Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java East Java Banyuwangi



Banyuwangi is the most easterly town of Java, counting just over 100,000 inhabitants. Everyone travelling overland from Yogyakarta to Bali passes through its ferry harbour, Ketapang, located just 10 kilometres north of town centre. The town is also the capital of Banyuwangi regency, with 5,800 square kilometres Java’s largest in area. While the town has not much of interest to tourists, it functions as base from where to visit numerous sights in the regency. Four national parks lie wholly or in part within the boundaries of Banyuwangi regency. There are attractive beaches as well as coffee plantations both within and outside these parks. On the western border of Banyuwangi regency lies Kalibaru; not more than a village, but with its coffee and cocoa plantations a favourite agro-tourism centre.



Sights and Activities

National Parks

  • Alas Purwo National Park covers the Blambangan peninsula and adjacent wetlands. It is arguably Java’s most important park from an ecological viewpoint. The name Alas Purwo can be translated as ‘First Forest’ or ‘Original Forest’ and expresses the belief that here the island Java started emerging from the primeval ocean. In other words, the forest of Alas Purwo is held sacred, and that is a good thing for its conservation. Except for the G-land surf camps at the southern tip of Blambangan, there are no amenities for tourists and none are planned. So this is your park for a wildlife and bird spotting expediton.
  • Baluran National Park, the driest region of East Java.
  • Meru Betiri National Park, a largely unspoilt tropical forest reserve. Its Turtle Conservation Project at Sukamade Beach and secluded Green Bay can be accessed from Banyuwangi or from Kalibaru.

Touristic Park Kawah Ijen in the Ijen Highlands is the most popular attraction in Banyuwangi Regency due to the ‘blue fire’ sight of burning sulfur at night.


Red Island

Red Island

© theo1006

  • Pulau Merah or Red Island – A cone-shaped island facing a wide sandy beach. At low tide it is possible to wade over to the island. The cone is covered in lush green foliage, so why is it named Red Island? The side of the island facing the sea consists of reddish rock, perhaps because of iron ore. The distance from Banyuwangi or Kalibaru to Red Island is about 65 kilometres, the roads are sealed throughout.
  • Teluk Hijau or Green Bay - A secluded bay with white sand beach. As the name suggests the water reflects the forest surrounding it. Green Bay lies within Meru Betiri National Park, three kilometres from the eastern entrance gate, and can be reached by a sedan car.
  • Sukamade Turtle Beach - The turtle conservation project of Meru Betiri National Park.



Getting There

By Plane

Banyuwangi Airport, at 18 kilometres south of town centre, connects by direct flights to Jakarta and to Denpasar (Bali). The airport is being enlarged to accommodate Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 planes.

By Train

Banyuwangi Baru station lies at the end of the railway line from Surabaya, and is located conveniently close to Ketapang ferry harbour. Four trains daily run the line in both directions, two of them executive class (Mutiara Timur Siang and Mutiara Timur Malam), the other two economy class (Sri Tanjung and Probowangi). A third economy train (Tawang Alun) runs between Banyuwangi and Malang via Pasuruan.




There is ample choice of accommodation in and around Banyuwangi town in all price ranges. Those staying over just one night on their way from Java to Bali or vice versa, may opt for Manyar Garden Hotel at a 15-minute walk from Ketapang harbour and 20 minutes from Banyuwangibaru station. The two main resorts in Kalibaru are Kalibaru Cottages and Margo Utomo Agro Resort.



Keep Connected


Internet is becoming more widely used in Indonesia, and warung Internet (warnet) - Internet cafés - are emerging everywhere. A lot of restaurants and cafés in big cities normally have wireless internet available for free. Internet connection speed in Indonesia varies between ISP and location. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour with faster access than from your own mobile phone. In large cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, and in some restaurants and bars. Some hotels provide free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms.


See also: International Telephone Calls

You can use 112 as an emergency number through mobile phones. Other numbers include 110 (police), 113 (fire) and 118 (ambulance).
The international phone code is 62.

If you have GSM cellular phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (i.e.: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata). The cheapest way is buying a local SIM card, which would be much cheaper to call and especially use internet compared to your own cell phone's sim card.

The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competitive and prices are low: you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as Rp 300 a minute to some other countries using certain carriers (subject to the usual host of restrictions). SMS (text message) service is generally very cheap, with local SMS as low as Rp129-165, and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones, and basic models start from Rp 150,000, with used ones being even cheaper.


Pos Indonesia provides the postal service in Indonesia. Pos Indonesia is government-owned and offers services ranging from sending letters and packages to money transfers (usually to remote areas which have no bank branch/ATM nearby) and selling postcards and stamps. Sending a postcards, letter or parcel is relatively expensive, but fairly reliable. It takes several days at least to send it within Indonesia, at least a week internationally. It is recommended to send letters from a Pos Indonesia branch, not by putting it inside orange mailbox (called Bis Surat) in the roadside, because some of the mailboxes are in very bad condition and aren't checked regularly by Pos Indonesia. Opening times of post offices usually tend to follow general business hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (sometimes shorter hours on Fridays), Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, closed on Sundays. Bigger cities, tourist areas and central post offices tend to keep longer hours, into the evenings.

Private postal services based in Indonesia include CV Titipan Kilat (CV TIKI), Jalur Nugraha Ekaputra (JNE), Caraka, and RPX. There are also foreign postal services that have branches in Indonesia, including DHL, TNT, UPS, and FedEx.


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This is version 16. Last edited at 18:37 on Oct 18, 18 by theo1006. 2 articles link to this page.

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