The district of Gunungkidul which located about 40 kilometers at the southern area of Yogyakarta is renowned for its barren and arid landscapes. However it’s not all dry and hopeless down here.
Head down to the village of Bejiharjo, for example, which you’ll find in the subdistrict of Karangmojo, and you’ll be confronted with the region’s most miraculous natural resource: an underground spring which flows to the surface and which supplies the village with a steady stream of fresh water.
Bejiharjo features no less than 12 caves through which natural spring water flows. One of these caves is a limestone karst-walled cave known as Gua Pindul (Pindul Cave).
The spring water that flows through the cave forms an underground river, and this miraculous waterway runs the full length of the cave before heading out into the open. The river is seven meters deep and about five meters wide, and flows down through several hills in the Gunungkidul area. In recent years, this majestically mysterious watercourse has turned into something of a tourist attraction, as people flock to its banks to enjoy a spot of cave tubing.
Cave tubing can be thought of as a cross between whitewater rafting, caving and tobogganing. An inflated rubber inner tube is used to navigate the entire length of the Gua Pindul underground river’s course, allowing those brave enough the luxury of a leisurely cruise, while they admire the cave’s many stalactite and stalagmite formations. The cave is also home to a number of inhabitants, including swallows and bats.
This unique underground cruise runs through near darkness for around an hour, however safety is taken very seriously by the cruise organisers and participants are all equipped with full safety gear, including life jackets, rubber boots, headlamps and safety helmets. Last but not least, tube cruisers are always accompanied by an experienced instructor.
This magnificent cave tubing tour is suitable for all ages and can be enjoyed individually or as part of a group.
From downtown Yogyakarta, it takes between one and a half and two hours by car to reach the village of Bejiharjo, which is located in the subdistrict of Karangmojo in Gunungkidul Regency. Reaching the village is easier, however, from the nearer spot of downtown Wonosari, the capital of Gunungkidul.