One thing Indonesia has plenty of is volcanoes.
For those bold enough to conquer an active one, Mount Anak Krakatau awaits in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.
Born from the biblical Mount Krakatau eruptions that shook the world in 535 and 1883, the young volcano often coughs and sputters. Often on high alert, the feisty teenager has a tendency to spew hot gases, rocks, lava and ash.
Although three islands remained after the colossal 1883 eruption — Rakata, Sertung and Panjang – it wasn’t until 1930 that Anak rose from beneath the sea. It erupts nearly every year, and continues to grow around 4 meters per year. It is currently 400 meters above sea level.
Other than visiting Mount Anak Krakatau, tourists can also marvel at its surrounding islands: Rakata Island (which is a part of Mount Krakatau), Sertung Island (also known as Verlaten) and Panjang Island (also known as Lang or small Rakata).
There are two gateways to access Mount Anak Krakatau: Carita Beach in West Java and Canti Beach in South Lampung. The latter is also a recommended destination in itself due to its beautiful beaches and plenty of delicious choices of local cuisine.
How to get there
Bandar Lampung - Canti
Hop on a bus to Kalianda in South Lampung from Rajabasa Bus Terminal in Bandar Lampung. The fare for the one-hour bus ride is around Rp 10,000 (less than US$1) to Rp 20,000. Continue the journey by ojek (motorcycle taxi) to reach Canti Harbor for around Rp 20,000 for a 20-minute ride.
Jakarta - Canti
Take a train from Tanah Abang Railway Station; you can opt for the Banten Ekspres or Patas Merak economy train on the Merak – Angke corridor with ticket price of only Rp 5,000 for a four-hour ride, or the Kalimaya economy train on the Tanah Abang – Merak corridor for Rp 30,000 for a three-hour ride.
If you're coming from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, you can also take a Damri bus to Merak for only Rp 40,000 to Rp 45,000.
From Merak, head to Bakauheni by using a ferry that costs Rp 13,000 per person. If you bring your own vehicle, you will have to pay an additional fee.
From Bakauheni, you can reach Canti using any bus on the Bakauheni – Bandar Lampung route. Get off at Kalianda and then continue the journey by hiring an ojek to reach Canti Harbor in 20 minutes for around Rp 20,000.
Canti – Mount Anak Krakatau
From Canti Harbor, hop on a wooden motorboat to reach Sebesi Island before heading to Mount Anak Krakatau with scheduled departures from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and a ticket price of around Rp 20,000 for a two-hour ride.
On Sebesi Island, you can rent another motorboat to visit Mount Anak Krakatau and take a tour of the surroundings for around Rp 1 million to Rp 1.5 million per boat that can accommodate up to 20 people. As an alternative, you can also rent the motorboat for a two-day trip that will cost around Rp 2.5 million to Rp 3 million.
Where to stay
There are various homestays available around Canti Harbor. One of the closest, near Canti Beach, is Villa Munca Indah with rates starting at Rp 500,000 for two rooms per night.
As in Canti, various homestays are available on Sebesi Island. One of them, near Sebesi Harbor, is Villa Pulau Sebesi Indah, which offers a starting rate of Rp 200,000 per room per night.
Mount Anak Krakatau and Rakata Island
There are no homestays, electricity or clean water on both Mount Anak Krakatau and Rakata Island. Thus, visitors must bring their own tent and sufficient equipment and supplies to spend the night there.
What to eat
There are plenty of interesting choices of local cuisine in Canti for those opting to spend the night there. Some of the must-tries include otak-otak (a fish snack made from fresh Spanish mackerel) and grilled Simba fish.
- Once you get to the island, remember that you shouldn't kill anything but time, leave anything but footprints and take anything but pictures.
- Don't forget to bring sunglasses, hat and sunscreen to protect your eyes, head and skin.
- Bringing trekking poles is also a good idea as it can make the climb on the sandy and rocky terrain of Mount Anak Krakatau.
- Bring enough food and drink since you won't find any food stalls at Mount Anak Krakatau.
- Bring a trash bag to take your garbage home with you. Don't litter on the mountain and in the sea.
- Before reaching Sebesi, make sure all your gadget batteries are fully charged in Canti because electricity is limited in Sebesi (only available from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m.).
- In order to enter the Krakatau Natural Reserve Area, you will need to show your Conservation Zone Entry Permits (SIMAKSI) that can be obtain from Lampung's Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) at Jl. Haji Zainal Abidin Pagar Alam Rajabasa No.1B, Bandar Lampung with the phone number 6221721, email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and official website www.krakatau.or.id. All boats that dock at Mount Anak Krakatau are required to report and pay a berthing fee of around Rp 200,000. Visitors must also be accompanied by BKSDA Lampung rangers during their climb, each costing around Rp 250,000.