Tag Archives: East Java

watu karung beach landscape with gazebo

Watu Karung beach homestay and hotel guide 2016 (Pacitan, East Java)

Watu Karung beach (Pantai Watu karung) is an incredible surf spot and breathtaking ocean beach shore. It is located on the Java island, approximately 3 hours by car from Yogyakarta. It is quite famous among advanced surfers as many international pro surfers come here to ride those incredible waves.

fish boat on the beach pacitan

The place is majestic as you can see some big ocean waves crashing into rocks. Some people say there is a rock that looks like a woman’s head with long hair. Among the many other beaches in Pacitan like Klayar beach or Buyutan beach, Watu Karung is not the busiest but I think it is the most preserved and the most beautiful of all beaches in Pacitan. The area is quite popular among locals from South East Java and the southern part of central Java.

watu karung beach rocks pacitan

watu karung beach wide

surfer in watu karung pacitan

Famous pro surf break and live coral reef

Don’t go there to learn how to surf ! This is an advanced surfer spot : the rocks, the live coral, the strong current and the big waves make it dangerous for a beginner. If you’re not a surfer, you can watch many of them from the beach.

surfers walk through ricefield in pacitan

aerial view watu karung beach daylight

This beach has also an incredible live coral reef and I really hope this will be preserved in the near future as further touristic developments or intense local fishing could alter it. The beach itself is also very clean, which can also be quite unusual for an Indonesian touristic place. I would recommend some water shoes if you intend to swim there as there are many rocks along the shore: it can be difficult to swim there.

I went there to spend a peaceful long week end and I am going to tell you the best places to stay and enjoy what many people call the Javanese paradise.

Since it is a very remote area, I am going to show you the exact location first so you can have a clear idea of where this paradise is located:

The best option to reach Watu Karung beach is by car from Yogyakarta (3 hours ride) or from Solo city (3 hours ride too). The road will get narrow and winding at the end but still good. Don’t worry, the trip is totally worth it ! There is an entrance fee of 5,000 rp per person and an additional 5,000 rp per car.

watu karung rocks in the sea

sand in watu karung beach


This used to be the only option available in this remote place. There are many home stays, with different standing and different locations closer to the beach but this is definitely the cheapest option, especially if you are staying there for a long surfing trip, like many foreigners do.

Pasir Putih Homestay: The place is located less than a minute away from the beach so the location is very good. There is a small terrace and the room has a proper size.

Edy’s Hometay: An other good home stay with reasonable price. It is not located totally close to the beach but the price are relatively cheap.
Address: Jln.watukarung Pacitan Km.2
Watukarung, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia 6055

Sack stone homestay: This Home stay is located 150 meters away from the beach and is quite clean. Most of the rooms have terrace too and there is a common area to watch TV. The host of the place are very friendly.

surfing pacitan homestay
eHomestay Surfing Pacitan (Made’s house): 
This accomodation has a great location, close to the beach but in a more remote area, 5 minutes by car from all the previous homestays. The price is US$ 10 per day and they have discounted prices if you stay 1 week.

Watukarung Prapto Homestay : This friendly stay has 4 rooms : 2 double bed and 2 twin beds. The price is 200,000 rp per night. It has a good location near the beachwalk.

Other Homestays and Joglo available in the area:
- Childhouse Beach resort:
- Jungle Homestay

gazebo view watu karung beach

Luxury Hotels and resort

If a home stay is not for you, then you should consider those 2 options. There are currently no accommodation with a medium range standard. So the 2 choices I am featuring below are more on the upper range (individual bungalows in a resort-like hotel).

swimming pool istana ombak watu karung
Istana Ombak’s swimming pool
istana ombak beach front villa interior
Villa interior

Istana Ombak EcoResort: This hotel is located along the beachwalk of Watu Karung. It is easily recognizable with its nice rock walls and the swimming pool. They offer individual bungalows or hut (20 square meters) with AC, relatively close to each other. It is the closest you can be from the beach. The price is quite high and the hotel mostly have foreigners.
FYI: Istana Ombak means The wave Palace :-)

Book ISTANA Ombak

swimming pool desa limasan
Desa Limasan swimming pool

Desa Limasan: The other luxury resort of Watu karung located 2 minutes away from the previous one. This one is also an individual bungalow/Joglo resort with a swimming pool but there is way more space between each bungalow.

desa kecil small joglo house desa limasan
Joglo house at Desa Limasan

Food in Watu karung : Warungs & Restaurants

Watukarung is a perfect spot to eat seafood, especially fresh fish that you can eat grilled in one of the warungs located along the beachwalk. It is also a great place to enjoy a fresh coconut, straight from the coconut tree and many other fresh fruits. There are no western restaurants so far in Watu Karung, but you will find many warungs that cook for you fresh seafood for a reasonable price (50,000 rp per person for 1 meal).

grilled fish ready to eat pacitan watu karung
Grilled fish
lobster from the ocean
Maybe you would prefer to eat grilled lobster ?

