The Merapi Mountain is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. Nevertheless, it is still quite safe to visit. With its height of 2,965 metres, or 247 feet (as of 2010) above sea level, Merapi has become a popular destination for tourists.
Take a look at what the tour has to offer!
Location of the Merapi Mountain
Mount Merapi’s located approximately 28 kilometres (or 17.3 miles) north of the large Yogyakarta city with thousands of people living on the flanks of the volcano. Prior to your tour, you would arrive at Kaliadem, the village located at the base of Mount Merapi. You will find a lot of jeep communities on Kaliadem that offer the off-road adventure to see the aftereffect of Merapi eruption. The tour will be led by a professional driver who doubles as a guide. Each jeep would be comfortable enough for 3 passengers but it can fit around 4 to 5 passengers.
In case you are worried, this is not a dangerous activity. Sri Sumarti, the Section Head of Volcano Investigation and Technology Development Centre, said that the location for the Merapi Lava Tour is safe for tourists. The forbidden location, which is considerably dangerous, is at the top crater of the mountain, which is out of bounds to public.
To reach Kaliadem, there are 3 different routes from Adisucipto Airport: Kaliurang, Prambanan, and Kalasan. It’s better to rent a car because there is no public transportation to get there. The journey takes about 45-60 minutes depending on traffic. After you arrive at Base camp to start Lava Tour, there are 3 types of adventures you can choose from. Advanced reservation is not required.
A jeep adventure awaits brave souls!
The journey begins at a dusty road, which is full of rocks alongside ravines. You will feel a rush of adrenaline when the driver drives the Jeep through various slopes on the road. The professional driver will take you through the safest route depending on the profile of his passengers. If the passenger is a 60 years old man/woman or a young kid, the driver would drive slowly along flatter terrain.
The first destination on the itinerary is the mini museum “Sisa Hartaku” ( translated as “My Remaining Treasure Museum”). This museum serves to inform visitors about the impacts of the last Merapi eruption. It is where you can see the extent of the destruction when the hot cloud (pyroclastic flow) hits the village.
Explore an underground bunker
The second destination shall bring you to a bunker where two volunteers were trapped and died. It’s actually located 3 metres underground, layered with 25 cm thick iron. However, the 1000 degrees Celsius hot volcanic materials, such as dry lava, buried the bunker during the last eruption.
Discover faces on the Alien Stone
The third destination is the Alien Stone. This unique big stone resembles a human face. If you see the stone from a different side, you can see another face. A picture can be taken on every location around the stone, and the guide would gladly elaborate on the origin and stories of this stone. On the way back to base camp, the driver will take you off-road through rocky paths and a small river. The things that you need to prepare for this adventure is a jacket for the cold mountain weather and a face mask to avoid the dust, which will be provided by the driver.
There is no time limit to visit this destination, but if you wish to feel the cold fresh air, you can either choose morning or late afternoon. A tour at dawn will allow you to catch a beautiful sunrise if you are lucky! Alternatively, a night tour may give you an interesting experience. Simply request from the administrator when you are arranging the tour.
Experiencing the great power of Mt. Merapi
Upon visiting Mt. Merapi, the magnificent landscape and seeing the aftereffects of nature, you would realised that there is a greater power than those of humans. This adventure and educational tour will teach you to be more appreciative of life, as well as to be more cautious in everything that we do.