Also sometimes referred to as Goa Karangsari (the name of the nearby village), the cave temple at Goa Giri Putri is set midway between Sampalan and Suana, and is well worth a visit.
While for the casual visitor the cave is the main attraction, this is an active temple so you're required to wear a sarong and sash before beginning your climb to the dave entrance. Don't worry if you forgot to pack your temple-wear, you can rent both a sarong and sash at the base of the stairs for 5,000 rupiah per person.
Once at the top of the stairs you'll reach a covered area where you're expected to make a small donation (10,000 rupiah per person should be fine) and sign into a visitor book and then you're welcome to enter the cave – the entrance is the minuscule hole to the left of the raised shrine – yes really!
Watch your head and follow the cave through (only the initial entry is tight, the cave quickly opens up once you are inside) and you'll pass by a series of places to pray within the cave. We were told the cave can hold up to 5,000 worshippers but suffice to say we wouldn't want to be in the cave when that was going on.
There are a few bats and the tiled areas can be quite slippery, so watch your step. The cave eventually veers around a little to the right and you'll reach the rear entrance, which is gated and on the far side of the hill. Open the gate and follow the footpath back down and the the small road back around to the carpark (don't forget to return your sash and sarong).
To get here follow the round-island road past Sampalan towards Suana. The temple is around 8km past Sampalan and is clearly marked.
By Stuart McDonald.
Last updated on 7th July, 2016.
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