Turtle Watching, Picnic, Caving, Snorkeling Trip

3 day/ 2 night turtle watching and SW Java coast walk from Pangumbahan to Amuran beach, plus caving and snorkeling.

Day 1 morning: Drive 5/7 hours by car from Jakarta to Batu Besar Losmen, Desa Pangumbahan, arrive anytime before 1630. Best plan a departure before 06:00 as the traffic is lighter, and lunch at Batu Besar.

Day 1 afternoon/night: After lunch take a walk to the beach, swim, watch the surfers, then back to Losmen.

Leave the Losmen again at 1630 and walk the 20 minutes to the park wardens’ compound. Take a look at the nursery where eggs are buried to hatch in security; takes 40 to 55 days depending on weather. You may see a few emerged hatchlings running around. Then the warden will show you the buckets of hatchlings from the previous night(s). There may be several hundred. You can hold and photograph them. Return to the beach to await the release at 1730 or so. The wardens will bring buckets full, give each participant one to release, and they scamper seaward… quite an amazing sight. Some may get stuck in a footprint and need a little help to get out. They will stay at sea until maturity 20 years later and a hundred and fifty kilos heavier!!

Return to Losmen for dinner at 1900, then walk back to the wardens’ hut at 2000; or just wait for them to call the Losmen when viewing is ready. The wardens wait until a turtle has dragged her 150 kilos up the beach, selected her maternity site, dug a hole and has started laying eggs; then she will not spook and visitors can watch, and take photos from behind (not into the face). After 150 or so eggs, she covers up the nest, painstakingly turns around to head back to the sea in a ritual taking over two hours. It is an unforgettable and awesome sight. Walk back to the Losmen at any time.

Day 2 morning: Wake early, breakfast at 0430 and leave for the south end of turtle beach by 0500 and walk up the beach. With luck you will see a late nester returning to the sea and appreciate the full splendour of Chelonia Mydas in daylight. You will also see numerous turtle tracks and pits and fresh sand from the previous night’s maternal duties.

Continue to the very north end of turtle beach and ford the estuary there. Then walk for a total of 3 hours. There are a couple of obstacles including some rocky spots and another estuary fording, but please persevere as the destination is worth it. Pass some of the most pristine, beautiful and deserted beaches and headlands in west Java bounded inland by an extensive national forest. Our destination is a picnic site on a mile long white sand beach, with crystal clear water and very swimming friendly. And it is totally deserted. There is some shade on the edge of the beach for lunch. Spend as long as you like there. Then return through the national forest completing a circular walk and some interesting agricultural sights.

Minimum 2 guides are provided so at any time people can return with one of the guides. Lunch is served at Batu Besar on return.

Day 2 afternoon: The schedule for the afternoon is caving. Depart Batu Besar at 1500. The cave at Gunung Sungging is quite unique. It is owned by a local farmer (over 80 years old and passed onto him by his ancestors) who has installed a locked steel gate. He guides with a kerosene lantern, but take flashlights or headlamps with you. The caves are over 500m in length, with limestone stalactites, stalagmites, columns; sinkholes, caverns, and sculptures. Use trainers as the path is a little muddy. It is also hot and humid. Total trip time is 4 fascinating hours.

Alternatively the rest of the afternoon can be spent:
Swimming and snorkeling at Batu Namprak only a short walk or drive from the homestay, Appreciating Pangumbahan beach again, or watching the hatchlings released again, or just hanging out at the Losmen, or Visiting Ujung Genteng harbor and fishing port and peninsula which is a nature reserve.
Dinner at Batu Besar.

Day 3: Alternatives are as above, or depart straight away to Jakarta. Breakfast is served at Batu Besar before departure. What to take: Small back pack, trainers/walking or hiking shoes, umbrella, sunscreen, hat, rain coat, sunglasses, strap sandals/crocs for crossing the estuaries/rivers, swimwear, towel, gloves, walking stick, whistle, flashlight with new batteries, snorkeling gear, picnic for the Saturday walk, lots of water 3-4 liters for hike and more.

Camera, binoculars, bird book.

The walk is at sea level so hot and sweaty and you will drink a lot.

There are only cold water showers at the Losmen.

Cost 3 days 2 nights:
Price per pax:

  1. a. AC Single occupancy Rp. 1.300.000
  2. b. AC twin/double sharing occupancy Rp. 1.100.000
  3. c. AC Family of 3 pax Rp. 1.000.000
  4. d. AC Family of 4 pax Rp. 900.000
Included are accommodation for 2 nights, breakfast Saturday and Sunday mornings, lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday at Batu Besar, guides, park fees (one visit only for both hatchlings and nesting), and caving fees.
Not included are all other F & B from the Losmen resto and bar, including drinking water and picnic, transportation (you will need your own transport), driver accommodation and meals, additional park fees and visits, if you visit a second time. You will need your own snorkeling gear.
Minimum 4 pax.