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Meru Betiri National park is a large natural reserve located on the southern coast of Jember Regency in East Java. It spans across 580 square kilometers of varying topography; including sandy, coastal plains, mangrove swamps, lush rainforests, and highlands of over 1,000 meters. The Park takes its name from two mountains within its compounds: Mount Meru, measuring 500 meters above sea level, and Mount Betiri, 1,192 meters above sea level, and the highest point in the park.
With a spectacular coastal rainforest and a rich diversity of wildlife, the Meru Betiri national park is one of the most impressive national parks on Java. Traversing thick jungle and a rubber plantation, the journey to get here is an adventure but once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with unspoilt natural beauty unlike anywhere else on the planet.
Here you can search for the exotic wildlife that makes this park their home including black panthers, turtles and leopards. Sukamade is a protected turtle beach within the park and one of Indonesia’s most important turtle spawning grounds.
Meru Betiri is home to 29 species of mammals, including the Banteng, Javanese flying squirrel, leopard cat, dhole, wild boar, and Javan Muntjak, or barking deer. It is also habitat for what is said to be the last Javan Tiger, once thought to have been extinct. The last sighting of the tiger was in 1976, however, tiger paw prints measuring 28 centimeters have led the forest ministry to believe they may still roam the park.
180 species of bird soar through the Meru Betiri skies, and nearly 300 species of flora flourish throughout, including the giant Rafflesia, the world’s largest blossom.
A small area of about 8.5 square kilometers is ocean, and is dedicated to providing nesting grounds for Green Turtles, Hawksbill turtles, Olive Ridely Turtles, and even giant Leatherback Turtles.Almost every night, turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. The beaches are guarded 24 hours a day, and eggs are collected in an attempt to protect them from both humans and natural predators. The young turtles are then hatched in tanks to before being released into the sea.
The best time to visit here is in the dry season (April to October) as the road into the park can is prone to flooding in the wet season. The remote location of this park means it is a destination for the truly adventurous.
Since this is a national park, you must first obtain a permit to stay in the reserve. Permits are available at:
The Meru National Park Authority Betiri
Jalan Sriwijaya 53, Jember 68 121
PO Box 269
Tel / Fax. +62 0331 321530; 335 535
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Take advantage of the experience by planning for at least a night’s stay in Sukamade. Turtles emerge only when night is at its darkest.
Travel time is best during the dry season from May to September each year. During rainy season, roads to the park may become impassable, and rivers may overflow.
Make a donation before you leave! As with most National Parks, Meru Betiri is extremely understaffed. The park covers a huge area, and Park Rangers work exceptionally hard to maintain the park, as well as keep its inhabitants safe from poachers. Turtle eggs are in high demand in the illegal trade.
Please remember that this is park is a natural reserve. Take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints. Enjoy your stay!
The closest cities to Meru Betiri National Park are Jember, to the northwest, and Banyuwangi, to the northeast. Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi is a small, domestic airport, serving only Denpasar, Bali and Surabaya. The closest airport to Jember is in the neighboring city of Surabaya.
From Banyuwangi, you can hire a car and driver to take you to the reserve. As many of the roads you will encounter are not in good condition, and some pass through small fords with no bridges, a 4-wheel drive is your car of choice, as others will not be able to make the journey. The trip from Banyuwangi to Meru Betiri will take between 4.5 – 5 hours.