Yogyakarta is a bustling city on the island of Java in Indonesia. Best known for its rich cultural heritage and its continued protection of the traditional arts, Yogyakarta remains one of the top tourist spots in Indonesia. In spite of its rapid growth as an urban center and its reputation as a cultural and artistic hub, Yogyakarta is also home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders – hidden gems that range from beaches to underground caves. Nature lovers are sure to fall in love with Yogyakarta’s natural beauty! Here are some of the best places in Yogyakarta for nature lovers.
1. Timang Beach
A three-hour drive from Yogyakarta will take you to Timang Beach, hailed for its gorgeous blue waters and coral cliffs. Timang Beach has risen in popularity over the years largely because of the gondolas, which remain its most popular attraction. These gondolas, which are pulled along a fabric rope, were a form of transport that was originally used by local fishermen when fishing for lobster. Nowadays, these gondolas have become the highlight of Timang Beach. Visitors are sure to enjoy the adrenaline rush of riding these gondolas across the sparkling waters of the sea.
Address: Jl. Pantai Sel. Jawa, Purwodadi, Tepus, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Daerah Istimewa, 55881 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2. Goa Pindul
Goa Pindul or Pindul Cave is a popular underground cave and subterranean river located at the Bejiharo village. This stunning underground cave is actually a limestone formation, shaped by years of natural erosion. The cave itself spans about 350 meters (1,167 feet) in length and 5 meters (16.5 feet) in width.
Shrouded in mystery, the cave’s stalactites are also said to have mystical properties. According to local lore, these stalactites give virility to men and youthful beauty to women, when touched. To enter the cave, you must schedule a tour with the various guides available there. They will provide you with the equipment needed, as well as lead you safely through the cave.
Address: Wirawisata, Gelaran 2, Bejiharjo, Karangmojo, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, Bejiharjo, Karangmojo, Gunungkidul, Daerah Istimewa, 55891 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Website: Goa Pindul
3. Kalibiru National Park
Located at the peak of Menori Hills, at the Southern part of Yogyakarta, the Kalibiru National Park is a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Situated some 450 meters (1,500 feet) above sea level, a great panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding areas can be enjoyed at the park, especially atop their popular treetop viewing spots. The view of the sunset from these treetop viewing spots is especially popular amongst visitors. In addition to its spectacular views, visitors may also enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities at Kalibiru National Park, such as trekking, rappelling, flying fox, tight line walking, and climbing.
Kalibiru National Park
Address: Kulon Progo, 55561 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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4. Langse Cave
Langse Cave or Goa Langse is not for the faint of heart. Located at the foot of the Parangtritis cliff, the path leading to the Langse cave is not only long – stretching out for over 750 meters (2,500 feet) – but also quite steep, measuring 400 meters (1,333 feet) from the bottom at its highest point. In fact, the trek has actually claimed multiple lives over the past few years.
Once you make it through the rigorous path, however, the Langse Cave is a sight to behold. The Langse Cave also serves as a sacred ground for meditation, so visitors are encouraged to bathe in the natural springs within the cave, as well as take a moment to meditate to the sounds of the crashing waves.
Address: Girijati, Giricahyo, Purwosari, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Daerah Istimewa, 55872 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
5. Mangunan Fruit Gardens
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
With its picture perfect views of the Parangtritis Beach, the Oyo River, and the hills that surround it, Mangunan Fruit Gardens has quickly risen in popularity amongst social media users in recent times. Situated a couple hundred meters or several hundred feet above sea level, it is no wonder that such a view can be enjoyed from the Mangunan Fruit Gardens. In addition to taking pictures, another highlight of visiting the Mangunan Fruit Gardens is picking the fresh fruits that hang from the lush trees in the garden. The garden boasts over 1500 Durian trees, 950 mango trees, 220 orange trees, and 200 more fruit trees.
Mangunan Fruit Gardens
Address: Mangunan, Dlingo, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa, 55783 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Mount Merapi – its name literally translating to “Fire Mountain” – is an active volcano that is located just at the border that separates Java and Yogyakarata. Following an eruption in 2010, the dust covered villages and nearby areas have since become a famous tourist destination. These guided tours of Mount Merapi are usually done on vintage 4WD Jeeps, making for an adventurous and fun road trip across the sandy landscapes. Some of the highlights of the tour include viewing the various landforms created by the eruption, as well as a visit to the Sisa Hartaku Museum.
Merapi Lava Tours
Address: Mount Merapi, Suroteleng, Selo, Boyolali Regency, Central Java, Indonesia
Of course, a trip to Yogyakarta would not truly be complete without taking a visit to the world famous temples of Borobudur. While Borobudur is indeed one of the finest examples of Buddhist architectural structures, it also boasts one of the best views in all of Yogyakarta. In particular, the view of the sunrise from the top of the stupa, as the light hits its nooks and crannies, is majestic and truly awe-inspiring. It is little wonder that Borobudur remains a sacred place for Buddhists the world over, as well as the most popular tourist spot in Yogyakarta.
Address: Ji. Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
8. Imogiri Pine Forest
Better known as the Hutan Pinus Imogiri, the Imogiri Pine Forest is another spot in Yogyakarta that has gained popularity, especially amongst young tourists who are eager to find the perfect shot for their social media pages. This lush forest is filled with hundreds of towering pine trees that can grow tens of meters in height. Visitors could follow the path across the forest or set up a small campsite for the day. It is worth noting, however, that although there are no admission fees to enter the Imogiri Pine Forest, certain fees may be charged for parking, depending on your vehicle.
Imogiri Pine Forest
Address: Imogiri, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
9. Water Castle (Tamansari)
Having once served as the Sultanate’s royal gardens, Tamansari is a fascinating historical landmark that combines both eastern and western styles of architecture. However, it is perhaps best known for its hidden underground tunnels and its baths. At Tamansari, guests are free to explore the twists and turns of the underground tunnels, as well as marvel at the clear flowing waters of the baths. The underground tunnels, called Tajug, once served as catacombs and even bunkers during the war. Meanwhile, the baths, called Umbul Pasiraman, are said to have been built for the Sultan’s princesses to relax as he looks over them.
Water Castle (Tamansari)
Address: Jl. Taman, 55133 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Webstie: Water Castle (Tamansari)
Discover Yogyakatra’s natural wonders
Although Yogyakarta’s artistic and cultural value is undeniable, there are also lots of natural wonders to be found in this city. Its lush forests, breathtaking views, and sparkling waters are just a few of the many hidden treasures, all just waiting to be discovered in Yogyakarta!
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