I live in Indonesia for my whole entire life and until this day I still can’t finish my bucket list of visiting every places. Even though it is best well-known for thousands of its beautiful beaches like Tunak and waterfalls like Kelambu, Indonesia also has some of the best mountains. This time, I decided to take a step to explore Kunir Mountain.
While other mountains are popular for just a sunrise moment, Kunir mountain offers both sunset and sunrise moment.
You can already imagine the magnificent horizon view from the top right? If so, get ready to unravel the trip to Kunir Mountain!
Kunir Mountain is located in Benowo Village, Purwerejo, Central Java. If you are planning to visit the mountain by International flight, you should make a stop at Adisucipto International Airport located in Yogyakarta. It is only around 1 hour 30 minutes drive from the airport. Even though the spot of the Mountain is available on Google Maps, It is more likely wrong so watch out your route. Instead, go through Balai Desa Benowo. The locals have confirmed that it is currently the easiest route available for now.
But first, you will need to decide whether you are going to spend the night on the mount Kunir. Since you can always enjoy both Sunset and Sunrise experience, you may want to consider to set up a camp on the peak. Staying at night will give you the chance to catch sunrise without having to hike in early in the dawn.
Next, You will only need to pay Rp 2000 for the parking fee. Even though mount Kunir is pretty famous for the local visitors, there is no admission fee surprisingly. Be careful about some scammers if you are apparently international tourists. They may charge you a sky-rocketed price.
In the starting point, you will find small vendors selling hot beverages and local favorites. I thought it was better to take a rest from 2 hours driving before I use all of my energy to hike the mountains. Indonesian people love to have some snacks along with a cup of tea or coffee. One of the local favorites is homemade clorot which is a soft rice cake with fragrant banana leaves wrapping. This is the perfect time for you to interact with the locals and make new friends on your journey. I believe that language will be a major barrier, so try to learn a few Bahasa phrases before you go.
Another tip for you is to prepare a motorbike. You can always rent a driver with a car to go to the Benowo Village but in order for you to reach the starting point, you will need a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the road is only small enough for a motorcycle to go through. It is a short drive of 4 kilometers from the village to the starting point. But don’t worry though, there are a lot of the locals providing motorcycles along with the expert drivers or Ojek. The street is mossy and slippery, so it is best for you to stick with the Ojek. Especially if you never drive any motorcycle before. By using their services, You won’t get lost and you are supporting the locals.
This mountain is only about 950 meters above the sea level, pretty short comparing to other mountains in Indonesia. But the journey to the top is absolutely stunning. The surrounding path is surrounding by extremely diverse plantations. It more like a life sized-rainforest. If you come on a rainy season where it is like 2 times more humid than the dry season, most likely you will meet the forest fog.
The fog will cover most of the view of the forest giving a mystical vibe.
I was able to film the forest while it was foggy, check out my videos down below!
If you are catching the sunset, it is best for you to set your goal to arrive at 3 pm. It will give you enough time to rest before hiking down to the starting point. You can also start preparing your camera and other equipment before the sunsets. Even though the hike usually only takes about 20-30 minutes, you surely do not want to arrive too late and miss the final moment.
On the peak of the mountain, you can rest on some of the gazebos provided. From here you can unpack your snack and eat to boost your energy. There is a huge sign of Gunung Kunir that you can take a picture with. If you are lucky and the sky happens to be clear, you will be able to see other mountains in Java such as Merapi, Merbabu, Sumbing, Sindoro, Lawu, Ungaran, Prau, as far as Gunung Slamet.
Just remind yourself not to spend too much time on the top once the sun has set. You will have to go down immediately since the route will be more dangerous at night. It could be very slippery and you won’t be able to even see it. So makes sure to check your clock always.
After all, hiking this mountain is another good experience. See you at the next mountain!