Indonesia for the adventurous

For those who missed this year’s Deep and Extreme Indonesia exhibition, an annual event featuring Indonesia’s best ocean and mountain tour travel packages, here’s two interesting trips to look into. Hundreds of avid travelers, adrenaline junkies and adventurers swarmed the halls of the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Senayan earlier last month to attend the annual Deep and Extreme Indonesia exhibition. During this event, which focuses on tours to the archipelago’s mountainous regions and deep oceans, travelers shared traveling and sports information, talked about new places to venture, and planned future trips with newfound friends, as well as buying various diving or trekking gear. It was held from April 4 to 7 this year. "Misool Island is our newest destination. It is now becoming more popular among foreigners than Indonesians," Abdul Malik, the owner of Kakaban Tour and Travel company, told The Jakarta Post Travel. Abdul was referring to one of the four main islands in the world-famous diving spot Raja Ampat in West Papua. Misool is located in the southernmost part of Raja Ampat. He said Misool offers breathtaking landscape and underwater vistas that could be compared to Raja Ampat’s much more famous Wayag, a tight cluster of inhabited limestone islands in the northwestern part of the area, or the Manusar and Kri islands, to the south of Dampier strait. Kakaban Tour began offering its Escape to Misool package in March this year. The six-days, five-nights package priced at Rp 11.7 million (US$1.207) per person includes diving at Misool Eco Resort and caving at Gua Kelelawar cave, Batu Menangis and Kuburan Sultan. “The tour is even more interesting because it includes three caves to explore,” Abdul said. “Expect to find non-poisonous jellyfish as well. Another exciting offer is a trip to Mount Merapi, which dominates the horizon outside Yogyakarta, in Central Java. The majestic Merapi is an active volcano. It erupted in 2010, causing hundreds of deaths and forcing hundreds of thousands of others to evacuate their homes and farms. Agus Santoso, a guide with the Jeep Wisata Kaliurang, said the tour was started to help victims of the Merapi eruption. However, it received good responses and became a popular tourist attraction. The tour offers a visit to a site hit hardest by the eruption. To get to the location, which is about three kilometers away from the peak, participants are driven using a 1945-1972 built Willys Jeep, a World War II-era precursor of today’s brand. There are three tour options: the short, the medium and the long trip, with durations of about one-and-a half hours, two and a half hours and three hours respectively, Agus said. He added that one could rent a jeep accommodating up to four people, at a starting price of Rp 250,000, and that English-speaking guides were available. The long tour, priced at Rp 450,000, includes a trip to Pasir Panas, a location where people mine volcanic materials extracted from the eruption. Smoke coming from these volcanic materials is said to be good for rheumatic therapy. “We will also visit the tomb of Mbah Maridjan, the mystical ‘guardian’ of Mount Merapi, at Srunen hamlet,” Agus said. The tour can include a magnificent sunrise viewing, and the more adventurous can even camp on the mountainside. Entering its seventh year, the four-day Deep and Extreme Indonesia event has gained increasing recognition. This year, the exhibition featured around 130 exhibiting companies, ranging from dive and adventure equipment, as well as travel and tourism business entities.

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