Central Java is one of Indonesia’s richest and most diverse regions. From dramatic landscapes perfect for hiking to taking in the view from on top of Mt Merapi. Trekking through the Menoreh Hills and lush passings of enchanting rice paddies to local villages and spice plantations; it’s an experience for the senses and the soul. Located within the dramatic landscape is Borobudur the world’s largest Buddhist monument and one of many religious areas only a short drive from Amanjiwo Resort a retreat of absolute luxury and central Javas little slice of civilisation amongst rich history and archeological discoveries. The temple dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries and was built in three tiers during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty. It was rediscovered in the 19th century and is now a Buddhist archeological landmark. The other of Java’s famous temples is the mystical cultural site of Prambanan the rich and intricate history can still be felt within its impressive grounds, especially within the central compound.
Javas vast landscape is ideal for trekking and exploring whether up the steep flanks of Mt Merapi, into the lush Menoreh Hills or the romantic sunrise at Bromo Volcano’s peak at 2329 meters. Mt Merapi is located near Yogyakarta and still one of the most active volcanoes on the planet but a centre point to the lives of the Javanese. Its frequent eruptions spit lava, ash and other minerals across the land making the grounds some of the richest and most fertile in the world.
Indonesia is known for its eco-regions and endemic species including the islands in Central Java. The Ujung Kulon National Park is Java’s largest lowland rainforest and home to an abundance of wildlife including the one-horned rhino, hornbills, deer, wild boar, black panthers and green turtles. Not to mention the leopards, macaques, leaf monkeys, crocodiles and indigenous wild oxen. The wood and wetlands are an excellent spot for bird watching with beaches to the north and south of the national park and Krakatau Island also part of the conservation area. Heading for the skies to absorb everything the National Park boasts by helicopter is the best way to take it all in. A visit towards the east of Java lies Kawah Ijen Volcano a 200-metre deep lake of sulfuric acid topped with a large caldera where the mined sulphur is used for vulcanizing rubber, bleaching sugar and other processes.
Jakarta’s Thousand Islands should be on the ‘must visit’ list while in Central Java. Although only 110 islands, scattered within the Jakarta Bay. They form a district which includes the Pulau Seribu National Marine Park and is a spectacular nautical exploration area which ranges from thirty minutes to three hours from the northern edge of Jakarta. With a population of only 20,000 across eleven of the islands, snorkelling and diving adventures are a haven for underwater enthusiasts. Pristine beaches, leisure fishing and other water sports can also be enjoyed amongst island hopping – it’s almost unbelievable that the high-rise life of Jakarta is a mere few moments away from a place of such serenity.
If planning to retreat onshore for a few nights the Amanjiwo Hotel is sure to take your breath away. This luxury hotel; part of the world recognised Aman Resort chain is set within the sublime landscapes of central Java surrounded by lush forest and views from private villas out over the terraced farmlands. Within the views; Menoreh Hills or the Borobodur and rice paddies stretch across the landscape while VIP access allows guests to privately marvel at the majestic UNESCO world heritage site – the Borobudur Temple. Guests are given the chance to experience an inspiring sunrise before heading back to indulge at one of the resorts two restaurants to experience a menu of traditional cuisines and Indonesian delicacies presented as a world recognised degustation menu.