A weekend getaway: Camping at Ranca Upas and a visit to White Crater in Bandung

This weekend my friends and I decided to camp to escape the crazy traffic and city life of Jakarta. After searching online where to go, we found a camping site near Bandung, Indonesia called Ranca Upas.

Turns out Ranca Upas is located only 6km away from Kawah Putih in Bandung (literally translated to White Crater in Bandung). I think it’s an awesome deal. Hence, we planned to camp on Saturday, continued by a visit to Kawah Putih the following Sunday.

Day 1: Camping at Ranca Upas

 What to do:

  1. Camping Ground

Ranca Upas, is a 215ha camping ground surrounded by mountains. Geographically, Ranca Upas is located 1700m above sea level, hence average temperature would lie between18C – 23C.

Our group, consisting of 4 peoples including myself, decided to rent a tent from the locals. There are several camping sites (well, the area that majority of visitors use) we could pick that fit our needs. There are an area close to the main building/emergency house, an area close to the toilet facility, or an area close to the Playground. When we arrived at Ranca Upas we saw many families (complete family members; parents + little kids + pets + their housekeeper) and a bunch of school groups having a camping trip. We all thought it was a bad bad bad idea… Sorry, but they’re loud and we wanted to have a peaceful trip (btw, we’re not that boring. Ha Ha Ha).

Ranca Upas camping ground
Ranca Upas camping ground
ranca upas sunset
Breathtaking Sunset
Silly me! fall into a mud

Exploring Ranca Upas forest

Finally, after searching for a location with the local guide, we found the perfect spot (at that time) for us. The location is quite far from the main area. However, it turned out that our area did not have the easiest path to the main area, especially after sundown when there were no lights other than from our tent. Also, it rained at night making it more difficult to walk as the grass got very muddy and soaking wet. To make it perfect, I accidentally stepped on a wrong path and ended up falling to a mud hole. So, all off my belongings, including my camera, was soaking wet. Luckily there are Warungs (little shops) selling basic goods such as soap, instant coffee, water, even shorts and t-shirt.

  1. Reserve Forest

All of the Ranca Upas area is a part of a government reserve forest. As one of the major Bandung city’s lung, Ranca Upas area is famous for its place for recreation.

Reserve forest
I heart you tree
  1. Deer Reserve Park
Hello deer!
Hello deer!
Facility to see the deers
Facility to see the deers

Inside Ranca Upas you would see a reserve park for deer herds. Here you can buy a bag of carrots for IDR 5,000 only and feed them.

Eat Eat..Om nom nom nom
Eat Eat..Om nom nom nom
  1. Playground
The Playground
The Playground

There are a hot spring, a water park (kids would like it), and a jogging track. Try to go here at noon or before sundown if you want to escape the crowds.

How to go:

  • Ranca Upas camping ground is located 45 km south of Bandung in Jalan Babakan Jampang, Cibuni-Ciwidey. Same route if you want to go to Kawah Putih area (White Crater lake)
  • By private car: Exit from Kopo toll road or Cimahi exit toll gate, then go to Ciwidey.
  • By public transportation: Start from Bandung Leuwi Panjang terminal and exit at Ciwidey terminal. From Ciwidey terminal transfer using local mini bus, or as the local call it “Angkot”, to go to the Kawah Putih site. Approximate cost IDR 10,000/person.
  • GPS: -7.142489, 107.392426

Tips & Trick:

  • Cash, cash, cash… Do not forget to bring enough cash, as there are no any ATMs.
  • Ticket price to enter the area is IDR 10,000/person. Ticket price for a car is IDR 5,000 and ticket price for a motorcycle is IDR 2,000
  • Approximate price of renting a tent is IDR 70,000 / tent (fit for 4 person) and IDR 150,000/tent (fit for 6 person). Try to bargain if you can.
  • Bring your own sleeping bag & portable cookware. Also, you can buy some food there at the Warung.
  • Always ask local guide where the best spots for camping are. On a rainy day several areas would soak in water.

Day 2: Visit Kawah Putih (White crater lake)

Kawah Putih always have been in my to – do list while visiting Bandung. Finally, after so many trips to Bandung (I think more than 25 times in my life) I’m going to Kawah Putih. Hooray for Shabrina!

Kawah putih is a recreational area in West Java at Ciwidey area, located approximately 40km from Bandung or 2.5hours drive away. From our camping site Ranca Upas, it’s only 6.3km to Kawah Putih. Kawah Putih Lake is surrounded by white soil caused by sulphur. The color of the lake is white with a tint of green; uniquely the color would sometimes change to green or blue depending on the weather.Ontang Anting ride to Kawah Putih site

Warning: No Swimming Please!
Warning: No Swimming Please!
Mystical feeling
Packed with visitors
Packed with visitors

Kawah Putih forest area

1..2..3..Hop hop!
1..2..3..Hop hop!

Tips & Trick:

  • Ticket price: IDR 20,000/person for local (weekday & weekend) & IDR 75,000 for foreigners (weekday & weekend). Btw, you cannot cheat because they would check your ID and accent. We tried to cheat with my Filipino friends and failed. Hahaha
  • Public Bus ticket price or as local said “Ontang-Anting” from the parking area to the Kawah Putih is IDR 15,000/person
  • Open time: 7AM – 5PM.
  • Maximum visiting without mask on approximately 1 hour before you feel dizzy from inhaling so much sulphur in the air. However, this depends on each person though. Just a precaution, please bring a face mask.
  • GPS: -7.166608, 107.400040

 

This shorter version trip also published in Tripoto.com :

http://www.tripoto.com/trip/camping-at-ranca-upas-and-visit-kawah-putih-8962

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