Photo of Candi Sukuh (Sukuh Temple), taken by The Boho Travels

Is Candi Sukuh Worth Visiting?

So, is Candi Sukuh worth visiting? Allow me to answer that for you.

Candi Sukuh is one of those temples rarely visited by travelers to Yogyakarta because of the length of time it takes to get there and the seeming lack of interesting places to see on the way.

But, since my friend, Angge, wanted to see it when we visited Yogyakarta, Solo, and Central Java because of something Mayan about it (the shape of the temple looks like a Mayan pyramid), and I’m always up for anything barely visited by tourists, we asked our driver, Herman, to bring us to Candi Sukuh and spent a couple of hours exploring the temple.

Three travelers in Sukuh Temple, answering the question, Is Candi Sukuh worth visiting?
Kuya, Monica, and Angge at the Sukuh Temple. So, is Candi Sukuh worth visiting?

But, is Candi Sukuh worth visiting? Should you include the Sukuh Temple in your itinerary?

Don’t worry. I got you!

At the end of this blog post, you should have an answer to the question, “Is Candi Sukuh worth visiting?” I’ll also share with you other places you can visit if you decide to go on a road trip to Candi Sukuh.

So, read on!

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✈️ Flying within Indonesia on a budget? Book with Airasia

πŸš™Β Airport TransferΒ andΒ Private Charter with Driver:Β Book with Klook
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– Budget: Snooze Hostel Yogyakarta
– Mid-range: Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman
– Luxury: Marriott Hotel

🏞️ Tours & Experiences: I recommend booking with GetYourGuide, Klook, Viator

πŸ‘£Β Recommended Experience/s:
– From Yogyakarta: Cetho, Sukuh Erotic Temple and Solo City

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So, is Candi Sukuh worth visiting?

Built in the 15th century, Candi Sukuh is located on the slopes of Lawu Mountain (on the border of Central Java and East Java), a couple of hours’ drive from the city of Yogyakarta. It is dubbed “The World’s Less-Known Erotic Temple,” perhaps because of the many statues and ornaments related to sexuality found in the temple.

Unique carvings at the Sukuh Temple.
Interesting carvings at the Sukuh Temple, built in the 15th century.

The complex is relatively small, but the structures are unique and interesting.  It was good that the local guide was available to give us a tour and tell us about the place.

One of the last Hindu temples built during the Majapahit period, each temple level represents a stage of life that one must go through to reach what they call nirvana, or heaven.

Left: Angge and Kuya on the steep steps going up the nirvana. Right: Angge going down from the nirvana.

So, is Candi Sukuh worth visiting?

While I loved the uniqueness of the place and enjoyed the experience of visiting Candi Sukuh with my friends (it made a good travel story for me and my travel buddies), I would’ve preferred to spend more time exploring Yogyakarta or Solo. While I loved the scenic views of the mountains, the long drive to Sukuh Temple from Yogyakarta was not worth it.

But if you love long scenic drives, want to see something unique, and explore a place not yet frequented by travelers, then yes, Candi Sukuh is worth visiting.

Where to stay if you’re planning to visit Candi Sukuh?

There are tons of accommodations in this part of Indonesia. But, if you plan to visit Borobudur Temple and the Prambanan Temple Complex, I invite you to stay in Yogyakarta, where Candi Sukuh and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Candi Borobudur and Prambanan are all accessible.

Here are my top recommendations for accommodations in Yogyakarta:

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Budget: Snooze Hostel Yogyakarta – guests love staying here because of its friendly and attentive staff, cleanliness, and friendly vibe.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Mid-range: Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman is a green hotel located in the historic neighborhood of Kota Gede in Yogyakarta. Guests love staying here because of its unique concept and short distance to good restaurants and bars.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Luxury: Marriott Hotel is a 5-star hotel in Yogyakarta. Guests love staying here because of its facilities, spacious and comfortable rooms, and top-notch customer service. If you’re looking for a luxurious stay in Yogyakarta, I recommend checking out Marriott Hotel.

