Explored Yogyakarta’s enigmatic Borobodur and Prambanan temples? Check. Braved the treacherous climb up Mount Merapi? Check. Strolled along Prangtritis’ black beach? Check. What’s next you ask? Yogyakarta (“Jogja”) has loads more not to be missed!
From honeymooners to thrill seekers, this list of Jogja’s thrilling activities will have you covered ? Don't say we didn't share!
1. Snap wacky underwater photos at Umbul Ponggok
Ever thought of taking pictures with your aquatic pals? Umbul Ponggok offers marine enthusiasts a chance to dive deep and get friendly with the fishes. There's also loads of underwater props available for you, so get your creative juices flowing ?
From underwater motorcycles to television sets, campsites to laptops, your imagination is the only limit! If you can't swim or hold your breath for long, don't let that water down your spirit ? Life jackets and snorkel sets are available for rental. We recommend visiting on weekdays to avoid the crowds. This also gives you more time to the props! Just make sure to come in a creative mood!
#HHWT Tip: Bring your own GoPro or underwater camera to avoid paying for a photographer
Address: Jl. Delanggu- Polanharjo, Ponggok, Polanharjo, Kabupaten Klaten, Jawa Tengah 57474 Operating Hours: 7am – 5pm Cost: 15 000 Rupiah entry fee, 13 000 rupiah snorkel set rental.
2. Climb up Mount Merbabu
With an elevation of 3145m above sea level, stunning views await at the summit. Be sure to reach the summit before sunrise to enjoy spectacular views of Mount Merapi as well as other mountains in the range as the sun’s rays descend upon them.
The best way to hike Mount Merbabu is with a local guide. At a leisurely pace, the trek can be completed within 2 Days and 1 Night. Before embarking on the trek, note that an acceptable level of fitness is required. Also, be warned that some portions of the trek can be treacherous!
#HHWT Tip: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good traction! Your shoes can make or break your trek.
Address: Mount Merbabu National Park Visiting Hours: Anytime Cost: Packages start at 80USD (change to rupiah)
3. Explore the mysteries of Taman Sari
It's more than meets the eye at Taman Sari (or Water Castle). Built in the 1700s, this complex is steeped with history. Beyond the central bathing complex, numerous underground passageways are begging to be explored!
To complete your trip into Taman Sari’s underground confines, be sure to stop by the Sultan's private underground mosque - Sumur Gumuling! The winding stairs and secret chambers meet at the centre, which gives the perfect setting for an Instagram shot like this ?
#HHWT Tip: Book a guide through a hotel or tour agent so you know you're in good hands!
Address: Patehan, Kraton, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55133 Operating Hours: 9am – 3pm Cost: 15 000 rupiah entry fee
[P.S First time visit to Yogyakarta? Find out 8 fun ways to spend your time!]
4. Sandboard across Parangkusumo Sand Dunes
You can’t snowboard in Yogyakarta but you sure can sandboard! Sandboarding is a great way to have fun with friends as you zip along at fast speeds. Gliding along the Parangkusumo Sand Dunes against the breeze will be an unforgettable experience. What’s more you’ll be visiting one of the rare coastal dunes in Southeast Asia!
With slopes of varying steepness, these exotic coastal dunes have something to offer everyone. Don’t worry if it’s your first time. Guides are available for hire and with their help, you’ll be sliding along the dunes in no time! Oh, do remember to bring along lots of fluid to stay hydrated! You know sandboarding is tiring fun ?
After an adrenaline-filled session sliding on the sand, kick back on nearby sandy beaches or soak in the beautiful sunset from the wooden tower on the dunes.
#HHWT Tip: Remember to wax the boards every once in a while to ensure minimum friction and maximum speed!
Address: Jl. Pantai Parangkusumo, Parangtritis, Kec. Kretek, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55772 Operating Hours: Open 6am – 7pm. Best to visit in the late afternoon. Cost: Free entry. 100 000 rupiah snowboard rental.
5. Witness incredible views from Bekah Cliffs (locally known as “Laut Bekah”)
You absolutely have to visit Bekah Cliffs where land meets ocean (Indian Ocean to be exact! Sitting on the edge of a 90m limestone cliff with the sea breeze blowing through your hair sounds like a scene from the movies. ? Watch the endless swathe of ocean before you and it'll be a memory you'll never forget.
