How to Summit Merapi Volcano Java, Indonesia


In this article I will outline how to summit Merapi Volcano in Java, Indonesia. It includes logistical requirements and facts as well as links to a full written narrative, photos and videos. This is a self-guided experience on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the article.

Difficulty Level:

This is an Easy ActivityMerapi Volcano: 2,968m and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It is located on the island of Java, Indonesia. It is best viewed at sunrise. It can be summitted with and without a guide. There is a park entrance fee of 25,000 IR ($2). Note that we did this as a night trek so that we could reach the summit at dawn.

Area Map:


Link to Narrative of this hike

Other Indonesia Outdoor Activities page



South Face: From Jogjakarta you can take a bus (north of the train station – ask at the tourist office located on the main road south of the train station) for about an hour to the village of Kaliurang (about 7,500 IR). The first bus leaves at 6am. Kaliurang is about 25km north of Jogjakarta and has many places to stay. From Kaliurang head north about 2km to reach Kinarejo, which is the best lookout location for long range scenic views and photos. From Kinarejo it is 9 km to the summit (or about 10 hrs). This route is very difficult according to the locals. In order to make a sunrise ascent you would need to leave early the previous evening.

North Face: From Jogjakarta you need to take at least three public buses to reach the town of Selo (starting at the town’s southeast corner bus park) or simply hire a package for about 200,000 IR per person ($16) and get private jeep transport and a guide. Many agencies provide a 14hr package. Visit the tourist office or for more details. This route starts from the village of Selo around midnight and reaches the summit around 5am (4-5 hr ascent). Note that the route is steep and the temperature on the summit can be quite cold at 5am. See GPS waypoint box below for details.


While returning from the summit I noticed a few scattered natural camp sites and even a tent. I don’t know it is officially permitted, but you could also climb up to Plateau 3 during the day and then camp for the night. This would make the sunrise ascent only about 45minutes long and much easier.

GPS Waypoints: 




Elevation Description Times
1 S 07 30.196 E 110 27.356 1,576 Selo GH & start of street N 12:30am
2 S 07 30.721 E 110 27.240 1,696 End of town (Base camp GH)
3 S 07 30.302 E 110 27.185 1,748 Road turns left
4 S 07 30.948 E 110 27.160 1,804 New Selo – end of road and rest area, trailhead left side
5 S 07 31.596 E 110 27.067 2,304 Plateau 1 – end of cultivated land
6 S 07 31.864 E 110 27.119 2,547 Plateau 2 3 am
7 S 07 32.119 E 110 26.960 2,697 Plateau 3 – end of vegetation & memorial markers 4 am
8 S 07 32.426 E 110 26.799 2,955 Summit – above crater 5 am
Left summit at 6:30 am – Back at Selo at 10 am

Link to Full Narrative

Click to watch Video

cost range

Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $


2 Nights in Jogjakarta (1 before & 1 after)
Guide/Jeep package per person
Misc munchies and drinks + breakfast next morning
Total $31
2008 prices

More Activities

Additional outdoor activities in Indonesia found on Travel Activities in Indonesia page.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Trek Day 1 Photos

Link to Narrative of this hike

Other Indonesia Outdoor Activities page

Click the big yellow button to become a patron!