As I have allocated my remaining annual leave this year for Christmas and New Year, I have no more days off to spend for holiday while my eager to travel is always on fire. To deal with it, I try to have a weekend escape as much as possible. Then Sukabumi was again coming in my mind. Yes, I am not done yet with this city, even more after knowing how convenient it was to travel to Sukabumi by train. Situ Gunung was my first destination in Sukabumi but in fact this calm city offers much more such as Pelabuhan Ratu, Gede-Pangrango, Ujung Genteng and also the one that I write now which was my weekend escape destination during my second visit, Selabintana.
Selabintana is located at the valley of Mount Gede-Pangrango complex. This mountain complex is so huge that covers Sukabumi and Bogor. There are several accesses for trekking this complex and Selabintana access is one of them. But this travel guide will not highlight about the trekking activity to the peak of Gede-Pangrango from Selabintana because a weekend is not enough to cover that. So ideal itinerary for a weekend escape, I chose to visit Pondok Halimun Selabintana which local people like to shorten it by PH.
1. Getting Here
For the guide to travel from Jakarta to Sukabumi effectively without losing your time stuck in traffic, you can refer to the travel guide for Situ Gunung. The difference is that to reach Situ Gunung you need to stop at Cisaat station, while for Pondok Halimun, you need to stop at the very last terminus of Pangrango train, Sukabumi Station.
The challenge is to get to Pondok Halimun from Sukabumi Station. Going by public car (angkot) number 10 taken in front of Yogya Toserba is only possible to reach Selabintana, not until Pondok Halimun. So the choices that you have are to rent a public car (angkot) for one day with cost around IDR 150,000 to 200,000 or to negotiate with the Ojek guys in Sukabumi Station to rent their motorbike for you. For me, I took the second option; I negotiated with Ojek to rent me the bike for IDR 70,000 from morning up to 5 pm. The price could have gone lower anyway; I made a mistake by stating the price I could pay first before the Ojek guy named it. I think the fair price would be IDR 50,000 to IDR 60,000.
So yes, in the end I had a good time driving motorbike to PH (I really love travelling by motorbike).
2. Getting Around and Attractions
The entrance fee for PH at that time starts from IDR 3,000 per person if you walk; IDR 8,000 if you bring motorbike; IDR 18,000 if you bring car or angkot and IDR 135,000 for a bus.
Short ride from PH entrance, you will be welcome first with the green carpet of tea plantation. Even if the tea plantation is not as large as Sukawana Tea Plantation in Lembang, but the fresh air and the greenish view are still spoiling the visitors. Even more when you’re used to pollution, the weekend escape among tea plantation is very much appreciated.
Curug Cibeureum (Cibeureum Waterfall)
Inside PH, there is Selabintana access to Gede-Pangrango either for trekking up to the peak, camping or just a short trekking to Cibeureum Waterfall, the tallest waterfall in Gede-Pangrango National Park. You need to pay another entrance fee here, it costs me IDR 18,500 during weekend but on normal days it costs IDR 16,000.
Honestly, I have a doubt with the way our people measuring the trekking distance. It was written at the entrance that the waterfall is 2 km trekking from the entrance while when I reached the waterfall there was something written that the trekking is 3 km (1.5 hours). In term of duration, I managed to spend less than an hour to reach this waterfall. Along the way, you will be accompanied by tall trees and it was really refreshing. Sometimes you need to cross the river through the crossing path. Then one hour later, you will add the tallest waterfall in Gede-Pangrango National Park on your achievement.
3. Travel Tips & Cautions
- The traffic around Sukabumi Station is really crowded because the area is eventually also traditional market. If you tend to catch an angkot number 10, it is better to walk to Yogya Toserba rather than taking angkot from Sukabumi Station. By walk it will only take 15 minutes, by angkot you can spend like 30 minutes.
- If you choose to rent a motorbike, ensure that the motorbike is in a good condition in term of brake and the engine power (minimum 125 cc). The road to Pondok Halimun is up and down, so you will want to have your brake works well.
- Wear your comfortable shoes like sneakers for trekking, wearing ballerina shoes or flip-flop will just slow you (yeah I saw many girls wearing ballerina shoes trekking here).