addition to Kebun Raya, Mexicano garden area, became an instant favorite for me since I have a soft spot for succulents and cactus. However, the best way to explore KRB is to rent a bike inside the garden. It costs IDR 35.000 / hour.

How to get there:

Take a train from either Jakarta Kota Station / Sudirman Station to Bogor (it costs around IDR 15.000 one way). Once you arrive at Bogor train station, take a public transportation called angkot number 03. But since the botanical garden is still within a walking distance, I’d recommend you take a walk.

Taste Ngo Hiang Gang Aut 

After getting around the garden, you must be hungry! If you want to try a great culinary experience that has Chinese and Bogor influence on one plate, definitely do not miss this dish called Ngo Hiang. My parents used to bring us to this restaurant just to have lunch because it tastes really good, and it always feels nostalgic to me. It contains either pork/beef with sliced potatoes, tofu and traditional peanut sauce. To complete your lunch, make sure to order their Pangsit Penganten, it’s a good comfort food.

How to get there:

Ngo Hiang Gang Aut is located in Jl. Suryakencana, a district full of street vendors that sell a lot of fresh fruits, as well as street food and drinks. From Kebun Raya Bogor, take angkot (public transportation) number 10 that goes to Suryakencana. Stop by the street and Gang Aut is located around 650m by walk. Pro tips: try Cendol and otak-otak

Enjoy wood-fired pizza at Kedai Kita

Kedai Kita is a favorite place among locals to hang out in the evening to devour the famous wood-fired pizza! Besides serving good western and Indonesian food, what I like about Kedai Kita is the location. You can get around the neighborhood to find other food spots like apple pie shop right across the restaurant. Not to mention the ambiance of the neighborhood which has preserved its own old charm.

For food recommendation, definitely try their BBQ Smoked Chicken wood-fired pizza, calzone, and the good old Indonesian fried rice (nasi goreng).

Jalan Pangrango No. 21, Babakan, Kota Bogor, Jawa Barat 16128, Indonesia

Google Maps link: here

Learn about the tea making process

Puncak tea plantations
Photo credit thrillseeker, Flickr

At Gunung Mas Tea Estate in Puncak you can learn all about the tea making process. To reach the estate you will follow a winding road passing through rolling hills, carpeted with lush tea bushes.

On the estate you can walk leisurely around with your choice of three routes that are 4 km, 6 km and 8 km. If you don’t want to walk, you can even explore the estate by horse. You can also visit the Gunung Mas tea factory and see how the tea is processed, from picking the fresh leaves to packaged tea.

The estate also offers the option to stay overnight with a couple of bungalows, swimming pool, tennis court and restaurant.

How to get there:

Puncak is located just a 35-minute ride from Bogor, you can take public transportation L 300 to Cianjur and ask the driver to stop in Gunung Mas, Puncak. Alternatively, driving your own car is also recommended!

Perkebunan Gunung Mas
Jl. Raya Puncak Kotak
Pos 6 Cisarua 16750
Phone : +62251 252 501

2. Explore laidback Cianjur

Many people miss out on the possibilities of exploring the beauty of West Java while traveling to Jakarta. Yet there are so many wonderful places that you can visit and truly enjoy. One of such places is Cianjur. The area is well-known for its waterfalls, megalithic site, local villages, endless tea plantations and rice paddies. Although a train/bus ride is required to reach this destination, once you’re there it will all be worthwhile.

Historical Gunung Padang Megalithic Site

Gunung Padang
Photo credit Persada Giri

What makes a place interesting for me personally is not only the beautiful landscape, but also the history of the place. For example, when an Indonesian geologist says that the world’s oldest pyramid is hidden under the chunks of volcanic rubble on the ground, I’m all ears! Yep, I’m talking about Gunung Padang Megalithic site that is located in West Java. It is believed that this megalithic site is as old as one of the first pyramids in Egypt and is the largest site of its kind in Indonesia. It is nestled among volcanoes, banana trees and tea plantations.

How to get there:

Visiting this place might take a little effort in terms of the timing. But luckily for you, Persada, can take you on a trip to this majestic place. You’ll most likely ride a motorcycle or take a public transportation from Cianjur with him, and lunch is included!