Top things to do in Watukarong beach

1. Watch the sunset and enjoy the white-sand beach
2. Eat fresh grilled fish
3. Drink fresh coconut water
4. Surfing or bodyboard
5. Snorkeling

Other gorgeous ocean beaches in Pacitan you must see

1. Pantai Klayar (the closest from Pacitan city and thus the most crowded beach in Pacitan)
2. Pantai Buyutan
3. Pantai Banyu Tibo
4. Pancer Door beach
5. Teleng Ria beach
6. Srau beach (pantai Srau)
7. Pidakan beach
8. Soge beach
9. Taman beach (pantai taman)

sunset in watu karung pacitan
Beatiful sunset
resting time with ocean view pacitan
Perfect spot to rest

 Tourist activities to do in Pacitan

1. Gong cave or “Goa gong” (30km west of Pacitan city)
2. Tabuhan cave or “Goa Tabuhan”
2. Pelabuhan Tamperan (harbour)
3. Museum Geopark in Pacitan city (Pancer Door beach)
4. Kediaman bapak SBY (residence of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former president of Indonesia)
5. Sungai maron (the brown river)
6. Luweng Jaran & Luweng Ombo

becak malang kampung

Visit Malang, the “cool” city

Malang is well known as the “cool” city in Indonesia with the temperature range from 23-25 Celcius; it has been a place for domestic tourists to cool down while enjoying the city has to offer. From Sukarno Hatta International Airport you can find local flights to Surabaya (Juanda International Airport) or straight to Malang (Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport).  You can also take trains to Surabaya or straight to Malang for a longer travel time. If you go by Surabaya, you will need to travel about 2 hours by bus to Malang. Each option will give you different experience and different feel of life in Indonesia.

This “Paris of East Java” city has many places for tourists to visit suits to your personal preference; in general, all is affordable. If you want to go around the city center you could visit Tugu Balai Kota, the Major office with its little park, enjoy the beautiful view of street and old Dutch houses along Ijen street, visit “toko OEN”,nostalgia café,  famous for its delicious ice cream or you can go to Alun-alun/Merdeka Square, a park where you can eat street food while enjoying the surrounding city features such as the Grand Mosque (Masjid Agung), the charismatic old Cathedral Church (Gereja Kayu Tangan) etc.

Malang is the city of students with more than 20 higher education institutions, makes it the city full of youth spirit. Other than apples, Malang is well known for its flowers; if you want to take a peek of this beauty, you can visit Flowers Market; while you’re around this area, there’s a bird Market with some other animals for sale too. Enjoying the city could be a lot fun with Becak (three wheeler run manually by its driver) tour, it’s affordable and easy to find in every corner or Malang City.

If you’re tired of being in a city, Malang has a lot more to offer. Surrounded by mountains such as Bromo, Semeru (the highest mountain in Java) and Arjuna, Malang offers natural places to visit such as Ranu Pani and Ranu Regulo mountain lakes, Coban Rondo and Coban Pelangi water falls. Beautiful beaches like Sendang Biru, Bale Kambang dan Ngeliyep are some of place worth a visit for you who appreciate an ocean view. Enjoying beautiful nature can be completed with agro tourism like Kebun Wonosari Tea Estate, a beautiful place where you can take a tea plantation tour in a cool and fresh area and also enjoy playing tennis and visit the mini zoo. Malang also has a famous theme park, Jatim Park, perfect for family with children.

Malang has various culinary you should try such as, Soto (special chicken soup) Ayam Lamongan Oro Oro Dowo, Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) Prambanan, Rujak Manis (fruit salad) Semeru, Kupang (White Clams) Kraton, Bakso (meatball soup) Cak Man, Bakso Bakar (barbequed meatball) Pak Man, Rujak Cingur (mix of fruits and vegetables plus cow’s mouth), Cwi Mie (noodle), Tahu Telur (mix of tofu and eggs), Tahu Campur (mix of tofu and vegetables), Gado-gado (salad) and many more.

As a tourist spot, Malang will also accommodate you with various 4 and 5 starts hotels such as, Savana Hotel, Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel, Hotel Santika, Tugu Hotel Malang, Singhasari Hotel etc that you can choose based on your budget and preference.