I would like to avoid the packaged tours, and go to mount Metapi (Selo village) from Yogyakarta by motorbike (scooter).

I read Selo village, where the hike to the top of Merapi starts, is about 3h drive from Yogyakarta, not sure if that's also a correct estimation when going by scooter.

This looks not only cheaper but also nicer (enjoy the ride), more fun (adventure!), and more flexible (I can go when I want, where I want, and stay longer in the mountain/village if I feel like it).

My only concern is the state of the road. Not sure if this is doable during day time, even less during night time. Note that it's dark around 17:30 in Indonesia.

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    I did that one also (again with the minibus), I think it shouldn't be a problem and if I remember correctly, it was a paved quite large street. Note that again, you'd probably want to go for the sunrise tour (starts at around 1am) and thus reach quite early the day before. I found one picture (not by me), which seems to confirm that the road is okay. If you want to climb Merapi, I'd suggest you take a guide, it's much more strenuous and dangerous than Bromo. – drat Jun 19 '15 at 7:52
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    Of course that's possible. A friend of mine goes home to malang from yogya every once in a while by scooter (but i guess that one is not fun anymore).... – Axel Jun 19 '15 at 22:20

Just confirming: Selo village is where the hike to the top of Merapi starts.

Probably the nicest itinerary:

  1. Yogyakarta to Borobudur, takes around 1h (you can stop here to enjoy the temple)
  2. Borobudur to mount Merapi (Selo village), takes around 1h30min

The road from Yogyakarta to Borobudur is very good.

The road from Borobudur to mount Merapi (Selo village) is a typical Indonesian country side road, it's not amazing but it does the job.

Borobudur to mount Merapi (Selo village)

We were told by a local living in Selo that the best way was by avoiding the main road as there would often be lots of traffic. Based on that advice, I followed his directions & it went very well.

Here are the few towns you need to go through: Borobudur -> Muntilan -> Talun -> Klakah -> Jrakah -> Selo

For some reason, many of those villages didn't turn up on Google Map. However, I also use an offline map app called "citymaps2go", and they showed up on that one.

Ride during day time

No problem at all.

Ride at night

I did this ride partially at night. It was fine. But it gets quite cold, especially when starting going up. Bring some warm clothes, you will need them for the hike up mount Merapi anyway.

Motorbike rental

It's easy to rent a motorbike in Yogyakarta for around 60'000 IDR for 24h. Just ask a few different rental companies.


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I did it, on the back of a moped. So there should be no problem if you are alone on your scooter.

As I remind it, it is less than 3 hours

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Well, you can't drive right to the top, obviously.

But you can certainly drive up to the roadheads on the slopes. It's a short, straightforward run up to Kaliuramg. Otherwise you could make a pleasant loop along the road linking the main Magelang road with Boyolali, passing between Merapi and Merbabu, via the trailhead village, Selo. This is a really lovely road to travel along, and would make a nice day trip.

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