The pleasant, cool city of Wonosobo is located in Central Java Province, around 6,500 feet above sea level, and serves as a base for visitors to the spectacular Dieng Plateau and its famous 8th century temples. Literally meaning 'gathering place in the forest', Wonosobo is surrounded by magnificent mountainous scenery featuring extensive tea and tobacco plantations.
Best time to visit: from April to October, outside of the monsoon season.
The regency of Wonosobo lies 75 miles southwest of Semarang and 93 miles northwest of Yogyakarta and comprises the two sleeping volcanoes Gunung Sumbing (11,060ft) and Gunung Sindoro (10,285ft) in the east, Gunung Perahu (8,415ft) and the 6,900-foot heights of the Dieng Plateau in the north, as well as the Kulon mountains in the west, making this area a heaven for trekking and hiking devotees.
Among the natural attractions are several caves, particularly the pit-like, 26-foot deep Tangkil cave in Wonosobo or the nearby Ngobyak cave filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Another popular spot is Kalianget, a hot spring swimming pool less than two miles north of the city, while the huge Telaga Manyer lake is a well-liked weekend picnic location just seven and a half miles from Wonosobo.
Further beautifully colored lakes in the region include Telaga Wama with its turquoise tones, Telaga Pengilon, Telaga Lebang, Telaga Merdata and Telaga Dringo. The more adventurous traveler can tour the diverse stunning but sometimes perilous active craters such as Kawah Sikidang, Kawah Sibanteng and Kawah Candradimuka.
Wonosobo can be reached by bus or private transportation from Semarang, Central Java's capital, or from Yogyakarta situated 94 miles away. A flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta takes about 30 minutes.