Yogyakarta’s Mount Merapi is one of the best spots in Java to see the sunrise. Standing on Mount Merapi, with a sea of clouds under your feet and looking at the rising sun is a luxury. Not everyone can do it and such a good opportunity does not come to you every day. It is one of good things to do in Yogyakarta. Lucky for you, there are three options to catch the sunrise at Mount Merapi, namely:
- Climbing to the top of Mount Merapi
- Hiking at the foot of Mount Merapi
- Joining Merapi Lava Tour
Let’s see these Merapi sunrise trekking one by one.
1. Climbing Mount Merapi
This is the journey to the summit of Mount Merapi.
Where to Start From
Climbing Mount Merapi starts from Selo Village, Boyolali Regency, Central Java. Selo Village is about two hours drive from Yogyakarta.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Selo Village is by renting a car. With the help of GPS, it is unlikely you will be lost. But if you want to feel the sensation of adventure, you can try to ride the bus. Unfortunately there are no buses from Yogyakarta that go directly to Selo Village. You have to change buses at least three times.
First, from Terminal Jombor Yogyakarta, you take a bus that goes to Semarang. But keep in mind that you have to get off at Blabak Magelang, not in Semarang. From Blabak Magelang you take the bus to Ketep Pass. Then from Ketep Pass you take a bus that goes to Selo Village.
The Cost to Climb Mount Merapi
The admission is Rp 180,000 on weekdays and Rp Rp 230,000 on weekend.
If you would like to hire a guide, the cost is Rp 300,000.
The Best Time to Climb
The dry season, from July to September, is the best time to climb Mount Merapi. Nevertheless, there is no prohibition to climb in the rainy season. August is the most crowded climbing time because there will be lots of local climbers who climb Mount Merapi to commemorate the independence of Indonesia. They even, according to tradition, make Mount Merapi a place of independence ceremonies.
For amateur climbers, climbing to the top of Mount Merapi takes a total of about 8 hours, round trip. The climb usually starts at 12 pm with temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius
What to Bring
- Boots or running shoes or hiking shoes or any shoes that have good grip
- Quick-dry shirt
- Warm jacket
- Walking pole
- Flash light or torch light
- Lots of water, chocolate and snacks
- Last but not least, camera or smartphone
After all, what’s the point of you struggling to the top of Mount Merapi if you can not show it off on Instagram.
There are several tour companies in Yogyakarta that offer Merapi Climbing Tour. You will be picked up at the hotel, guided to climb Mount Merapi and finally delivered back to the hotel. All you have to do is bring your camera and make sure you are in good shape. The cost of the tour starts from Rp 450,000. Normally the minimum number of participants is two and the maximum is ten people.
2. Hiking at the Foot of Mount Merapi
Just to confirm, this is not a trip to the top of Mount Merapi.
Where to Start From
Hiking starts from Kaliurang. Because it is still in the area of Yogyakarta, you do not need to leave at midnight. Usually the hiking trip starts at 3 am.
What You Will See
You will walk through the rain forest, cross the river, admire the life of the villagers at the foot of Mount Merapi, see the village destroyed by Mount Merapi eruption, and certainly witness the beauty of sunrise from Mount Merapi’s Pronojiwo Hill.
In Yogyakarta you can easily find tour companies that offer Merapi Hiking Tour. The cost of hiking tour starts from Rp 450,000. The minimum number of participants is two. The tour company will pick you up at your hotel, usually around three in the morning. The hiking tour takes about five hours.
3. Merapi Lava Tour
This is a tour around the area of Merapi with a jeep ride. So it is good for those who do not like to sweat merely for Merapi sunrise trekking. You just need to come to Kaliurang. There are several tour operators who will be happy to take you wandering in the Merapi area.
You will be invited to ride down the river, admire the lava rocks from the Mount Merapi eruption, see the ruins of the village that was hit by the eruption, stop by old bunker that was used to take cover during the eruption, and of course watch the sunrise. The cost of the tour starts from Rp 350,000.
4. Culinary Tour : Jadah Tempe
In closing the tour, you should take the time to taste the typical food of Mount Merapi, namely jadah tempe. It is one of must try local foods in Yogyakarta. Jadah tempe is a light meal consisting of tempeh and sticky rice. It is easy to find it in the villages around Mount Merapi.
Jadah tempeh is best eaten with chili and accompanied by a cup of hot tea. In Kaliurang there are many stalls that sell jadah tempe. But of all, Mbah Carik’s jadah tempe is the most famous. One serving of jadah tempe is only Rp 10,000.
That’s all your option for Merapi sunrise trekking. Mount Merapi is one of the most deadly volcanoes in Indonesia. Nevertheless it is also most admired and always filled with a mystical aura. No doubt Mount Merapi is the best spot to watch sunrise in Yogyakarta. So why do not you see it yourself? Seeing is believing. Plus there are other various things to do in Mount Merapi.