Some 60 km south of Jakarta, Bogor is the “bo” of the massive Jabotabek conurbation, with 3,000,000 people or so of its own. The town was the capital of Indonesia during the brief British occupation, and under the name Buitenzorg was also the summer capital of the Dutch in the hot dry season. Located 290m above sea level, Bogor is noticeably cooler than the torrid lowlands, and the place where many of the Indonesian elite have their villas. Once a place of beauty, rapid development has turned central Bogor into the same congested mess as every other Indonesian city, but there are still rivers, canals, red-roofed houses, mosques, churches, trees, flowers and views of nearby Mount Salak to be had.

Bogor’s epithet is Kota Hujan, meaning “City of Rain”. Statistically, it’s the rainiest city on Java, and locals jokingly advise getting any sightseeing done in the morning because it’s guaranteed to rain in the afternoon. Then again, tramping through the Gardens can actually be more pleasant in a cool drizzle. Lovers of Bogor will tell you that most of the time it is dry; normally, the rain falls only in heavy bursts late in the day.

How to get there:

By plane

The nearest major international airport is Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport.(IATA: CGK) There are direct Damri buses from there to Bogor Rp 55,000 (75,000 for Royal Class). Another option is by airport taxi that with meter costs around Rp 550,000. Please note that the traffic can be real bad during rush hours (6-9 AM and 4-6 PM) and especially on Monday and Friday afternoon

By train

Commuter trains depart Jakarta’s Kota station every 20-30 min or so via Gondangia, Manggarai and Depok, but can be crowded beyond belief (especially at peak commuting times) and they do not stop at Jakarta’s main Gambir station. If returning to Jakarta from Bogor, check the schedule near the ticket booth to make sure the train you want to take is the correct one. Other trains from Bogor take different routes within Jakarta after departing from Manggarai and do not call at Gondangia and Kota.

Fares are extremely cheap (a couple of thousand rupiah), but the first time you’ll also need to pay the deposit on a reusable ticket card to work the entry and exit gates (about IDR10,000). The deposit can be refunded by returning the card at the ticket counter in any of the commuter railway stations in the Jakarta / Bogor area.

By bus

Buses goes to Bogor from Jakarta, Bandung, Sukabumi, Yogyakarta and even further cities like Malang.
Buses from Jakarta depart from Lebak Bulus, Kampung Rambutan and Kali Deres bus terminal and take about 1-2h depending upon the traffic. There are two types of buses available Executive (air conditioned) and Economy.

Buses from Bogor to Bandung take about 3h. Executive buses use the Cipularang highway route while the Economy buses are still using the old route via Puncak pass, during weekends they may take a loop through Sukabumi, adding an extra hour).

By car

The easiest way to get to Bogor is to hire a car and a driver; this is relatively cheap; the journey time is about one hour. There is more than one road to Bogor, and the minor roads are often the most interesting. By toll highway, Bogor is about 40 minutes from Jakarta. During traffic jam (rush hours), it will take 80 to 120 minutes. Many commuters stay in Bogor and work in Jakarta. On weekend and holidays, the trip from Jakarta to Bogor may take up to 3 hours.

By taxi

You can take metered taxi to Bogor from Jakarta. The cost will be approx. US$ 15-25. The trip may take up to 2 hours depends on the traffic. It’s better to order the taxi from the taxi companies like ‘Blue Bird Group’ because now they have the largest fleet that comes and go from and to Bogor.