Java is Indonesia’s most populous island and is home to the capital of Jakarta. Java is also home to many of the countries most important cultural and historical sights and monuments, such as Borobudor and Prambanan. It’s not a well known island for it’s beaches.
But for those who make the effort, the beaches of central Java will reward you. Unlike in other parts of Indonesia, the beaches here are not the main tourism draw to the area, meaning that if you make the effort to visit you will be rewarded by relatively uncrowded and clean beaches.
We decided to join a tour of three of the most popular beaches. The tour cost us about $20 each and only included the driver, mini bus and fuel. If we felt adventurous we could have rented our own motorbike and done the trip for much less money, but since we are travelling with a toddler we wanted the relative ease of having our own local driver instead.
The tour picked us up from our hotel and dropped us back there at the end of the day, which was about six hours long. We visited three local beaches. En route to the beaches was the first time we had seen countryside. In our other journeys, from the airport to Boroudor, Borobudor to Jogyakarta, and to Prambanan and back never once left the sprawl behind. It seemed like the entire island of Java was just never ending human development. It was so refreshing to see jungle and greenery, rice terraces and farmers tilling their fields.
This was our first stop and was also our favourite stop. I would have been happy if we had stayed at this beach all day instead of visiting the other two. Baron beach is a beautiful little beach in a sheltered bay. The main beach can get larger waves, but there is also an area that serves as the mouth of an underground river. This area is very calm and is a great place for little ones to splash around in.
Baron beach is also a popular fishing area, and you can see al the brightly painted fishing boats going back and forth from the beach to the ocean.
This was also the only beach where there were vendors charging a small fee for the use of a mat and umbrella, which was great as we did not have our own with us.
This beach is a lot more rugged than nearby Baron beach, despite only being 1 km away. Natural rock islands make for an interesting vista, the the strong currents make swimming a little treacherous. There is not much natural shade at this beach, although we did manage to find a bit of respite from the sun near the rocky cliff side.
Krakal beach is the longest beach in the area and is only 6 km from Kukup beach. The area just past the water line is rocky and can be rough, but the beach itself is perfect for sunbathing and relaxing. There are some basic hotels in this area, but the area is still not very well set up for tourism.