If you ever wonder what to do on your last days in Yogyakarta? After having an awesome time exploring the wonders of the city, from its majestic temples, strolling around Malioboro street while tasting the tantalizing street food, to delving into Kraton’s royal history. Why don’t you try to take a one-day trip to visit places around Yogyakarta which will surely take your breath away. Here are 10 recommendations of destinations to visit outside Yogyakarta that can be done in one day.

1. Ancient Volcano Nglanggeran

Photo by Backpacker Jakarta

Located around 20km from Yogyakarta city center, lying within Desa Wisata Nglanggeran (Nglanggeran Tourism Village), Gunung Api Purba is a good option for those who only want to do light trekking. Gunung Nglanggeran is an extinct volcano, which was last active around 60 million years ago. Situated at an elevation of 700 meters above sea level,  it only requires a low-fitness level to enjoy the stunning vista from the top of Gunung Nglanggeran. 1.5 hours of hiking is worth the effort, especially knowing how beautiful the view of Nglanggeran reservoir is. The best time to do the trek is two hours before sunrise or sunset to savor the magical moment of the sky changing color, and dusk settles over the horizon overlooking the majestic scenery of Gunung Lima Jari. To get here, we recommend you to use a personal vehicle considering there is no convenient public transport. To rent a motorbike, the price ranges from IDR 70.000 to over IDR 125.000 per day, and for a car around IDR 250.000 (without driver) to over IDR 600,000 (with driver) per 12 hours. There are many more iconic places to visit around Gunung Api Purba, such as  Embung Nglanggeran, a man-made pond on top of a hill, and Kedung Kandang Waterfall.

Embung Nglanggeran Photo by Jogjaseni
Kedung Kandang Waterfall Photo by Tripcanvas

2. Dieng Plateau

Dieng is an ideal place to escape from the hustle-bustle of urban lifestyles because of its picturesque natural landscape. The air is less polluted, so fresh and invigorating. Located in between Wonosobo and Banjarnegara Regencies, Dieng Plateau is convenient to reach from Yogyakarta. It takes around 3 – 4 hours to get there. Dieng plateau offers a combination of nature, cultural heritage, and geological and historical sites.

Mt Prau Photo by Mt.Prau

Fun fact, the highest village of Java sits on the slope of Dieng plateau, namely, Desa Sembungan or Sembungan village. Located 2,100 meters above sea level, local people called this area the land above the clouds. There are so many stunning places to explore at Dieng. If you are up for hiking, Mt Prau (2,565 ml) awaits you. The hike is suitable for beginners since the trek is relatively easy. The views are absolutely spectacular from the peak of Mt Prau, particularly over the savannah, the perfect place to camp and spend a night with friends to catch the sunrise illuminating the flanks of Sindoro and Sumbing volcanoes intertwined with the clouds surrounding them.  

For those of you who want to enjoy a sunrise over a summit without having to spend too much energy and time climbing high mountains, Sikunir hill is a good option. When the weather is good, from the top of Sikunir hill, you can relish the sunrise while enjoying the view of Mount Sindoro in the distance. It takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to the top of Sikunir hill, and the trek is well-made and easy to follow. 

Sikunir Hill Photo by Saita_yoko

Telaga Warna is the iconic natural wonder of Dieng. You haven’t truly been to Dieng if you did not include Telaga Warna in your itinerary. Because the water in Telaga Warna is rich in sulfur, when the sunlight hits the water, it creates a change in color. Sometimes it is turquoise green, yellow, violet; at some moments it even creates rainbow colors. The best way to appreciate this landscape is by seeing it from viewpoints. There are two viewpoints, Batu Pandang Dieng and Sidengkeng hill Petak 9 Dieng.

Telaga Warna Dieng Photo by Nugrohofebianto18

Dieng has more nuance than just it’s beautiful natural wonders. It’s full of history as it has been inhabited since the 7th century. You can find remnants of ancient civilizations in Arjuna temple. Discovered in 1945, almost entirely submerged by water, now Arjuna temple can be appreciated as one of the main attractions of Dieng plateau. If you are into temples, this temple is a must visit.

