Getting there & away
Pangandaran lies halfway between Bandung and Yogyakarta. Coming from Yogyakarta by bus or rail, Banjar is the transit point. An alternative way of reaching Pangandaran is via the pleasant boat trip from Cilacap to Kalipucang or Majingklak. From Bandung, plenty of direct buses go to Pangandaran, or it’s possible to change for connections in Tasikmalaya.
Due to falling tourist numbers, Pangandaran’s transport options have been scaled back, and in some cases even stopped. Therefore it’s a good idea to check with Pangandaran’s travel agencies for the most up-to-date information on buses and boats.
Local buses run from Pangandaran’s bus terminal to Tasikmalaya (30, 000Rp, three hours), Ciamis (20, 000Rp, 2½ hours), Banjar (12, 000Rp, 1½ hours), Kalipucang or Majingklak (5000Rp, 40 minutes) and to Cilacap (25, 000Rp, 2½ hours). Buses also run along the west coast as far as Cijulang (7000Rp, 40 minutes).
The large patas buses generally leave from the Sari Bakti Utama depot, just north of town, and Budiman bus company depot, about 2km west of Pangandaran along Jl Merdeka. Frequent normal buses go to Bandung (32, 000Rp, six hours) between 6am and 9pm.
However, the most comfortable way to travel to Bandung is with the Sari Harum (639276) door-to-door minibus for 50, 000Rp. Perkasa Jaya minibuses (639607) pick up from hotels for the trip to Jakarta’s Kampung Rambutan terminal (normal/air-con 55, 000/75, 000Rp, nine hours). Travel agencies can also book tickets for most buses and minibuses for a premium, but transport to the depots is usually included.
Most travel agencies rent minibuses with drivers for about 500, 000Rp per day including driver and petrol. Put together your own tour and you may be able to negotiate a better rate. The most popular trip is a three-day tour to Yogyakarta. The usual route will take you as far as Wonosobo for the first night. The second day goes to Dieng for the sunrise, then on to Borobudur for the night. The final day is to Yogyakarta via Prambanan.
An alternative way of getting to/away from Pangandaran is the interesting backwater trip between Cilacap and Majingklak (this may change to the Kalipucang harbour in the near future; check with local travel agencies). From Pangandaran it starts with a 17km bus trip to Majingklak (5000Rp, 40 minutes), where compreng (wooden boats) can be chartered for the trip across the wide expanse of Segara Anakan and along the waterway sheltered by the island of Nusa Kambangan. The boats hold eight people (minimum six required) and cost 250, 000Rp each way.
At the time of writing, this was the only option for boat travel between Pangandaran and Cilacap. Normally car ferries operate between Majingklak and Cilacap, but due to dwindling tourist numbers and lack of local interest, they have been cancelled. This is not to say they won’t start up again in the near future; once again, check with travel agencies or your hotel in Pangandaran for more up-to-date information.
From the Cilacap harbour it is about 1km to the main road (5000Rp by becak), from where bemos go to the Cilacap bus terminal (2000Rp). A becak all the way to the terminal costs around 10, 000Rp.
Door-to-door services between Pangandaran and Yogyakarta are also a good option. Bus-ferry-bus services (125, 000Rp, 10 hours) are sold all around Pangandaran (minimum six people) and will drop you at your hotel in Yogyakarta. Connections to Wonosobo are also advertised, but these are on Yogyakarta buses that will drop you in Kebumen, from where you are put on a public bus to Wonosobo.
See Cilacap for information on transport to Yogyakarta and Wonosobo.