One of our most beautiful and extreme experiences in Java. Why? Because to reach Jomblang Cave, a magnificent giant well where a unique light spectacle unfolds, there is only one way. You have to put on a climbing harness and descend on a rope (or rather, let yourself be lowered on that rope) 60 meters down… I have to tell you, it was one of the most incredible experiences for our whole family!
How to organize such a trip? Is it suitable for children? How to prepare for it? How much does it all cost? In our article, we have gathered all the practical information for you.
O tym przeczytasz
- 1 Where is Jomblang Cave located?
- 2 How to organize a trip to Jomblang Cave?
- 3 What does the actual Jobmlang cave expedition look like?
- 4 Is the descent to Jomblang Cave difficult?
- 5 Exploring the cave is only allowed with a guide.
- 6 Jomblang Cave – is it safe with children?
- 7 Safety first
- 8 How to prepare for cave exploration?
Where is Jomblang Cave located?
Jomblang Cave is located near the village of Pacarejo, in the Yogyakarta region of Java, Indonesia. It takes about two hours to reach there from Yogyakarta.
What makes Jomblang Cave so unique is its shape – narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. It is a deep, 80-meter vertical pit known as the “light barrier” that leads to an underground chamber. The exact formation date of this cave is still unknown. It is estimated that, like other karst caves formed through long-term erosion and dissolution of limestone rocks by water, it could have taken hundreds or even thousands of years. Over the centuries, rainwater flowing over the earth’s surface has contributed to the dissolution of limestone and the erosion of rocks, creating underground spaces along its path.
One thing is certain, though – the cave leaves a tremendous impression.
How to organize a trip to Jomblang Cave?
You can reach Jomblang Cave from various places in Java. The most popular starting point is Yogyakarta, from where many organized tours depart. We chose to book our trip through Goa Jomblang – I found them on Instagram and made sure in advance that the tour would be suitable for our children.
For a one-day trip, including transportation from our hotel in Yogyakarta, the descent into the well, guided cave exploration, lunch, and return, we paid 3,200 Indonesian rupiahs (approximately 190€).
Departure from Yogyakarta is around 7:00 a.m. The expeditions to Jomblang Cave start around 9:30 a.m., which is the optimal time to witness the stunning ray of light in the cave’s depths.
What does the actual Jobmlang cave expedition look like?
The descent into the cave is done using ropes and specialized equipment. Interestingly, everything is operated manually – about 30 men are involved in lowering and hoisting people, and they work together in coordination. They have specific commands, whistles, and use familiar signals to communicate with each other. Observing them at work was a great experience for both us and our children. It was a true display of teamwork.
At the beginning, the guides (in English) thoroughly explain the safety rules and the course of the entire excursion. Each participant is provided with a helmet and boots (the smallest size is around 31/32, which fit our 7-year-old Jasek perfectly, but were too big for our 4-year-old Basia, so she wore fastened crocs). Participants are also secured with climbing harnesses. Carabiners and descent ropes are attached to the harnesses.
Next, the entire group is divided into pairs – two people descend together. Mario went down with Basia, Mania (9 years old) with Janek (7 years old), and I went with Enya from Taiwan, who, like me, didn’t have a partner. The descent is short but exciting. After all, you’re descending 60 meters along a vertical wall!
Is the descent to Jomblang Cave difficult?
The descent into the valley before the cave, the descent down the steep slope, and moving around inside the cave are not technically difficult. However, it does require overcoming the barrier of fear, which is different for each person. For some, such a descent may be challenging, while for others, like our children, it was a thrilling adventure. Similarly, walking inside the cave is not for everyone as not everyone enjoys darkness, mud, and the smell of dampness.
Exploring the cave is only allowed with a guide.
Having a guide is mandatory during the cave exploration. It is not possible for any participant to stay at the bottom and explore the cave on their own. Although the path is relatively straightforward, one must be careful of the muddy terrain, which can be sticky like chewing gum or playdough (it’s hard to get out of it). Inside the cave, where the spectacular light show takes place, one must also tread carefully as the stones can be very slippery.
Jomblang Cave – is it safe with children?
This question is something that every parent would answer differently. Our experiences indicate that accidents can happen anywhere, whether at home or on a playground. Remember that you know your children best. You know their character and the places you have been with them, whether you have done similar outdoor activities before.
When visiting Jomblang Cave, we were not worried about our children’s ability to cope. Although they had never descended on a rope from such a height before, they were already familiar with harnesses, rock climbing, and high mountain treks. They know how to behave on trails, are accustomed to cliffs, precipices, and cliffs. They know not to approach the edge or, under any circumstances, wander away from the group in the cave. That is why we decided that the older children could attempt the descent (and ascent) together, and four-year-old Basia, securely attached to the rope and under the same safety measures as adults, would ride with Mario.
When making the decision to visit Jomblang Cave, we found that everything was very well secured. The team of guides is highly professional, and their presence and assistance at every step were impressive. Whether during the descent or the exploration of the cave, we felt that we were in good hands.
Basia managed most of the route on her own feet. On more challenging sections, one of the guides helped her, either by holding her hand or carrying her through muddy areas or steep inclines.
How to prepare for cave exploration?
- Take a change of clothes – after exiting the cave, you will most likely be wet and muddy.
- It’s worth bringing headlamps or flashlights – this way, you won’t have to rely solely on the guide’s flashlights. It can also be an additional attraction for children.
- Bring some food and drinks (kids are always hungry everywhere) – you can carry them in a small backpack.
- Also, have mosquito repellent and sunscreen with you.
The whole tour lasts about 2-3 hours. After being pulled back up on the ropes to the top, you can wash roughly with a hose and change into dry and clean clothes. There will also be a modest lunch waiting for you (if you order it in advance as part of the package) – we were served popular Indonesian nasi goreng – rice with chicken and vegetables served in a banana leaf. Additionally, there will be water, tea, and coffee available from a large container.
Remember to book your tour to Jomblang Cave in advance. The number of people allowed inside the cave is limited (there are daily limits). It’s best to make your reservation 2-3 days in advance.