A gem in Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta, a city in the southern part of Java Island, Indonesia is famous for its vibrant culture and history. Visiting this city will be a perfect choice if you wish to experience the Javanese culture from culinary to arts and crafts. However, if you are that type of traveler who asks for a more adventurous getaway, the county of Gunung Kidul, about 60 km from the city has a hidden gem unknown until recently. It is in the middle of Semanu Village, where a 20 meter deep and 50 meter wide vertical cave called Gua Jomblang located.
After two hours drive from Yogyakarta you will reach the village and with the help of the locals, which is more reliable than your GPS, you will soon locate the site. You will be able to enjoy the cave at its best at 12.00, so it is recommended that you set off from Yogyakarta around 9.00 AM at the latest. Once you arrive at the site, you will be guided to put on your safety gear: rubber boots (optional), harness and helmet. In order to get down to the bottom of the cave, there’s no special skill needed. You will be hoisted down. So all you need to do is stay steady and grab your rope tight.
Going into Gua Jomblang
Once you reach the bottom, you will still need to walk down a little bit to reach a 300 meter long tunnel that will lead you to another cave which is Gua Grubug. The track will be a little bit rough, covered with vegetation, rocks and mud, so it is suggested that you wear a pair of sneakers or trekking shoes. After walking in the darkness for a while, you will soon hear a rumbling sound of water. And then there lies the best feature of this cave: a big stone sitting underneath a skylight with a river streaming next to it. Travelers are lining to climb to the top of the rock to pose some pictures. The stone is wet from the water dripping from the skylight, but it is not that slippery. You just have to be extra cautious. At 16.00 the travelers are hoisted back to the top. It is important to follow your guide because you do not want to be trapped inside the cave after it gets dark.
About the site in Yogyakarta
The site is very well managed. It has facilities such as public shower, gazebo and guest house. They will also provide rice boxes and hot tea. Except for the guest house, you do not have to pay extra for the facilities, since they are already included in the entrance fee which costs around 35 USD (Rp 450.000). Even though you do not need that much energy to go up and down the cave, the heat and humidity at the bottom of the cave will surely makes you exhausted. On the way back to the city, you can drop by a stall that sells nasi merah (red rice), a typical delicacy from the area.