Puncak (literally Peak or Summit) or the Puncak Pass is a mountain pass in the Bogor Raya region of Western Java, Indonesia. The designation 'Puncak' is also used for the wider mountain region around the pass, which is a popular tourism destination.
The region around the Puncak Pass has been developed for its tea plantations during the Dutch colonial time. After the construction of the Great Post Road in the early 19th century, the area became more easily accessible from the cities of Buitenzorg (present-day Bogor) and Batavia (Jakarta) and the upper class, that was looking for the cooler mountain air, started to built Swiss-type chalets in the area.
Also after Indonesian independence the Puncak region has remained a popular tourism destination, and it is especially a popular weekend getaway for the citizens of the Greater Jakarta metropolitan area. The region therefore has an abundance of hotels, villas, and mountain resorts. During weekends and holidays the roads of Puncak, as well as the highway from Jakarta via Bogor to Puncak, are very congested. A large number of foreign tourists come from the Middle East. Many of them stay for months with its big families, so many people, mainly in Cisarua on the western side of the pass, can speak Arabic. Arabic signs on hotels and money changers' shops and also Arab restaurants with Arabic-language menus can be found easily in Cisarua which nowadays is known as 'Arab Village'. For Middle East tourists visiting Indonesia, Puncak is a must and the popularity of Puncak leads Bali.
The mountains on the south side of the pass are the Gede and Pangrango volcanoes. Since 1980, the mountain area has been designated a nature reserve as Mount Gede Pangrango National Park. There are various options for recreation in the national park area.
Puncak is a two- to three-hour drive from Jakarta via the Jagorawi toll road. Be aware there is usually heavy inbound traffic on weekends, and especially long holiday weekends. When heavy traffic jams occur, police often make the main road into Puncak a one-way street for one to two hours, and then reverse the direction. This is safe, because a police car guides the one-way flow, but it can result in very significant delays. Don't take guidance on alternative routes from young men along th road, as the alternative routes are usually not faster, and people in villages along such routes may require the driver to give them money, or scratch the car.
By public transportEdit
Most people go to Puncak with a private vehicle, but it is also possible to travel by public transport. There are frequent 'L300' minibuses that travel between Baranangsiang terminal in Bogor and Cianjur. There are no fixed bus stops on the way, but you can ask the driver to drop you off anywhere along the road on the mountain pass. There are also various bus companies (on routes such as Bogor-Bandung) that traverse the Puncak pass, and you can ask to get off in Puncak. Most buses however take the detour via the tolled motorways, so make sure you take a bus that takes the Puncak route.
Getting around in the Puncak area is easiest if you have your own vehicle. However, keep in mind that Indonesian driving habits are daunting and chaotic, and traffic rules are often ignored. Frequently, the entire main road over the Puncak pass is congested. In times that it is not congested, overtaking habits of many drivers are very dangerous (overtaking in blind corners, for example). Especially if it is your first time in Indonesia, it is advisable to rent a car with a driver, rather than to drive by yourself. The additional cost of hiring a driver is usually about Rp100,000 to 150,000 per day. When heavy traffic jams occur (mainly during weekends and holidays), police often make the main road into Puncak (on the western side) a one-way street for one to two hours, and then reverse the direction.
Public transport is mainly available along the main road (from Bogor via the Puncak pass to Cianjur). There are various angkot (public minivan) routes, such as from the pass to Cipanas, and from Cipanas to Cibodas. The angkots do not follow a fixed schedule, and there are no fixed stops (to get on, simply raise your hand to the driver). In case of traffic congestion, angkot drivers often try to overtake by using the roadside shoulder or parking places. This makes angkots generally quicker than other vehicles, but only slightly.
A good way (or the only way) to get off the main road if you don't have your own vehicle is hiring an ojek (motorcycle taxi). Ojek riders are usually waiting in groups at major street corners. You will have to to negotiate a price, but for a short trip (a few km) by ojek a price of Rp10,000-20,000 is common. In case of heavy traffic congestion, prices of ojek rides increase, as people may use their services to get out of the mountain region. Ojek can nowadays also be hired through an app on your phone: popular on-demand ojek services include Go-Jek and GrabBike.
- 1 Taman Bunga Nusantara (Indonesian Flower Garden), Jl. Mariwati KM. 7, Kawungluwuk, ☎ . Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 8:00-17:30. Public park of over 23 hectares, with flower gardens from around the world, a maze, giant clock and a tower. There is also a leisure park called Alam Imajinasi next to the gardens, with many attractions especially for children. For an additional fee you an go around the flower gardens in the 'dotto train' or 'garden tram' each Rp50,000. The cheapest mass vehicle for explore the garden is Wira-wiri Rp5,000. Greenhouse ticket Rp5,000. Rp40,000 entrance ticket, kids under 4 years old are free.
