Exploring Samarinda, Indonesia: 10 Best Parks and Recreational Spots

Nestled on the eastern coast of Borneo, Samarinda is a city that often flies under the radar, but it’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With lush landscapes and a serene atmosphere, it’s a place where nature lovers can find their slice of paradise. Let’s dive into the heart of Samarinda, Indonesia, and explore the top 10 parks and recreational spots that offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the city’s pride and joys is the Tanah Merah Waterfall Park. It’s a place where the water Cascades down with such grace that you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over you. The park is a favorite among locals and travelers alike, offering a cool retreat amidst the tropical heat. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; Samarinda has much more to offer.

1. Tanah Merah Waterfall Park

Imagine a place where the sound of water is the only thing that fills the air. That’s Tanah Merah for you. It’s not just a park; it’s an experience. With its lush greenery and the soothing sound of the waterfall, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic or a meditative retreat. Don’t forget to bring your camera; the scenery is simply breathtaking.

2. Pampang Cultural Park

For those who love a dash of culture with their nature, Pampang Cultural Park is a must-visit. Here, you can witness the vibrant Dayak culture come to life. The park hosts traditional dance performances and offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of the indigenous people. It’s a cultural feast for the senses that you won’t find anywhere else.

3. Islamic Center Samarinda

While not a park in the traditional sense, the Islamic Center Samarinda boasts a sprawling garden that’s a sight to behold. The majestic mosque, with its towering minaret, offers a peaceful haven for reflection. The garden is meticulously maintained, with pathways that invite you to explore and benches that beckon you to sit and soak in the serenity.

4. Mahakam Riverfront

The Mahakam Riverfront is where the city’s heartbeat can be felt. It’s a bustling promenade that offers a picturesque view of the Mahakam River. With food stalls, playgrounds, and ample space for jogging or cycling, it’s a recreational spot that has something for everyone. As the sun sets, the riverfront comes alive with locals enjoying the cool breeze and the company of friends and family.

5. Bukit Bangkirai Rainforest

Just a stone’s throw from Samarinda, Bukit Bangkirai Rainforest is an eco-tourism haven. It’s home to the famous canopy bridge that hangs high above the rainforest floor. Walking across it, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. The park also offers trekking paths and the chance to spot exotic wildlife in their natural habitat.

6. Samarendah Park

Samarendah Park is a breath of fresh air in the city center. It’s a well-maintained space with playgrounds for kids and fitness equipment for adults. The park is a popular spot for morning exercises or leisurely evening strolls. It’s a little oasis where you can escape the concrete jungle and reconnect with nature.

7. Lamin Etam Ambors

Ever wondered what it would be like to stay in a traditional Dayak longhouse? Lamin Etam Ambors offers just that. This cultural park lets you step back in time and experience the communal lifestyle of the Dayak people. Surrounded by lush greenery, it’s a unique blend of recreation and education that’s hard to come by.

8. Tepian Mahakam Park

Tepian Mahakam Park is another gem along the Mahakam River. It’s quieter than the bustling riverfront, making it ideal for those seeking solitude. With its well-kept gardens and peaceful ambiance, it’s a favorite spot for Reading a book or simply enjoying the view. The park also features a Monument that adds to its charm.

9. Big Ben Park

Don’t let the name fool you; Big Ben Park might not have the iconic clock tower, but it has its own unique allure. It’s a relatively new addition to Samarinda’s park scene, offering modern playgrounds and a clean, safe environment for families. The park is a testament to Samarinda’s commitment to creating green spaces for its residents.

10. Sempaja Public Park

Last but not least, Sempaja Public Park is the go-to spot for sports enthusiasts. With its basketball and futsal courts, it’s always buzzing with energy. The park also features a skate park, making it a hub for the youth to showcase their skills and socialize.


  • What’s the best time to visit Samarinda’s parks?

    The dry season, from June to September, is ideal for park visits as the weather is more predictable, and you can enjoy outdoor activities without the worry of rain.

  • Are there any entrance fees for these parks?

    Most parks in Samarinda are free to enter, though some cultural parks like Pampang may have a small fee for cultural shows or special events.

  • Is it easy to get around the parks in Samarinda?

    Yes, most parks are accessible by public transport or taxi. However, renting a scooter or car can give you more flexibility to explore at your own pace.

In conclusion, Samarinda’s parks and recreational spots are a testament to the city’s love for nature and culture. From the enchanting Tanah Merah Waterfall Park to the vibrant Pampang Cultural Park, there’s a slice of paradise for every type of traveler. These green havens offer a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. So, if you’re planning to explore Samarinda, make sure to add these top 10 spots to your itinerary. You’ll leave with a rejuvenated spirit and a deeper appreciation for the natural and cultural beauty that Samarinda has to offer.

Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend getaway or a traveler seeking new adventures, Samarinda’s parks are waiting to be explored. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the lush landscapes and rich culture of this enchanting Indonesian city. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget!

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