Why spaces are now limited inside Yogyakarta’s Pindul Cave


Pindul cave is a big tourist attraction in Yogyakarta, but it’s causing a lot of environmental damage. Source: Shutterstock.com

SET on the east coast of Gunungkidul regency in the province of Yogyakarta Special Region, hides the stunning Pindul Cave.

Created over centuries by meandering water, the cave has become a hot tourist spot. However, the local authorities have become concerned with the number of visitors the cave receives and the government has now issued a limit on how many people can enter inside each day.

The new ruling has been implemented in an attempt to preserve the site’s ecosystem, The Jakarta Post reports.

“The maximum number of visitors to Pindul Cave is limited to 2,600 people per day,” Hary Sukmono, the agency’s secretary, said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

Over the past five years, this region in Indonesia has seen an increase in tourism visitors. Beaches and natural attractions such as Pindul Cave have been the main attractions, according to a report.

In 2014, Pindul cave saw more than 400,000 visitors – which is a substantial number considering the cave only opened as an attraction in 2011.

The cave activities are run by the local community, which is progressive in terms of community-based tourism. However, due visitor safety and cave preservation, the local authority has had to step in.

The limit was set based on Environmental Management Efforts and Environment Monitoring Efforts, which is a guidance report used to assess environmental impacts as well as social and economic impacts.

“The limitation of visitors is an effort to preserve the environment of Pindul Cave,” Hary said.

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Saryanto, director of a local village-owned enterprise told The Jakarta Post that local organizations will obey the new rules, but insists the daily number of visitors to the cave is far below the new limit anyway.

The director also added that if tourist numbers were to exceed the limit, they would simply be informed about other local attractions to go and enjoy.

Overall, the increased number of tourists to this region has had a positive environmental impact on the local community as the street is kept cleaner. The local forest surrounding the village has also been conserved by replanting trees which have been chopped for firewood.

However, it remains that the cave has seen negative environmental impacts such as premature erosion and loss of habitat for freshwater fish and bats.