Mount Tangkuban Perahu
in Cikole - Lembang

Mount Tangkuban Perahu, or Gunung Tangkuban Parahu in the Sundanese language, is the most famous volcano in Sunda. It is because of the easy access to the volcano, where you can see the crater up close.

Mount Tangkuban Perahu and The Queen Crater

Mount Tangkuban Perahu was formed inside the caldera of Mount Sunda when Mount Sunda erupted 105,000 years ago. Today, mount Tangkuban Perahu is approximately 2,084 meters above sea level. It is an active volcano that has erupted over twenty times. The first recorded eruption was in 1829, while the latest occurred in mid-2019. These eruptions created thirteen craters (Kawah Ratu [3], Upas [3], Domas, Baru, Pangguyangan Badak, Badak, Ecoma, Jurig, and Siluman) around the top of the mountain, resulting in a flat peak. From afar, it looks like an overturned boat. That is how this mountain got its name: Parahu is a Sundanese word for boat, and Tangkuban is a Sundanese word for overturn.

Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) of Mount Tangkuban Perahu.Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) of Mount Tangkuban Perahu.

The overturned boat shape of Mount Tangkuban Perahu also inspired the legend of Sangkuriang. Sangkuriang is a famous Sundanese folklore, a legend on the origin of Mount Tangkuban Perahu. Read the story of Sangkuriang here.

The largest of the craters in Mount Tangkuban Perahu is Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater in English). This crater is extraordinary because it is easily accessible to visitors of all ages. Why? Because in 1928, a Dutch organization called Bandung Vooruit built an asphalt road through the mountain. This road starts from the main road that connects Bandung and Subang directly to the Queen crater, which is approximately five kilometers uphill through the forest.

Since then, visitors may drive their vehicles uphill. The bus parking area is a bit far from the crater. Hence, the passengers must walk or take a shuttle to reach the Queen crater. On the other hand, small passenger cars and motorcycles are allowed to park in the upper parking lot, which means you will park right in front of the crater! You only need to step out of the car, walk several steps to the fence, and look right into the Queen crater below.

Upper parking lot of Mount Tangkuban Perahu, which is only steps away from Kawah Ratu.Upper parking lot of Mount Tangkuban Perahu, which is only steps away from Kawah Ratu.

Since Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) is an active crater, everybody can only see it from the fence. It is very unsafe to go down and walk inside the caldera. How do we know Kawah Ratu is still active? The constant puff of smoke from the crater is a sure sign that it is still active. Sometimes you will distinctively smell sulfur, but other times the wind carries it away. If the smell bothers you, you might want to cover your nose with a handkerchief or wear a medical mask, which you can easily buy from the peddlers.

The Queen Crater (Kawah Ratu) at Mount Tangkuban Perahu.The Queen Crater (Kawah Ratu) at Mount Tangkuban Perahu.
Visitors are walking on the perimeters of Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) at Mount Tangkuban Perahu.Visitors are walking on the perimeters of Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater).

The closest crater to Kawah Ratu is Kawah Upas. It is smaller than the Queen crater, but visitors used to be allowed to go down to Upas Crater. However, during the last eruption in 2013, some toxic gasses whirled from this crater. Since then, people can not walk in the Upas Crater anymore.

Do you like hiking? There is a trail from Upas Crater to Domas Crater. Mind you, it is not light hiking. The dirt path has many stairs made of dirt, bamboo, wood, and tree roots. Plus, it is very slippery after rain. The trail goes down from Upas to Domas Crater. Hence, if you park your car near Queen Crater, please remember the return trip will be uphill through hundreds of dirt stairs! You might like the challenge if you enjoy hiking through a tropical rainforest. But actually, this is a back route to Domas Crater.

You will pass the front entrance to Domas Crater on your way from the ticket booth to Queen Crater. There is a small parking lot and restrooms here. You still have to hike from the parking lot to reach the crater, but the hiking is much lighter.

Explore mount Tangkuban Perahu at Cikole Lembang and see Kawah Ratu (the Queen Crater) up close || #ExploreSunda #TangkubanPerahu #Cikole #Lembang


NEXT: Boiling Eggs at Domas Crater at Mount Tangkuban Perahu

Domas, one of the craters in Mount Tangkuban Perahu where you can walk inside the caldera, boil eggs, and get a mud spa.

Are you ready to walk through a crater?
Domas, one of the many craters in mount Tangkuban Perahu, offers an extraordinary experience where you can walk on the caldera, boil some eggs in the crater, take some mud spa, and enjoy hiking through a rainforest.

Continue reading on Domas crater ...

Directions to go to mount Tangkuban Perahu

It is easy to go to Mount Tangkuban Perahu since the entrance to this mountain is located on the provincial road connecting Bandung, Lembang, and Subang. It is approximately thirty kilometers north of Bandung. The coordinates are 6°45'30.3"S 107°36'37.8"E (-6.758419, 107.610490)

However, there isn't any public transportation that goes directly to Mount Tangkuban Perahu. If you choose them, take the minibus serving Lembang and Subang routes and get off at the Mount Tangkuban Perahu entrance. Then, you switch to a shuttle (smaller minibus) that will take you to the Queen crater.

Since using public transportation is a bit of a hassle, not to mention time wasted on waiting, most visitors prefer private or rented vehicles, either cars or motorcycles. Once you pay for the tickets, you can drive straight uphill and park your car or motorcycle right in front of the fence to the Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater in English). From there, you only need to walk several steps to enjoy the view of Mount Tangkuban Perahu.


Indonesian: Rp. 30,000

Foreigners: Rp. 300,000

Car: Rp. 30,000

Shuttle: Rp. 7,000

Opening Hours:

8am - 5pm daily

The beauty of Tangkuban Perahu is somewhat tainted with the many negative reviews and disappointed visitors throughout the internet. Their main concerns are:

  • The ticket price for foreigners is exorbitant. I understand this complaint since the foreigners must pay approximately tenfold than the locals.
  • The visitors feel uncomfortable with peddlers following them to buy their souvenirs. Since Mount Tangkuban Parahu is a famous tourist destination, there are many souvenir kiosks and peddlers in this area. I experienced it too. However, the peddlers ceased following us after I declined their offer politely but firmly. Do not keep their hopes up by saying no, while you keep looking at their merchandise.

Worth exploring while you are in Lembang:

Lembang is always great for outdoor activities. If you want something different, check out Pangandaran, the most popular beach in Sunda, help release baby turtles at Pangumbahan beach, or visit Cangkuang temple and its tranquil lake.

Orchid Forest Cikole, Lembang
Pangandaran Beach, West Java
Pangumbahan Beach.
The lake of Cangkuang temple.

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