If there is a heaven on earth, Ranu Kumbolo must be it. Widely known as one of the most beautiful lakes in Indonesia, Ranu which means water in ancient Javanese is situated in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Its location may be isolated, but that is exactly what makes it perfect.
A hidden gem which makes for an exceptional alternative
Mount Semeru, being the most active volcano and also the highest summit in the land of Java, has long been on top of many mountain climbers’ bucket list – some have successfully crossed it off the list, some simply cannot manage to reach the mountaintop for various reasons and tell themselves that one day they will come back more prepared. Being able to say “I have hiked the highest summit in Java” is one of the greatest pride any climber can probably have, but to some it’s not about conquering the impossible, it’s about the journey. The scenery surrounding this majestic beauty is not only breathtaking, but unbelievable – you would probably think it was a photoshopped picture if you had never witnessed it with your own two eyes.
The mountain, though offers an ethereal beauty, has no shortage of challenges – from the terrain, to the poisonous gas that Semeru still emits regularly. More often than not, these two challenges are the obstacles that often fail climbers who are eager to conquer the highest summit. Whether you are a highly experienced mountain climbers who have climbed almost every mountain known to men, or you are an adventurous traveller with zero hiking experience who would like to explore every inch of beauty that East Java has to offer – the Mahameru may satisfy both of your needs with its incredible Ranu Kumbolo. This lake is typically used as a transit for those who climb the Mahameru, but those who only wish to camp for the night in Teletubby Land that is situated between two hills to enjoy its ethereal beauty may also do without having to climb up to the mountaintop. All it takes is a roughly 4 hour walk to Ranu Pane, and you will instantly be greeted with the impressive scenery.
Climbers and curious, adventurous travellers alike may also explore the Kumbolo area once they have settled there. Wander around its gorgeous green hills surrounded by lush greenery, within a few minute walk you will arrive to a 100 hectare Oro Ombo Meadow savannah. Another two hour walk from Oro Ombo Meadow will take you to a massive lavender field which is known as Jambangan. Beware though; don’t wander around in the dark as it’s dangerous. Just camp, and wait for the sunrise.
How to get there
There is only one way to reach this lake so it is almost impossible that you may get lost during your visit. However, one thing that is worth noting is right before you start your adventure, you must get yourself registered in Ranu Pane which generally costs around IDR 200,000/day on weekday or IDR 300,000/day on weekend – your journey to Ranu Kumbolo will then be started after briefing from the officials.