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Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

 

It comes as a surprise to many to discover that tropical Indonesia also has pine forests, usually found only in subtropical regions. In fact, Indonesia’s pine trees do grow in subtropical climates in the cool hills of volcanic mountains whether in  Sulawesi or Sumatra in Bali or Java.  Here are  some for you to cool off and inhale a  good dose of revitalizing oxygen while admiring the terrific scenery:
 

1 | The cool Malino Highlands of Makassar in South Sulawesi

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

In the highlands of Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi, some 90 km from the city center, lies the cool mountain resort of Malino, a 3.5 hours’ drive to get to. A colonial heritage site that offers magnificent mountain panorama,  villas were already built here during  Dutch colonial times constructed for recreational purposes. Malino Highlands is situated at 1,050 meters above sea level. Ranging between 10-26 degrees Celsius, the breeze around the area is fresh and cool. Next to the gorgeous pine forest,  there are nearby waterfalls such as the Air Terjun Seribu Tangga or the thousand stairs waterfall, and the Takapala Waterfall.  And to further add to your adventure, you will asl witness swathes of tea plantations, blue valleys, but also World War II Japanese bunkers

Malino is situated in the Tinggimoncong District in the Gowa regency. Since the highlands are known as the Flower city of  South Sulawesi, wayside vendors around Malino often sell edelweiss flowers as well as beautiful orchids. The entrance fee to the Malino Highlands in the special tourist area is Rp. 25,000 for children and Rp 50,000 for adults. But if you wish to spend some time only at the Pine forest, you just have to pay about Rp 3,000 per person, with an additional charge for recreational rides in the forest.

Stop for yummy charcoal-grilled corn to give you the carbs you need to start your journey. After enjoying a leisurely walk and shooting countless photos in the forest,  sit and relax and take a hot cup of the finest green tea at the Malino Highland café that overlooks tea plantations backed by grandiose mountain scenery. Do also enjoy or take home several popular local products, such as the special passion fruit syrup, the sticky Rice Dodol, and the Tenteng Malino crunchies.
 

How to get here:

The pine forest is located along Jalan Poros, Malino. It is advised to rent a car with a driver from Makassar, since it is quite a long journey up, through some winding road, but your journey will be enhanced by stunning views and interesting spots to enjoy.
 

2 | The Refreshing Kintamani Mountain Resort in Bali

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

Best known for its temple and trekking adventure up Mount Batur, the Kintamani area offers mountain and lake views enriched with pine forests. On your trip to Kintamani, you will find the scenery enchantingly everchanging, passing villages, roadside temples, and plantations. Besides entering the unspoiled forest from the main road, the Kintamani forest can also be enjoyed during your trekking journey. The forest is cool, fresh, and holds a little bit of mystery in its beauty. There are 2 paths to choose for you to hike, the Toya Bungkah and the Puri Jati, but it's best to choose the Toya Bungkah route for your hike down and find the pine lines embracing you just as you are about to reach the finish. There are some fees to pay for your hike up, depending on the package of your choice. You can also bike through the forest to experience the chilly winds brushing off your cheeks, but beware of the climbing terrain that may be challenging. As you reach the summit of Mount Batur, a rewarding view awaits with a spectacular night sky or an unforgettable sunrise,  the view of which you will definitely treasure for a lifetime.
 

How to get here:

Situated about two hours’ drive to the north from Denpasar city, the forest is located in the Bangli area of the Kintamani on Jalan Catur, Sukawana. Renting a motorbike or car will be more comfortable for your trip. A wide variety of accommodations with different prices and options are spread throughout the area to cater to your need for an overnight trip.
 

3 | Punti Kayu in the heart of Palembang, South Sumatra

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

The Punti Kayu pine forest is the only forest that is located in the heart of Palembang city, capital of South Sumatra province. Imagine stepping out from a hustling life full of traffic for a day to enjoy the calming nature among the restful pines. Just about 7 km away from the city center, the forest spans 50 hectares of greenery. This was built for conservation purposes, initially designated as a protected forest in 1938, which eventually opened to the public as a recreation forest in 1986. The area comprises four areas, namely the Conservation Forest, the Recreation Park, the Lake and Marshes, as well as the Camping Site. Admission to the Punti Kayu Forest Park ranges from 5,000 Rupiahs with an additional parking fee and is open from 9 am to 4 pm.

