Taking an off road jeep on a Merapi Lava tour is one of the most fun things to do in Yogyakarta. The tour is easy to arrange. Let me tell you about the tour and show you how you can make a booking (Merapi is also a popular destination for trekking, something to consider if you like the outdoors).

Also Read: The Best Yogyakarta Tours

Overview of the Lava Tour Merapi

There are three options available for the Merapi Lava Tour. These are the short, medium and long route. The short route consists of an 1,5 – 2 hours journey around Merapi. It costs Rp350,000 to rent the jeep. Each jeep can comfortably fit three passengers, but you can squeeze in up to five passengers if you need to.

Let me give you a quick overview of some of the highlights of the Merapi Lava Tour along with a rough itinerary. Let’s get started:

museum sisa hartaku merapi

Skeleton of a cow (or buffalo?), one of the exhibits at the Museum Sisa Hartaku

Museum Sisa Hartaku

This is a modest museum that was established by a small family (Mr. Kimin and Mrs. Wati). Museum Sisa Hartaku can be translated to My Remaining Treasure Museum. The museum is actually within their house. This house was affected by the Merapi eruption in 2010.

The family (initiated by their first child) created this museum to inform people about the last Merapi eruption. Various personal things that were owned by the family are displayed at the museum such as: motorcycles, clothing, cutlery, furniture, pets, television and much more. I got melancholy feeling looking at their clock attached to the wall. The hands of the clock are stuck forever at the moment of the eruption. It is a chilling reminder of what happened when the hot ash cloud reached the village.

Museum sisa hartaku

The clock stopped at …….

Several villages that were affected by the Merapi eruption

During the tour you will pass through several villages that were affected by the Merapi eruption (sorry I can’t remember the names of the villages). Some of the villages are now fields farmed by the locals. In these villages you will see abandoned buildings in the middle of these fields.

alien stone merapi

Does this look like a face or like an alien?

Alien stone

There is one big stone that is called Alien stone (Batu Alien) that was hurled out of the volcano during the eruption. The surroundings here are picturesque. During the Merapi Lava Tour you will come to the edge of a cliff where you can see one of the massive rivers around Merapi. Please be really careful when you are enjoying the view from the edge of the cliff as it is pretty high.

bunker kaliadem

The Bunker in Kaliadem


The bunker is located in Kaliadem and is no longer used anymore. Two people were found dead inside this bunker in 2006 (eruption). They tried to save themselves by entering the bunker and were trapped by debris from the eruption of Mount Merapi. They were covered with up to 6 feet of debris. The ash was as hot as 572 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you walk up a bit from the bunker and you can see such a beautiful view. The distance from the bunker to the Merapi summit is less than 10 km. So you can see Merapi pretty close and clear (if the weather permits). The area feels really magical and is my favourite spot of this tour.


The short Merapi Lava tour lasts for 2-hours. To make sure you are well prepared for the tour I would advise that you bring the following items:

  • A Sun Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water and a snack


The jeep driver who will be your guide (plus photographer too) usually has a basic level of English. If you wish to have a dedicated guide for a better explanation about what you see during the tour one can be arranged. This guide service is available at an additional cost.


Did you know that you can do a sunrise and a night package of the Merapi Lava Tour? The Sunrise Lava Tour starts at 4:00 am. There is also a Night Lava Tour that starts at 6-6.30 pm. The great thing about the tour is you have a spectacular view of the sky (again, if the weather permits)! Since I am a big fan of sunrises I am quite curious about the Sunrise Merapi Lava Tour.

jeep lava tour

Taking a break during the Lava Tour in Merapi.

Book The Merapi Lava Tour

The Merapi lava tour is a nice adventure and perfect for the family. You also get to see and experience a side of Merapi that few visitors to Yogyakarta ever see. I’ve done the tour twice myself and it’s definitely something that I’d recommend to friends. If you’re interested in joining the Merapi Lava tour I can help arrange everything for you.

Included in the Package:

  • Half day car rental
  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel
  • Jeep rental
  • Pack lunch (optional)
  • Dedicated guide (optional)

Interested in joining the tour? Press the button below to find out more.

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Have you ever joined the Merapi Lava Tour? What did you think of the jeep tour?