Krakatoa

Overview

Introduction

The granddaddy of all volcanoes (the effects of its 19th-century eruption were felt in most parts of the world, and heard as far as 2,500 mi/4,000 km away), Krakatoa sits off the island of Rabata, just west of Java. Tours of varying length can be arranged from Jakarta, or have your travel agent book them prior to departure. You can opt for a single-day visit if you're okay with a very early start, or arrange for an overnight stay at a camp in Rabata.

Krakatoa is an active volcanic hot spot, with true eruptions as recent as 1999 and 2008. It grows at a rate of five inches a week as a result of its activity. Volcano watchers who visit often see smoke and other signs of this restless mountain. Since 2009, a pair of active vents have been ejecting incandescent gas visible for long distances at night. Because of this hazard, and its status as a natural wonder of the world, access is restricted to those who get passes. Organized tours include passes and safety training. Only experienced travelers with some background in dealing with volcanos should attempt a solo visit.

Note: The strong currents of the Sunda Straits (between Java and Sumatra) make the passage to the island difficult and can turn a day trip in a fishing boat into a week adrift at sea. If you do go, make sure the boat is in good shape and that it has radio contact and serviceable life jackets.

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