Gua Gelatik

Wren Cave

Useful Information

Location: Karangmojo, Bejiharjo, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta.
(-7.926937, 110.648079)
Open: All year daily 7-17.
Fee: Adults IDR 30,000.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: helmet and headlamp provided
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Danardono Danardono, Eko Putra, Eko Haryono, Emilya Nurjani, Muhammad Sunariya (2018): Speleoclimate Monitoring to Assess Cave Tourism Capacity in Gelatik Cave, Gunungsewu Geopark, Indonesia Forum Geografi, 32(2), pp 181-194. DOI researchgate
Address: Goa Pindul Pancawisata (Cave Tubing Pindul), Jl. Goa Pindul pos-2 Dusun Gelaran No.RT. 05, Gunungbang, Bejiharjo, Kec. Karangmojo, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55891, Tel: +62-812-2944-9004, Tel: +62-857-2954-3819, Tel: +62-819-0407-1919. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Gua Gelatik (Wren Cave) is a horizontal cave located in the Gunungsewu Geopark, Gunungkidul Regency. The fossil cave has a narrow horizontal passage with various forms of speleothems. The cave trekking tour through the dry cave is a part of Pindul Cave tourism. With only one cave entrance for access, the air circulation inside the cave is restricted.

The cave trekking through Gua Pindul increased massively during the last twenty years and so the number of visitors in Gua Gelatik also increased dramatically. Due to the restricted air exchange an analysis of the impact on the cave air became important. Visitors exhale carbon dioxide which increases the carbon dioxide content in the air. Increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the cave air can threaten speleothems, increasing corrosion in the cave and stop speleothem formation or even corrode them. A detailed examination of the cave air during times of low and high visitation resulted in a scientifically funded concept for the restriction of visitor numbers to the cave. The result is that the number of visitor is restricted to 76 visitors per day, and in a particular area of the cave the visitors are only allowed for 12 minutes 53 seconds on holidays and 17 minutes 10 seconds on weekdays.

But the examination of the cave are resulted in rumours that the air inside the cave has no oxygen and visitors should bring oxygen in bottles. The fear of some visitors, that there is no air inside caves, is almost completely nonsense. We know this superstition from India, it seems to exist in Indonesia too, although much less common. The cave has only one small entrance, nevertheless the measurements show that the air is completely back to normal after only a few hours. The buildup of carbon dioxide is already problematic for the cave, the speleothems, and the cave fauna, long before humans even notice a difference. Also, carbon dioxide is not poisonous, it does not replace oxygen, and the worst thing which could happen are some visitors getting a light headache. But the superstition has been so bad that the guides always take a bottle of oxygen with them as a talisman against evil forces. The fact that there actually are caves with so much carbon dioxide that visitors suffocate (SpeleologyDog's Cave), does not help.