Speaking of Bandung tourism, ideas immediately popping into our minds will surely be shopping and culinary tourism. But in fact, Bandung has lots of natural beauties to offer especially in its southern part. This area is mountainous with dots of tea and strawberry plantations which are as stunning as Bogor’s Puncak Pass area. Walking through the plantations, you will find a beautiful crater lake nestling on top of mount Patuha.
Dubbed as White Crater, the volcanic lake boasts scenery of natural bright colors. The crater floor is white limestone which looks so dazzling under the sunshine. The water is bright green that makes the charm of White crater more contrasting yet mesmerizing. On the north side, the lake is walled with an extensive gray limestone cliff being overgrown with moss and small trees. Though the lake seems like a scorching beach, this Bandung’s iconic tourist spot has a cool and fresh temperature for it is located at an altitude of 2500 meters.
White crater is quite a touristy place which is never empty of visitors especially on weekend and holidays. It’s even frequently seen bride and groom having pre-wedding photo session around the lake. This view makes White crater even more unique.
Before a German botanist Franz Wilhem Junghun documented White crater in 1987, locals used to think that the place was a haunting place. They said that all birds flying over the crater suddenly fell down and disappeared. It seems that it happened due to the strong smell of sulfurous smoke spewing from the crater.
The expose of White crater was not immediately followed by the decline of locals’ negative stigma of the crater. It is said that there is a grave yard of South Bandung’s ancestors nearby the crater that are frequently seen gathering on Kapuk peak, another summit of mount Patuha. Rumor says that people often happen to see a flock of white sheep on the peak that are believed to be an incarnation of their ancestors’ spirits.
Located in Ciwidey district, White crater can be reached from Bandung for 2 hour-drive. From the entrance, visitors have to walk a rather steep path as far as 5 km. But you can take a shuttle bus that will drive you to and pick you up from the crater rim every 5 minutes. The bus charges Rp 15.000 per person.
White crater is open every day from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. The entrance fee is cheap, Rp 18.000 for domestic tourists and Rp 50.000 for foreigners. This spot is located nearby plantation area that also becomes another option of nature gateway destination in Bandung. If you want to stay any longer around White crater, you can choose the many hotels and guest houses available in villages surrounding the spot.