Borobudur, Prambanan, Keraton and Parangtritis beach. Are these the top things that pop up in your mind when you think about ‘Yogyakarta’? If yes, hey.. you definitely need to re-visit Yogyakarta at some point. Yogyakarta is not just about those places! This city has so many things to discover and explore. I could talk about Gunung Kidul, located not so far away from Yogyakarta, which is a really special place.
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There are so many beautiful beaches (just waiting for you to discover), amazing caves, pretty scenery, waterfalls in Gunung Kidul. The great thing about the area is that it’s not yet too touristy, which is very good right? With fresh fish and beautiful scenery Genung Kidul is the perfect escape. If you’re planning to rent a car in Yogyakarta or a scooter I’d highly recommend visiting some of these beaches (I’ll share my favourite beach at the end of the post).
Gunung Kidul is located around 70 km down south from Yogyakarta and it takes around 2,5 hours drive. It is very very easy to find! As long as you have a GPS on your phone, you can just drive there by yourself or with friends and have a holiday gateway at the beach. If you don’t have it, you can just ask people that you meet on the street for directions, easy! Just never ever drive in the late evening / night, because the road is very empty so it’s easy to get lost. Oh, when I said a holiday gateway to the beach, don’t think that the beach will be like Parangtritis beach with so many people and black sand. The beaches around Gunung Kidul are mostly still clean and not so touristy, with clear white clear sand! I do like black sandy beach as well, but sometimes white is better. 🙂 Here are some beaches in Gunung Kidul that you can visit and enjoy:
– Sandranan Beach
– Baron Beach
– Krakal Beach
– Sepanjang Beach
– Ngrenehan Beach
– Kukup Beach
– Ngobaran Beach
Gunung Kidul is also famous for its caves nowadays. Two that are really popular include Pindul cave and Jomblang cave. Here you can explore the caves and even do some tube caving as well. I would recommend Jomblang cave if you are looking for more of a challenge and a longer journey, but if you just want to do a tiny bit (very short track!) of caving then Pindul cave is also a great choice. Along the way to Pindul cave and Jomblang cave, you will find a lot of local people offering their services as guides, but I can tell you that it is not so hard to find.
There are so many beaches and caves around Gunung Kidul that you couldn’t see them all in one day trip. I would recommend you bring your own tent and just camp on the beach, so you can have time to explore the area more the next day. If you do not want to camp then Kampung Baron is the best place to stay. The rooms here are around Rp. 600.000 per night ($ 62.5), but you get what you pay for; it is beautiful, comfortable and a very artistic place.
Kampung Baron located exactly next to the entrance gate of Baron beach (and other beaches) in Gunung Kidul. There are other homestays on the beach, but none of them are as good as Kampoeng Baron. I once tried to stay in one of them, but I didn’t stay the night. The rate was Rp. 200.000 per night ($ 20.8), but there were ants, spiders, hornets, frogs, and the last thing that I just couldn’t deal with, Bats!
Have you ever visited Gunung Kidul? Tell me your secret beach! 🙂
P.S. My favourite beach is Ngrenehan. You can swim safely in the cove and you can buy fresh BBQ fish at the beach.
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P.S. Need help arranging your Yogyakarta holidays? Save yourself some time! Here’s a list of Shared and Private tours.