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Hidden Gems of East Java

Aug 9, 2022 | Bali, Indonesia

The largest island in Indonesia is Java, and the province of East Java, is full of hidden gems. It’s simple to become overwhelmed when first viewing an Indonesian map. The seven main regions are Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra, Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, and Western New Guinea. Java is the most populated island, located in Indonesia. Java is known for its burning craters at Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen, but the island is also home to numerous waterfalls, old temples, and jungles. If you enjoy outdoor activities or adventure, East Java will surely satisfy your needs. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best hidden gems that East Java has to offer.


Jodipan Village

If you’re in East Java Malang, you must visit this breathtaking hidden gem, which reflects every colour in the rainbow. A group of students took on an assignment to use color to revitalize the village in this formerly “slum section” of Malang. They were very effective in making this community a thriving tourist destination for both residents and visitors from abroad. The town now charges visitors a tiny entrance fee, and the vibrant colours have attracted much-needed interest and funding for the community. This town is a drone photographer’s dream, the town is split into two sections, which is divided by a bridge, one side displays a variety of vibrant coloured houses whilst the other side is all blue. It is best to come at sunrise to capture the true beauty of this village whilst the sun is rising.

Jodipan Village, Melang, East Java

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

Java is abundant in beautiful natural scenery. Tumpak Sewu Waterfall in Indonesia is arguably the most well-known waterfall in East Java. Tumpak Sewu waterfall translates into “a thousand waterfalls” in the Javanese language, which is exactly what it is. This is a spectacular 120 meter tall waterfall that cascades into a gauge from a rock face that resembles an auditorium. Not far from the entrance, there is a panoramic viewpoint which can be easily accessible where you will experience a bird’s eye perspective of the imposing waterfall and the valley below. Here, drone photographers will also be able to catch the breathtaking view of Mount Semeru Volcano in the background. If you are the more adventurous type and wish to venture to the bottom of the waterfall, it should be noted that the descent into the gorge is more hazardous. However, when you eventually get to the bottom, the scenery is wonderful and the air is constantly misted, which gives off a really mystical mood.

Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, Lumajang, East Java

Photography Credit: The World Travel Guy

Goa Tetes Waterfall

If you have made the journey down to the valley of Tumpak Sewu, then Goa Tetes is not to be missed. With only a short walk away you can experience some of the smaller falls and have a refreshing cool off. The entirety of Goa Tetes is made up of a series of caves and waterfalls where you can climb the walls and explore the tunnels to get up and personal with it. It will undoubtedly be a distinct waterfall experience from those at the other waterfalls in the area.

Goa Tetes, Lumajang, East Java

Air Terjun Kapas Biru

The name Air Terjun Kapas Biru, which translates to “blue cotton waterfall,” comes from the hazy blue colour the falls take on in the twilight. The journey to Kapas Biru is not the simplest route, it is particularly steep and you will be required to descend a vertical ladder. Following the ladder descent, the trail will continue through rolling hills. You will eventually walk past a tiny rice field just before reaching the waterfall. It is a huge waterfall with a powerful stream that plummets down the cliff face into a pool of water. It then flows down a river with scattered boulders and vegetation, creating a lovely pathway. If you have spare time during your visit to East Java, this is a must do.

 Air Terjun Kapas Biru, Kapas Biru Waterfall, Lumajang, East Java

Red Island

Looking for a place to visit in Indonesia that is off the beaten path? Then look no further than Red Island Beach! Red Island in East Java is a stunning harbor with an iconic rock islet sticking out of the water. Though less well-known than the other East Java attractions, this spot is unquestionably worth the visit. The beach is a gorgeous, long stretch of smooth sand, and the water is the ideal temperature for swimming. Apart from a few sun loungers and a lifeguard station along the shore, the beach is undeveloped and free of any food establishments, nightclubs, or other structures. Red Island is a well suited location for beginner surfers as it provides a fun beach break with empty waves. There are plenty of options for places to hire our surfboards with several surf camps in town that have a wide selection of surfboards, or you may hire them at the lifesavers shack on the beach. If sunset seeking is more your forte, then you can also relax on the beach, which portrays a reddish colour, and watch the sunset over the iconic rock formation.

Red Island, East Java

Mount Bromo

Indonesia’s most well-known and commonly hiked mountain is the Bromo volcano. If you’re wondering what the phrase “Bromo” means, you’d be right to assume that it has some kind of major significance. It comes from the Javanese pronunciation of the Hindu creator god Brahma. Standing at 2,329 meters above ground and situated in East Java, this volcano is among the most active in the world. Bromo continues to have some areas that are off-limits to tourists due to possible hazards – however, there are underground earthquake detectors and constant monitoring of the area to spot any volcanic activity. Visiting Mount Bromo is best experienced at sunrise. The greatest place to view the Bromo sunrise is from Mount Penanjakan. After sunrise, you will travel across what is known as the sand of sea to head to Mount Bromo and make the short climb up to the crater rim.

Mount Bromo, East Java

Mount Ijen

On the far eastern tip of Java island, close to the seaside town of Banyuwangi, is where you will find Kawah Ijen, also known as the “lonely crater.” Kawah Ijen is undoubtedly one of the most unique sites in all of Indonesia. Known for its blue flames, acidic crater lake, and labor-intensive sulfur mining, Mount Ijen is a must-visit location in East Java. With a width of approximately 20 kilometers, it is also the world’s largest volcanic lake. To get to the crater’s rim, it takes two hours of hiking; from there, it takes another 45 minutes to go to the crater’s bank. In the dark, you can see a scorching blue flame blazing like lava, which is a bizarre phenomena known as the “Kawah Ijen blue fire.” This is due to the sulfuric gas, which ignites the blue fire and can reach amazing temperatures of up to 600°C. Not so much a hidden ge,, but it definitely is a must do hike to experience a volcano like no other.

Mount Ijen, East Java

Photography Credit: The World Travel Guy

It’s fun to explore less well-known attractions because fewer people have visited them, which is understandable as to why travelers should include East Java in their itineraries when traveling across Indonesia. East Java is the home to numerous wonderful landmarks and these are just a fraction of them. Making the trip to this beautiful island is well worth it and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Check out East Java after our 12 day Bali tour for an amazing 3-4 weeks spent in Indonesia!