Banyuwangi is a region on the most eastern tip of Java island, Indonesia. This region of Java is most known for being a base for visiting one of Indonesia’s most known natural wonders, Ijen Sulphuric Crater Lake and the Blue Fire.
Banyuwangi can also be a great option for those in Bali. Pemuteran is a beachside destination in western Bali and a 45 minutes drive from the Java-Bali ferry port. A ferry departs from Gilimanuk Bali every 20/30 minutes and only takes ½ hour to reach East Java making this regency very easily reached.
The reason for us coming to Banyuwangi was to take a trip and hike Ijen. As this was mostly a night time activity, we were back at the foot of the volcano about two hours after sunrise. Being so early and having a full day ahead we decided to explore the surrounding area of Ijen and later on checked some spots within Banyuwangi.
>>This post has everything you need to know about hiking Ijen and the best area to stay while in Banyuwangi.
Things To Do Near Ijen
Kalipait Sulphur Waterfall
A short ride from Ijen’s parking area is the unique Kalipait Sulphur Waterfall. More of a river than a fall, the water is yellowish and foamy as a result of Ijen’s sulphur mixing with fresh running water.
A visit to the waterfall will only take a short period of time but for us it was interesting to learn and actually see the effect of Ijen’s sulphur on the surrounding environment.
The rocks along the waterfall are slippery so be careful if climbing.
Belawan Waterfall is 13 km to the north of Kalipait Sulphur Waterfall. The drive to the waterfall is through picturesque scenery and along cloves and coffee plantations and a couple of small villages with curious villagers. On the way we made several stops to take in the beautiful landscape where on one side we had distant mountains and just beneath valleys with trees and other vegetation and on the other side long stretches of plantations.
Belawan Waterfall is another surprising sight. The fall is 1 huge flow of water shooting out from above a small cliff. Just a couple of metres away and in front of the fall is a huge rock covered in moss. The viewing platform is facing one side of the waterfall and is close enough that we were overwhelmed by the powerful flow of water falling down into the fast flowing river underneath. Belawan waterfall is within a small park and reaching it entails a short walk through beautiful palm trees, bamboos and flora.
Belawan Hot Spring
Belawan Hot Spring is a 10 minute walk from Belawan Waterfall and is in a beautiful location close to a river and surrounded by trees and vegetation. The rather small facility has 3 baths each with different temperatures, 30 / 35 / 40 degrees. Soaking in the bath warm water will surely be a soothing experience after a tiring night long activity hiking Ijen. The bath’s water has traces of sulphur from Ijen and is said to have properties that are good for the skin.
There is one small entrance fee for both the waterfall and the hot spring and is payable to the security guard against a ticket. The natural baths include changing rooms, cold shower and resting areas. Close to Belawan Hot Spring there is a small waterfall, Air Terjun Little Niagara.
Coffee & Snacks at Catimore Homestay Balawan
After Belawan Hot Springs we made a stop at Catimore Homestay Balawan for some locally brewed Arabica coffee and snacks. Close to this accommodation is a coffee plantation and factory and visits can be arranged through the homestay. Snacks consisted of crisps and macadamia which were locally made and were exceptionally good.
Riding Back To Banyuwangi
We have listed the ride back to Banyuwangi because it is truly an amazing ride especially on a scooter. The ride is through dense jungle and scenic landscape.
An hour ride turned into one of more than 2 hours as along the winding roads we came across loads of beautiful landscapes where we just couldn’t pass by without stopping. We also passed by a beautiful garden (pointed on the map as lovely garden) that had bamboo structures ideal for a relaxing late afternoon.
Map of attractions near Ijen and Banyuwangi
Click on the right most button to enlarge the map, get the map legend and search the map.
Where to Eat In Banyuwangi
If spending an extra night in Banyuwangi, Swed’s Diner is worth a visit. This cosy restaurant is owned by a Swedish expat and is one of the few eateries that serve western cuisine. We came to eat here on both the nights we spent in Banyuwangi. Both times we had pizza and burger and both were excellent. Steaks and Swedish dishes are also on the menu.
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