For fishing enthusiasts, Laut Bekah is also a popular spot with locals. Some even claim that whales can be spotted off the coast if you’re lucky! ?
Apart from the tranquil setting, Laut Bekah’s charm also lay in its isolation from civilisation. Remember to pack ample amounts of food, water and provisions to last the day (or night)! Transport will also need to be arranged, but it's certainly worth every penny!
Address: Giripurwo, Purwosari, Giripurwo, Purwosari, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55872 Operating Hours: Anytime Cost: Free entry
6. Breathe in fresh air at Imogiri Pine Forest
Just a stone’s throw away from the city, with hundreds of towering pine trees nestled together, the forest is a cool shade of calm. Imogiri Pine Forest is a serene respite to escape the bustle of Yogyakarta’s city centre. You'll find yourself in the heart of nature as you lay cosily in your hammock and bask in the surroundings.
For the avid photographer, the picturesque forest is a haven. The sun’s scattered rays piercing through the foliage is a sight to behold!
#HHWT Tip: Pack some sandwiches and snacks for a romantic picnic of two!
[ P.S. Planning your Yogyakarta trip? Check out our 5D4N Yogyakarta itinerary here! ]
Address: Jalan Hutan Pinus Nganjir, Mangunan, Dlingo, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55783 Operating Hours: Anytime Cost: Free entry
7. Snorkel at Sundak Beach
No list covering Yogyakarta would be complete without a beach on it. With beautiful white sands, blue seas and a coral reef near shore, Sundak Beaches’ stunning environment is suited for couples and families alike. As Sundak receives fewer visitors than many of Jogja’s beaches, you get more sand and sea to yourself!
Its clear waters make it the perfect place for snorkelling. Spend your afternoon swimming with the fishes, sea urchins and starfishes found amongst the coral reefs! Take note you'll need to bring your own snorkelling equipments!
After some snorkelling fun, return to the beach to savour the fresh seafood and coconut from the many stalls and restaurants around.
#HHWT Tip: Don’t stray too far from shore! As the beach is near the Indian Ocean, occasional strong waves can sweep you out to sea.
Address: Pantai Sundak, Jl. Pantai Sel. Jawa, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta Operating Hours: Anytime. Do try to leave before dark to return to town. Cost: Free entry
8. Live out your childhood dream at Chocolate Monggo Factory Outlet
Calling all chocolate lovers! It's time to be your own Willy Wonka as you observe a selection of the delicious bonbon made right before your eyes. What's more, Monggo uses 100% Indonesian coco beans to satisfy the true chocolate fans! ?
Major brownie points awarded, as samples are given for FREE! With unique flavours like Red Chilli, Nutmeg, Rendang & Green Tea, you'll certainly be spoilt for choice, even with an exquisite tastebud? Chocolates are the best gift and if you're thinking to buy some home for loved ones, you can be assured to find the right type of halal-certified chocolate.
Address: Jl. Dalem KG III / 978, Purbayan Kotagede, Purbayan, Kotagede, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55173 Operating Hours: Mon – Fri (8am – 4pm), Sat (9am – 2pm), Closed on Sundays Cost: Depends on the amount of chocolate bought (but who can blame you?)
9. Look around Ijo Temple – Temple with a view
With panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and refreshing cool air, this 10th Century Hindu temple is slowly gaining favour amongst tourists. Touted by locals as one of the best sunset spots in Yogyakarta, an afternoon visit here is a must! Perched on a hill 410m above sea level, Ijo Temple offers more than the customary temple experience.
If you are in an adventurous mood, explore the western side of the hill where temple ruins suggest the existence of an originally larger compound running from the foot of the hill to the top! The higher the terrace of the temple, the more sacred it is. Do remember to get back to the main temple in time to admire the breath-taking views as the sun dips over the horizon and the city below lights up!
#HHWT Tip: Arrive early for good spots to catch the sunset!
Address: Sambirejo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55572 Operating Hours: 730am – 6pm Cost: 10 000 Rupiah entry fee
The hidden treasures tucked away in Yogyakarta promises an amazing experience for any wanderlust traveller. Now that we've shared with you the secrets of this charming city, head down and experience the beauty for yourself! Do leave us a review and share your experience with us! We'd love to know ?
[ P.S. Curious to find halal food spots in Yogyakarta? Check out these 13 eateries you have to try! ]