“Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos.”
That saying is written above one of the entrances into the Alas Purwo National Park, that sends a powerful message to anyone entering the region to preserve nature. With a total area of 43,420 hectares, Alas Purwo Park is located on the Blambangan Peninsula at the Banyuwangi regency, in the southeastern-most tip of East Java, on a peninsula directly facing the Bali island.
The park consists of mangroves, savannahs, lowland monsoon forests, and coral-fringed beaches. The park is believed to possess the most natural tropical rainforests and one of is the oldest in Indonesia. Thousands of migrating birds see its pristine forests annually, and turtles come to lay their eggs on its secluded beaches.
Alas Purwo can also be the home of some of the endangered and rare Species which have the Javanese bull or banteng, Asiatic wild dog, silvered leaf monkey, green peafowl, red junglefowl, olive ridley turtles, and green turtles. The forests are also the home for mouse deer, long-tailed macaques, lutung monkeys, Javan deer, kangkareng bird, and hornbills.
From the Javanese language, Alas Purwo literally signifies “Ancient Forest or The Primordial Forest.” According to the legend, Alas Purwo was the website where the earth first emerged from the ocean. All these pilgrims come to meditate from temples like the Gua Istana (Palace Cave), Gua Putri (the Princess’s Cave), Gua Padepokan (the gathering house cave), and also Gua Macan (Tiger Cave). Pura Giri Selokah, a Hindu temple, also brings many pilgrims, especially during the Hindu sacred ritual of Pagerwesi.
Alas Purwo National Park is situated at the Kalipuro District, Banyuwangi Regency, in the province of East Java. There are currently regular flights from Bali to Banyuwangi in addition to between Surabaya and Banyuwangi. Alternately, it is possible to travel overland from Surabaya, capital of East Java. The excursion will take approximately 10-12 hours by car.
From the neighboring island of Bali, you may also reach Alas Purwo by taking the ferry crossing the Bali Strait out of Gilimanuk Port into Ketapang Port in Banyuwangi and then continue along the exact same path from Banyuwangi into Alas Purwo.
Keyword: Alas Purwo Park is located on the Blambangan Peninsula at the Banyuwangi regency