The forest offers fresh air for urbanites to enjoy after a long day at work, or maybe escape during one.  You can also walk down the forest paths, sit at the edge of the lake watching its reflections, or maybe bring the little ones to swim and play outdoors on weekends.

If you love animals, Punti Kayu also offers a small zoo and a crocodile farm. Other activities you can enjoy including elephant and horseback riding. Do prepare a picnic treat with homemade meals to enjoy with friends and family in the forest! This nature park has shady pine trees growing alongside other typical tropical trees, guaranteed to enrich your photo’s background.
 

How to get here:

To get to Jalan Kol. Burlian, Sukarami district, drive from the Palembang Masjid Agung and head straight to Jalan. Jend. Sudirman until you reach KM 7. If you travel by public transport,  you can take a bus from the Masjid Agung Palembang bus stop, choose the Trans Musi bus and drop yourself off at Punti Kayu.
 

4 | Top Selfie Pinusan at Magelang in Central Java

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

Is the name of this place for real? Well, it says so on the road sign that welcomes you as you enter this forest. The people living around here gave the name to the pine forest, hoping that it will attract more tourists, especially millennials who love picture-perfect locations to post on social media. Located in the Kragilan village, at Pakis in Magelang, the Top Selfie Pinusan lies on the slope of the Merbabu volcano,  where the weather is cool. You will need to go a little further into the area away from the main street to see its towering pines. The most Instagrammable spot will be the slightly steep 2-way path to the parking site, which has a natural lineup of pine trees to greet you with grace. It may look small in photos, but it's a whole lot wider for you to explore. Shifting sun rays penetrating through the tall pines throughout the day will give you different shades of the forest, thereby giving you lots of options to frame an epic view of nature including some selfie shots along the way. 
 

How to get here:

From Yogyakarta or Magelang,  drive to the town of Muntilan then take the direction to the Ketep Pass, then take the road to the Kopeng highway, which will lead you to Top Selfie Pinusan.
 

5 | Popular Kayon Pine Forest near Semarang, Central Java

The Kayon Pine Forest is fast rising to become the new hit among nature tourist spots around Semarang. Alluring photos shared via social media boosted the photogenic corners of the forest. A clear natural water spring opens this place for further exploration. Situated on the north side of Mount Merbabu, the shade gave the pine trees a perfect spot for seeking a peaceful time away from the crowd. The place is perfect for small gatherings or perhaps a family picnic with homemade comfort food.  But don’t forget to take out your trash, to keep the forest pristine. Find the special photo spot of naturally unique shaped tree trunks among which you can play hide and seek as well.
 

How to get here:

From the town of Salatiga, drive to a T-junction at Jampelan Getasan and take a left turn towards Sruwen or Tenggaran. Approximately 6 km from here, you will reach the Wonosari junction and then turn right to Krangkeng village, from where to reach the Kayon Pine Forest takes only about 5 minutes.
 

6 | Dlingo or the Imogiri Forest near Yogyakarta

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

The most well-known pine forest today is this particular one, the Dlingo Pine forest located at Mangunan, in the Dlingo sub-district at Bantul, about 25 km from the city center of Yogyakarta. Maintained by the local government, this free of admission forest is very inviting for its dense merkusii pine rows and tall trees. You will only need to pay for parking your vehicle on site.

Since it is located near Imogiri, the revered cemetery for the Sultans of Mataram, and a popular tourist site in Yogyakarta, most people refer to this place as Hutan Imogiri or the Imogiri Forest.

Before it was beautifully planted with pine trees, this 500 hectares area was once just an empty piece of land. Along the path to its entrance,  you will find locals inviting you to rent hammocks, which by the way will make your stay even more exciting and photogenic to share. Here you can check Instagram for those multilevel fun hammock shots. Other points of interest nearby to visit are the natural springs and fruit garden. Signs with humorous quotes are scattered to put a smile on young people while they are trying to find the best angle for their photo spots. Viewing decks with various heights are also built for visitors. There is also an open stage in a circular amphitheater shape made of wood for art performances and traditional dances from Yogyakarta. A smaller stage is available for pre-wedding sessions as well as a wedding altar to cater to the trending demand for outdoor forest weddings, just like Bella and Edward’s wedding in the movie Twilight. It is believed that the majestic trees that grow tall and straight up symbolize true love while their evergreen leaves symbolize everlasting love.
 

