Sandboarding in Parangkusumo Sand Dune

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A tourist sandboards at Parangkusumo Sand Dune. This spot is often used as a place to ski on the sand. (photo: Pramitha Hendra)

IO – Parangkusumo Gumuk Pasir (Sand Dune), a tourist attraction in Yogyakarta that is similar to the Sahara Desert! Yeah right, maybe you won’t believe it, but this tourist spot is quite surprising to most travelers. 

It is said that there are only two dunes in the world. One of them is in Mexico, and the closest and easiest to reach for us is the Parangkusumo Sand Dune in Yogyakarta. For those who don’t know it, the exact location of Parangkusumo Sand Dune is between Parangtritis Beach and Depok Beach. 

The mini desert in Yogyakarta is formed because of Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu in the northern part of Yogyakarta. The Opak River, Progo River, and Parangtritis Beach are also contributing factors to the formation of Parangkusumo Sand Dune. 

A dune is indeed a work of art made naturally. You must be amazed when you first entered the sand dune area near Parangtritis. You will see a vast sea of sand with decorations in various shapes and sizes. 

This place is a pile of sand deliberately formed by nature to be used by humans. The shape itself varies, depending on the natural conditions that shape it. Indeed, variations in the shape of the dune are influenced by the barrier of the material forming it in the form of vegetation, wind speed, and also wind direction. 

It is said that the dune collected here is a material derived from the volcanic ash of Mount Merapi. It’s weird, right? But what is clear is that the volcanic material from the mountain located north of Yogyakarta was carried by the Opak River, Progo River, and other rivers until finally it reached Parangtritis Beach. 

The volcanic material carried to the sea was aimlessly oscillated by the ferocious waves of the southern sea. Then, slowly but surely the material was destroyed, becoming thinner and turning into a fine dust that finally reached the shore. What happened later: the dust was blown by the wind. 

This process happened slowly and continuously to form Parangkusumo Sand Dune. It was a natural creation in the form of dunes that have accumulated on land along the coast of Parangtritis Beach to Depok Beach. After many years, the Parangkusumo Sand Dune finally became taller because of the wind throughout the year. 

For those of you who want to know more about this unique phenomenon, you can also go to the Parangtritis Coastal Geospatial Laboratory located not far from there. In this place, you can ask for a further explanation. Therefore, in addition to destinations that can stimulate adrenaline with its sandboarding, Parangkusumo Sand Dune is also a destination for Edu-tourism in Yogyakarta. (Pramitha Hendra)