Gunung Merapi National Park

Central Java

From Kaliurang, there are two entrances to this national park, set on the shoulders of volcanic Gunung Merapi. The more developed entrance on Jl Kaliurang is surrounded by a dozen warungs and offers a more dramatic approach as cliffs loom over a ribbon road. Both gates access just a few kilometres of trails, which lead to caves where Japanese soldiers hid during WWII, and two different hilltop views of Merapi.

Maps at the park entrance delineate the areas open for exploration. Only the foolhardy step beyond the limits: in a sudden eruption, lava can flow down the mountain at 300km/h. A 15-minute walk to the Promojiwo viewpoint offers vistas of Merapi, past a forest incinerated in the 2010 eruption. A roughly 3km hike to Puncak Plawangan offers better views.

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