indonesia travel magazine

Halmahera, Gunung Jailolo

Halmahera, Gunung Jailolo


The Jailolo volcanic complex forms a peninsula west of Jailolo Bay on the south-western coast of Halmahera Island.  Jailolo stratovolcano at the centre of the complex has youthful lava flows on its eastern flank.  Small calderas are located west and SW of Jailolo.  The westernmost caldera, Idamdehe, truncates an older twin volcano of Jailolo.  Hot springs occur along the NW coast of the caldera.  Kailupa cone forms a small volcanic island off the southern coast of the peninsula.  Hot mudflows were reported from Jailolo volcano shortly prior to 1883, but no eruptions are known during historical time (Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program).

Gunung Jailolo lies just outside the township of Jailolo overlooking the harbour and across to Ternate and Tidore.  The peak is an almost perfect cone except for its SW flank.  After passing through plantations at its base, it rises at an almost constant, steep gradient (30 degrees?) from about 500 m ASL to its summit.  An interesting experience is to see sunlight though the forest on both sides of the track as the summit is approached.

The summit is an open grassy area of about 20 m in diameter – no crater.  A grave lies in the centre where people make small offerings of money.  Interestingly, this grave is not oriented towards Mecca and, therefore, presumably not a Muslim grave – probably an ancestral grave from the time before the arrival of Islam in the 15thC.  Some great 360 views of Gunungs Gamalama, Kiematubu, Gamkonora, Ibu, etc. should be possible (when not clouded over) although trees around the summit are an impediment.

The main track to the summit (about 10 kms) is from Jailolo township from the ESE.  The track is well worn and not difficult to follow after entering the forest.  However, a guide is essential to find ones way out of town, and through the coconut, nutmeg and clove plantations, which are very extensive (about 3 kms) and beautiful, before reaching the forest track to the summit.  Another, less used track starts at Desa Lolori on the north side.  Here, the plantations are less extensive and, hence, the distance to the summit much shorter (about 6 kms).  A guide is also required if climbing from this side.  The ascent, via the Jailolo township route,  may take 3-4 hours and descent about two hours.

This a very unique little “hill” that deserved to be climbed if one has time at the end of a trip to western Halmahera before returning to Ternate.

Bagging information by Nick Hughes (September 2011)


Getting there There are plenty of flights to Ternate island from Jakarta (usually via Manado and/or Makassar).  From Ternate, take a speed boat from the Dufa-Dufa boat terminal just north of the airport, to Jailolo on mainland Halmahera.
Accommodation There are two convenient losmen (small hotels) next to the fish market in Jailolo.
Permits None required but take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.
Water sources None – take sufficient supplies with you.

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