Photo by CC user saramarlowe on Flickr
While islands like Bali and Lombok steal the limelight when it comes to tourist destinations in Indonesia, the central isle of Java has plenty to love for fans of nature.
From the smouldering heights of Mount Bromo to its secluded (and delightfully empty) seacoast, there is much to see and do in in the Malang region.
One thing before we get to the article though – Malang can get crowded with Mount Bromo trekkers during peak season.
If you are headed here during that time (or any other – doesn’t hurt to be prepared), book your hotel well ahead of time by using services such as Traveloka.
If you want your stay to be a comfortable one while in Malang, we personally suggest the Atria Hotel Malang.
With modern decor, swimming pool, and a cutting edge restaurant on site, you couldn’t ask for a better home base in East Java. With that, here’s what you should see when going on a natural holiday in Malang…
Go on an expedition to Mount Bromo
One of Indonesia’s most imposing volcanoes, seeing Mount Bromo should be a focus of any traveller visiting Malang that is at least half decently healthy.
While you can go on a tour that will take you to the rim of the crater during the middle of the day, the best possible experience for those that are able to hike in the dark is a walk up the side of the volcano before daybreak.
Reaching the caldera of Mount Bromo just before the sun begins to peek above the horizon, your headlamp-aided efforts will be rewarded by one of the most amazing sights that you will likely have seen on your travels to date.
Escape to the divine beaches of Sempu Island
If relaxing on a beach is more along the lines of what you want to do on your holiday in Malang, then going on a day trip to Sempu Island should be on your travel itinerary.
Located on the south coast of Java 70 kilometres from Malang, the main attraction of this small isle is a stunning sheltered lagoon that draws comparisons to the Alex Garland’s The Beach.
With the masses crowding Kuta Beach over on Bali, you’ll have a true paradise largely to yourself by comparison.
Be amazed by the power of Rainbow Waterfall
With plenty of mountainous terrain in the Malang region and the tropical climate present in this part of the world, there are perfect conditions for some truly epic waterfalls.
Rainbow Waterfall certainly qualifies in this category, as not only does this cataract tumble over an escarpment well over a hundred feet above you, but it interacts with the sun between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm to create the appearance of a rainbow (hence the name of the chute).
With a lack of mention in traditional travel publications, it may just be Malang’s best kept natural secret!