I felt like I should be holding my breath. The view around me was amazing. The cave was huge. The roof of Goa Jomblang cave was 50 meters or more above our heads. Sunshine was flooding in through the hole in the roof of the cave. My friend posed on a rock, a dark silhouette against the light.
Goa Jomblang is one of the natural highlights of Yogyakarta. The caves are located in Semanu, Gunung Kidul Regency. It’s a 90-minute drive from the center of Yogyakarta and the perfect day trip from the city. Let me tell you a bit more about the cave and exactly what you can expect if you visit Goa Jomblang yourself. For more information about how to book a tour you can click the link below.
Also Read: Goa Jomblang Tour
Goa Jomblang isn’t really a cave, it’s part of a cave system that covers the whole of Gunung Kidul. The caves were formed over thousands were formed by rainwater and underground rivers that eroded the karst rock (a bit like the famous underground caves in the Yucatan, Mexico).
The actual cave (or the bit that the tourists see) is made up of three parts. The first is a large huge sinkhole that was formed by the roof of the cave collapsing. The second part of the cave is a long tunnel and the final part is Goa Grubog, the central cave.
Getting to Goa Jomblang
If you want to go to Goa Jomblang you need to set off early from Yogyakarta. The best way to get there is by renting a private car. You need to leave Yogyakarta at around 7:00 in the morning (or 6:30 am in the weekend/peak season), because you need to be at Goa Jomblang by 09:45 (and it’s good to get there early because only 25 people a day are allowed to visit. Update 2018: They allowed 75-80 people per day).
It’s super easy to get to Goa Jomblang. The roads all the way to Goa Jomblang are really good. Well, most of the way… The last part of the journey is a bit bumpy. The last 200 meters is literally dirt with rock and no tarmac. You wouldn’t believe that there would be something called “Jomblang Resort” at the end of the road. If you need them, here are the GPS coordinates for Goa Jomblang.
Entering Goa Jomblang
It’s hard to put into words just how big the sinkhole is. The hole is easily 25 meters in diameter and drops 50 meters straight down. It must have been formed hundreds of years ago, because there’s a forest at the bottom of the sinkhole.
You need to be lowered on a rope to get to the bottom of the sinkhole. It’s perfectly safe. You have to get strapped up in all the proper safety equipment before they even let you near the edge of the sinkhole. Still, I have to say I felt nervous stepping off the edge into thin air 50 meters above the forest floor.
Once you have reached the forest at the bottom of the sinkhole you need to wait around for the rest of the group to join you (remember, there’s a maximum of 75-80 people per group and only one group per day). As soon as everybody is at the bottom you follow the trail to the tunnel.
The entrance to the main tunnel linking Goa Jomblang and Grubug cave is at least 7 meters wide and 4 meters high. The tunnel itself is 250 meters long. At the start you don’t need the torch, but in the middle it becomes pitch black. It’s also muddy and the rocks are slippery.
The word amazing is used a lot. As you turn the final corner of the tunnel you start to see the rays of sunlight pouring through the roof of Grubug cave. The view is amazing (trust me, ‘amazing’ is the right word)!
After you taking in the view, the second thing you notice is just how large Grubug cave is. You could probably easily fit a cathedral, large mosque or the first five floors of a skyscraper in the cave. The space is just that big.
Check out the video above to see what the experience is like for yourself. It’s five minutes long, but that’s because I wanted to give you an idea of exactly what to expect. I hope you like the video and the fun music 🙂 The abseiling was just as much fun as it looked.
Ready For Your Crazy Caving Adventure?
I hope this article inspired you to visit Jomblang Cave (the cost for the tour is Rp500,000 per person, this doesn’t include transport). This is really one of the highlights of Yogyakarta. If you’re interested in visiting Jomblang Cave I can help. My team and I can get you there.
Have you ever been to Jomblang Cave? What was your experience like?