Mention Indonesia and the places that come to mind are Bali, Bandung, Bintan and Jakarta BUT Yogyakarta (also known as Jogja or Jogjakarta). For an adrenaline-rushed adventure, Yogyakarta is one of the destinations we will recommend! It is also a charming city, with friendly and lovely people all around. Our best memory of Yogyakarta is definitely the Jomblang Cave, a vertical cave where we got to see spectacular rays of light at the end of the cave.
How Did We Get To Jomblang Cave
We hired a driver to help us get around Yogyakarta because the attractions are inaccessible if solely relying on public transports. Travelling to Jomblang Cave took us 90 minutes by car from the city. We had booked our Jomblang Cave package in advance for fear that we couldn’t secure a spot. Only a maximum of 25 people is allowed to enter the cave per day.
To make the most out of our booked car and driver, we also arranged for a visit to two other caves near Jomblang cave: Pindul Cave and Cave Tubing! There are many tour packages available in Yogyakarta.
Let’s Get Started – Jom, Jomblang!
Upon reaching the site, we were gathered to collect our boots first before they brought us to the area where we’ll be lowered from a height of 60 metres. We were geared up with our harnesses and helmets while the locals were setting up the belaying system. Looking at the crew setting up brings us chills!
We could smell an unpleasant odour from the helmet, probably from the numerous time people have worn it. We wish we had brought bandanas to wrap our hair, but at the end of the day, it didn’t matter much as we soon forgot about it once we started on our adventure. For every descent, only two people are lowered, and of course, we chose each other! The view down the sinkhole was so spectacular that we lost in words. We were also quite surprised at how sturdy the belaying system is!
Deep Into The Jomblang Cave
Once we descended, we waited for about 10 minutes for the rest to join us in the cave before getting split into three batches.
Due to the wet weather, our journey in Jomblang Cave was a pretty adventurous one. The muddy and slippery path forced us to walk down a flight of steps with ropes that were made into some loose knots — we were hanging on to our dear life! We could barely see what’s ahead in the tunnel as it was pitch dark. We had done our research online recommending us to bring a torch or headlight, but we didn’t. But thank goodness for technology — we used our mobile phone’s lights to shine the way through into the dark.
No, this is definitely not how the typical Instagram-worthy picture of Jomblang Cave looks like. This is the reality! Okay, jokes aside. We were a little disappointed at how the rays turned out. The after-rain sky was still cloudy, and thus, the sunlight entering the cave was much weaker. Nevertheless, it was still surreal and dreamy!
How we wish we could get this kind of shot! | CC BY-SA 4.0/Goa Jomblang
After being mesmerised by what nature could offer, we were en route to where we came from. It continued to drizzle while we were in the cave, making the climb up more complicated. Some of the sticks that were supposed to anchor the ropes were pulled out from the ground leaving us with lesser support. That said, we were truly impressed by the crew who were quick to respond & help. They were so agile that they didn’t even need any support while making their way down from the other side of the steps. Our jaws dropped!
Coming Back Up
After being inside the cave for about 45 minutes, we were literally being pulled up from the sinkhole, and guess what greeted us up there? A whole village of strong men pulling us back up! Such a laudable team spirit!
After our adventure in Jomblang Cave, we headed back to the hut where we had a briefing before our lunch, which was part of the package. They did provide some rudimentary shower facilities to clean up, but we gave it a miss as we still had a lot of adventures ahead of us!
Tips to Jomblang Cave
- Wear slippers to the cave and bring high ankle socks and sports shoes
- Bring bandanna or scarf
- Bring a waterproof bag and travel light
- Wear sports attire – avoid shorts and white shirts
- Change of clothes and shower gels if you’re showering after
Best Time to Visit Yogyakarta
Avoid Jan – April as it’s their monsoon season. June – September is the peak season as the weather is dry!
Where to Stay
Staying in the city centre – Malioboro is highly recommended, as the area is vibrant with many locals, tourists and attractions. You can find lots of shop houses, roadside stalls, massage/nail places and even a shopping mall. It is also a common pick-up location for tour packages.