Java Lava trips are of varying degrees of difficulty and duration – from one-day family walks to extended treks of 10-12 days. Most trips are mountain climbs of 3-4 days often camping on a mountain for one or two nights. Guides are hired to organize the climb and porters to carry rucksacks. Climbers carry their own day packs containing food, water and survival gear.
An annual program is posted on this website towards the end of each year. Best use is made of weekends/public holidays to minimize the need for taking leave. Trips are usually not scheduled during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan.
Java Lava has a repertoire of some 15-20 trips that it arranges regularly. See the sidebar for Popular Java Lava Trips. Go to the Gunung Bagging website for more details about a given mountain.
Climbing is best during the dry season when downpours are less frequent and tracks less slippery. The dry season is fairly predictable in Java and islands to the east – about April through October. But rainfall is less predictable in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Papua.
The Java Lava season usually starts in February with a trek along the South West Java Coast, at Pelabuhan Ratu, south of Jakarta (not easy but good for getting the legs in shape!). A last climb of the season is usually a mountain close to Jakarta, such as Salak or Pangrango, in November.
Occasionally, some enthusiasts undertake extended treks in more remote regions: such as Gunung Leuser, Aceh (12 days), Gunung Trikora, Papua (10 days), multiple mountains in Flores/Timor (7-10 days) and Halmahera (7 days).
The scope for climbing in Indonesia is enormous. The Gunung Bagging website lists some 262 peaks with prominence of 1,000 m and above. In Java alone, Java Lava has climbed some 13 volcanoes above 3,000 m. Many lower peaks are often as beautiful and rewarding as the higher ones. Again, Gunung Bagging lists some 82 peaks, referred to a Specials, with prominence of less than 1,000 m but still really great climbs.