The world’s most populated island, Java, is almost entirely of volcanic origin. Every time an eruption occurs, new land is formed, and this has been the pattern for thousands of years. The volcanic ash is the main contributor for the extreme fertility of the land of Java. Of the 38 mountains that have all been active volcanoes at one time or another, Mount Merapi is currently the most active and Mount Semeru stands tallest at 3,676 meters.
The unique volcanic topography of the Indonesian islands is not the only calling for travelers from across the world. Some of the oldest human remains on the globe have been discovered on the island of Java. It is an archaeologist goldmine thought to contain the oldest human remains in the world until new discoveries were made in the Kenyan region of Africa. Starting in 1699, Java began the growing process of the world famous Indonesian coffee. Thanks to the natural fertilizing effects of volcanic ash, the soil of Java is some of the richest in the world, greatly benefiting the rice crop.
For the most part, the climate of western Java is tropical rainforest. Therefore, to avoid the heaviest months of rainfall, the primary time of year to adventure to the island which 60 percent of Indonesia calls home is from May to September. The months of October to April are known as the wet season, although rainfall when climbing volcanoes might be refreshing to the certain explorer. On the eastern side of the island, the climate is a bit dryer. Tropical rainforest is a climate known for abundant numbers of ecosystems, but human societies are not one that thrive in rainforests. Therefore, with the densely populated island only becoming more populated as of recent, Java is seeing a large threat to much of its natural environment.
Climbing a volcano may sound like a daunting task, but Java offers volcanoes which can be hiked by the beginner in a day. An abundant number of hiking opportunities exist, many with opportunities to camp as well. Before setting out on a volcanic adventure, be sure to do some research though. Well-used hiking trails are extremely present, but a good amount of thick jungle and unrecognizable paths will also be found.
Volcanic exploring is a prime reason for traveling to Java, but human civilization is very present for the not-so-outdoors type of person. For those with an open mind, Java offers the best of both worlds.
Global Volcanism Program