Arjuna Temple Photo by Novemlawalata

3. Gunung Kidul Beaches

Gunung Kidul beach Photo by Ferindynt

Along the southern shoreline of Gunung Kidul lie countless beaches to discover.  Most of them are formed in between staggering cliffs that have been eroded by the ocean for centuries creating scenic coastal inlets, a perfect hideout to escape the mundane routine— every beach in Gunung Kidul region allure travelers with its unique characteristics.

Timang Beach

Timang beach is well known for its dramatic landscape, which you can enjoy from a gondola connecting the mainland to a small islet. Experience the adrenaline rush all over your body as you cross over on the gondola.

Jogan Beach Photo by Pantai_jogan

At Jogan beach, you can see a stunning view of a waterfall flowing straight into the ocean. If you feel like doing an extreme activity, try to rappel down the waterfall.

Wedi Ombo Beach Photo by Sukmaaugusti

Most of the beaches in Gunung Kidul are not swimmable, but you can take a dip in a natural lagoon at Wediombo beach while watching the sunset. It takes 2-3 hours to get to Gunung Kidul from Yogyakarta, the best way to get there is to go by your own vehicle. You can arrange a car rental with a driver from Yogyakarta. There are endless activities to do in Gunung Kidul. To help you organize your trip to Gunung Kidul check out the Gunung Kidul Day Trip tour, the best thing about this tour is that it can be personalized to your heart’s desire.

4. Mt. Merapi & Mt. Merbabu

Mt. Merapi

Nothing beats the satisfaction of standing on Mt. Merapi’s summit, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The peak of Merapi sits at an elevation of 2,930 m above sea level. Despite its divine destructive force, lying beneath it is a cradle of life. The ash from volcanic activity nourishes the soil making the slopes of Mt Merapi one of the most fertile lands in the world. Hikers from all around the world come to taste the ascending trek to enjoy the majestic landscape around Merapi’s summit. It takes up to 6 hours to reach the summit. The trek is quite rocky and challenging; make sure your fitness is sufficient before deciding to make your way up. It is advisable to end the hike at Pasar Bubrah since the way up to the crater is steep and treacherous. This area is relatively flat, and people usually camp here before continuing hiking to the top of Merapi to enjoy the sunrise. From the top, you can see the vast breathtaking landscape with the presence of Merbabu mountain to the north and Slamet, Sumbing, and Sindoro mountains to the west. 

The climb begins from New Selo. From Yogyakarta, New Selo can be reached by public transport, but there is no direct bus. It takes approximately 3-4 hours to get to Selo village. You can take buses from Yogyakarta to Kartasura and then continue to Boyolali and Selo village. The most convenient way to get there is by arranging a car or motorbike rental with a driver from Yogyakarta.

The entrance ticket for international tourists is 150.000 rupiah, and the best time to do the hiking is during the dry season, which is May to October.

To help you organize your trip to Mt. Merapi, check out Mount Merapi Guided Tour. Guided hikes with professional rangers to ensure your safety and the best hiking experience.

Mt Merbabu

Unlike the mighty Merapi, Mt. Merbabu is a dormant volcano that has its own charm to lure hikers. Situated at 3,145m above sea level, Mt Merbabu is slightly taller than Merapi. The climb to the top is more gentle and less steep than Mt Merapi, but it usually takes longer to reach the summit, roughly 7 – 8 hours. As you climb your way up through the long winding road, the ever-changing scenic panorama will excite your senses. It is worth every drop of your sweat. The top of Mt Merbabu offers a 360-degree view of incredible natural beauty laid out before you. Over the plain, you can see the peaks of Mt Merapi, Mt Sindoro, Mt Sumbing, Dieng Plateau, and even Mt Lawu in the distance. The starting points to climb Mt Merbabu can be accessed through Thekelan, Chuntel, Wekas, Suwanting, and Selo villages. Selo Village has a relatively easier trek; therefore, many hikers prefer to go this way. To get to Selo village from Yogyakarta, you can take a train (Pramex) to Solo Balapan train station, from here head to Tirtonadi Bus station and take a bus to Semarang and get off at Pandanarang Hospital and then continue with a small bus to go to Cepogo traditional market, after this take a small bus to go to Selo Traditional Market and then from here take a local motorbike taxi (Ojek) to get to Selo Climbing point.

