Batang Palupuh Nature Reserve

West Sumatra

This reserve, 16km north of Bukittinggi, is home to many orchid species, as well as the massive Rafflesia arnoldii and Amorphophallus titanum, the largest flowers on the planet – the latter endemic to Sumatra. The rafflesia blooms throughout the year, if briefly, whereas you have to be incredibly lucky to catch the Amorphophallus titanum in bloom at all. Both flowers reek like roadkill. Local buses to Palupuh cost 10,000Rp, a taxi is 10,000Rp and a Grab online taxi 40,000Rp.

Hiring a guide such as Joni to lead you to the flowers is around 75,000Rp.

The blossom of the parasitic rafflesia measures nearly a metre across and can weigh up to 11kg, while the inflorescence of Amorphophallus titanum can extend to over 3m in circumference.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby West Sumatra attractions

1. House of Rafflesia Luwak Coffee

0.13 MILES

At this plantation in Batang Palupuh, friendly owner Umul Khairi is happy to explain the process of harvesting, drying and roasting kopi luwak – a smooth,…

2. Benteng de Kock

3.96 MILES

Benteng de Kock was built by the Dutch during the Padri Wars. Other than a few cannons and ramparts, there’s not much to it now apart from the nice…

3. Pasar Bawah

4.14 MILES

More of a landmark than genuine sight, this central undercover market is popular with locals here to shop for fresh produce and everyday items.

4. Masjid Raya

4.17 MILES

While not particularly attractive (and hence of no real interest to non-Muslim travellers), this central mosque offers a useful landmark for getting your…

5. Pasar Atas

4.27 MILES

Pasar Atas is a large, colourful daily market crammed with stalls selling fruit and vegetables, second-hand clothing and crafts.

6. Jam Gadang

4.31 MILES

Built in the 1920s to house a clock that was a gift from the Dutch queen, Jam Gadang is Bukittinggi's town emblem and focal point. Independence in 1945…

7. Taman Panorama

4.34 MILES

Taman Panorama, on the southern edge of Bukittinggi, overlooks the deep Ngarai Sianok (Sianok Canyon), where fruit bats swoop at sunset, as well as the…

8. Gua Jepang

4.37 MILES

This extensive network of underground WWII Japanese bunkers built into a cliff face stretches for nearly 1.5km. It was built by local forced labour in…