Karanganyar is a regency in Central Java, which located ‘somewhat’ between the capital city of Central Java (Semarang) and Special Region of Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is famous for tourist who visits Borobudur Temple and the temple has been a magnet for tourists for so many years.
But, government of Indonesia has been focusing on developing other potential tourists destinations these recent years. And if you travel around Java island from West Java to the East, you will find so many beautiful spots have been improving in line with the development of major roads and tolls. Accommodations and restaurants have been blooming around the “new” attractions. Facilities have also been upgraded. With the help of social media, these “newfound” attractions soon became popular as well.
And that’s, how I found this beautiful waterfall in Karanganyar. I look at beautiful picture of Waterfall in Instagram and decided to go there. The waterfall, which I will tell later in this blog became my magnet to visit Karanganyar. But, the trip that i took was extended since there were other beautiful spots in Karanganyar as well. So, without further delay, here are reasons why you should visit Karanganyar in Central Java (or in other word, why i love visiting Karanganyar):
1. Jumog Waterfall
Jumog Waterfall is named after a hill where the waterfall is located. This 12 meter-height waterfall opens every day from 8am to 5 pm. The entrance fee is IDR 10,000 for locals, and IDR 15,000 for international tourists. The road to this waterfall is relatively good, and you can definitely use either car or motorcycle. After the parking lot, there are some descend steps that brings you to the waterfall. It’s about 15 minutes’ walk with paved walking path, and the walking path will guide you to this wonderful waterfall.
Tips: Go in the morning when the visitors are not many, bring extra clothes and tripod if you want to get a long exposure shot.
2. Candi Cetho
This Hindus temple was built around 15th centur and is located at the Mountain Lawu’s slope at 1496 masl (source: Wikipedia). Candi Cetho was found at 1842 but the excavation and reconstruction were done at 1928. It has 14 terraces from the bottom to the top.
The entrance fee to the Candi is IDR 7,000 for Indonesia nationals and IDR 25,000 for foreign tourists. It Opens at 7 am to 7 pm. Since this place is sacred, you are required to fully cover your body. Wear a fully covered clothes, or you can rent Cloth that is available at the entrance gate. What I love about this place is the terraces and how you can see the tea plantations from the top of the terrace.
3. Kemuning Tea Plantation ( Kebun teh Kemuning)
There are lots of tea plantations in Karanganyar and Kemuning Tea Plantation is the famous one. The original Kemuning tea plantation was originated by two dutch during its colonization in Indonesia at 1925 and the operational of these plantation was trusted to local company based in Bandung. During Japanese Colonization in Indonesia at 1942-1945, the plantation was taken over by Japanese. But, after Indonesia independence, it’s operated by Indonesian company.
The entrance for the plantation is IDR 3000 and it’s open from 6 am to 6 pm.
4. Grojogan Sewu Waterfall
Grojogan sewu is another magnificent waterfall in Karanganyar. If you enter the waterfall through gate-1, you will embark 1250 steps (total for both ways). The entrance ticket for Indonesian national is IDR 25,000 and for foreigner is IDR 110,000.
5. Mongkrang Hill
Mongkrang hill takes about an hour hike to reach its top, and the height is 2194 masl. What makes the hill Is so special is the grass that fill its surfaces and makes it so photographable. Mount Lawu is visible from this hill.
Tips: wear long pants, go with a guide or someone who familiar with the trekking route.
I went to Karanganyar on February 14th 2019. At that time I had only one day with my cousins to explore Karanganyar and we only went to Jumog Waterfall, Candi Cetho, and one of many Tea Plantations in the area. But, it was such a great day trip from Semarang, and I would redo it anytime with the addition to Grojogan Sewu Waterfall and Mongkrang Hill.
My suggested itinerary if you want to go to these attractions is two days, and you can choose whether to stay overnight in Solo (nearby big city) or Karanganyar itself. I recommend staying in Solo City because it’s a very beautiful small city with very friendly people, delicious traditional java food, and the accommodation is at reasonable price. It takes about 1-1,5 hours ride from Solo City to Karanganyar Regency. But, you can always stay in Karanganyar, away from city’s hustle and crowd. If you have 2 days and 2 nights, you can try staying overnight in both cities.