Merapi Lava Tour: Enjoying the Beauty of Jogja From a Different Angle

If you are asked about interesting things in Yogyakarta, some of you will immediately imagine the various tourist attractions. Yes, the attraction of Gudeg City lies in its complete tourist facilities. All the tourist attractions you want are available in Yogyakarta. Well, of the many tourist attractions that are there, the Merapi tour seems to be one of the most sought after by tourists. How not, traveling around the slopes of Mount Merapi by riding a jeep is certainly an exciting experience that will not be forgotten.

The beginning of the formation of the Merapi tour itself began with the eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010 which killed Merapi’s caretaker, Mbah Marijan. The villages around Mount Merapi were flattened by hot lava and left only a vast sea of ​​sand. The Kaliadem area, which was once so cool, has now turned arid with dust material still sticking to certain points.

This incident then made the residents who live on the slopes of Mount Merapi finally turn the disaster into a blessing by offering a tour package titled Lava Tour Merapi. Public interest has also increased. This is because they want to know the natural conditions and natural impacts after the eruption of Mount Merapi.

The Merapi Lava Tour has been popular since 2011, but I haven’t had the chance to try it even though I’ve been to Yogyakarta many times. For a long time I harbored curiosity about this tourist attraction, I finally had the opportunity to try it while on vacation to Gudeg City some time ago. Turns out, the Merapi tour was more exciting than I imagined. Trying it the first time got me hooked and would like to try it another time.

Well, curious about what kind of excitement the Merapi tour is? Come on, see the full review below.

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1. Tourist’s favorite off-road tour

Lava Tour Merapi provides an opportunity for visitors to have an off-road style adventure along with several locations that were affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi. Even without renting a jeep, you can get around the slopes of Mount Merapi by using a trail bike. However, the trip will feel more exciting when using a jeep, especially since the terrain that is passed is very heavy, full of inclines, rocky, and sandy. Just like jeep tours at Mount Bromo, jeep tours at Mount Merapi are also very challenging.

There are two starting points for the Merapi Lava Tour, namely the first at Tlogo Putri Terminal, Kaliurang, and the second at Ngrangkah Hamlet, Pangukrejo Village, Umbulharjo District. From Yogyakarta, it can be reached using a private vehicle for 30 – 45 minutes along Jalan Kaliurang to the north. If you want to take public transportation, you can start from Condongcatur Terminal, then take an angkot that goes to Jogja – Kaliurang and get off at Tlogo Putri Terminal.

Arriving at the departure point of Lava Tour Merapi, you will be faced with many choices of Merapi tour service providers. There may be more than 10 jeep rental houses that you can find there. Of the many tour service providers, my choice fell on Merapi Jaya. Choosing which one does not matter because all of them provide the same facilities. Even the rates offered are flat so you won’t find the cheapest or most expensive jeep rental house. The jeep model offered is also the same, only the color is different. There are army green, navy, red, and so on.

There is no need to worry about safety because the driver who also doubles as a tour guide is an expert in driving a jeep, so you can just enjoy yourself while feeling the thrilling off-road sensation.

2. Various package options are available

For those who are interested in joining the Merapi Lava Tour, there are four packages to choose from, namely the Short Route with a duration of 60 to 90 minutes, the Medium Route with a duration of 120 minutes, the Long Route with a duration of 150 minutes, and the Sunrise Route which has a travel duration of 150 minutes. Each package has its advantages, especially in terms of the route chosen. The longer the duration of the trip, the more attractions that will be visited.

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Some of the locations targeted for the Merapi Lava Tour visit include the Face Stone or Alien Stone, the Rest of My Treasure Museum, Kaliadem Bunker, Mbah Marijan’s House, Mbah Marijan’s Tomb, and the Kali Kuning Wet Trek. One jeep can only accommodate a maximum of four people. If it’s more, you have to stand up and pay the extra charge.

Considering that this was my first time joining the Merapi Lava Tour, I chose the short package for IDR 350 thousand. Three locations will be passed, namely the Rest of My Treasure Museum, the Stone Face or Alien Stone, and the Kaliadem Bunker. However, the driver made an offer to change the Batu Face route to Stonehenge as long as I was willing to pay the entrance fee to the tourist attraction for IDR 15 thousand. I also didn’t miss this offer because I was curious about the shape of the Stonehenge replica made by the residents of the slopes of Mount Merapi.

This tourist attraction, which is still one with the Merapi Lava Tour area, is indeed relatively new. Even so, there are quite a lot of enthusiasts of this tourist attraction, making this place one of the most popular tourist attractions in Yogyakarta.

3. Presenting surprise after surprise

Surprise after surprise greeted my journey while following the Merapi Lava Tour. The first stop of the tour is Stonehenge which is located close to the entrance of The Lost World tourist attraction. This tourist attraction is a replica of the prehistoric monument Stonehenge which was originally located in England. The shape and arrangement of the stones at Stonehenge Yogyakarta are similar to the original, complete with green grass mats. It’s not difficult to determine a good angle to take pictures because basically, this building looks very unique.

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Not spending a long time at Stonehenge, the tour continued to the next destination, namely the Museum of Memory or the so-called Museum of My Treasure. This is a house left by the victims of Mount Merapi whose foundation still looks quite solid even though the roof has been slightly destroyed. Inside contains the remains of household furniture and other relics. In front of the Museum of Memory, there is even a motorbike carcass from the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi.

One of the most unique things about this place is that visitors can see the clock relics that show the exact time when the eruption occurred. Around the Museum of Memory there are sellers of typical Merapi souvenirs and even dried Edelweiss flowers which are sold at a price ranging from Rp. 10 thousand to Rp. 15 thousand.

After looking at historical relics at the Museum of Memory, the journey continues to the protection bunker which is a shelter for climbers if at any time Merapi releases hot clouds. The journey to this location provides a lot of shocking sensations because the road is steep, has many holes, and is full of rocks. But it feels exciting because it presents a view of green trees, which previously had dried up after being hit by the eruption.

My Jeep Offroad Merapi Lava Tour trip was indeed quite short, only 2.5 hours. Even if it’s for a while, I will never forget the excitement of joining the Merapi Lava Tour. How are you interested in joining the Merapi Lava Tour?