Situated about 35 miles (60 kilometers) south of Jakarta at the foothills of Mount Salak, the 215-acre Bogor Botanical Gardens provide a natural haven right in the center of the bustling city of Bogor. Officially opened in 1817, these are the oldest botanical gardens in Southeast Asia, having thrived over the years under the leadership of a number of renowned botanists and serving as a major center for botanical research.
A scenic place to visit, the gardens feature streams and ponds interspersed along meandering avenues and pristine landscaped lawns. The gardens are also fronted by the regal Bogor Presidential Palace, with the mighty Mount Salak as the backdrop, which only adds to the aesthetic appeal.
This lush green haven consists of more than 400 species of palm trees, an orchid house said to contain 3,000 varieties of the flower and a vast collection of bamboos, cacti and tropical trees. The site is also home to more than 50 bird species, as well as a large number of bats that live high up in the tree canopies. It makes an ideal escape for a walk, a picnic or just some peace and quiet while taking in the scenery.
The Bogor Botanical Gardens are centrally located in Bogor City and are often visited on tours from Jakarta, about an hour away by car. The gardens are open daily from 8am until 5pm and are especially crowded on Sundays and on public holidays.