If you are tired and spent from your day-to-day routine of the crowded city, longing for fresh air, and vast array of natural scenery, Ciwidey’s White Crater is one of your best choice to travel to. This attraction just south of Bandung is simply staggeringly beautiful.
Its breathtaking view with the signature windy breeze found near earth’s one of the best natural phenomenon, the atmosphere around it will make you forget your plans for a while, and slowly directs you into a state of relaxation. Your camera will constantly be needed if you want to completely capture its beauty, and if you are not in the mood to take photos, you can simply just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and enjoy the surroundings.
Img credit: Adhy Langgar
Location – Ciwidey is located southwest of Bandung, stretched about 40 km from the capital of West Java, and it will take about 90 minutes of driving to get there. Ciwidey White Crater is located rather high above the sea level, about 2400 msl, so the atmospheric conditions will be rather cold.
- Everyday, 07.00-17.00
- Ticket Admission : IDR 18,000 per person.
- Parking : IDR 6,000 for a 4-wheeled vehicle and IDR 25,000 for a 6-wheeled vehicle.
- Pre Wedding : IDR 500,000 per couple.
Official Website : www.kawahputihciwidey.com
How To Get There
Getting to Ciwidey is quite easy if you are departing from Bandung, and it is recommended that you use the local transportation. It might be quite complicated at first, but it is the cheapest way to get to Ciwidey from Bandung, and in reality, it is not that much of a hassle.
First, you need to get to the Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal. It is easily reached from various points of Bandung, and there are a lot of local angkot that lists Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal as its final destination.
The next step is to get to the Ciwidey Bus Terminal, and from Leuwi Panjang, and it is recommended that you board the local shuttle service (the locals call it the elf). Then, you can get off at the Ciwidey Bus Terminal, and then proceed to use the local carrier, usually yellow-colored, and you can ask its driver to drive you to the White Cratert. It is going to cost you around IDR 50,000 for the whole trip.
If you are traveling from out of town by train, you can get off the north exit gate of the Bandung Train Station, and then proceed to board the Sadang Serang – Caringin angkot to Kopo, and then you can use the elf as mentioned before to the Ciwidey Bus Terminal, and it is going to cost you roughly IDR 50,000.
From the Husein Sastranegara Airport, reaching Ciwidey roughly uses the same method as if you are traveling from the Bandung Train Station, but to find the Sadang-Serang – Caringin angkot to Kopo is going to be needing a little bit of patience. But once you board the angkot, the rest is going to be easy.
Ciwidey has its natural flair; the air, the scenery, and the calm vibe it produces is just too sweet to miss, and spending time indoors seems like a waste. But fear not – Ciwidey offers a range of camping sites, from the conventional camping sites to a flamboyant glamour camping or glamping site that will satisfy traveler’s thirst of nature.
One of the recommended camping site available is the Bumi Perkemahan Ranca Upas, which also offers a range of fun activities to do, such as deer-feeding and outbound activities. Ranca Upas also provides a tent-renting facility which could cost around IDR 80,000 for a medium-sized tent which can house a total of 4 person and IDR 300,000 for a large-sized tent which can fit around 15 people, and for more inquiries you can visit here.
If you are looking for a more elegant-styled camping experience, then you can try the glamour camping site at Ciwidey Valley Resort, with a facility like no conventional camping site can offer – a decent bed, TV, and Wi-Fi connection as well as a proper shower and restroom that can house up to 4 person for the smaller tent with IDR 1,000,000 for its price tag to the large tent which can house up to 10 person which cost around IDR 3,000,000.
There is also an option at Ciwidey Valley Resort to stay at the cottage that can accommodate 2-6 people, depending on the type of cottage available which costs roughly the same price as the glamour tent. There is also a hot water spring, restaurant, and a free shuttle service, and you can check out more here.
If you are traveling by a large group, you can sure check out some options provided by Airbnb, where there are a lot of good selection of places to stay with a good range of prices. You can check some of the places to stay here and here.
The word ‘calm’ comes to mind, either when you take a brisk walk in the morning, or when you observe the slow tides moving in an uncanny fashion. It is relatively cool for some people who are accustomed to the tropical climate, so it is better for the visitors to prepare some knitwear or a jacket to anticipate catching a cold.
There are a lot of interesting places to grab a meal, enjoy the atmosphere, or just simply for sipping your drink while enjoying one of the most beautiful scenery there is in Western Java. Ciwidey also offers a lot of local Papandayan-styled cuisines that fit flawlessly with the surroundings.
One of the restaurant you can check out is the Sindang Reret restaurant. Authentic bamboo bungalows with the soft yet calming sounds of the small fountains nearby, coupled by the richness of Sundanese food, it is a place that definitely can represent the food culture of West Java.
