Things to do in Banyuwangi

Places to Visit in Banyuwangi

This article on things to do in Banyuwangi is written purely for those heading to the east most part of Java island and those planning to explore Mount Ijen.

Banyuwangi is a small regency on the coast of East Java, and from the beach here, you can actually see the island of Bali. 

Kawah Ijen or Mount Ijen is one of the most popular places in Banyuwangi as many come here to trek up this beautiful mountain to see the world-famous blue flame.

Banyuwangi would be your closest city to the mountain, and you would also be staying here at one of the resorts or hotels.

For those staying here, I have created a list of things to do in Banyuwangi, especially if you have an extra day or two here, which I recommend exploring. 

Things to do in Banyuwangi

Trekking Up Mount Ijen
At the top of Mount Ijen in Banyuwangi

1. Trek up Mount Ijen (Kawah Ijen)

Hands down, this is the number one thing to do in Banyuwangi as the magnificent blue flame is one of two in the world where you can see it.

The trek is a tiring one where you need to depart at midnight to reach the foot of the mountain by 2.30am and then trek up about an hour or so to catch the elusive blue flame just before sunrise. 

Don't let the word trek fool you, as it is not an easy trek by the way. Well, if you are a regular trekker or hiker, this would be easy for you, and if you are like me, not 100% fit, it would be a tough trek up. The park guides will tell you that it is easy, one-hour flat ground, one hour uphill.

I thought it was that easy, but it was actually one hour uphill and one more hour of 45 degrees hill. So, one needs to be prepared for this trek up to Mount Ijen. 

Many tour companies offer the full Mount Ijen Trekking Package, so you simply need to book your tour and make the arrangements with your guide.

The 4x4 vehicles will pick you from the hotel, and you will travel overland for about one hour to the foot of Mount Ijen before your briefing and trek up. You can also read my other article on how to go to Mount Ijen

Baluran National Park Banyuwangi
Animals are seen at the Baluran National Park Savannah in Banyuwangi.

2. Visit the Baluran National Park 

Though this place is not well known to the western world, the Baluran National Park is actually quite fascinating.

Why? Because they have a Savannah! Just like those in Africa, after about 30 minutes of driving deep into the national park, you will come across huge plains.

The only thing missing are the lions, giraffes, and elephants. However, at the Baluran Savannah, you will see the local sambar deer, buffaloes, and macaques. 

This place is a must-visit for anyone who loves national parks, the outdoors and nature. To get here, you need to engage a tour company that will drive you there, explore the national park and then drive you back.

In total, you can spend an average of 2 to 4 hours or even more here. Imagine visiting a Savannah, but not in Africa and in Indonesia.

RM Ikan Bakar Pesona
The famous Ikan Bakar Pesona Restaurant in Banyuwangi

3. Eat at Ikan Bakar Pesona, Banyuwangi

There is no doubt that good food is hard to find in Banyuwangi, and for visitors, the Ikan Bakar Pesona is one of the recommended places to experience local East Javanese food. Here, the restaurant caters to tourists and even large groups.

A localized menu serving some amazing grilled fish complemented with an assortment of chicken, clams, vegetables, and local appetizers.

Most of the food here is spicy; therefore, if you cannot take spicy, just let them know, and they can prepare something different for you.

Ikan Bakar Pesona Banyuwangi
Address: Jl.Yos Sudarso No. 46, Klatak, Banyuwangi.
Tel: +62 852 5911 6399

Banyuwangi Jazz Festival 2017
The scene at the Ijen Summer Jazz Festival (Image from

4. Attend the Banyuwangi Jazz Festival

There are two jazz festivals in Banyuwangi, the Ijen Summer Jazz Festival and the Banyuwangi Beach Jazz Festival.

However, the Ijen Jazz Festival happens three times during the summer, August and September.

5. Kite and Windsurfing Festival in Banyuwangi

For adventure and extreme sports lovers, there is a lot of coastline along Banyuwangi, and one of the most popular places for this is at Tabuhan Island. It is here where you can experience Kiteboarding.

The island is a flatwater paradise that comes with beautiful white beaches and turquoise waters. For wind, the place offers steady winds of 20+ knots from May until the end of October.

There are no resorts on the island as they are all located on the mainland along the coast.

Festival Batik Banyuwangi 2017
A model in Batik at the Banyuwangi Batik Festival (Image from

6. Banyuwangi Batik Festival 2017

If you are into traditional Indonesian fabrics, the Banyuwangi Batik Festival 2017 should be one of the interesting events to attend.

The main highlight is a spectacular fashion show with the latest creations from designers all over Indonesia.

However, the batik design from Banyuwangi is very unique with leafy designs. However, the trademark pattern is called the Gajah Oling, and in total, there are over 20 patterns to the Banyuwangi Batik.

Note that each district around Indonesia has their own batik designs, and the Banyuwangi Batik is one of the special ones. If you miss the batik festival here, you can also find them at some local batik boutiques around Banyuwangi city.

Pulau Merah Banyuwangi
Some of the massive waves at Pulau Merah in Banyuwangi (Image from

7. Surfing at Pulau Merah Beach

Among some of the popular surfing spots in Banyuwangi, Pulau Merah Beach or Red Island Beach, which is around 67 kilometres or three hours away from the city.

Here, waves up to three or four meters are common and beautiful barrels the length of 300-400 meters long.

This attracts local and international surfers during the surf season, and the beach is suitable for beginner surfers.

If you are a surf traveller, this is one place to check out in Banyuwangi and is close to Bali.

The best time to visit Pulau Merah Beach is from April to September, and the comparison with Bali is that surfing at Pulau Merah Beach is much more peaceful, and the waves are bigger. It is also recommended to rent a car or bike and find your way here.

Professional surfers should check out Plengkung Beach and G-Land as these two places are well known too. There are basic hotels, restaurants, and a surf school here.

Hotel Ketapang Indah Banyuwangi
The landscape of the Ketapang Indah Hotel in Banyuwangi

8. Stay at the Ketapang Indah Hotel in Banyuwangi

One of the nicer places to stay is at the Ketapang Indah Hotel, a seaside resort with a beautiful view of Bali Island across the Bali Straits.

This hotel offers chalet units in a beautifully landscaped garden atmosphere. Many stay here as this is one of the better accommodations before heading up to Mount Ijen.

The Ketapang Indah Hotel also offers a spa and swimming pool and is located away from the main city area.

In the evenings, just take a short walk to the beach and catch the beautiful sunset behind Bali, or you can simply wander around the lush manicured gardens.

Location of Banyuwangi
Map showing the location of Banyuwangi

Where is Banyuwangi?

The regency of Banyuwangi is located all the way to the west of Java island and the closest point to the island of Bali.

It is also the closest city to Mount Ijen, one of Indonesia's most visited volcano mountains.

How To Go To Banyuwangi?

To get to Banyuwangi, you need to fly to the Belimbingsari Airport or Banyuwangi Airport, where local airlines fly from larger cities around Indonesia.

You can also get here from Bali by taking the ferry from Gilimanuk on the west coast of Bali Island to Banyuwangi.

Banyuwangi Food Makan
The famous Ikan Bakar from Banyuwangi


The above list is created by me and is part of the Wonderful Indonesia tourism campaign for Indonesia Tourism. Banyuwangi was one of the beautiful destinations that I visited in the country.

The opinions are of my own and not of any tourism board. For more detailed information on the Banyuwangi Festival and the many events that are taking place around here, visit the Indonesia Tourism website.

If you have any questions about the things to do in Banyuwangi, leave them below in the comment form, and I will get back to you.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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