- 2 Cipanas Palace (Istana Cipanas), Jl. Raya Cipanas. One of the six presidential palaces of Indonesia, in a garden of about 26 hectares. The building was originally constructed by a Dutch landlord in 1740. Already during that time, Puncak was a recreation area for the Dutch elite, and governor-general Van Imhoff stayed several times in the palace (1743-1750). Also at the end of the colonial time in the 1930s and 1940s several governor-generals of the Dutch East Indies used the palace as a family residence. Since Indonesian independence, the building is officially one of the presidential palaces. The first president Soekarno used it for one of his weddings, and sometimes the palace is used to receive foreign dignitaries.
- 3 Telaga Warna (Coloured Lake), Tugu Utara (near the highest point of the mountain pass). Beautiful green-coloured lake set in a landscape of rain forest, and near the tea plantations. You can just enjoy the view, or go around the lake by boat or pedalo.
- 1 Taman Safari Indonesia, Jl. Raya Puncak No.601, Cisarua, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat-Sun 9:00-19:00. Zoo, with car safari trail that allows cars and tourist buses to see and/or feed elephants, zebras, goats, hippos and more, hiking trails, petting zoo. Buy carrots from the many vendors by the side of the road leading up to the zoo before your get there to feed to the animals. Inside the zoo there are more animals to see, shows to view such as the 'Wild-Wild West' the Lion show and the Sea-Lion Show. Ride the elephants and ponies. Rides and restaurants/food outlets. The cheapest souvenir shop you will ever find with good quality souvenirs. It is one of the biggest zoo in Indonesia. It also has accommodation in the form of caravans, traditional house or lodge. The entrance ticket fee to the complex for domestic tourist is Rp85,000 for adults and Rp70,000 for children under 6 years old, while for foreign tourist this is Rp150,000 and Rp130,000 respectively; For Night Safari (only several hours) it is more expensive than during day time.
- 2 Wisata Agro Gunung Mas (tea plantation and factory), Jl. Raya Puncak, KM. 87 (Off the main road to the Puncak pass from Bogor). See how tea is processed - get to the plantation early to see the factory actually in operation. Sit in the cafe and enjoy a cup of tea before walking or driving around the tracks to view the tea growing with the mountains as a backdrop. You can also go horse-riding around the tea plantations, but watch out for locals trying to rip you off. Rp6,000; Factory tour Rp7,500; Guide for tour Rp40,000 for a group up to 15 people.
- 3 Kebun Raya Cibodas (Cibodas Botanical Garden), Jl. Kebun Raya Cibodas, Sindanglaya, ☎ . Daily 8:00-17:00. Lush and landscaped historical park adjacent to a national forest. This place has plenty of wonderful hiking trails, some leading to waterfalls and a few to hotsprings. One of the longest path lead to the top of Mt. Gede caldera with its widespanning desert.
- 4 Taman Wisata Matahari (Matahari recreation and education amusement park), Jl. Raya Puncak KM. 77, Cisarua, ☎ . Mon-Fri 8:00-16:00, Sat-Sun 8:00-17:00. There are water-play attractions: water slides, water giant bucket, water toys (aquabrella, aquacup, aquaslides, aquagate, aquaballs), wave pool, outbound area + rafting, foodcourt, souvenir shop, gazebo, guest house & vestibule. The view of Puncak while having fun at this waterpark can be a terrific and unforgettable experience. Weekdays Rp20,000, weekends Rp25,000.
Along Jalan Raya Cipanas, the main road on the eastern side of the mountain pass, there are lots of nurseries offering flowers and other decorative plants. They are generally cheap, but you will need to negotiate with the vendor for a good price. In addition, there are several factory outlet stores selling branded clothes for discounted prices.
- 1 Puncak Pass Restaurant, Jl. Raya Puncak KM. 90 (at the highest point of the pass). The Hotel and Restaurant is on the highest point of Jl. Raya Puncak. Grab the sweet Poffertjes and hot ginger tea, in Dutch colonial style.
- 2 Restoran Rindu Alam, Jl. Raya Puncak, Desa Tugu Utara. Daily 8:00-22:00. Sundanese Restaurant
- 3 Raffles Restaurant, JL. Taman Safari, No. 6, Cisarua, ☎ . Daily 9:00-21:00. Various types of food, including Sundanese, other Indonesian food, other Asian food, and European dishes.
- 4 Sate Shinta III, Jl. Raya Cipanas No. 20, ☎ . Daily 7:00-23:00. Serves lamb, chicken and rabbit skewers.
