The number one tour from Pangandaran is to Green Canyon (Cujang Taneuh); it’s clearly signposted at several points along the highway. Many tour operators in Pangandaran run trips here for 150,000Rp and include ‘countryside’ excursions to make a full-day tour.
Reached by a rough inland road from the village of Cipinda (8km from Pangandaran, look out for the sign Citumang), this attraction involves an easy riverside walk from a small dam to a small but beautiful gorge, Green Valley. You can swim into the gorge and there are cliff jumps for the brave (or foolhardy).
From the PHKA office on the highway it's 14km down a flat gravel track to Bekol. The friendly rangers here look after a couple of lodges and can act as guides (100,000Rp per half-day). You don't need a guide to hike along a well-maintained trail to Pantai Bama (1½ hours), an idyllic walk which follows a riverbank where deer are common.
Trundling through the heart of the city, the Jaladara steam train (built in Germany in 1896) is a fun morning excursion in carriages that have Victorian-style wood fittings.
Eight kilometres northeast of Tangkuban Prahu in the village of Ciater, Gracia Spa is a hot spring set in gorgeous grounds on the lower slopes of the volcano. Here there are three large pools, a spa and a restaurant, and it's very quiet in the week. Ciater is an attractive village surrounded by tea and clove plantations.
Located 7km before the Puncak summit, are the lush, tea-carpeted hills of Gunung Mas Estate . You can tour the tea factory (7000Rp), which is a couple of kilometres from the highway, or combine it with a guided walk through the plantation itself (60,000Rp).
Right opposite the waves, this attractive camp has three standards of bungalow in shady grounds with a restaurant and bar. It has beach volleyball, ping pong, pool tables, and boat and fishing trips can be arranged. This camp is organised in Kuta, Bali, and offers three-night packages (from US$400), including land transfers (a 10-hour trip), grog and grub.
This famous cafe-restaurant offers no less than 14 tours, including some really creative options. There are numerous bike and motorbike tours, including a backroad trip to Prambanan (115,000Rp), city walks and Merapi hikes, rafting, and even a jamu (herbal medicine) and massage tour (200,000Rp) that takes in a visit to a specialist market.
Joyo's has steadily upped its game over the years. It has good-quality thatched wooden bungalows with a fan or air-conditioning, a large-screen TV for sports, pool tables, internet access and table tennis. There's free yoga and the crew who run the place are a blast. Packages start at US$350 for three nights, plus $100 for a return boat transfer.
For a great massage (and to support the local community) head to Nuansa Fajar , a training centre that employs blind masseurs from all over the country. Shiatsu, reflexology and traditional Javanese massages are offered. The beds are set up at the back of a small store and, while the traffic drone is a bit off-putting, the masseurs are certainly very skilled.
Want to see the other Jakarta, away from air-conditioned malls? Jakarta Hidden offers tours of the city's traditional kampung , the urban villages of the poor. These warts-and-all tours take you along trash-choked riverways, into cottage industry factories and allow you to take tea in residents' homes.
Kudus is a hot town. If you want to cool off Omah Mode has a lovely pool area (25,000Rp, open 6am to 8pm) and there's a large water boom (15,000Rp) just behind the Kretek Museum with slides and a channel that's ideal for kids. There's also a pool at the Hotel Notasari Permai (12,500Rp to non-residents).