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Top 10 trail running adventures in Indonesia

Discovering the endless beauty of the Indonesian Islands at a faster pace

Want to find somewhere new for trail running adventure?  This awesome archipelago offers trail running treks along the most beautiful and breathtaking volcano trails, with its rolling landscapes, rugged mountains, and endless scenic and forested trail. The trek that will give a completely new dimension to your journey, and also the chance to see and feel all of the natural and genuine beauties of this amazing country.

With so many great places to visit in Indonesia, we thought it would be best to give you a list of some of the best spots for trail running adventure.

Top 10 trail running adventures in Indonesia in random order

1. Pangalengan – Papandayan, running distance 40 km, Elevation gain 1,632 m 

Where : Pangalengan, West Java. Start/Finish : Pangalengan, South of Bandung.

Pangalengan is a beautiful region in West Java,  not just a home to coffee and tea plantations and vegetable and dairy farmers, but also offering challenging trail runs across varied terrain, including Lake Cileunca, hills, tropical jungle and volcanic craters. The Trans Pangalengan trek varies in its distance starting from 15 km, 40 km, 80 km and so on. The trek starts from Cileunca lake, goes through vegetable farms, tea plantation, several villages home to tea pickers and finishes at Mount Papandayan’s crater, one of the most spectacular volcanoes in West Java.

2. Mt Gede Pangrango, running distance 25 km, elevation gain 2,500 m.

Where : Cianjur, West Java. Start/Finish : Cibodas.

Mt Gede – Pangrango is a popular trail running and hiking destination, partially because of its accessibility, and also because it’s part of the Mt Gede Pangrango National Park which offers beautiful dense tropical jungle, waterfall, hot spring, and magnificent Mt Gede crater. The 25 km out-and back trail will take runners on great training run to the double summit of Mt Gede and Mt Pangrango, where you will be rewarding with wonderful views from the top of Mt Gede and gorgeous savanna of Alun-alun Suryakencana.  Mt Gede Pangrango trail is challenging but doable for anyone who is in pretty good shape.

3. Mt Tambora, running distance 42 km, elevation gain 2,400 m

Where : Dompu, Sumbawa. Start/Finish : Doro Ncanga village.

Run over wild undiscovered territory along the incredible views over the vast green savanna inhabited by wild horses, cows and buffaloes. After that the track climbs steadily through the extraordinary landscape on the slope of Mt Tambora all the way to the crater rim, where you can witness spectacular views of the enormous crater from the top of mountain.

4. Mt Merapi – Merbabu, running distance 28 km, elevation gain 2,501m

Where : Boyolali, Central Java. Start/Finish : Selo, Boyolali.

Looking for something more challenging?  Then enjoy this exciting trail running adventure at Mount Merbabu (3145 m) and its neighbor Mount Merapi (2930 m). Merbabu is a dormant stratovolcano, while Merapi ranks among the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes. The trail through these two mountains is challenging; we’ll run via a steep sand and rock path up to the last campsite at Mount Merapi and then enjoy the savanna trail at Mount Merbabu.

5. Mt Argopuro, running distance 57 km, elevation gain 2,866m

Where : Besuki, East Java. Start/Finish : Baderan, Besuki.

Mount Argopuro trails offers the most isolated and the most longest trail in Java with incredible sceneries of tropical rainforest, savannas, craters and hills which inhabited by several species of monkey, as well as deer, wild pigs, peacocks and wild chickens. Runners can enjoy Enjoy the solitude of the Dutch airstrip at Cikasur, with stories from its colonial and war history and and the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple and the crater at Rengganis peak.

another 5 more :

6. Mt Semeru, runnng distance 54 km, elevation gain 2,000m

Where : Lumajang, East Java. Start : Ranupane,  Finish : Cemoro Lawang.

Mount Semeru trail has to be our all-time favorite running trail in Java. It offers stunning panoramas of the turquoise blue water of Ranu Kumbolo Lake, with a perfect foreground of savanna, pretty pine ridges and stunning green hills. It’s the trail that will never fail you. And the reward from this trail is a jaw-dropping crater view from with and every 10-15 minutes. On the last part of this trail you can enjoy the amazing scenery of Bromo’s sand sea.

7. Mt Lawu, running distance 19 km, elevation gain 1,783m

Where : Karanganyar, Surakarta. Start/Finish : Candi Cetho, Kemuning, Karang Anyar.

Straddle in the Southern border of East and Central Java, Mt Lawu offers an endless scenic trail and path. Mt Lawu trail running trek starts from the ancient Cetho temple, a unique Hindu temple right below the mountain. The track climbs steadily through low montane vegetation and conservation forest. The first part of trek is notoriously hilly but you will delight with the sight of mountain vegetation with pine forests all around you. Trek will get easier after you reach the 4th shelter, then follow the beautiful savanna trail which often covered by fog until the last campsite.

8. Mt Rinjani, running distance 41 km, elevation gain 3,626

Where : Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Start : Senaru , Finish : Sembalun Lawang.

The rugged and adventurous Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest volcano which offers a breathtaking views of glistening sunrises and a massive rim of Rinjani’s huge caldera.

Experience the most challenging trail running trek at the most spectacular mountain in Indonesia with a combination terrain of dense forested steeply trail, the fabulous cobalt blue Danau Segara Anak, go up and down a majestic volcano but you’ll be amazed by the awesome crater view from the summit. On the way down you’ll be running through a beautiful Savanna at Sembalun lawang.  Rinjani trail running trek is not recommended for inexperienced trail runners because the terrain is rough and brutally challenging.

9. Mt Arjuno-Welirang, running distance 50 km, elevation gain 4,189m

Where : Pasuruan, East java. Start/Finish : Prigen, Pasuruan.

With total elevation gain of 4,189m, this could be the toughest trail running trek in East Java. The 50 km route will take you to the challenging steeply path, water fall, forestry track, hilly terrain, tea plantation and you’ll be summiting 4 mountains therefore enjoying stunning views from the summits and crests. It is a great trail running adventure for those willing to go the extra mile.

10. Mt Ijen, running distance 42 km, elevation gain 1,247m.

Where : Bondowoso, East Java . Start/Finish : Sempol, Bondowoso.

Mt Ijen trail is incredibly diverse in nature and views. The course passes by the picturesque Ijen volcano crater –  the world’s largest highly acidic lake, stunning mountainous landscape, valleys,  hills and savanna. The terrain is varied with single track, forestry tracks, conservation forest, coffee plantation, some fields and some minor roads.  For those looking for less hills but still want to enjoy some trails and breath-taking scenery, Ijen plateau is a good place to run.