To help you organize your trip to Mt Merbabu, check out  Mount Merbabu Guided Tour a guided hike with professional rangers to ensure your safety and the best hiking experience.

5. Kiskendo & Seplawan Cave

Seplawan Cave Photo by Infojogja.co

Before first entering the cave, expect to be fascinated by a series of impressive reliefs, unfolding the legendary story of Ramayana. As you go deeper to the heart of the cave, the luminosity will fade gradually while you feel your heart beating faster and harder. There is something utterly mystifying about the Kiskendo cave. With the only light coming from your headlamps, you will be astonished by spectacular stalactite formations dripping water on the long paved pathway along the way. In this dark and mystical decor lies a story of a battle of mythological gods, the fight between Rama and Rahwana fighting over the hand of Dewi Shinta. It’s essential to understand the history of a place to be more connected to the cave. No worries, they provided guides who would love to take you on the journey and answer your questions, leaving your curious mind satisfied.

Located in Kulon Progo Regency, a motorbike takes around 45 minutes – 1 hour to reach this place from Yogyakarta city center. Surprisingly, the entrance ticket is very cheap, at less than IDR 10.000, and for the guides, they accept a donation. This is definitely worth a try. Around this area, there are many other exciting places to visit.

Seplawan Cave

Seplawan cave is an awe-inspiring place. In 1979, a 1.5 kg 22-carat gold statue was found there; it is believed to be the representation of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the Hindu goddess. To enter the cave, you have to walk down through a long spiral staircase. The tunnel is around 700m long. Besides the stairs, the rest of the path inside the cave is kept natural, without man-made alterations, no paved road, but there are lamps installed along the way, so a headlamp is unnecessary. To finish the whole trek, at some points, the road is submerged by knee-deep-water. The scenic view Seplawan cave offers is very charismatic, it doesn’t give you the dark, mysterious vibe. Just like Keskindo cave, the entrance ticket to Seplawan costs less than a buck. These caves are definitely worth visiting.

6. Paragliding From Kemuning Hill

Paragliding Photo by Soloindonesia

Paragliding above the foothill of Mt Lawu is thrilling. Take off and float over remarkably beautiful, lush tea plantations. From up here, you can observe the world through the perspective of the bird’s eyes. Usually, you can see from the air landscape features that are invisible from the ground. This experience offers 10-20 minutes soaring into the air, accompanied by a professional pilot. To get your adrenaline pumping, let your pilot do some epics trick in the sky. To get to Bukit Paralayang Kemuning from Yogyakarta by public transportation, you can take a train to Solo and then take a bus from Tirtonadi bus station to Tawangmangu and get off at Karangpandan bus station, from here take a small bus to Ngargoyoso. If you wish to fly during the weekday, it is better to make a reservation in advance, but during the weekend you can go visit the place right away. Once you get to Ngargoyoso, let your pilot know so he can arrange a pick-up truck to take you to the take-off point. This experience costs around IDR 400.000, to make a reservation you can contact Agung on +6281802732273. If you aren’t afraid of heights, we would definitely recommend it!

7. Cetho & Sukuh Temple

Located on the slopes of Mt Lawu, Cetho temple has a stunning panoramic view. The temple was built in the late 15th century. The unique characteristic of this temple is that, unlike other Hindu temples, the Sukuh temple’s relief is carved in simplicity. Architecturally, it has similarities to the Aztec Pyramids in Mexico. The reliefs exhibit sexual imagery as a symbols of deity and human fertility. Lingga and Yoni are reliefs in the shape of human genitals. Lingga symbolized Lord Shiva, and Yoni is the symbol of Parwaty, the wife of Lord Shiva. The erotic aspect of this temple is considered a sacred symbol of the continuity of life.

Cetho Temple Photo by Athif_ahmad

Cetho Temple consists of three terraces. On top of it, there is a small shrine where Hindu people do rituals. If you want to enter and for prayer, you can ask the key clerk to open it up for you. Not far away from here, there is another temple you can visit, called Candi Sukuh.