Moreover, some of the hotels listed in Sleep below have restaurants.
Cafés that sell alcoholic drinks are not common, but usually you can buy a Bintang beer at least in the larger hotels and resorts.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Less than Rp500,000|
|Splurge||More than Rp1,000,000|
Puncak is a popular area for Jakarta residents to hang out. Finding very cheap (backpacker-style) accommodation with room prices of less than Rp100,000 is difficult. It's a popular option among locals, however, to rent a villa in Puncak. If you have a group of friends, this could end up not so expensive per person.
- 1 Hotel Matahari (Hotel Taman Wisata Matahari), Jalan Taman Wisata Matahari Cilember, Cisarua, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel Matahari is a simple low end budget hotel located inside the area of Taman Wisata Matahari Cisarua. Each room has twin bed, TV, toilet, shower and the price including free breakfast and mineral water for two person. Double rooms from Rp375,000 per night.
- 2 Hotel Cianjur, Jl. Raya Cipanas KM 81.3, Pacet, Cipanas, ☎ . Big rooms, hot water swimming pool, restaurant, fitness , playground, large parking area inside, internet hot spot, karaoke, etc. There are various types of rooms, from cheap studio rooms to luxurious suites. Double rooms from Rp175,000 per night.
- 3 Hotel Lembah Safari, Jl. Taman Safari RT.14 / RW.04, Kampung Baru, Cisarua (200 metres from the Taman Safari park), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Resort with choices of rooms and bungalows. There are also bungalows available for groups of up to 10 people. Double rooms from Rp350,000 per night.
- 4 Hotel Surya Indah, Jl. Gadog II No. 45, Cipanas, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Resort at the foot of Mount Gede. The hotel offers various types of accommodation from private villas and bungalows to standard and delux hotel rooms surrounded by tropical gardens, fishing pool, swimming pool, children playgrounds, tennis court, fitness center, sauna and massage service, coffee shop, restaurant and meeting rooms for up to 200 people. Double rooms from Rp342,000 per night.
- 5 Alfa Resort Hotel, Jl. Ciburial, Kp. Baru Jeruk, Desa Tugu Utara, Cisarua, ☎ , (reservation centre in Jakarta). A resort near Taman Safari. Different types of lodging such as villas, bungalows and even a townhouse can accommodate up to 300 people. Discount is usually available especially during school holidays and during weekdays. Facilities such as swimming pool, playground, basketball court, billiard are available. Double rooms from Rp565,000.
- 6 Hotel Bukit Indah, Jl. Raya Ciloto No. 116, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. The hotel is equipped with swimming pool, children playground, tennis court, restaurant. The menu in the restaurant is simple but good. Double rooms from Rp525,000 per night.
- 7 Mirda Gratia Hotel & Convention (MG Hotel), Jl. Raya Puncak Km.80, Cisarua, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Double rooms from Rp515,000 per night.
The high-end hotels often have a standard full rate for the rooms (as listed below), but offer significant discount when rooms are booked online in advance.
- 8 Novus Giri Resort & Spa, Jl. Sindanglaya Raya No.180, Cipanas, ☎ . Located on mountain area overlooking mount Gede and Mount Pangrango. Covers four hectares on the top of the hill in the midst of supreme panoramic hinterland. Double rooms from Rp1,450,000 per night.
- 9 Puncak Pass Resort, Jl. Raya Puncak, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Established in 1928, the resort spread over 5 hectares, you can stay in a variety of accommodation - hotel rooms or bungalows. There is a swimming pool, jogging track and children's playground, and you can play volleyball or football. Double rooms from Rp1,561,600.
The following are private, individual villas which only take a single group of customers at a time.
- 10 Villa Hijau, Kampung Ciburial 2, RT 03 / RW 04, Desa Batulayang, ☎ (Mr. Jejen). Beautiful location for taking pictures during the sunset. It is s clean, cheap and beautiful hut, about 2 km from the Taman Safari park. Weekdays Rp700,000 per night, weekends Rp800,000 per night.
- 11 Villa Kota Bunga Ade, Jalan Hanjawar, Kota Bunga, ☎ . Villas for rent in the Kota Bunga gated community. There are various types of villas, with capacities from 3 people until large villas for up to 18 people. From Rp600,000 per night.
- 12 Palm Kartika Conference Resort, Jalan Raya Puncak Km 79.3, Kp Cidokom, Cisarua, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Great resort for business conference, school retreat, and group training. Equipped with adult and kids' swimming pool, playground, jogging track, and nature park, Palm Kartika Conference Resort is an all-inclusive accommodation for individual group bookings, providing 3x (breakfast, lunch, dinner) meals and 2x (morning, afternoon / evening) snacks for its guests.