In stark contrast to the lush green scenery found elsewhere on the island of Java, the Baluran National Park, located on the east-most edge of Java, consists predominantly of open savannahs, where wildlife roam free. Here one can watch grazing, the large Javan water buffaloes called “banteng”, small Java mouse deer known as “kancil”, peacocks strutting about displaying their colorful plumage, eagles flying overhead and macaques fishing for crabs with their tails.
At the center of this large Park stands the extinct Baluran volcano, watching over its pristine environment
Dominated by the dry east wind, Baluran receives on average only 3 months of rain. When you visit Baluran during the rainy season, you will see ample water holes, but during this time the Banteng and the wild bulls prefer to wander in the forests, although other animals like peacocks, mouse deer, and wild fowl do come out and can still be observed.
The Park is habitat to 26 mammal species among which are the banteng (Bos javanicus javanicus), wild water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis), the ajag (Cuon alpinus javanicus), the muncak deer (Muntiacus muntjak muntjak), the rusa (Cervus timorensis rusa), leopards (Panthera pardus melas), the mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus pelandoc), and mangrove cats (Prionailurus viverrinus). The Banteng are specific to Baluran and are therefore the Park’s mascot.
Additionally, Baluran is habitat to 155 types of birds, among which are the rare fire kite (Hirundo rustica), the red forest fowl (Gallus gallus), kangkareng (Anthracoceros convecus), hornbills (Buceros rhinoceros), tuwuk or asian tuwur (Eudynamys scolopacea), peacocks (Pavo muticus), and herons (Leptoptilos javanicus).
A safari trip to Baluran is indeed a precious journey.
You will also notice eagles flying high in search of their prey or perching on the branch of a Pilang tree, the tree that bears a striking resemblance to the one depicted in the film “Avatar”. Peacocks with their long plumage are looking for food, while monkeys swing above from tree to tree, among the chirping trill of hundreds of small birds.
Look out for the group of Ajags, animals similar to the fox with their brown bodies and black tails. You may even see one dragging a deer for breakfast. Female deer are usually attacked right on the neck and on the back. However, never fear, since the ajag is afraid of humans.
Banyuwangi, located at the most-eastern edge of Java can boast yet another world class surf spot next to the already well known G-land at Plengkung: this is Pulau Merah Beach. Pulau Merah Beach is so called since just some 100 meters to the side of the beach is a picturesque little hilly island called Pulau Merah, that is reachable on foot. This is situation is similar to the location of the island of Tanah Lot to the main island of Bali. But unlike at G-land where are found sharp coral rocks by the beach, the beach at Pulau Merah – or the Red Island Beach – is open sand so that it is also safe for beginner surfers.
Compared to Bali’s Kuta Beach, surf here is stronger, offering large four meters high barrels with a length of 400 meters, ideal for surfers to try out tubing techniques. But since surf here comes in at an average of two meters height, beginners and amateur surfers alike can enjoy this beach. Whereas, the beaches at Plengkung and G-land should be ventured by professionals only.
Pulau Merah beach was originally known as Ringin Pitu. There are two versions for its name change. One version has it that because the color of the soil and sand are reddish, this is where it got its name from, while another story says that at one time some bright red rays shone from the small hilly Pulau Merah island onto the beach, thus giving it the name Pulau Merah beach.
Another feature of the beach is the nearby fishing village called Pancer, where you can stay at villagers’ homes. Their hospitality to visitors in spite of their simple life is truly heartwarming.
Ijen plateau or known as “Kawah Ijen” is highly recommended to mountain buffs and hikers. The Plateau was at one time a huge active crater, 134 sq km in area. Today, Ijen is a quiet but active volcano, and the landscape is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ijen (2,368 asl) and Merapi (2,800 asl) on the northeastern edge of the Plateau, and Raung (3,332 asl) on the southwest corner.
The magnificent turquoise sulfur lake of Kawah Ijen lies at 2148 m above sea level and is surrounded by the volcanos sheer crater walls. The vent is a source of sulfur and collectors work here, making the trek up to the crater and down to the lake every day. Sulfur collectors hike up in the morning and return around 1 pm when the clouds roll in. Despite the horrendous labor involved: Javas homegrown sulfur is a natural source of sulfuric acid, in great demand in the oil-refining business and in the production of fertilizers.
If you love to dive or snorkeling, you gonna love this. Surrounded by unspoilt white sandy beaches, stunning coral reefs, and enchanting underwater, environment Menjangan Island is a perfect definition of what natural beauty is all about. The island is also known as the location for the best wall diving in Bali, with a very bright & colorful underwater world and lots of different sites to choose from. These dive sites are rich in marine life and sandy beaches to relax over lunch.
From the Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport or other agreed meeting point in Surabaya/Malang, we will right away go to Baluran National Park. It will take about 6 hours and once we get there, all the long journey will be paid-off. Let’s explore Africa Van Java! After viewing the wildlife at this Little Africa in Java, we will head to Ketapang and check in to our Hotel which situated by the Bali Strait.
*Meals: Lunch (L)
After breakfast, get ready to Menjangan Island! We will go by ferry-boat to across to Bali Island and after we get to Gilimanuk Port in Bali, we will continue our journey to West Bali National Park where the Menjangan Island is. The boat to explore the island has awaiting us! snorkeling and diving time!
We will go back to Banyuwangi in the afternoon and enjoy the beach and surfing at Red Island Beach. After witnessing the beautiful sunset, we will go back to our hotel.
*Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (B, L)
Wake up call at 00.00. Get ready for Mount Ijen exploration! We will make our way to Paltuding post where we will start our trekking to top of Mount Ijen at. The distance to the summit is 3 km and will take about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on each individual fitness level.
We will get to the top before sunrise to witness the ‘Blue Fire’ phenomenon. As the sun rises, the blue fire will fade away slowly and the stunning view of the blue crater lake will take place. The beautiful landscape of Mount Ijen with its turquoise color crater is mesmerizing, it will be an unforgettable scene in our life. We will go down to the crater for a closer look of the lake.
After that, we will go back to our hotel for breakfast. Shower and get ready to check out in the afternoon. We will reach back to Surabaya/Malang in the late evening.
*Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (B, L)
• 2 nights accommodation
4 Star Hotel at Banyuwangi (1 night)
Homestay at Blawan, Ijen (1 night)
Inclusive of fuel costs, parking & toll fees, and drivers’ expenses
• Explore Surabaya
• Explore Banyuwangi
• Explore Ijen Mt
• Explore Menjangan Island
Mangrove Trekking || Hoping Islands || Snorkeling/Diving
• Boat at West Bali National Park (Menjangan Island)
• Snorkeling equipment
Inclusive of mask, snorkel, fin and life jacket
• Explore Red Island Beach
• Explore Baluran National Park
Savana Bekol || Bama Beach
• Meals as stated in the itinerary
• All permits, entry fees and activities stated in the itinerary
• Mineral water during the trip
• Guide and/or Tour Leader
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