When the sudden desire to trekking hits me, I started my research to find an ideal location for a weekend trekking nearby Jakarta. It has been a while since the last time I did the trekking in Bromo and it was really worth rewarded. I checked some weekend escape destinations in Bogor and Sukabumi, somehow I was attracted by the images that I found for Situ Gunung, Sukabumi.
Situ Gunung National Park is part of the Mount Pangrango National Park. It is located at the mountain base of Mount Pangrango. Seeing those images of Situ Gunung lake are rather enchanting that made me decide to postpone the eager for trekking.
1. Getting Here
Early morning from the heart of Jakarta, you can take the train (commuter line) direction to Bogor to catch the Pangrango train Bogor-Sukabumi. Once you arrive in Bogor station, you need to exit the station and walk towards Paledang Station. It is only 10 minutes maximum by walk and involving crossing the bridge. If you are not sure about the direction, do ask to people there.
The journey with Pangrango train will take 2 hours 4 minutes to be exact but if your first destination is Situ Gunung, you need to get off at Cisaat station, just before the terminus station of Sukabumi. From Cisaat station, there is “angkot” (public car) with blue color that can take you to Polsek Cisaat for IDR 4,000 and then you still need to walk to the T-section of Pasar Cisaat. I prefer to walk all the way from Cisaat station (A) to Pasar Cisaat (B) though. It is not far and very walk-able.
At Pasar Cisaat T-section right in front of Yomart, you can catch the red angkot direction to Situ Gunung. Before get in the car, it is better to confirm first that the angkot is really going to Situ Gunung, if the driver says yes then you are good to go. The normal ride without traffic jam to Situ Gunung will take around half an hour. The angkot will stop right at the entrance of Situ Gunung (the second letter B on the map) and it will cost you IDR 10,000.
2. Getting Around and Attractions
At the entrance of Situ Gunung National Park, you can purchase the ticket for IDR 16,000 during normal day and IDR 18,000 during holiday. Sunday is somehow considered as a normal day so I paid only IDR 16,000. When you enter, you will have to choose to go left or right. Left way will lead you to Situ Gunung lake and right way will bring you to Curug Sawer (curug = waterfall).
- Situ Gunung Lake
So this is the famous human-made lake that made me change my mind and postpone the trekking. Surrounded by the green scene, it was refreshing and tranquil except when those teenagers were putting on a loud music from their phone, so disturbing.
There is one small deck serving bamboo kayak for visitors to merge with the lake. It will not cost a fortune if you’d like to have a ride; I think it will be around IDR 10,000. I didn’t take a chance to get on the bamboo kayak as I was more enjoying to walk around the lake and watching people fishing.
- Curug Sawer (Sawer Waterfall)
After visiting the lake, I went back to the entrance gate and moved to direction to Curug Sawer. The track is more challenging than Situ Gunung. For those who are not used to trekking or sport, it could be quite hard. During the journey, I heard almost everyone was complaining about the track. They said it was so far, tiring and they even mentioned that they would never come back again. Some people who were on the way back to entrance gate with their short breath even told me that I would feel the same as them. That really got me questioning, was it that hard?
Eventually it was not as hard as they told me it was. I made it to the waterfall after almost 30 minutes of trekking. What is hard is that the track was really slippery and you need to go slowly to avoid unexpected accident.
The waterfall is quite isolated but I saw there are plenty of people who made it there. Food stalls are available surrounding the waterfall, unfortunately this causes the trash lying here and there at site.
3. Travel Tips & Cautions
- It is possible to have one-day weekend escape by taking a train to Sukabumi in the morning and back to Bogor in the afternoon if you just want to visit Situ Gunung, but the Pangrango train availability and schedule are limited so it is advisable to book your tickets at least 2 weeks in advance. As for me, I couldn’t get the ticket back to Bogor at the same day so I had to spend one night in Sukabumi and went back to Bogor by taking the first Pangrango train at 5 am. It was not a bad idea in the end to spend one night in Sukabumi because I could taste the delicacy of Bubur Ayam Odeon for dinner.
- Sukabumi is not a popular place for foreigner; hence the English speaking people in Sukabumi is not as many as in the touristic place. Having your GPS activated will save your energy to try to make people understand what you are saying. Yes or No question will work, “Situ Gunung yes?” or “Stasiun Sukabumi (Sukabumi station) yes?”.
- Situ Gunung track involves the stone based ground which makes it slippery to just walk. I almost tripped for multiple times even with my sneakers. Wear your comfortable shoes, avoid wearing flip-flop like seriously!