This page outlines how trips are arranged – air travel, local transport, accommodation, guides, porters, finances, etc.. Most trips involve some air travel. Trips involving car travel only ex-Jakarta are not dealt with here – more simple to arrange!
Air travel: Java Lava indicates the ‘destination airport’ where the group should assemble for onward travel by road to accommodation at the trail head. In the case of travelers from Jakarta, Java Lava arranges flights, and books and purchases tickets on your behalf.
Participants arriving from other points, such as Singapore, KL, Bali, etc., make their own flight arrangements to the ‘destination airport’. The issue, of course, is coordinating with the arrival of the main group from Jakarta and joining local transport to accommodation at the trail-head (see below).
Java Lava normally flies Garuda but, as budget airlines become more reliable, some flexibility is possible. Participants who wish to use other airlines should align their arrival at the ‘destination airport’ with that of the main group. The leader may decide to not wait for those whose flights are delayed.
Local transport and accommodation near the trail head: From the airport, hire buses/cars take the main group to accommodation nearest the trail head. This accommodation can range from 3-star hotel to village home-stay or simply pitching a tent!
Java Lava seeks to arrange transport for people arriving from points, other than Jakarta and whose ETA does not coincidence with the main group, to the trail head accommodation. This may be at your own cost.
Reaching the trail head: Experience is many and varied depending upon the mountain – car, truck, fishing boat, motorbike, donkey, walk, or any combination thereof!
Registration at trail head: Many mountains are located within National Parks. The leader/guide will arrange for registration with park authorities and pay official fees. Often, park authorities require details of your name, age, nationality and ID/passport. Always carry extra photocopies of ID/passport in case requested by authorities.
Guides: Java Lava uses the services of local guides who know the mountain well and, desirably, have prior experience with Java Lava groups.
Guides are essential in the lower stages of climbs to find the way through agricultural land below the mountain. Once on the mountain proper, the trail is usually self-apparent. In the event of a serious incidents – eruptions, forest fires, injury, etc. or becoming lost on the mountain, guides are invaluable for providing advise and arranging assistance including local Search and Rescue.
Porters: For camping trips, Java Lava arranges for porters to carry your camping gear (porter pack). The porter pack should not exceed 18 kg including extra water. Trekkers need only carry their day pack. You may request an additional porter, e.g., to carry specialized camera gear, but at your own cost. Likewise, you may opt to carry your own porter pack, in which case the cost of a porter will be deducted.
The Return Trip: Everyone treks at his/her own pace but sometimes slower walkers, typically on the descent, can lead to unreasonable delays in transferring the main group off the mountain to an airport for the return flight. In such instances, the slow walkers may have to improvise their own transport arrangements. Likewise, participants needing to catch an earlier flight will need to arrange for their own transportation.
Financial Arrangements: All participants, including the trip leader, pay their own way at cost. Costs include a small charge to cover Java Lava administration for arranging airline tickets, hotels, local transport, guides/porters, etc.
All costs, to be incurred by Java Lava on your behalf, must be advanced to Java Lava before the trip. Any left-over funds are returned to participants, held on account for future trips, or may be donated to the Java Lava kitty to cover overhead costs (such as maintaining this website).
Cancellations: Be aware that you may incur additional costs if you cancel your trip at short notice, especially after airline reservations have been made.
Exceptionally, Java Lava may be compelled to reschedule or cancel a trip when authorities close a mountain at short notice due to imminent danger such as a pending eruption or forest fires.
Depending on airline service providers’ cancellation policies, Java Lava may not always be able to return the full amount that you have advanced. Java Lava charges a small fee to cover the cost of seeking reimbursement from airlines. This is just one of the many challenges of hiking in the world’s most active volcanic country!