Sukuh Temple Photo by Adityarevianur

Candi Sukuh was also built in the 15th century during the comedown years of the Majapahit kingdom. Because of the presentation of human genitals on its reliefs, Candi Sukuh is well-known as the erotic temple. The complex of this temple is considered small. The reliefs are decorated with distorted figures and Barong statues in a wayang style. The origin of it remains a mystery. Back then, the locals used the symbol of Lingga and Yoni that mark the entrance to determine if a woman was still a virgin or not. The woman should jump over the Lingga and keep the sarong tightly wrapped. If it slid down, she was considered not to be a virgin.

8. Imogiri

Imogiri has many great attractions, from historical sites, instagramable selfie points, beautiful waterfalls to the mystical pine forest. Located only 45 minutes away from Yogyakarta city center, Mangunan region is a good option for adventurers. Enjoy the ride through a long winding road with beautiful exotic greenery on bothsides. The best way to get there is by motorbike or car.

Kebun Buah Mangunan Photo by Wind.ek

First things first, do not forget to take your camera with you. Kebun Buah Mangunan is a viewpoint located in the highlands of Imogiri. The atmosphere in the morning is magical, a charming view of hills, forests and rivers blanketed in mist mingling together with a vast sea of clouds. Come here at dawn to indulge in this panoramic landscape.

Imogiri Pine Forest Photo by Rizky_anaz

Imogiri Pine Forest is one of the hidden gems of the Bantul region. The area around this pine forest has been set up by the local people to accommodate tourists who want to take pictures of this singular and vertiginous scenery. A multitude of hammocks hanging on trees allow you to take original photos with all your friends. If you are lucky, you may see an art performance at the amphitheater. To escape the crowded areas such as the viewpoints, and other selfie spots. Just walk through the forest and find yourself surrounded by the majestic trees, the sound of rustling leaves will help you to unwind and relax. It is best to come in the morning on weekdays because on the weekend the area tends to be crammed with local tourists.

Lepo Waterfall Photo by Ayodolan

Gasp in astonishment at the clarity of Lepo-the turquoise waterfall. It has a series of cascading mini waterfalls, consisting of 2 levels, the first has a good depth for swimming, around 2m. Meanwhile, the second level has a more epic view of the falls spurting over the bliss-pool at the bottom, but is quite shallow for swimming. The entrance fee is collected by donation. The road to get here is quite tricky, so you should take extra care when driving.

9. Rafting at Progo River

Rafting at Progo River Photo by ArungJeramMagelang

The Progo River has been a popular destination for rafting enthusiasts. It embodies a good balance of challenge for all skill levels. Progo river rafting offers a fun and exciting experience. Progo has three areas of rafting based on location. Upper Progo, Delta Progo, and Lower Progo. The water flow on Upper Progo and Delta Progo is relatively calm. If you are looking for more advanced rafting, you can take the Lower Progo. The rapids in the river range from class II to class III. It is very safe for beginners but challenging enough for non first-timers.

For the novice, it is better to do the 9 km or 12 km distance, but if you are confident enough, try to explore the whole river, with a length of 25 km, you will be rafting for 5 hours. Along the journey, you will encounter lush tropical greenery with never-ending charming scenery.

10. Merapi Lava Tour

Merapi Lava Tour Photo by Like_Jogja

In this bold and adventurous tour, you will be taken on a journey to see the aftermath of the last big eruption of Mt Merapi in 2010. The area was covered by hot ash and pyroclastic flows. Now it has turned into a tourist attraction. Merapi Lava tour is a jeep tour exploring the slope of Mt Merapi that was damaged by the mighty eruption. The tour starts by watching the sunrise at Kaliadem, following the route through Bunker Kaliadem. Along the way you can see old buildings and some artifacts devastated by the eruption. There is a huge rock, Batu Alien, which locals believe was spurted from the crater of Mt Merapi. Besides its vivid history, you will  enjoy the exotic panorama from the jeep. This tour cost around 35 USD for the 3.5 hour tour. It is worth every single penny.