Gunung Krakatau Travel Guide

More commonly known as Krakatau, Gunung Krakatau is an active group of volcanic islands between Sumatra and Java in the Indian Ocean which is poised to blow its top again one day.

Most people who visit Gunung Krakatau take a trip to the main island of Krakatau, which last erupted in 1883. Such was the power of the blast that the noise could be heard around 4,000kms away. A tsunami then flattened many coastal villages on West Java and southern Sumatra.

The result was that several smaller islands and the main peak, Rakata, lost a lot of land. Rakata can be trekked up, although hikers should heed local conditions as earthquakes here are common. The Eye of Krakatoa, half way up the exposed cliff, is a major feature of Rakata.

Also in Gunung Krakatau is the newer island of Anak Krakatau, which appeared around 50 years after the eruption. It is also part of the large national park area and tourists need permits to enter it. Anak Krakatau, has a 300-meter summit and can also be trekked up when conditions allow. It is growing at a rate of about five meters per year.

Visitors to Gunung Krakatau usually come by way of the West Javan coastal resort of Anyer. It has good tourist facilities and a pretty beach and is ideal for a stay of a few days before or after the visit to the islands. Attractions worth seeing in Anyer include the beach and the new lighthouse. The old one was swept away by the tsunami that followed the 1880s eruption.

Getting There & Away

Anyer and Carita beaches in West Java are the main launch points for visits to Gunung Krakatau. They are best accessed by road from Jakarta, where the country’s main international airport is located. Anyer is 2 hours west of Tangerang via the Jakarta-Merak highway and the town of Serang. Speedboats take about an hour to reach Gunung Krakatau from Anyer.