Most people who are planning to visit Yogyakarta will certainly put Borobudur temple, Prambanan temple and Kraton (Yogyakarta palace) on the itinerary. Oh those places are certainly interesting to visit and explore. However, I would like to suggest some more activities that you can do around Yogyakarta. Have you heard about Gunung Kidul regency? The area is located in the southeast part of the province of Yogyakarta Special Region. Check out my 3 top things to do in Gunung Kidul.
Visit to Jomblang Cave
Exploring Jomblang cave is definitely a special kind of activity, but it is not cheap for Yogyakarta standards. This 3,5 hours activity costs around $40 per person. To be able to explore Jomblang cave, you need to contact Jomblang resort and reservation. There is a have maximum of 25 persons per day.
You'll enter the cave by abseiling down for 60 metres into the cave. At the bottom you will find an ancient forest. Afterwards you'll walk through a big tunnel for around 250 metres. It will end at Grubug cave where you'll get to see sunlight come through foliage at the mouth or Grubug cave. It looks pretty spectacular down there.
Visit the beaches
There are plenty of beautiful beaches in Gunung Kidul regency. Different from the black sand Parangtritis beach in South of Yogyakarta (approximately 25 km from the city centre), beaches in Gunung Kidul regency are white sand beaches. You should keep in mind that Gunung Kidul beaches are not the kind of beaches for swimming and surfing. The current is very strong. Don’t worry though, you can swim at some of these places. One of my personal favourites is Ngrenehan beach. Ngrenehan beach is shaped like a bay shape, so it is pretty safe to swim around.
Most of beaches in Gunung Kidul area have rocky hills that you can easily climb (with care). Pok Tunggal beach, Sadranan beach and Jogan beach are not to be missed. Besides enjoying the view and playing around the beach, you should have a seafood BBQ by the beach. There are plenty of small restaurants that offer a great selection of seafood. At most beaches you need to pay a parking fee, which is around 50 cents.
Hike mount Nglanggeran
Gunung Nglanggeran or mount Nglanggeran is also being known as Gunung Api Purba. Mount Nglanggeran is great because the community that manage it, take really good care of the place. The entrance fee for mount Nglanggeran is around $1 (or even les, I think). The mountain is clean. The management provides several trash bins around the area. They also have clear signs to lead people to the tops (oh yes, there are several top). It took around 1.5 hours to hike to the top.
The hike up Mount Nglanggeran is medium to easy. Though at some point you need to climb very big rocks and need to climb a bit (on some case we need to use four limbs), the view from the top in worth it. You'll see plenty of green scenery, like rice fields, trees and a lot of small hills.
Spend an hour sitting and enjoying the view on the top of mount Nglanggeran. The time passes really fast. Most locals suggest starting the hike up around 2 pm so you can enjoy the sunset from the top. If you do, don't forget to bring a torch with you so you'll have some light on the way down.