Pangandaran is an often by passed beach resort situated on the southern coast of Java. Pangandaran offers a wide swath of fine grey sand, easy surfing, fresh seafood, and delightful visits to the Green Canyon, waterfalls, and sunsets.
Pangandaran is 4 hours from Bandung and well serviced by Budiman Bus Co. from Bandung. A car rental from Bandung is easily arranged and will allow you to visit the surrounding area more conveniently. Susi Air flies from both Jakarta and Bandung, although, this would mean missing out on the beautiful Javan scenery on the way there by land. A small number of visitors to Pangandaran take the train to Banjar City and then a bus to Pangandaran.
Pangandaran fills up with Jakarta weekenders but weekday visits allow you to enjoy seclusion and the freshest grilled seafood west of Jimbaran Bali. Hotel prices, especially on a weekend, can double due to almost 100 percent occupancy rates.
Sitting on a peninsular, the West beach is the swimming beach with clean waters, surf, and hotels to suit all budgets. The Southern end contains a National Park that has interesting walks through a forested area.
The highlight of any trip to Pangandaran is the Green Canyon, 32 km East of Pangandaran. A gentle boat ride through emerald green waters takes you to a magnificent grotto. Ask to go swimming. You will need to pay a little extra but it is well worth the effort. You will don a life vest, and pull yourself against strong currents. The guides will set up some ropes to help you along. There are sheer cliffs on both sides and the stalagtites and stalactites make for an unforgettable experience. The young and foolish sometimes scale a 4m high rock. You plunge straight into the white waters below. An adrenaline rush to be sure.
Batu Hiu is the shark rock. There is little to see of the rock, but the cliffs on the promontory are a stunning background for any photo. The views of sweeping surf all the way to the Southern end are spectacular. The Park is well tended with gigantic Pandanus trees the tree of choice.
It is easy to eat well. Seafood in Pangandaran is fresh, cheap and well prepared. The local specialty is of course grilled anything.
The local Art Market is in town and women making traditional sugar cakes, salted fish, and handicrafts made from sand, are popular gifts. Pangandaran is especially recommended if you will not be making it as far as Bali.
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