How to get here:

From Yogyakarta, drive south to the ring road that will lead to Jalan Imogiri Timur, follow the route until you reach the Imogiri three-lane junction, and take the left towards the Imogiri cemetery. Before reaching this, you will see another triple junction, then take the right turn towards Mangunan, then follow through straight ahead until you get a whiff of the aromatic pines. Then you know you are at the right place.
 

7 | Mount Pancar near Bogor, West Java

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

Bogor has many attractive tourist spots that become even more alluring because Bogor is close to the capital city of Jakarta, reachable in just about an hour’s drive via toll road with normal traffic. The Rain City as Bogor is often called, offers culinary attractions, shopping, and natural adventures. With many accommodation options to choose from, you will find it easy to enjoy your exploration here. The pine forest is located inside the Taman Wisata Alam Gunung Pancar (TWA Gunung Pancar), in the Karang Tengah village, at Citeureup Bogor.

Entrance fees on weekday visits are Rp Rp 5,000/person for locals and Rp 100,000 /person for international tourists. On weekends and public holidays, tickets cost Rp 7,500/for local tourists and Rp150,000/ for international tourists, exclusive of vehicle parking. A special price is quoted when you come for a pre-wedding photoshoot. Outbound activities are also available with additional costs, that are run by local operators.

Besides camping, paintball, high ropes, and mountain bike rides. You can also ride a horse around the lush green natural site. Camping grounds are available at several locations to choose from, with a range of prices according to the number of participants and functions to be held here. Camping tents and even kitchen tents with catering are available. You need only to carry your own sleeping bag for more comfort.
 

How to get here:

You can get to Mount Pancar either by motorbike, car or chartered bus when you bring a large number of people for a gathering. From Jakarta, take the toll road heading to Sentul city, drive through Sentul in the direction of the Sentul Jungle Land.   When you arrive at a T-junction,  turn right. Soon you will see signage that says: “Karang Tengah”,  follow the road sign straight ahead until you arrive at the site.  When you use a motorbike you can take the old Jalan Raya Bogor and turn left for the alternative route to Sentul, then take a right turn to Jalan Babakan Madang. The road will then start to climb up where it will welcome you with pine forest views.
 

8 | Romantic Bukit Moko overlooking Bandung, West Java

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

Sitting atop Bandung’s highest peak at 1, 500 meters above sea level,  you can enjoy the aroma of pines while gazing at the twinkling lights of Bandung city below. The road to get here is from Jalan Padasuka, Kampung Bukis Bongkor Cimenyan. But beware since the road is steep and winding,  it is best to check and prepare yourself for the ride before deciding to go uphill. “Puncak Bintang'' or Star Peak is the spot to experience a magical sunrise or sunset above Bandung.

The entrance fee is Rp 5.000 per person, with an extra charge if you are making a pre-wedding photo session. Some road portals and vehicle parking fees are also collected by the locals on your way to the site. Warung Daweung, in the local Sundanese language meaning ‘daydreaming’, is a rest area where you can enjoy local delicacies of food and drinks to warm your tummy in the cool air. Camping is allowed here with extra payment.
 

How to get here:

From Bandung city center, head up to Cicaheum Terminal, from here follow directions towards Padasuka Village where you will pass by a popular tourist spot for traditional bamboo music,  the Saung Angklung Udjo. It takes around 8 km from this point to the peak, along which you will also pass Dapur Caringin Tilu, a cafe where you can sip some warm drinks before reaching your destination.
 

9 | The Cikole Forest at Lembang near Bandung, West Java

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

Very popular for family and corporate gatherings, this forest provides recreational packages to suit your needs well. From camping, forest trekking to pre-wedding photos and villas to spend a wonderful time in the shades of the trees. Completed with a few restaurants with each specific capacity and unique atmosphere, this place will surely also meet your culinary explorations.

