Gunungkidul. At 700 meters above sea level, the peak of Mount Purba, a volcano in Nglanggeran, a so-called tourist village in Gunungkidul, south of Yogyakarta, offers the perfect spot for sunrise and sunset hunters.
Nglanggeran itself is also a good option to escape increasingly busy Yogyakarta and indulge in outdoor and cultural adventures.
Visitors to the village have the option to stay with the locals or pitch up a tent at designated camping area at the foot of the mountain before going on outbound adventures, climbing, rafting, tracking and hunt for the perfect sunrise and sunset.
For those who want a little more privacy, there are also more than 80 very reasonably priced homestays scattered around the village.
If you spend more than a few days in the village, you can learn how to plant rice, plow rice fields, practice cocoa farming and learn how to make handcrafts.
One of the more unusual attractions in the village is the Nglanggeran Chocolate Hall, where you can buy various locally-produced chocolates.
If you're more into culture, then Nglanggeran is also the perfect place to learn traditional performances with local troupes, including "jathilan (pantomime horse)," "reog (masked dance)" or playing "karawitan" (traditional orchestra) with a local band.
“Visitors can collaborate with locals and perform on stage during one of our bonfire events," Nglanggeran village secretary Sugeng Handoko said.
Nglanggeran is also known for its list of unusual attractions that have drawn many visitors there even before it was declared by the government as a tourist village. Some of those are:
- the famed Termas tree, found in abundance on Mount Purba and whose sap is believed by locals to have healing properties.
- the "Mpu Pitu" or "Seven Elders," who head seven families living on the peak of Mount Purba. According to traditional beliefs, the number of families living there has to be kept at seven.
- the Comberan Eternal Spring on the peak of Mount Purba. Many visitors come to the spring to wash their face since they believe the water can make them eternally youthful.
- the "Tapak Syahadatain" hermitage, a favorite for tourists thanks to its cool weather.
- the Putri Cave near the top of Mount Purba where there is a mysterious headless statue.
- the Kedung Kandang waterfall.
- Tyrolean traverse, slide between two hills using only a steel wire. Perfect for adrenaline seekers.
Due to its natural beauty, Nglanggeran is also a popular filming location, both for TV shows and feature films. Local box-office hits "Jenderal Soedirman," and "Rudy Habibie" were partly shot in the village.
The village has also been featured on Travelasia.
According to data, 14,000 local visitors come to Nglanggeran every month. Add to that around 2,000 overseas visitors every year.
The village is located 25 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta. Access to the village is easy, with smooth asphalt road all the way.
Indonesia Tourism Xchange
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya meanwhile urges tourist villages and homestay owners across the country to join ITX, or Indonesia Tourism Xchange, a commerce website hosted by the ministry.
"Do you have digital booking and payment?" Arief asked homestay owners at a gathering in Jakarta recently. "If you haven’t, join ITX."
The ITX website offers a booking system, payment engine and customer service. It can be accessed at www.itx.co.id.