Living in Jakarta can make one feel like nature is a thousand miles away but it actually isn’t. When my cousin came to visit us last year, we tried hiking in Sentul with ID Guides and couldn’t recommend it more highly.
ID Guides is an initiative that aims to promote ecotourism while supporting and involving local communities. The booking and organization of our hike was really easy (everything is in English) and we decided to go for the half-day trail (effectively walking for 3-3,5 hours). We left Central Jakarta at around 6:30am and came back home around 2pm, feeling tired from the hike but also completely refreshed.
My cousin and I are not particularly fit and did not find the walk to be difficult. The guides adapt the trail according to the participants and ours offered different alternatives (the easier shortcut, or the longer scenic path). The heat is probably the most difficult part, and as we finished (around 11), the sun was becoming difficult to bear (but at least it didn’t rain!).
The scenery was amazing and it was very hard to believe we had started our day in Jakarta. The photos don’t do justice, I only had my iphone on that day.
ID Guides offers other hikes (a family walk suitable for children, a full day trail, a trail run) and can also set up camp in a dedicated area with 360degree views over lush paddy fields (more info about the Acacia Camp here).
Half day trail – Rp350,000 per person (excluding transportation, which we arranged by ourselves).
I have returned to Sentul since then and even stayed overnight at the Giritirta Resort. The name and website are quite misleading, while the hotel is set in a very scenic location, it is hardly a resort, and actually closer to a backpacker’s lodge. The rooms are basic and have slated doors and windows which let both heat and mosquitos come in. If you don’t mind simple accommodation and need a green escape close to Jakarta, this is an option. However, make sure you arrange pick up with the hotel from Sentul City as the only access to the hotel is through a 2km dirt road (it was a miracle our car made it in one piece).