Outbound packages for team building and outdoor adventures are available with various games to choose from, such as flying fox, paintballs, and challenging ATVs. You should definitely try to stay the night in one of the accommodation facilities provided here, whether it be the tent, the wooden cottages or the hotel, each with its own advantages. Due to heavy traffic especially during weekends, it is advised to come up here very early in the morning, and perchance catch a beautiful sunrise peeking between the trees.
 

How to get here:

The address of Cikole forest is on jalan Raya Tangkuban Perahu Km 8, Cikole village, Lembang, west Bandung. So drive via Jl. Baranang Siang to Jl. Ahmad Yani, and then follow through via Jl. Pasirkaliki, Jl. Sukajadi, Jl. Setiabudhi and Jl. Raya Lembang to finally reach Jl. Tangkuban Perahu.
 

10 | The Pine Forest Camp near Bandung, West Java

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

At 1,200 meters above sea level, on the Northern side of Bandung, this exclusive camping ground will fill your weekend getaway with fun and pleasure. The Pine Forest Camp became even more popular to domestic tourists ever since one of Indonesia’s top jazz singers, Andien, held her wedding ceremony here.  Since then, weddings and ceremonies seemed to spike to be taken at outdoor sites next to pre-wedding photoshoots. The official website describes all activities that you can enjoy while staying here, such as Exclusive Camping, Family Gatherings / Company Gatherings, Team Building / Outbound Training, Outdoor Party and Games, High Rope Course & Flying Fox, Paintball War Simulations Game, and many more to discover around the green grass and tall pines.

Opened for business in 2003, the facility caters to many big brand corporate events daily. To enjoy the pine forest, you should absolutely try trekking and check out the super exciting off-road jeep tour that will make you scream and laugh along the bumpy and muddy terrain. If you need to stay for a night or two, you can choose to rent tents or check-in at a lodge.
 

How to get here:

The address of the  Pine Forest Camp is at Jalan Maribaya Timur, Suntenjaya, Lembang, West Bandung. From Bandung, you  drive via Jl. Baranang Siang to Jl. Sunda and continue to Jl. Ir. H. Djuanda, Jl. Dago Giri, Jl. Cigalukguk, Jl. Babakan Sumplit and Jl. Cibodas - Bukit Tunggul all the way until you reach Suntenjaya . And by the way, this campsite also has a helicopter pad, in case you feel like making a grand entrance.
 

11 | The Maribaya Lodge at Lembang near Bandung

Beautiful Pine Forests in Tropical Indonesia

Orange tents, in attractive pumpkin-like structures, are laid out on terraces throughout two areas, the sunset view and the sunrise view. These tents are equipped with electricity sockets for your gadgets and a cooling fan. Fitted sheet mattresses are set up above a firm concrete base. This Lodge nature resort will refresh your eyes and relax your soul with the luscious green of the forest and the surrounding vegetation. Well known recently from social media photo posts, it has an enchanting view, not unlike other famous tourist spots like Kalibiru Yogyakarta and Tebing Keraton in Bandung.

To complete your holiday, the Dapur Hawu restaurant provides special Sundanese food for you to try. Do also check out The Pines cafe, specializing in coffee, tea, homemade cakes, and snacks to accompany your lounging hour viewing the scenery inhaling deeply the cool fresh air. Bring your own mountain bike, if you wish to really explore the site since there are no rentals available here. The most eye-catching spot for social media photo posts is the mountain swing, where you can take selfies of yourself swinging over the beautiful forest. And last but not least is the edgeless viewing deck, placed high on a tree, that looks down onto the breathtaking row of pines below.
 

How to get here:

The Lodge’s location is at Jl. Maribaya Timur Km. 6, Kampung Kosambi Cibodas, Lembang, West Bandung.
 

Are you ready to get inside the woods? The ever-wonderful Indonesia doesn’t only provide beautiful beaches and majestic mountains, but also luscious forests waiting to be explored by many travelers. If you are planning to visit these places, remember to gather updated information about the CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability) protocols, which includes keeping your distance, washing your hands with soap, and wearing a mask. Be safe and enjoy the trip!