The Setumbu Hill Borobudur Sunrise Tour is one of the tourism highlights of Yogyakarta. Find out how to join a shared tour and see the sunrise on a budget. First I’d like to share with you my experience visiting the temple for sunrise. I’ll also share with you how to visit the Punthuk Setumbu Hill for yourself and give you an overview of the itinerary. Let’s get started.
You can book a shared tour to Borobudur through one of the links below:
Arranging Your Own Tour
If you want to join the Borobudur Sunrise Tour you have to leave Yogyakarta very early in the morning. Most people will arrange a car rental or join a shared tour, I’ll explain a bit more about that option later. On my first visit I decided to drive a motorbike. I’m not sure if it was a good idea, but I still enjoyed the adventure.
How to Get There
It takes between an hour to an hour and a half to drive to the Punthuk Setumbu hill (or Barede Hill-they are close to each other and offer a similar view) from Yogyakarta. I left my house at 4:30 am, the journey to the Punthuk Setumbu hills probably took between 1-1,5 hours. If you decide to drive by yourself you should wear a coat as it does get quite cold.
Punthuk Setumbu hill is located 2,5 km west of Borobudur. It’s a bit difficult to find the viewpoint if you travel here by yourself. You have to turn right on the intersection, then just follow the road, maybe around 2 km, and you find the office of this tourism spot.
When we arrived close to the tourist office we found lots of Ojek (motorbike taxi) drivers. We paid around Rp20.000 for one of the drivers to guide us to the tourist office. When we got to the tourist office we bought an entrance ticket so that we could watch the sunrise.
Remember, you have to pay the entrance fee; Rp15.000, for local tourist and Rp30.000, for foreigners. Don’t let the ojek guy tell you how much you need to pay at the counter. The bad thing about the counter is that they didn’t put the notification for the price differences between the local and non local tourists. They just stated the price Rp30.000, without any other details. I’ve been told that this is a scam so that the Ojek drivers can make extra money. If you are an Indonesian you should ask for the correct price. Yes it is not a big amount of money, but it is a crime to scam people like this.
Best Time For Sunrise
If you’re going to come to the Punthuk Setumbu/Barede Hill to see Borobudur at sunrise make sure you arrive at around 5.20 am. You still need to do a short bit of trekking; probably around 10-20 minutes to reach the spot. It’s not a hard trek if you are reasonably fit. After waking up so early you want to make sure you actually get to see the sunrise.
Borobudur Sunrise Tour
The Borobudur Sunrise Tour from Punthuk Setumbu Hill is a great option for backpackers on a budget. In fact there are two far more convenient options that you can choose; one option is hiring a private car, while the second option is joining an arranged tour.
Catching the Bus/Shared Transport
If you join an arranged tour then you get picked up from your hotel or from a pre-determined pickup point between 3 am to 4 am. Once the driver has picked up all the guests you are taken to Setumbu/Barede Hill for sunrise. After the sunrise you are taken to Borobudur temple and then back to Yogyakarta where you will be dropped off at your hotel. There’s also the option of joining a shared tour to both Borobudur and Prambanan temple.
Arranging a Car Rental
While a minivan is a great option, the more convenient option (and if you are a family or a large group the cheaper option) is arranging a car rental. This is a more convenient option. The driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to Setumbu/Barede Hill. From there you go to Borobudur and on the way back you can visit Prambanan. The good thing about this option is you don’t need to wait around for the other guests.
Watch Sunrise over Borobudur
The view of the sunrise with Borobudur, Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi in the distance is a great reward for waking up so early. If you’re interested in experiencing this for yourself I can make it easy for you. You can book a shared Borobudur Sunrise Tour through Discover Your Indonesia.
Included in the Package:
- Hotel pickup (shared transport)
- Breakfast (optional)
- Drop off at your hotel
Have you watched sunrise over Borobudur? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comment below.
Still need to book your hotel for Yogyakarta? Save yourself some time! Here’s a list of the best hotels near Malioboro for every budget.