Wondering how to get to Batu Karas? Ian describes his journey getting to this surf paradise in West Java, Indonesia.
There are several ways to get to Batu Karas so you can take the route that you find most comfortable. For my journey to the seaside of West Java, I took the adventurous route from Jakarta and had a great experience taking the bus, train, and motorcycle.
I departed from Jakarta and, like me; you can take the train directly to Bangdun then get the bus from there to Pangandaran. Once in Pangandaran you can take a scooter or minibus to Cijulan or directly to Batukaras. Your other option is to go to Banjar and connect to Pangandaran from there.
Due to obligations in Jakarta I chose to take the three hour train ride from Jakarta’s Gambir station to Bandung. Trains leave for Bangdun twice a day at 8:30 and 15:50 and only executive or first class are available for 60,000 rupiah or about $7USD. Arriving in Bangdun around 7pm I decided to spend the night and head out in the morning, although there was a night bus available at midnight direct from Bangdun to Batukaras. The bus from Bangdun costs 40,000 rupiah ($4 USD) and takes 7 hours to Pangandaran then from there I took a Obja or scooter to Batu Karas.
If you’re travelling from southern Indonesia or decide to fly getting to Batu Karas from Yogyakarta is easy. From Yogyakarta, you can take the train to either Banjar or Sidareja then hop on a bus down to Pangadaran from there.
For those looking to skip all the inconveniences of connecting multiple modes of transportation minibuses are available directly from Jakarta or Yogyakarta to Batu Karas, but prices start at around 250,000 rupiah ($27 USD) for the 6-9 hour drive. If you want to save money, direct day and night buses go from Jakarta or Yogyakarta but you have to find out what bus station they depart from (there are several in Jakarta) to Pangandaran.
When trying to find the best route try and use customer service representatives that are located at most train and bus stations in major cities. They often speak excellent English and are extremely helpful in locating train or bus times and locations. Some of them will even help you plan your entire trip across the country.