Have you ever wondered what to do around Yogyakarta aside from visiting the religious temples of Borobudur, Prambanan and the King’s Palace? Find your answers here! For you adventurous souls who fancy challenging activities while enjoying the beauty of nature, visit these following places while in Yogyakarta.
Nglambor beach for snorkeling
Nglambor beach, located in Gunung Kidul (literally translated as South Mountain) is a district in the southern part of Yogyakarta. The beach is known for its calm and shallow water, which is unusual for beaches in the southern part of Java island where they normally have bigger waves since they are facing the vast Indian Ocean. The reason for the calm water near Nglambor beach is due to the two turtle-like islands very close to the seashore that block the fierce waves coming from the great ocean.
Due to the calm water, the beach is a perfect place to do snorkeling. Through its clear water, tourists can see the marine biodiversity: colorful fishes, corals and seaweeds. The only drawback is that it takes extra effort to reach the site. After about two-hour drive from Yogyakarta on a well-maintained road, the last kilometer is an off-road track. The road hasn’t been asphalted, be ready for a bumpy ride.
On the bright side, not many people go to Nglambor during the weekdays, hence the beach is still very much tranquil and clean, especially on weekdays. You only need to pay 0.40 USD to enter the site, and 3.50 USD to rent the snorkeling equipment.
Siung beach for rock climbing
Just next to Nglambor is Siung beach (less than 1 kilometer away), a remote but popular beach for rock climbers. The sandy beach has some steep cliffs where many rock climbers have fun scaling the cliffs. The beach wasn’t widely known to tourists till a group of Japanese environment activists came to the beach in 1989 and found the cliffs there could be used for rock climbing activities. For the very first time, the cliffs were used for rock climbing by the Japanese and since then, Siung beach has gained popularity. In 2005, this became the place where the Asian Climbing Gathering was held.
Only 0.40 USD is needed to enter the site. So rock climbers, when you’re coming to Yogyakarta, bring your climbing equipments and try this thrilling rock climbing! For non-climbers, you can spend your time on the beach and isn’t it nice to have some photo sessions on the beach surrounded by cliffs?
Goa Pindul for cave tubing
Ever want to spend your time in a cave? Come and have the exciting cave tubing in Goa Pindul (Pindul cave), which is located about 42 km south of Yogyakarta. This is no ordinary cave. Inside the cave is a very calm river where the water comes from a spring called Gedong Tujuh (Seven Storeys). Entrance ticket is 0.70 USD and with only 2.50 USD, you can rent the equipment needed (a black floating tube and a life vest) and float on the 350-meter-long calm cave river. You can also swim in the 7 to 11-meter-deep calm river by using the tube!
Pindul cave is located on a hill and it can take up to 2 hours to get to the site from Yogyakarta due to the steep road. On that note, it’s recommended to rent a car and book a local driver who has been driving to the cave area. Weekends can be crowded, so if you want more privacy, go on weekdays.
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Gunung Api Purba Nglanggeran for a beginner’s climb
Fancy enjoying the beauty of nature from high but you are a newbie in mountain climbing? Rest assured, we’ve got Gunung Api Purba Nglanggeran (Nglanggeran ancient volcano) near Yogyakarta, which is a perfect place for a short-easy climb. It only takes about 1-2 hours to reach the peak. It’s even easier to climb now, as tracks have been made. You’ll find stairs, a wooden ladder and rope to help you climb to the top.
It’s only a short climb, and the view you will get from the top makes the climb worthwhile. Besides paddy fields and villages below, you will see a blue spot. It is a man-made lake named Embung Nglanggeran. What makes it more interesting is that you can see the lake’s visitors from the peak (they look like walking tiny little ants from the distance). It’s even better if you camp here for a night, as you’ll get to see the breathtaking sunset and sunrise from the peak. At night? A starry sky above and sparkling lights from Yogyakarta city await you! How is that not exciting?
The site is quite easy to reach too. It’s located in Patuk, Gunung Kidul, only 50 minutes drive from the city. There is a parking lot open 24/7 and you’ll only need to pay 0.40 USD to enter the site, and 0.70 USD to spend the night camping. Several campsites are available somewhere near the top. The campsites are facilitated with toilets and since there aren’t any kinds of dining place there, bring your own cooking equipment and supplies (mini gas stove, instant noodles, water, sandwiches, biscuits etc.) during your night stay.
Traveling solo? Rent a motorbike!
Despite being so awesome, these places are located outside of the city and public transportation is not recommended. If you travel in a group, rent a car instead. Even if you prefer to travel solo, rent a motorbike (4 USD per day). The 1 to 2 hours journey will be well-worth your effort. Visit Jogyakarta soon!
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