A Refreshing Getaway: Situ Gunung Lake & Curug Sawer

Indonesia , Travel Guide , West Java / June 10, 2017


Sukabumi is famously known for its outdoor adventures. Let it be waterfalls, geo parks, mountains, or if you go further down the coastline you can see some beaches whose names for me are unheard of. I once researched about this city in West Java and was longing to go experiencing its natural wonders but never really knew when. From Jakarta, this city can be considered not too far but not close enough as well, which makes it hard to turn that plan into a reality. 
 
Luckily, the best events happens unplanned. And soon I discovered that Sukabumi has so much to offer, and that you can try exploring its landscapes one by one. I started getting to know this city by visiting Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park (Taman Nasional Gunung Gede Pangrango). This 3 hour one way drive from Jakarta can already take you to some exciting places to explore. If you’re not hiking to the mountains, fear not. There are some neat places you can enjoy in this area. 
 

In Situ Gunung Lake when the fogs started to disappear and the sun started shining

 
 So with that, here’s what to see and do in Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park within a one day.
 

Situ Gunung Lake (Danau Situ Gunung)

To be real honest, we found this place by accident! When wanted to head to Curug Suwer, but instead took the wrong turn to the national park’s main entrance gate. When seeing the options for what we can do here, this lake is one of the highlighted attraction. And I must say, we didn’t regret this at all!
 
To enter Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, you will need to pay Rp 16,000/person. During my visit, there was a Citeluh Geopark banner in front of the gate, which is not the name of this national park. It’s actually a park located in Citeluh, Sukabumi which is still a 4 hour drive from there. So if you stumble upon this situation like I did, don’t let it confuse you.
 
 

The locals were fishing in the midst of foggy Situ Gunung Lake

 

Situ Gunung Lake is located on the foot of Gunung Gede Pangrango mountain. If you’re riding a car, you need to pay attention on what car you’re using as the road is not properly built yet. From the entrance gate, you will need to drive around 1 KM to park your car, then walk for around 20 minutes trek. Even the trekking route can already made you feel like in fresh nature, since you’ll be surrounded by a lush forest.

 
 

Trekking en route to Situ Gunung Lake

 

The view from the trekking route

 

 
For those who are searching for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle city life, Situ Gunung is the perfect place for you! Not only that it has a stunning panoramic view, it also has a peaceful and relaxing vibe, especially since it’s surrounded by green pine trees. Seriously, if you do decide to come here, don’t rush and enjoy the moment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Later I found out that this place was once featured in National Geographic Magazine. Some of you might be familiar with this photo:
 

Source: National Geographic Official Website (2011). Taken during sunrise in Situ Gunung Lake.

 
Pro tip: Situ Gunung Lake turns out to be one of the best spots to see sunsets. So it’s preferably coming here to see the sunrise or in the very morning. It’s also very beautiful when it’s foggy (perhaps during the morning after it’s raining).
 
 

Foggy Situation in Situ Gunung Lake

We came around 9 AM and the place was covered in a heavy fog since it was raining a few hours ago. I have to say, it’s very beautiful when it’s covered in fog. An hour later around 10 AM, the fog started to disappear, revealing more the panoramic view of the lake.
 

In the middle of the mystical fog

 

Ride a Bamboo Raft around the lake

Usually you will spot a bamboo raft on the lake. You can ride the bamboo raft to go around the lake only by paying Rp 15,000/person. I can say that it is very worth it because the view was quite breathtaking. When not used for tourists, this bamboo raft is used by the locals to do fishing in the lake to meet their everyday life.

 

The locals navigating the bamboo raft

 

 

What you can do nearby

Camping — If you want to spend an outdoor adventure here, you can go camping in Situ Gunung Lake. If you don’t have your own tent, you can even rent nearby. Or if you want to do a more glamping, you can camp in Tanakita Camp Site. I guess staying overnight will make it easier for those who wants to see sunrise in Situ Gunung Lake.

Stay  — Nearby there is also a villa and hotel if you prefer something with more comfort.

Outbond — It is said that you can also do some outbound activities here, even though during my visit, the place leaves a somewhat spooky impression (and cool at the same time!) because its covered with fog.

The “mysterious” outbond area

 

Curug Sawer, the Attractive Waterfall

Just a 15 minute ride by car from Danau Situ Gunung’s main entrance gate, you will arrive at Cinumpang. Cinumpang is where Curug Sawer is located. To be exact, Curug Sawer is located in Desa Sukamaju, Kecamatan Kadudampit, Kabupaten Sukabumi.

When entering Cinumpang area, if you have already paid tickets from Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, you will only need to pay Rp 2,500/person. You can park your car in front of Cinumpang entrance gate, then trek for around 1,4 KM (but honestly it felt longer!). We trekked for round 45 minutes – 1 hour.

A glimpse of how trekking route looked like (it was all muddy since we came after it’s raining!)

Along the trek, there are several stops where you can rest including chairs in front of local houses. The trek is considered relatively normal, but may be much more inconvenient if it’s raining as it will be muddy and slippery so be sure to avoid using slippers or pretty shoes.

Taking a break in front of the local’s houses

Once you got here, means you’ve already come close to the main waterfall

By the time we got there. The waterfall is very much less crowded. This waterfall is already famous within Sukabumi people, but may be less popular for tourists. The water was indeed very freezing but it would be a loss to not play with the water! So it’s better to bring out some extra clothes in case, there’s already a decent toilet around the area.

 

Breathtaking view of Curug Sawer

 

Bonus: View of the mountains from a random Rumah Makan Padang on the street!

 

 

How to get there

By car – It will took around 3 hours from Jakarta (Jatinegara, Jakarta Selatan) to get here if the traffic is OK. For this route I honestly can only recommend you this google maps since we’ve used this to navigate us there and thankfully we arrived safely. Pro tip: Just be sure to either download offline maps or ask the locals once you’re already near, since the signal will be quite hard to grasp nearing the destination.

By train – This is another option for you who prefer to use public transportation. You can ride a train that will arrive at Stasiun Cisaat, Sukabumi (Cisaat Station). From there to Situ Gunung, you can go “charter”, or in other words, rent a public transportation like Angkot for a day. The price is around IDR 80.000 – Rp 100.000/angkot (price can change anytime, depends on your negotiation).

 

So, have you planned your sweet escape to Sukabumi yet?

 

Cheers,
Sabrina Anggraini