Kawah Putih (or White Crater in English) is a natural phenomenon situated near the market town of Ciwidey, 50 kilometers south of the city of Bandung. This unique lake crater is one of two created by the dormant volcano, Mount Patuha.
Kawah Putih has a striking, almost surreal, appearance to it; the lake transforms from a bright white to a light green or turquoise color, depending on the amount of sunlight present, while the soil surrounding it is completely drained of color due to the water’s high sulfur content. In addition, on cloudy days, the entire crater can often be found shrouded in a cloak of mist. The altitude here (around 2500 meters) brings with it low temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of the cities from which most visitors travel.
There are a range of simple facilities near the lake, including a car park, toilets, and food stalls. In particular, fresh strawberries and juice are commonly sold, as these are widely grown in the area. The smell of sulfur at the site is strong due to the steam and sulfurous gas bubbling from the lake, and masks are available for those who can’t stand the odour.
It takes around two hours to reach Kawah Putih from the center of Bandung. The turnoff from the main road to the lake is well-signposted with a large board directing visitors to the left of the road through a large entry gate. Vehicles can then be left in the main car park and a shuttle bus used to travel the final five kilometers to the crater.