Kawah Putih
Ciwidey, Bandung

#KawahPutih , a gorgeous volcanic lake in #Ciwidey , #Bandung | Learn how to go there and what to expect | #ExploreSunda

Kawah Putih, or White Crater in English, is a beautiful volcanic lake in Ciwidey, approximately 47 km south of Bandung.

Nowadays, it is as popular as Tangkuban Perahu crater in Lembang, since we can easily reach both craters from the parking lot. Of these two, I would say Kawah Putih is more beautiful than Tangkuban Perahu. The view of the crater is amazing: from the mix of white and greenish color of the lake, the white sandy beach, to the limestone cliffs. Even some trees can grow in this crater. 

Since most of the crater is under the water, the scent of sulfur is not too strong, so we are still able to walk around near the lake, capturing the view both into our memory and cameras :) However, please be cautious, usually the smell is stronger after the rain and at dusk.

Kawah Putih in Ciwidey, Bandung

There are two options to enjoy this amazing view:

  • Take the stairs down to the lake and walk on the white sandy beach around the lake. Please remember that we are not allowed to play in the water, it is very dangerous. However, the water level is low during the dry season and there are many sand spots we can jump around so we can wandering a bit further.
  • Alternatively, we can go to the small lookout landing. It is a bit uphill, but it is an easy to walk path. We can see an overlook view of Kawah Putih from up there.

Both provide us with great views and perfect photo opportunities.

Kawah Putih in Ciwidey, Bandung

Geography and History of Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih is one of the two craters of mount Patuha (2.434 meters above sea level). The first crater was formed when mount Patuha erupted in the tenth century. It is in the northwest side of the summit and it is a dry crater. The second eruption in the 12th century created the crater in the southeast of the first one. Over the years the second crater became a lake and known as Kawah Putih. 

The word Patuha was originated from pak tua, meaning old man or elder, since the locals believe that mount Patuha is the oldest mountain. They also believed that it is the meeting place of the spirits of their ancestors. Therefore, nobody dared to go there when Dr. Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn visited southern Bandung in 1837.

Mr. Junghuhn found out the mountain has abundant sulfur, so the Dutch built a sulfur factory called
Zwavel Ontgining Kawah Putih. It changed its name into Kawah Putih Kenzanka Yokoya Ciwidey during Japanese colonization. Nowadays, the factory has long gone, but we still can see the front entrance of the tunnel used to mine the sulfur. It is closed though. Many people believe that sulfur is a cure for some skin diseases, hence, we will find some vendors sell the sulfur in small packets.

Directions to Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih in Ciwidey, Bandung
Shuttle Cars at Kawah Putih in Ciwidey, Bandung

Opening Hours:

7am-5pm

Ticket:

Rp.20,000 for Indonesian
Rp.50,000 for foreigners

Rp.6,000 parking near the entrance gate
or
Rp.150,000 parking near the crater

Shuttle car:
Rp.35,000 per person

The GPS coordinates are 7°09'57.0"S 107°24’14.4”E.

The opening of the Soroja (Soreang - Pasirkoja) tollroad shortened the traveling time to Kawah Putih. You just need to drive until the end of Soroja, which is less than half hour from Pasirkoja to reach Soreang. Then, follow the direction to Ciwidey.

Slow down once you have passed Ciwidey Valley Resort. The entrance gate to the crater is on the left side of the road.

The crater itself is still 5 km uphill from the entrance gate. There are three options to reach the crater:

  • You park near the entrance gate then take the shuttle cars. In 2016 the ticket price for the shuttle car is Rp. 35,000/person.
  • You may also drive our car to the parking lot near the crater. The ticket price is Rp. 150,000/car.

These tickets are on top of our entrance tickets. 

  • Lastly, you can walk from the lower parking lot to the crater, but it will take much longer time than the other two options and require much more effort since the road is uphill all the way. The good news is the scenery of the forest is beautiful.

Another popular site in Ciwidey is Situ Patenggang a.k.a. Situ Patengan. It is a lake surrounded by tea plantation. Presently, there are two tourist sites in Situ Patenggang, each with its own entrance: the first Situ Patenggang and the new Glamping Lake Side inside Rancabali tea plantation.

As I mentioned before, the other most popular craters in Sunda where we can see from the parking lot is Queen Crater, even we can walk around inside the Domas crater, both are located at mount Tangkuban Perahu.

Situ Patenggang, Ciwidey
Glamping Lake Side Rancabali at Situ Patenggang, Ciwidey
Queen Crater at Mount Tangkuban Perahu, Lembang, Bandung
Domas Crater at Mount Tangkuban Perahu, Lembang, Bandung
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