Planning your visit to Candi Sukuh

Now that you have the answer to the question – Is Candi Sukuh worth visiting? – and if you are still here then that probably means that you have decided to include Candi Sukuh in your itinerary. Great!

Here’s a quick travel guide to make your trip more enjoyable:

How to get to Candi Sukuh

Candi Sukuh is located on the slopes of Mount Lawu and just a couple of hours’ drive from the city of Yogyakarta.

  1. Book a flight to Bali or Jakarta in Indonesia.
  2. Fly to Yogyakarta or Solo.
  3. From Yogyakarta or Solo, I recommend either booking a guided tour, chartering a private car, or renting a car to visit Sukuh Temple.

βœ”οΈ Book a guided tour

I think the most convenient and cost-effective way of visiting Candi Sukuh is as part of a tour package.

A common misconception about Indonesia is that the places are near each other. However, driving from one place to another can be long and confusing for less experienced drivers and navigators.

So, if you have limited time to explore and want to include visiting Candi Sukuh in your itinerary, I recommend booking a guided tour.

βœ”οΈ Hire a driver

This was what my friends and I did. We hired a driver for the duration of our trip. He picked us up from the airport, and from the airport, we went straight to explore Surakarta (Solo) and headed to Candi Sukuh.

If you prefer to take this route, you can book a private car charter via Klook (choose the option: Yogyakarta International Airport Pick Up/Drop Off – Outer Yogyakarta, Gunung Kidul, Nanggulan Area).

βœ”οΈ Car Rental

But, if you prefer to navigate your way to Sukuh Temple on your own, you can rent a car and drive to Candi Sukuh. You can rent a car from

What to wear in Candi Sukuh

Make sure to wear modest clothing (e.g., top with sleeves, bottom clothing with below-the-knee cut).

Note: They say that sarongs are provided at the entrance for a small donation, but we didn’t experience this during our visit to Candi Sukuh.

Is Candi Sukuh an alternative to Borobudur Temple?

While both temples offer interesting wisdom and experiences to visitors, Candi Sukuh is not an alternative to Borobudur Temple.

I would go as far as saying that if you only have limited time and have to choose the top things to do when you visit Yogyakarta, Solo, or Central Java, I would recommend choosing to visit Borobudur Temple over a trip to Candi Sukuh.

Exploring the Borobudur Temple is one of my favorite experiences in Indonesia. If you’re a culture and heritage enthusiast or simply looking to explore beautiful ancient temples, then Borobudur Temple is definitely worth visiting.

Other places to explore when you visit Candi Sukuh

If you’re coming from Yogyakarta, here are other places you can explore when you visit Candi Sukuh:

  • Cetho Temple – Cetho Temple (or Candi Ceto) is a Javanese-Hindu Temple also located in Mount Lawu. Just a 30-minute drive from Sukuh Temple, Cetho Temple is another attraction you can visit when you drop by Candi Sukuh.
  • Candi Kethek – Candi Kethek is a Hindu temple located near Candi Cetho. If you’re visiting Cetho Temple after Candi Sukuh, you can also include dropping by Candi Kethek in your itinerary.
  • Jumog Waterfall – Jumog Waterfall is just 9 minutes away from Candi Sukuh.

The Wrap-up: Is Candi Sukuh Worth Visiting?

If you visit Yogyakarta or Solo, you’d probably only plan to see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Borobudur Temple and the Hindu temples of Prambanan Temple Complex in your must-visit places.

And I get you. It was also the same for me when planning our visit to Indonesia a few years back. If not for my friend, Angge, I wouldn’t even know Candi Sukuh existed, and I probably wouldn’t have included it in our itinerary.

But is Candi Sukuh worth visiting? If you’re looking for a unique and interesting place to visit while you’re in Solo or Yogyakarta, which is not yet that famous to other travelers, then yes, Candi Sukuh is worth visiting. The long drive up to Lawu Mountain, with scenic views of the tea plantations, will be worth it.

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