I’m actually planning to put my recent trip in Yogyakarta in one blog entry but I opted not to so that I can give every place in our itinerary its own spotlight. Beautiful and Magnificent is an understatement to describe the beauty of each place.
First stop: Jomblang Cave or locally known as Goa Jomblang
Goa Jomblang is a vertical cave with an ancient forest below. Visiting this place is like hitting two birds in one stone. Aside from Goa Jomblang, you’ll be able to visit Goa Grubug where you can see the heaven’s light.
Fresh from the airport, we headed straight to this magnificent vertical cave. We arrived Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta) at 6:55am and needed to be in Gunungkidul by 9am. The best way to get to the drop off point is by a private car and the travel time from the airport is 1 1/2 to 2hours. It is important to be there early because they limit the number of tourist in the cave in order to protect and maintain its beauty. They only allow 50 person per day to enter the cave. Entrance fee is 450,000Rp. A bit pricey but it’s worth it, entrance fee includes insurance, equipments and gear and a packed lunch.
The journey to the heaven’s light starts with a 60 metres drop to the bottom of the sinkhole. You will be wrapped in a full body harness and a helmet, and by Single Rope Technique (SRT) you will be lower down to the bottom. I was scared at first, well, who wouldn’t be? thinking that my life depends on a single rope scares the hell out of me but then my fear was overshadowed by my excitement.
As we reached the bottom, rich vegetation welcomes us and a few minutes walk to the entrance of Goa Jomblang (Jombang Cave). It’s a bit slippery though but luckily there’s a rope on the side that you can hold on as you trail down to the entrance. As we descend, we realised how big is the entrance to the cave.
It’s a totally different view when you get inside the cave. My amusement is overflowing, and I am running out of words to describe how the surrounding is perfectly made, kuddos to mother earth! The steps going inside the cave seems like it’s perfectly made, a grand entrance to the majestic beauty of nature.
Another 250 metres walk in total darkness from Goa Jomblang to Goa Grubug. A headlight or flashlight is needed to see the pathway. There are stones that you step into as a guide to the entrance but I prefer walking on the soil as it is more comfortable as I am wearing an oversized boots.
The sound of the river flowing and a humid atmosphere welcomes us as we enter the cave. We are in awe to see the inside. Wow! wow! wow! Make sure to bring a bottle of water, you may never know when you will be needing it as the temperature inside is humid.
We started our journey to the cave around 10:30 in the morning and was able to get back on top by 2:00pm. We took the same route in getting in to get out of the cave. Since there were a lot of tourist that day and going up is only by pairs, we need to wait for a bit long for our turn to be pulled up. As me and my friend was being pulled up, we stopped hanging midway. Scary, yes! but it gave us a few minutes to stare at the cave and savour its beauty.
They are using human strength to pull people in and out of the cave that made it so expensive. Imagine, there are around 50 tourist getting in and out of the cave and the people on top needs to pull us by pair for 50 times (going up and going down). There are packed lunch with Yogyakarta’s traditional food and drinks, including Gudek awaits as we returned to the base point.
Your visit to Yogyakarta is incomplete if you fail to visit this cave. The best time to go down is from 10am to 12noon, when the sun shines above our head.
Need help for your visit?
You can visit Yogya Backpacker site for more information and you can arrange your tour with Roni. It was my first time to book a tour with him and I was impressed of the outcome. They do have group and private tour available.