In the hustle and bustle of “The Big Durian”, it is rather challenging to find a place of peace and serenity without having to drive hours and hours (most of which are spent stuck in acute traffic) to Puncak or Bandung! Thousands Islands, a far superior substitute for the many who prefer deep-sea diving and water sports over the quiet hills, is on the pricier side and is often overbooked and packed on the weekends and public holidays! After 10 years of living in Jakarta and circling the same old malls every weekend, visiting and feeding the animals of Taman Safari or grabbing a bite at an extravagant restaurant, it was high time to discover and explore the nooks and crannies of Indonesia and the wonders it had been hiding. It is no secret that Indonesia is an extraordinarily exotic location, gifted with beautiful white sand beaches, lush green mountains and incredible culture, yet many of these locations such as Raja Ampat, Flores or Nusa Tenggara remain extremely difficult to access and require you to shell out a fat portion of your paycheck!
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, look no further! A short two-hour drive from Jakarta, Bogor has blessed us with a number of breathtaking waterfalls with crystal clear water and a chance to be surrounded by exuberant greenery and natural hot springs. a quick dip is assured to make you feel rejuvenated and pure, washing away the tiredness and fatigue of the week. I was fortunate enough to visit Curug ( The Sundanese word for waterfall) Cigamea and Curug Pangeran on a Friday morning during my summer break. Upon arrival, I noticed the magical aura of the sight, the lack of pollution, happy-go-lucky attitudes of the locals, the soothing sound of rushing water and of course the awe-inspiring plunge pools inviting me to jump in. For a small fee of 30.000 rupiah, I was privileged enough to experience the surreal beauty of nature without having to trek miles into dense forests or travel oceans away to an isolated island for an exorbitant fee.
A few tips and tricks to ensure a safe and smooth journey:
- Wear shoes/slippers which offer enough friction to prevent slipping on rocks or muddy paths
- Avoid wearing a revealing swimsuit as it does not conform to the culture of Indonesians and may be seen as disrespectful.
- Carry enough loose change (you may need this for vendors selling pop mie, tea, gorengan around the area, parking and entrance fees)
- pack a change of clothes
- a bottle of water is essential
- a cap or sunglasses ( beware of the monkeys!)
- a small but efficient medical kit along with sunscreen
It is an absolute necessity to keep this place clean and free of pollution as it is the home of countless locals who have resided here for ages and it is our responsibility to throw trash in its respective location (trash cans!!!) as a token of gratitude to the local community for being generous enough to share such a wonder with us.
My trip was enlightening in many ways and offered me a newfound love and admiration for the Mother Earth whom we take for granted so often. I truly hope your excursion is as rewarding as mine. Life in Jakarta may not be all sunshine and roses but it sure has its perks. Stay safe and happy waterfalling!