Road through Rice Field Farmland at Dieng Plateau

Dieng Plateau – The Beautiful Plains of Java

This post was last updated on June 27th, 2020 at 02:32 pm


For many travelers, the Dieng Plateau is one of the most beautiful places in Java. The Dieng Plateau is a huge plain with spectacular views. In addition, it is home to some of the oldest Hindu architecture in Java. More than 400 temples are spread over the region at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries.

 

Dieng also means “House of the Gods” and is located in Java between the cities of Bandung and Yogyakarta. Although there are many temples, this is not the reason that people often come here. The temples can even be a bit disappointing.

 

The location of the Dieng Plateau is great because you can also visit the Borobudur and Prambanan at a relatively short distance. The sunrise is also one of the highlights of the Dieng Plateau. The main reason people come here is the spectacular scenery. The Dieng Plateau is a huge plain that used to be active volcanoes. On this plain, you will find mountains and beautiful lakes.

 

Azure Water Lake (Telaga Wama) in Dieng Plateau
Beautiful azure water of Telaga Wama Lake

 

Why You Have to Visit the Dieng Plateau

If you want to see something different from the rest of Java, the Dieng Plateau is the place to be. It consists largely of highlands and mountains. If you explore the area you’ll walk through beautiful rice fields and plantations. And a big advantage is that it is still relatively quiet here.

 

The view we had in the Dieng Plateau was one of the most beautiful in all of Indonesia!

 

In the early morning after dark, you can climb the hills. Then you see the sunrise over the mountains, and that is an unforgettable experience. And if you travel here during the low season, you won’t see many other tourists, and you can keep this place off the beaten track (for now).

 

Dieng Plateau National Park, Java, Indonesia
The sulfur mud geysers in the Dieng Plateau

 

Fun Things to Do at the Dieng Plateau

Most travelers visit the Dieng Plateau from Wonosobo, but you can also stay in the small village of Dieng. We advise driving the route from Wonosobo to Dieng. This route takes you along beautiful valleys and rice fields.

 

1. Arjuna Complex

There are 5 temples at the Arjuna Complex. All of these temples are Shiva temples. Elevated paths connect the temples. Sometimes you can find meditating locals.

 

Arjuna Temple on a clear day in Dieng Plateau
One of the gorgeous temples in the Arjuna Complex

 

2. Telaga Warna

Telaga Warna is a beautiful lake. It is surrounded by forests and the turquoise water bubbles through the sulfur. You can walk around the whole lake.

 

TIP – You can book fun tours from Yogyakarta.

 

3. Gunung Sikunir

If you want to see a beautiful sunrise you have to go to Gunung Sikunir. Make sure to be early. With clear weather, you can even have a spectacular view of Mount Merapi.

 

View of Sunrise from Mount Sikunir
Stunning sunrise view from Sikunir Hill near Wonosobo

 

4. Kawah Sikidang

One of the accessible craters within the Dieng Plateau is the Sikidang crater. Here you can get within a few meters of the crater. You’ll see a big hot mud pool bubbling and smoking. The edge is protected by a rope stretched between a few posts; probably the main reason why nasty accidents have happened several times. In addition to the large crater, there are also several small holes in the ground where the sulfur smoke comes out.

 

At the parking lot at Kawah Sikidang, they have several shops and some eateries. The whole scene has a bit of an alien character; as if you were on a different plane. At most attractions within the Dieng Plateau (temples, hot springs, and crater lakes) you have to pay an entrance fee of a few thousand IDR.

 

TIP – Most people visit the Dieng Plateau from the picturesque Wonosobo.

 

5. Climb the Dieng Plateau

In addition, at the Dieng Plateau, you can see a piece of art of Mother Nature after a climb of 500 meters. The sunrise here is something you will always remember, it’s so beautiful. However, the sunrise is not for the lazy tourist.

 

If you leave from Wonosobo, you will leave around 4:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise. It is advisable to go to bed early the night before because this is a sunrise you will never forget!

 

6. Visit Sulfur Springs

You can even find geysers and sulfur springs at Kawah Sikidang. You don’t have to go here for the scent, but it is certainly a beautiful sight. You can also take walks to the highest village in Java; Sembungan.

 

TIP – Are you thinking about visiting Indonesia? Read more about the beautiful highlights of Indonesia.

 

Sembungan Village in Dieng Plateau
The highest village on Java Island: Sembungan

 

Hiking Trails

There are several hiking trails from Dieng. Many villagers volunteer to tell you beautiful stories while taking you to the best spots. For example, walk to Telaga Warna, also known as the Colored Lake. Between the rice fields and the mountains, you walk around the sea-green water. For the first time ever we saw a civet here, a feline that is used for the most expensive coffee in the world (Kopi Luwak).

 

How to Get to the Dieng Plateau

The Dieng Plateau is located 26 kilometers from the city of Wonosobo. Most travelers choose to stay in Wonosobo as there is little to no accommodation in Dieng. Especially if you want to see the sunrise, staying overnight in Wonosobo is a must.

 

TIP – You can get to the Dieng Plateau from Yogyakarta in one day, including a stop at Borobudur. Great Tour in Yogyakarta organizes tours to get there.

 

Keep in mind that you spend most of the day sitting in a minivan, but the view is amazing.

 

Yogyakarta as a Base

From Yogyakarta, it is about 3 hours drive to the Dieng Plateau. In itself, it can be perfectly combined with a visit to Borobudur if you have a driver and a private guide. We visited Borobudur early in the morning and then headed for the Dieng Plateau. Along the way you can stop at the viewpoints in various places where you can enjoy the most fantastic views.

 

Aerial view of Telaga Warna Lake between trees and hills
Another great view of Telaga Warna Lake in the Dieng Plateau

 

Wonosobo

The nearest village with hotels to the Dieng Plateau is Wonosobo. Some travel agencies let travelers spend the night during their tour through Central Java at the Gallery Hotel Kresna Wonosobo. Here we enjoyed a great lunch. It’s clearly a hotel that runs on groups of tourists. In Wonosobo there are a few restaurants and shops, it is not exactly a tourist village but fine for an overnight stay or stopover.

 

TIP – On Booking.com you can find an overview of all the accommodations in Wonosobo.

 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Dieng Plateau is from May to October. During this period, the temperatures are most pleasant and there’s less rainfall. The Dieng Plateau lies at an altitude of over 2000 meters, which means it is often nice and cool during the day. One of the disadvantages is that humidity is quite high. In many cases it is cloudy and it rains a lot. If you visit the area with a clear blue sky, you’re in luck. We came here on a bright day and the area was really beautiful.

 

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