Mt Merapi Off Road Lava Tour, Jogjakarta

The Merapi Mountain is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. Nevertheless, it is still quite safe to visit. With its height of 2,965 metres (as of 2010) above sea level, Merapi has become a popular destination for tourists. It last erupted in late 2010, claiming more than 350 lives and displacing over 400,000 nearby residents.

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This adventure allows people to see the aftermath of the eruption, as well as view the top of Mount Merapi from 2 km away. The road to this volcano goes through small villages. These scenic drive on Jeep safaris are really adventures as the road is narrow, steep inclinations and sharp turns en route and the jeep drive is fairly rough.

Mount Merapi’s located approximately 28 kilometres north of the large Yogyakarta city with thousands of people living on the flanks of the volcano. Prior to your tour, you would arrive at Kaliadem, the village located at the base of Mount Merapi. Kaliadem is the highest point where the jeeps could reach. It was a popular village with campsites for those wanting to catch Merapi sunrise from afar. Now it’s covered with rocks and ash, heavily damaged from lava eruption.

To reach Kaliadem, there are 3 different routes from Adisucipto Airport: Kaliurang, Prambanan, and Kalasan. The journey takes about 45-60 minutes depending on traffic. After you arrive at Base camp to start Lava Tour, you can choose 3 types of adventure.

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Moving on to complete the 1.5 hour journey, you will reach mini museum “Sisa Hartaku” (translated as “My Remaining Treasure Museum”). This museum serves to inform visitors about the impacts of the last Merapi eruption. It is where you can see the extent of the destruction when the hot cloud (pyroclastic flow) hits the village.

The last 2010 eruption left story that moved visitor about the passing of Merapi spiritual guardian. Mbah Maridjan (or Grandfather Maridjan) replaced his father as the gatekeeper in 1982. Spiritual guardians of Merapi are believed to have the power to speak to the spirits of Merapi. He refused to evacuate before the 2010 eruption, telling friends that he had a responsibility to the people and mountain, and that it was soon his time to die.

Next you will be driven to a bunker where two volunteers were trapped and died. It’s actually located 3 metres underground, layered with 25 cm thick iron. However, the 1000 degrees Celsius hot volcanic materials, such as dry lava, buried the bunker during the last eruption.

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Upon visiting Mt. Merapi, the magnificent landscape and seeing the aftereffects of nature, you would realised that there is a greater power than those of humans. This adventure and educational tour will teach you to be more appreciative of life, as well as to be more cautious in everything that we do.

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