If your travel schedule is flexible, we’d recommend you to stay overnight at Dewa’s house and get a sense of local life with a view of rice paddies.

Visit the Cikondang Waterfall

Cikondang Waterfall Indonesia
Photo credit Astrid Prasetianti

Another great thing about your trip to Cianjur is that there’s a wonderful waterfall located just 4 km away from Gunung Padang Megalithic site. So if you’re looking for a great place to rest and (maybe) take a dip into the natural water streams, make sure to visit the beautiful Cikondang Waterfall. National Geographic stated this waterfall as a mini Niagara Falls in West Java for its 50-meter height. The journey to this waterfall will surely be the right cure for tropical lovers out there since you’ll be walking through a tea plantation and rice paddies along the way.

How to get there:

Persada offers a trip to this majestic waterfall as well along with a homestay option if you have more free time and want to explore Cianjur area. If you’re traveling to Jakarta in the near future, make sure to check out this experience.

3. Chill Sukabumi

Photo credit Fransisca Angela

A trip to Sukabumi means spending some time on the beach, viewing waterfalls and enjoying some local seafood. Ciletuh Geopark in Sukabumi also just being reviewed by UNESCO team for a chance to be listed as one of the world’s global Geo Parks. Sukabumi is around a 3-hour drive from Jakarta.

Enjoy a food retreat and farming experience

Portibi farm
Photo credit Portibi farm

Knowing where your food comes from might be the most rewarding thing, yet it rarely happens in such a big city like Jakarta. The idea of “farm-to-table” experience always sounds appealing to me. If you’re looking for a great culinary retreat, a day trip to this amazing farm will bring you a dose of happiness. The typical day trip will most likely consist of a farm tour, nature activity, and shared meals at a long communal table. It is a great combination of farm stay and people who care enough about sustainable farming for the long-term impact on the local community.

Portibi farm experience
Photo credit Portibi

Day Rate for the farm lunch & trekking experience is 19 EUR. Prior booking is required. You can also stay overnight on their farmstay.

Coffee beans at Portibi
Photo credit Portibi farm

How to get there:

Take a train from Jakarta to Bogor station. After reaching Bogor, change the station and continue to Sukabumi and stop at Cicurug. From there you can go straight to the farm by taking a local motorbike taxi (ojek).

Stay with a local in Sujah

Photo credit Fransisca Angela

There is no better way to explore an area than with a local who knows all ins and outs. Spend your time exploring Sukabumi for example with, Raul, who devoted his time to making some of the hidden gems of this area become accessible for a traveler to enjoy. You can enjoy the beach, explore a local village, and if your time is flexible, I’d recommend to spend a night at Suja Homestay with the view of rice paddies, learn to cook Sundanese food and make some wonderful memories.

How to get there:

The homestay is located on the foothills of Mount Gede, and around 100 km (62 mi) south of Jakarta. Raul can even arrange pick-up from Jakarta if you wish.

Revive yourself at BSP farm

BSP farm Java
Photo credit BSP farm Java

BSP farm is located a 2-hour drive south from Jakarta on the border of Bogor/Sukabumi area near Mount Selak. It is surrounded by mountains and paddy fields. They grow all their vegetables, coffee and tea in an organic way.

Red beans at BSP farm Java
Photo credit BSP farm

You can even do a farmstay for a night. All their environment & program activities are focused on a healthy lifestyle, which means serving healthy food and physical activity.

Farmstay garden Java
Photo credit BSP farm
Farm accommodation Java
Photo credit BSP farm
Healthy food at BSP farm
Photo credit BSP farm

How to get there:

From Jakarta it is 2 hours by car, another alternative is to take the Pangrango Train serving Bogor-Sukabumi route from Bogor and you get off at “Cigombong” station where we will pick you up. Trains to Cigombong take around 40 minutes.

I hope this post can help you narrow down options on what things to do near Jakarta or even while traveling around Java. I’m pretty sure it will be more memorable if you get to spend more time exploring it with the locals.

Have I missed anything? Please let me know below!

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