Exploring the Slopes of Mount Merapi: A Guide to Hiking Around Yogyakarta

Mount Merapi, located just north of the city of Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Towering 2,968 meters high, its majestic slopes provide incredible opportunities for hiking and scenic vistas of the surrounding countryside. In this guide, we will explore the best hiking trails around Mount Merapi that begin from the outskirts of Yogyakarta.

Overview of Mount Merapi:

Mount Merapi has erupted regularly since 1548, with major eruptions occurring in years like 1961, 1994, 2006 and 2010. Its proximity to densely populated areas makes an eruption especially dangerous. However, when the volcano is dormant, its fertile volcanic soil and beautiful natural scenery make it a haven for hiking. Popular trails range from short day hikes to multi-day expeditions.

Highlights of Hiking Around Merapi:

Hiking around Merapi offers these unique experiences:

– Witness post-eruption landscapes like lava fields.
– Discover Javanese culture in nearby villages.
– View stunning sunrises and sunsets over the volcano.
– Trek through lush jungle terrain filled with wildlife.
– Sample local cuisine after rewarding climbs.
– Cool down in springs and waterfalls.
– Gain amazing panoramic views of Central Java.

The diverse terrain, sights and experiences make hiking Merapi rewarding for beginners and seasoned trekkers alike.

Top Hiking Trails Starting from Yogyakarta:

Here are some of the top recommended hiking trails around Merapi accessible from Yogyakarta:

1. Plawangan Trail – 4-5 hour hike passing old lava flows. Ends at Plawangan hill viewpoint.

2. Kaliadem Trail – Short 2 hour loop passing a caldera and hot springs.

3. Selo Gumarang Trail – Moderate overnight trek through small villages and forests.

4. Turgo Hill Trail – Short day hike to a scenic hilltop viewpoint.

5. Kethok Trail – 1-2 day scenic jungle trek great for birdwatching.

6. Babadan Trek – Multi-day route going into the heart of Merapi through rural villages.

Most hikes begin from the outskirts of Yogyakarta heading north towards Merapi along well-marked trails. Guided tours can arrange transportation.

Tips for Hiking Mount Merapi Safely:

Due to the active nature of the volcano, it’s important to hike Merapi safely:

– Check latest volcanic activity advisories before going.
– Hire an authorized guide familiar with the mountain.
– Bring proper hiking gear and sufficient supplies.
– Get permit from the Volcanology office in Yogyakarta.
– Avoid during rainy season from November to March.
– Stay on marked trails and follow warning signs.
– Keep away from restricted zones near the summit.
– Respect local traditions and sacred sites around the mountain.

By taking proper precautions, hiking Mount Merapi is an adventurous and culturally immersive experience like no other in Indonesia!


With stunning volcanic scenery, fascinating local culture and diverse trails for all levels, Mount Merapi is a top destination for hikers near Yogyakarta. Follow the safety tips and recommendations in this guide to plan your own thrilling hiking adventure exploring the majestic slopes around this active Javanese volcano.

Let me know if you would like me to revise or expand this article in any way. I can also provide versions in other languages if needed.

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