Yogyakarta is the provincial capital and cultural centre of Indonesia and the city lies amid lush emerald rice paddies under the shadow of Mount Merapi -Indonesia`s most volatile volcano and one of the most active ones on earth. Once the centre of the ancient Mataram Palace, its environs are home to many important monuments and temples, but there are also plenty of natural attractions around. Long stretches of scenic beaches fringe the Indian Ocean coastline in the south, and the inland forested hills promote adrenaline sports and eco-tours.
1.Tembelan – magnificent gorge with boat-shaped bamboo viewing platform, great for photography (spectacular sunrise)
2. Mt Merapi/Kaliurang – all mountaineers and adventurers will want to hike Indonesia`s most volatile volcano Mount Merapi 2930 m (3-hour climb one way from Selo Village), to get there takes around 2 hours from Yogyakarta and you can either arrange a guided trip or hike independently
3. Beaches – Yogyakarta is well-known for gorgeous beaches like Baron Beach, the coral island of Drini Beach, Kukup Beach and Siung Beach or Wediombo Beach with white sands, rich marine life and idyllic sunsets.
Parangtritis Beach, Kukup Beach, Krakal, Drini and Sundak Beaches are very dangerous for swimming but worth of seeing and the far Ngobaran Beach is known for a gorgeous underground cave and dramatic scenery
NOTE Timang Beach is popular for the simple gondola used by the local fishermen to get to the Panjang Island – you are free to use it if you dare!
4. Caves & Caverns – there are some fabulous caves to visit along the coastline of Yogyakarta, e.g. Jomblang Cave, Pindul Cave, Cerme Cave, Rancang Kencono Cave
5. Borobudur & Prambanan – Yogyakarta is a gateway to the Indonesian most important archaeological sites, day tours can be booked at any guesthouse or travel agency in Yogyakarta
Don`t skip the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan – an absolutely mesmerising experience!
To get around the city use because – the Indonesian cycle rikshaw but those who like to explore greater Yogyakarta will need to hire a scooter. Also, andong (horse cart) is a popular means of transport.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The dry season generally goes from June till September which is also the peak season – temples get extremely crowded.
Between December and February, it rains abundantly and the chances of taking a good photograph decrease – however, it is more enjoyable to walk around as there will be not as many visitors.
Perhaps the middle season (Oct-Nov, March-May could be a good option, excluding weekends and the Indonesian public holidays when the locals often travel)
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Yogyakarta (via Jakarta/Java or Denpasar/Bali).
For all domestic Indonesian flights check out www.garuda-indonesia.com
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