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Why Merapi Volcano is special ?
Merapi dominates the landscape immediately north of the city of Yogyakarta in one of the world's most densely populated areas. Merapi is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. The steep-sided modern Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, was constructed to the SW of an arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the volcano's western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time. Since 1953, activity has been characterized by extrusion of lava into the summit crater, with periodic lava dome collapse and nuée ardente formation. Summit lava dome growth has continued since the 1969 gas explosion. It is monitored from the Merapi Volcano Observatory (MVO) in Yogyakarta.
What to explore at Merapi Volcano?
Mount Merapi isn't an ordinary volcano mountain, but a symbol in Java sacred mystic. It's connected with Mataram Islam in Java. As a part of balancing nature, Merapi Mountain is being in balance for Parangtritis Beach in south Jogjakarta. In the middle of the sacred linear of mountain and sea, there is Kraton Jogjakarta as an axis, and the heart of Javanese.
Being a volcano mountain in thousands year, Merapi Mountain has a beautiful landscapes and nature. It's the best place for trekking in June-August. You may start from Selo Village (central java) for 5 hours. If you lucky, Semeru Mountain which is highest mountain in the Java Island, will be appear on its top. The trekking path dominated with 45 degree path rocks. It's an extra ordinary volcano trekking. In the top, you will see volcano eruption in the closest view ever. It's a beautiful deadly mountain.
How to get to Merapi Volcano?
Selo is the last village on your way to Merapi. A taxi from Yogyakarta airport to Selo and back will cost you around Rp 1,000,000. Most of the drivers will happily wait for you while you climb Merapi and will take you back to your hotel.
Alternatively you can hire a scooter in Yogyakarta and ride out to the summit. Ride north out of Yojya on Jl. Magelang for 45 min. When you reach Mungkid turn right onto Jalan Bololali - Mungkad and head towards Ketep. At Ketep turn right and continue following the Jalan Bololali - Mungkad into Selo. From Selo ride up the steep road (on the right as you come into Selo) to the trail entrance where you can leave your scooter.
- Great views in the morning
- Amazing place to travel , close to the nature
- Intresting to see the nature and the power of nature
- A giant mountain that never sleeps
- Fun and Emotional Ride to Merapi
Tips for you
Leaving our guide house at 1 am, we reached the top for the sunrise. The way up is quite exhausting, with no flat parts but to reach the top for sunset was a very good summury. The way down was also quite long. We paid 300.000 IDR for the guide. But it can be done alone easily.
We left the hotel pretty late because our Supir didnt show up! We got up and ready at the lobby by 3.30AM but since the supir came late, we have to wait for the next available cabby to take us up to the camp base 86. I've made prior arrangements with Fitri Andi, the guy from the Merapi Jeep group. I think we left the hotel at about 4-4.30AM and arrive quite late about 5AM because the cab brought us to the wrong spot and have to turned back and send us at the right place. Pak Sepe from the Merapi Jeep group greeted us upon drop off by mr cabby. We all hop on the jeep and he took us to a spot nearby to watch the sunrise (Since we missed the earlier group). And YES, we did managed to catch the sun riseee.. it was a very NICE view. he brought instant mee with him so, all 4 of us ate instant noodle and pre mix coffee made by Pak Sepe. After that, we went on to a few places such as the 'sisa hartaku museum'.. we saw an old lady planting plants which happens to be a donation by the government. about 10,000 trees. we also went to the bunker where 2 volunteers died when the lava actually covered the bunker and they were inside it. oh... so many things we see on our trip but cant recall the names. I highly recommend the SUNRISE Tour. :D
We expected to see some lava or remains of the eruption. But all we saw were trucks and rocks in the river bedding. We not only stopped there once, but several times for almost the same view. And I don't think construction work is that interested. The ride was to bumby and there was no roof on the jeep but the sun was hot. The volcano was in the clouds so you could only guess where it was. You don't go near the volcano crater or the slope, but 8 kilometers away. The only nice thing of the tour was a little ride through the jungle where we saw some fruittrees and locals.We skipped the museum (only a small open air space). We paid 300000 rp for a 1,5 hour tour
There are three different duration for jeep trip: 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours. In fact, this is not in my list of visiting Jogja. The driver drove me here, and I was "ok", and I chose 1 hour trip. The jeep driver spoke little English. But, he tried to explain the story about Merapi to me. He was a villager here and even showed me the location of his childhood home. He showed me the rivers that are no more water now, the alien stone and others. Although I am the only passenger in his jeep, but he tried his best to tell the stories. I learnt more about the volcano from this visit as it's really educational. Merapi Volcano, it should be in my list.