From the city of Yogyakarta you can access the 2 most attractive destinations on the island of Java: its two impressive temples: Prambanan and Borobudur as well as Bromo Volcano. In this post you will find everything you need to know to make the most of your visits.
Yogyakarta is a vast city with chaotic traffic, has nothing special to see besides these spectacular temples, which are a few kilometers from it, although here you get touched by the spirituality and kindness of its locals. The Bromo volcano is 380 kilometers away; I’ll tell you later everything you need to know to visit it.
PRAMBANAN AND BOROBUDUR TEMPLES
We saw the 2 temples on the same day because we were returning to Spain in two days, so we wanted to make the most of our time and hired a private car with a driver/guide for 500,000 IDR.
If you have enough time to spend, it is better to visit them in 2 days, especially if you move by public transport as they are very accessible by bus. In 1 day you can also visit both temples by public transport, but you will be a bit pushed for time.
The temples of Prambanan and Borobudur were built throughout the 9 TH century and are a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1991.
The temples of Prambanan are Hindus. It is believed that it was a complex of 200 temples dedicated TrImurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the preservative (Vishnoo) and the Destroyer (Shiva). Today only one part of the complex is preserved, being the rest destroyed by different earthquakes throughout history, in particular the one of 2006.
During the visit, we can enter some temples that hide sculptures of the gods, and see at close sight the amazing statues carved in the rock.
How to get there
The temples of Prambanan are 18 kilometers from Yogakarta and you can easily reach them by public transport. For this you should take the bus 1 A or 1 B of the company Trans Jogya (https://dishub.jogjaprov.go.id/trans-jogja) in Maliboro street, which leaves you 5 minutes walk from the temple’s entrance. The journey takes about 30 minutes approx.
You can also go on your own by motorbike or private tour with a guide.
Opening hours are 6 am to 5 pm and the entrance fee is 25 USD or 40 USD when you purchase the Combo ticket to visit also Borobudur. This Combo ticket is valid for the next 24 hours since purchase, a single entry at each temple. Don’t forget to bring your passport or a copy, as they will scan it for registration.
Borobudur Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It was conceived for glorifying Buddha and designed as the Mandala, which symbolizes the universe. Its construction was completed in the year 850, abandoned in the 14 TH century, and was re-discovered by the British in 1814.
Borobudur has over seventy huge stupas made of stone in an inverted bell form. Each stupa contains a sculpture of Buddha who face outward from the temple.
How to get there
Borobudur is 40 kilometers from Yogyakarta, and you can also get there by public transport. Take the bus number 2 A or 2 B (Maliboro Street) of the company Trans Jogja. Then get off at the latest stop, which is the Terminal Jombor and here change to another bus that will take you to Borobudur. The bus is easily identified because holds the destination on a sign. All together, the journey takes 1 hour.
Where to stay in Jogyakarta
Most of the hotels are concentrated in 2 areas:
- Jalan Malioboro and surroundings City center and. main street. You will find it crowed with people strolling, eating and purchasing in little food and clothes stalls.
- Jalan Prawirotaman zone, 30 minutes walk from Malioboro street. This area is very inexpensive, full of guesthouses and cheap restaurants.
We stayed at the Prime Plaza Hotel Jogjakarta, and I highly recommend it. The hotel features a swimming pool, delicious breakfast and good value for money.
It’s very worth visiting these unique temples and really enjoyed seeing them.
Having enjoyed the temples of Prambanan and Borobudur, just one more thrilling experience left (before going back to Spain): hiking the Bromo volcano, the most famous in Indonesia for being active today; its impressive panorama over the caldera, as walking along of its crater’s edge, is breathtaking.
The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, on the island of Java, is formed by the Sea of Sand of Tenger, on this surface lies Mount Semeru (the highest in Java with 3.675 meters) and Mount Bromo, the best known in Indonesia. The entire park has an area of 500 square kilometers, showing incredible views. Next to the Bromo, the volcanoes Kursi and Batok make up the picture of the park.
BROMO’S VOLCANO VISIT
The trip to Bromo volcano comprises 2 things:
- Watch the sunrise of the volcano from one of its viewpoints, on a mountain next to the village Cemoro Lawang. And then,
- see the Bromo caldera hiking a sandy path. I was amazed as I reached the summit and overlooked the steaming crater. But note that you need to be careful because there is no security at all along the perimeter and many people are waking up there.
How to get to Mount Bromo from Yogyakarta
You can go on an organized tour or on your own.
An organized tour includes the transportation to Cemoro Lawang and the jeep that will take you to the viewpoints to see the volcano and then the trip to the base of the volcano to hike it to the crater.
If you go by yourself, take a train or bus from Yogyakarta to Probolinggo and once there, a minivan to Cemoro Lawang that will take 1 hour 30 min approx. Then, you need to walk up to the viewpoints and finally to the base of the volcano.
The train leaves from Lempuyangan Station; take note that trains only departure in the morning. The price is IDR 96,000 per person, and it takes about 6 hours to get to Probolinggo. You can purchase train tickets in advance at tiket.com.
It’s best to stay in Cemoro Lawang. There are many very basic homestays, but usually they are full at peak season, so it is advisable to book in advance. We stayed at Cemara Indah hotel, and there, we hired a jeep to drive us to the foot of the viewpoints.
How to get to Bromo to Watch the Sunrise
The jeep departs around 3:00 am to reach the viewpoints. Once the jeep pulls into the parking lot, walk about 1 hour approx.
Along the way there are several viewpoints. The most famous is the one at the highest point, the so-called number 2 (view point number 2) which is overcrowded as all of them.
How to get to the volcano’s crater
First you cross an esplanade of sand, go all straight away at 30 minutes walk you reach the base of the volcano. From there it takes 20 minutes to reach the crater. There is a lot of dust and tourists on horseback, which makes the hike a little unpleasant. At the end there are some stairs and you’re already in the crater.
There is a no safety walkway, so carefully, you can walk around enjoying the views and appreciating the wonder of this active volcano.
To return to Probolinggo, our hotel’s receptionist called the same driver who had brought us and he drove us back to the train station, once there we took the train back to Yogyakarta.
Backpacking for Mount Bromo (sunrise and crater tour)
Here are some tips on what you need to bring with you to Mount Bromo.
Although the climate is usually warm in Indonesia, this mountain is at high altitude so it gets cold while waiting to watch the sunrise. And then, during the hike to the volcano is so dusty that sand get into your eyes and nose which is unpleasant.
Here’s the essential list:
– A warm jacket, a scarf and gloves.
– Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and mask (or the scarf) to protect your face from the sand.
– Trekking boots, a good ankle support for the sandy soil is advisable.
Yogyakarta and Bromo Volcano, my thoughts
And with this last adventure, we put an end to our journey through Indonesia. The friendliness of the Indonesian people, its delicious food, the variety of things to do and see, its different cultures, are just some reasons why you need visit this country.
* Bali. A practical Travel Guide for First-Timers
* 2 Days in Lombok. Popular Things in the Island
* Sulawesi Where the Worship of Death is a Tradition
* Flores and Komodo National Park. A tour around this amazing island