The White Crater (Kawah Putih) of Ciwidey is a crater lake inside Mount Patuha, 2.434 meters above sea level, with temperatures ranging from 8-22 degrees Celsius. Maount Patuha also has another crater called Kawah Saat (“saat” means recedes in Sundanese). This crater is located west of the Kawah Putih, 2.194 meters above sea level. Both were formed by a volcanic eruption between the 10th and 12th century.
This enchanting spot was discovered in 1837 by a German-born Dutch botanist, Dr. Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn (1809-1864) who was researching the area. As his journey took him across the Mount Patuha jungle, he was awed by a mesmerizing crater lake. Like any crater should be, it was spurting lava and had a distinct smell of sulphur.
Kawah Putih has many of its own unique features. The water on the lake has a tendency to change color, from turquoise when it’s sunny, to the occasional tint of chocolate milk. Most often, though, you’ll find it a clean white, with a thick mist hovering just above the ground. The sand and gravel surrounding the lake are also shades of white, which further contributed to the area being named the White Crater.
The West Java and Banten branch of Perhutani, Ltd Unit III has been developing the Kawah Putih into a tourist attraction since 1987. The crater is open to tourists from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 7 days a week. Visitors are provided with a parking area, public transit to the crater, an information center, mushala, and food stalls.
Going To Kawah Putih Bandung?
To reach the Kawah Putih, you can exit from Padaleunyi highway through Kopo. Head south to the city of Ciwidey. After 20-30 minutes, you will see a gateway on you left that leads into the crater. It is suggested that you travel via some sort of vehicle to reach the White Crater, as the hike would be a very long and ardouous 5.6 km upward.
Private vehicles are allowed in the parking area located not far from the crater. If you are traveling in groups, you can park your vehicle near the entrance and ride a shuttle to the crater. The narrow trails make it impossible for busses and other similar vehicles to pass through. So, iseeindonesia.com recommend you to use small type vehicle to visit this place.
Public transportation to Ciwidey can be found in Kebun Kelapa and Leuwi Panjang Terminals. After reaching Ciwidey, continue via rural modes of transportation to Situ Patenggang. Although this public transportation sometime is not that reliable. The best way to visit Kawah Putih Bandung is to rent a car or using arranged tour.