Mount Merapi, when in a state of silence, is blessed with breathtaking scenery and landscape.
Although the mountain is one of the most active volcanoes in the country, it remains a popular destination, especially for travelers seeking to enjoy a wide range of adventure activities.
Merapi can be accessed through several nearby cities and regencies in Central Java such as Yogyakarta, Magelang, Klaten and Boyolali. If you opt to travel via Klaten regency, you will stumble upon Sidorejo village, which is situated around 10 kilometers away from the peak of Merapi at an altitude of 1,300 meters above sea level. There is a popular spot there, called Deles, that offers an amazing view of the mountain.
Reaching Deles is an adventure in itself. The road that leads to the area is a rather small one in poor condition. Apparently, a nearby area called Kaliworo has a sand quarry, which results in a lot of damage to Deles' surrounding nature as well as infrastructure because of big trucks coming and going down the road. It is therefore of no wonder that fewer people visit the spot nowadays, leaving Deles' tourist facilities, such as a children's playground, food stalls and accommodations, neglected and damaged. The lack of a clean water supply is also an issue that needs to be resolved.
Nevertheless, beyond all the drawbacks, Deles offers a gorgeous landscape thanks to its lush pine forests, attractive valleys, mesmerizing canyons and amazing view of Merapi's peak.
Those visiting Deles' forests can also expect to find a horde of wild monkeys playing on the tops of pine trees, sometimes going down to the meadow and then jumping again, hiding in the bushes at the edge of a cliff.
Other than wild animals, these forests provide a pleasant natural atmosphere of green trees, refreshing air and the friendliness of the locals who occasionally pass by from the forest, carrying firewood and grass for fodder.
Following Merapi's eruption in 2010, Deles has fully recovered from the impact, although a large amount of volcanic materials can be found in Kaliworo Canyon, which is dozens of meters deep. Still, the canyon offers beautiful sights as well as attractive spots for a cross-country adventures.
But do refrain from visiting the place without an experienced guide, since it is not a safe one to explore by yourself because of potential landslides off the cliffs and Merapi's dangerous cold lava floods, especially during the rainy season.