West Java (Jawa Barat or Jabar) with a population of around 41.48 million (2007), is the most populous province of Indonesia, located on Java Island. It is slightly larger in area than densely populated Taiwan, but nearly double the population. Its capital city is Bandung.
Cagar Alam Pangandaran is a small nature reserve - or something that should resemble it - near the coastal resort town of Pangandaran in West Java province which was made into a tourist destination. Because of this you can park your motorcycle and other transport directly in front of the main entrance, but from there people should use their legs if they want to see something.
In the area are a number of natural caves and ones made by men themselves. That second group originated from the Japanese occupation of the area. They constructed a number of bunkers here with forced laborers between 1941 and 1945 to be sure no invasion would take place in Pangandaran.
Guides are available as well. They love to rent you a torch which don't really need because you already have your own hape and will also indicate the tsunami-evacuation route which you can find on big red and white signs everywhere as well. Of course they would like to have a small tip in return as well.
The 7,000 Rupiah entrance fee buys you two separate entrance tickets. If you want to enter the largest cave however, you are kindly requested to make another small donation for maintenance of the cave. Of course this money if siphoned off to pockets around the complex since you already paid entrance one. Saying no is also possible and will have no harmful side-effects outside a slightly disappointed face.
From the higher locations - yes you have to climb to reach them, but paths are available for the largest part - you will have a nice view over parts of the local coastline of Pangandaran with some large hotels, hundreds of blue-white fishing boats and thousands of holiday go-ers that dare to enter the sea during the afternoon heat.
At the very end of this park is a nice white beach with many trees, people that will try to rent you live vests and simple snorkeling equipment. From this beach you can also rent a boar to explore the nearby waters from the sea as well. Sitting down on the white beach also is an option. No food or drinks are available here, you will have to bring them from the parking lot yourself.
Location map of Cagar Alam Pangandaran
Last revised on May 20, 2010
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