Nglanggeran Tourism Village in Indonesia is more than just a home to the villagers – it is also where its people bring to life their shared mission to foster community-based tourism and safeguard biodiversity
Home to about 700 households of farmers and ranchers, Nglanggeran Tourism Village is located at the eastern part of Yogyakarta, a 45-minute drive from the city centre. The village is nestled in the serene hills of Nglanggeran Ancient Volcano and is part of Mount Sewu Unesco Global Geopark. It was recognised by the UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages programme in 2021.
The tour started with trekking the Nglanggeran Ancient Volcano. A pickup truck, which the local dubbed as pajero – an abbreviation from Javanese language which means hot inside and out – took us up to the climbing gate.
Although friendly for beginners, the Nglanggeran trekking route is quite tricky because visitors have to pass through narrow stone passages, and sometimes there are sharp inclines and the road gets a little slippery after it rains. There are four bases to pass to get to the top of the ancient volcano, but our group decided to stop at base two – yet the view there was breath-taking.
We then headed to the cacao plantation and factory where we were taught how to grow cacao trees and transform the beans into a variety of items, such as chocolate cookies and chocolate spa powder.
A simple lunch comprising of rice, chicken, eggs and fresh vegetables was served on banana leaves, while we mingled with the villagers donning traditional batik clothes. After lunch, we enjoyed karawitan, a traditional gamelan (percussion) music performance. The group members also had a chance to try out the instruments and play along with the musicians.
Next on the agenda was a 30-minute cycling tour around the villages, where we enjoyed scenic views of mountains and shimmering emerald paddies. Thereafter, the group indulged in a popular Indonesian dish, bakso meatball soup – a great way to end the tour.
Visiting Nglanggeran is not just witnessing the majesty of the ancient volcano – it is also a great way to learn about the history and culture of the destination.
Spending time to stroll through villages, chatting with the locals and participating in various activities will give visitors a deep connection with local traditions and customs. The villagers are warm and welcoming, and eager to engage in a cultural exchange.
For those who wish to experience the local way of life, an overnight stay at over 80 homestays in the area can be arranged. These homestays, managed by residents, provide an opportunity to feel the hospitality of the community.