Another place that you can visit to replenish your energy is Kampoeng Sawah. This Papandayan-styled restaurant offers you the local taste of Grilled Fish and their signature Lalapan will surely freshen your taste bud, while enjoying the nearby fishing pond.
Or, if you feel that the atmosphere around the crater is too good to be missed, there are several kiosks around the lake area, selling local delicacies such as bandrek and bajigur, as well as grilled corn and mie kocok.
Best Time To Visit
It is now rather crowded at Ciwidey, so if you are looking for a quiet getaway, it is recommended that you visit Ciwidey on weekdays, as the places in Ciwidey usually is visited by families and children on weekends. It is recommended that you arrive in the morning, so that you can enjoy its atmosphere more.
Nearest Tourist Attractions
Other than the white crater, Ciwidey has a lot to offer in terms of activities and attractions, and majority of them includes its visitors to engage the nature in a swift, yet calming way. Here are some of the places you can visit:
1. Situ Patenggang
Another natural gem of Western Java, Situ Patenggang offers an amazing view of its lake, and it is a perfect place if you are traveling by a large group, because it is equipped with a boat, a water bike, or a canoe renting service to help you and your friends explore every inch of this beautiful lake. You can reach Situ Patenggang relatively easily, because it is accessible with a personal vehicle, both car and motorcycle.
Operational Hours :
- Everyday, 08.00 – 17.00
- Weekdays : IDR 18,000 for local travelers and IDR 135,000 for foreign travelers.
- Weekends : IDR 20,500 for local travelers and IDR 185,000 for foreign travelers.
- Car Parking : IDR 11,500.
- Motorcycle Parking : IDR 3,500.
- Bus/Truck Parking : IDR 22,000.
Official Website: situpatenggangciwidey.com
2. Kebun Teh Rancabali (Rancabali Tea Plantation)
This is an attraction that will suit you best if you are traveling with children. With the help of local guides, you can explore the endless field of the tea farm, while the guide will entertain you with several stories and basic knowledge about the tea leaves and how to plant it, and of course you will be granted the chance to handpick the tea leaves yourself to add to the fun.
- Everyday, 07.00-17.00
- Ticket Admission : IDR 5,000 per person.
- Local Guide : IDR 30,000 per group.
3. Taman Wisata Cimanggu (Cimanggu Recreational Park)
Still a part of Rancabali, Taman Wisata Cimanggu is a recreational park that showcased a number of local plantation that no city can offer, from pines, white wood, baros, and rasamala. And if you are also looking for the local animals to show up, Taman Wisata Cimanggu is also the habitat for several wild animals, from the forest hen, deer, crows, and if you are lucky enough, you can spot panthers that live deep in the preservation site.
Taman Wisata Cimanggu also has outbound activities present, from ATV riding, horseback riding, kayaking and flying fox site. And last but not least, it also has a hot spring bath available nearby for relaxing after a stroll into the nature.
- Everyday, 07.00-17.00
- Weekdays : IDR 16,000 for local travelers and IDR 100,000 for foreign travelers.
- Weekends : IDR 23,500 for local travelers and IDR 100,000 for foreign travelers.
- Car Parking : IDR 18,500 weekdays and IDR 23,500 weekends.
- Motorcycle Parking : IDR 4,500 weekdays and IDR 6,000 weekends.
- Bus/Truck Parking : IDR 67,500 weekdays and IDR 92,500 weekends.
Official Website : www.cimangguciwidey.com
4. Kebun Strawberry (Ciwidey Strawberry Fields)
Another fun activity to do with your children is to visit the strawberry fields of Ciwidey, and to prance around the endless fields of strawberry while you have the chance to get as many strawberries as possible from the source itself. There is also a place where you can study the processing of strawberries before they are shipped into the market.
- Everyday, 07.00-17.00
- Ticket Admission : Free
- Strawberry Picking : IDR 35,000 – IDR 50,000 per kilogram.
Intrigued to visit Ciwidey after reading this? Hold your horses; here are a few tips to get you ready :
1. Don’t be shy to ask the locals. The locals are extremely friendly towards tourists, so if you have any question you can simply ask them. Don’t confuse their soft-spoken approach as ignorance, it’s just the their way to show politeness.
2. Bring a mask if you cannot stand the smell of brimstone. As the crater releases sulphur to the surface, it is recommended to bring a mask if you are sensitive to its strong smell.
3. If you are looking to set up camp nearby, bring the camping set yourself. Even though the camping sites offer a selection of renting packages, it is still better if you bring your own camping equipment, unless you are looking to do some glamour camping. Just spend the money to buy firewood to keep you warm at night.
4. Take care of your belongings and trashes. If you are planning to visit the white crater, it is strongly recommended that you prepare a personal trash bag to put your trash in. The crater is well preserved and our contribution to its preservation matters.