An attractive, active volcano, with crater lake and plenty of steam.
Indonesia has many volcanoes, and I don’t claim to be an expert on them, but Papandayan must rank amongst the most attractive ones, if you are looking for some activity.
As with many Indonesian volcanoes, you can drive up to a parking lot close to the summit, although the road is rather poor – four-wheel drive recommended, or otherwise an ojek, ie the back of a motor cycle. From the parking it is a 20-30 minute walk to where the action is: bubbling mud pools, steaming and sputtering geysers bulging foul-smelling smoke, vents surrounded by yellow sulphur deposits. All around the area, traces of burnt trees, and mineral-rich streams, which provide a wide variety of water colours.
A few small-scale craters mark the 1976 and 2002 eruptions, the former a very active area with pools and vents and clouds of poisonous sulphur, the latter a serene lake with one, white plume marking the spot. But in fact, these craters are located inside a much larger Papandayan crater, of which about 75% of the walls are still standing. I suppose one could climb to the top, which would be a spot on this larger crater rim.
This is a volcano as volcanoes are meant to be, spectacular yet accessible….