The local surf dudes call them babies, unexperienced surfers call them monsters! But it doesn't matter how you call them, the waves and the surfing is great in Pangandaran. With a broad stretch of beach, it is a nice place to hang out. Both locals as tourists mix together and the ambiance is relaxed. But not only the ocean is worth a visit, the surroundings are beautiful as well! It is the color green that dominates the landscape. Rice paddies surrounded by palmtrees everywhere....
Coming from our guesthouse in Bandung we took a taxi to busterminal Cicaheum. Don't make the mistake to negotiate a price beforehand, drive on the meter! It should cost around 50.000 Rupiah. From the busterminal you take the Budiman bus to Pangandaran. This drive will take about 7 hours and costs 65.000 Rupiah p.p. They drop you off at the busterminal at Pangandaran. From here you can walk to the beach (about 1 km.) or take a bejac (10.000 Rupiah p.p.) Entering the beach zone you have to pay 7.000 Rupiah p.p.
There are a lot of really nice places to eat near the beach, or a bit further away. One of our favorites was Bamboo Beach Bar, a nice place on the beach with live music every now and then. Both the Indonesian as the Western food was good and fairly cheap. Try the avocado salad! It is great!
For the fish lovers, Pasar Ikan is a great place. It is a big terrain with lots of sea food restaurants. The catches of the day are displayed in ice, so you can't get it more fresh. A bit further away from the beach, close to town, is a really small foodcourt. It only has 3 'restaurants' but the food, especially the pizza, and the milkshakes are the best. And incredibly cheap! You can find it at Jalan Merdeka.
We can highly recommend Villa Angela. A really nice place with only a few rooms that are clean, spacious and have a small balcony. The Villa is close to the beach and the restaurants, but yet to far away to hear any noise. The owners are really nice and helpful and they make the best banana pancakes for breakfast which they bring to your balcony. The price is fair (175.000 Rupiah) for what you get. We loved it so much that we stayed longer than we initially planned.
Another option in the same lane is Mini Tiga Homestay. What we saw of it, was really nice. We wanted to go there initially but they were renovating the place.
Go surfing! It doesn't matter if you are experienced or a beginner, the waves are great! They can look a bit high for beginners, but it feels great catching a wave. It is really easy to find a teacher if you want some lessons, just ask at one of the beach bears. The price for a surfboard is only 75.000 Rupiah for the entire day and the money is well spent because you'll feel really satisfied after a session in the water!
If you need some time off from surfing, to give your body some rest, it is a good option to rent a motorbike. The tours that are offered can easily be done by yourself, and it is much cheaper this way! We started by driving to the Green Canyon from where you can take a boat (150.000 Rupiah for 5 persons) into the canyon. If you are lucky the water will be aqua blue in between the rocks which gives a nice sight. To bad for us it rained the day before and therefore the water had a nice magical brown color. From the Green Canyon we drove to the less touristy city of Batu Karas, here you can find a peaceful beach ideal for surfvirgins. After that we continued our tour to Batu Hiu. In Batu Hiu there is a rock formation which apparently looks like a shark's nose. We did not see a shark nose in these rocks, but the view over the Indian ocean makes your drive up here worth it. If you drive along this beach, you'll find a turtle conservation (ask directions from the locals, ask for Kura Kura and they show you the way). We can't tell what it is that they do because the woman that came out to see us after a while, only looked grumpy because we woke her up from her nap and she certainly didn't want to talk to us. She did however put the donation box in sight so they do accept your money.
From Batu Hiu we drove to the Green Valley. Look out for the sign Citumang and follow this sign al the way through little villages and a rough inland road. Don't be fooled by the guys telling you it is not allowed to swim without a guide or swimming vest. At the Green Valley we took a swim at the waterfall and jumped in the water from a rope like Mowgli did in Disney's Junglebook. Really refreshing, and we have to admit really much fun! From here it is 8 kilometer back to Pangandaran.