Travel Destinations: Banyuwangi

The Indonesian archipelago can be difficult to comprehend, it is made up of more than 17,500 islands, around 6,000 of which are inhabited. To discover all that this island chain nation has to offer would provide a lifetime of discovery for even the most avid of explorers. This unique archipelago has the ability to excite, amaze, enthrall and enchant, exhausting the most hardened adventurer.  

Any traveler wishing to experience all the Indonesian archipelago has to offer needs a place to start. To maximize the experience of exploring Indonesia, there is no better place to start than Banyuwangi. Separated from Bali by the Strait of Bali, lies the island of Java, and to the East of the island is the Banyuwangi Regency. According to the local folklore, known as Sri Tanjung, Banyuwangi means “Fragrant Water”.

Banyuwangi is the largest of the Javanese provinces and Banyuwangi town is the provincial capital. To the West, Banyuwangi is overlooked by verdant forest and mountains, to the East and South it is fringed with beaches lapped by the blue waters where the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean meet.

Nature’s Gift to Banyuwangi

Flora and fauna, Volcanos, mountains, forests and beaches, in and around Banyuwangi nature has held nothing back. Here, nature’s incredible phenomena humbles mankind into a feeling of justifiable insignificance.

Trekkers will be spoilt for choice at Banyuwangi. Guided treks through forests and up mountains and volcanos are the best way to see and feel nature at its most incredible. Trekking up Mount Bromo is one of many incredible experiences. Here you can feast your eyes upon the Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls.

The semi-circular falls are aptly named, Tumpak Sewu loosely translates as “A thousand waterfalls”. Dozens of individual spouts of tumbling water spew from the dense greenery around the lip of the falls. Sunlight at its base creates a prismatic cascade of colour bringing an almost mesmerizing quality to what is an incredible vision.

Exploring Ijen volcano is a must do experience. The volcano has a one-kilometer-wide crater which is a photo opportunity not to be missed. The crater is filed with Sulphur laden water which is the purest turquoise imaginable. Often fringed with low level cloud and mist, this is a vision that will last a lifetime and should not be missed.

Ijen blue flame fires are another box to tick for the curious and inquisitive. Sulfuric gasses under great pressure break free from the volcano through small fissures, and on exposure to air, spontaneously ignite. Electric blue fires then appear to tumble down the mountain in what is an almost unearthly vision.

For a less physically demanding trek, and by total contrast, there is Sadengan Savannah, part of the Alas Purwo National Park. Here, mornings and afternoons, visitors can watch as animals lazing and grazing. The wild bull, barking dear and wild boar are abundant across the savannah. Those with an interest in ornithology will delight at the many birds and wild fowl which have made Sadengan Savannah as their home.

Looking towards the Western side of Banyuwangi it is the beaches that amaze and delight. There are many secluded beaches along the coast which remain totally un-spoilt. Fortunately, these beaches have not fallen victim to being used as picturesque fringes to concrete and commercialism. Quite the contrary is true, their isolated beauty is preserved, Teluk Hijua, Wedi Ireng and Watudodol are just a few of the many beaches waiting to be discovered.

These small beaches exude peace and tranquility, soft white sand shielded and encircled by verdant green forest. The energetic will trek through forest and jungle to reach these little bits of paradise. Those with a more lethargic bent can enjoy a leisurely boat ride to visit the beach of their choice, each of which is a perfect piece of escapism.

As another contrast, and yet staying with the aquatic theme, there is G-Land. Also known as Plengkung Beach, G-Land, Grajagan Bay, has an international reputation with surfers and for surfing competitions. Its discovery as desirable location for surf camps came about in 1972 when a group American surfers trekked to the beach to set up a base camp for surfers visiting by boat. Since then, the Plengkung wave break has become one of the most renown and consistently rideable waves in the world.

As with any desirable destination, shopping is never going to be far away, Banyuwangi is no different in this respect. There is a modern shopping mall in the main town, but it is the Banyuwangi traditional market of Blambangan which is a must see for the visitor. Traditional arts and crafts can be browsed and haggled for and local food delicacies enjoyed.

The natural experiences offered by a visit to Banyuwangi should always be booked through reputable agents, it is recommended to use Bali Ferry for safe and secure bookings.