Convenience v Cost

Last updated: June 11, 2013

Comparing different ways to travel from Jakarta to Pangandaran, West Java.

Pangandaran Beach Green Canyon, near Pangandaran Brown Sugar Factory, Pangandaran

As can be seen above, Pangandaran is one of the few places in West Java with nice beaches and a relaxed, small town feel. It is also a launchpad for visiting Batu Karas, Green Canyon and tours of cottage industries. Pangandaran National Park is a short walk away.

Its relative isolation is both a blessing and a curse; it keeps away the maddening hordes of more popular destinations, but also prevents many would-be visitors from discovering this worthwhile but little-known part of the archipelago.

There are few options for travelling from Jakarta to Pangandaran, and no obvious choices: for example, trains from Jakarta do not stop at a nearby station. It is a matter of balancing convenience (comfort, travel time) and cost (cheap or expensive) to find the most suitable solution.

The relative merits of three means of transport – 1) Plane, 2) Train, 3) Bus – are described below.

1. PLANE

Convenience: HIGH Cost: HIGH

There is a little known flight from Jakarta’s second airport, Halim Perdanakusuma, in East Jakarta. The flight only takes one hour.

However, the flight departs at 07:30, so a 1-night stopover in Jakarta would be necessary. (Hotels near Halim Perdanakusuma Airport are listed here.)

Susi Air logo

The airline that operates this route, Susi Air, has a chequered safety record. The plane is relatively small and the checked baggage allowance is 10kg. Surfboards incur a excess baggage fee of Rp250 000 ($US28, € 20, £17).

Travelling by plane is suitable for visitors who are:

  • Travelling light
  • Needing to arrive in Pangandaran as quickly as possible

  • Left to Right: Batu Karas, Nusa Wira Airport, Pangandaran

  • Staying in Batu Karas, not Pangandaran. Nusa Wira Airport (NSW) is closer to Batu Karas and 20km from Pangandaran.

Considering flying to Pangandaran? Please fill in an enquiry form.

2. TRAIN

Convenience: HIGH Cost: HIGH

If you don’t mind an overnight stay in Bandung, you can take a train from Jakarta to Bandung, then another to Banjar (60km north of Pangandaran) the following morning. The final leg to Pangandaran is a two-hour bus ride.

Unfortunately, Indonesia’s train operator has a policy to charge the same fare for Bandung to Banjar as Bandung to Yogyakarta, even though it’s only half the distance. Perhaps it’s to encourage trains to be full all the way, not just part of the way.


Top: Banjar Station, 60km north of Pangandaran

Travelling by train is suitable for visitors who:

  • Value legroom, comfort
  • Want to see some scenery and a glimpse of village life along the way
  • Like trains and want to visit Bandung

Note: If you want to travel the same day as arriving by plane in Jakarta, a more suitable alternative for the first leg to Bandung is the Primajasa airport bus from Soekarno-Hatta Airport to Bandung.

Considering a train to Pangandaran? Please fill in an enquiry form.

3. BUS

Convenience: LOW Cost: LOW

There are two options for travelling by bus:


Left to Right: Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Kampung Rambutan Bus Terminal,
Bandung Bus Terminal, Pangandaran

1) Primajasa Airport Bus from Jakarta to Bandung, then another bus to Pangandaran.
2) DAMRI Airport Bus from Jakarta to Kampung Rambutan Bus Terminal (East Jakarta), then another bus to Pangandaran.

This option is rated low for convenience because it is the slowest way to travel and part of the journey may need to be completed overnight. Despite the driver’s “best effort” – ha ha – to get there as soon as possible, the trip usually takes longer than the train due to traffic, frequent stops and small roads in occasionally poor condition. Also, you may be waiting in Kampung Rambutan or Bandung a long time for the connecting bus for Pangandaran; a possible plan B would be a bus to Banjar (final destination: Yogyakarta) and another bus from Banjar to Pangandaran.

Bandung Pangandaran Bus Bus quality is variable, so it’s best if you check the condition of the tyres, interior, etc, before you board and pay. Driver quality is also variable but cannot be known in advance; generally speaking, the higher quality buses are more likely to have professional, careful drivers. The driver wearing a uniform with his name sewn into the shirt and photo ID clearly visible are also good signs.

Travelling by bus is suitable for visitors who:

  • Want to travel directly/the same day from Jakarta Airport to Pangandaran
  • Want to minimise travel expenses along the way
  • Can easily sleep on the way

Bus tickets can only be purchased on site, on the day of travel. The schedule for buses to Pangandaran is best described as “leave when full”.


Wishing you were here?

Pangandaran at Sunset

Please make a flight / train / hotel enquiry.

You can also plan your trip to Pangandaran, with the weather forecast and monthly averages for temperature and rainfall.



10 Comments on “Convenience v Cost”

  1. Chris says:

    UPDATE 2014

    Susi Air now flies daily between Bandung and Pangandaran also:

  2. Paul Kershaw says:

    Good Morning from Johannesburg South Africa. We found your website details when searching for flights from Jakarta to Pangandaran and then onwards to get to our hotel Javacove in Batu Karas. but we are at a bit of a loss as to the best method to get there and are wondering if you can suggest something please? As we arrive in jakarta on 18 December ver late at night we thought to stay for two nights in jakarta and then try get a luxury train to Pangandaran and find onward transport to Batu Karas but from you website comments we are seeing this may not be very easy.
    Our accommodation is booked to arrive for 21st December so we do have time.

    1. Could you suggest either a luxury train leaving Jakarta on 20th December then staying in Bandung for that night and what other transport can we then use to get to Batu karas?
    2. We note your comment that the Primajasa airport bus from Soekarno-Hatta Airport goes to Bandung. Would that perhaps work out in that we stay in Bandung for the night of the 20th and then another bus to Pangandaran and onwards by other transport to Batu karas?

    As yet we have not booked any onward accommodation in Java for the other 10 days we are there but are looking at perhaps going to some islands in the java Sea but as yet we haven’t got any idea where and how we’re going to get there so so far we only need to arrange the transport from Jakarta to Batu Karas – thank you very much!

    So many questions! We appreciate your input .

  3. Bettina says:

    If you’re staying at Java Cove hotel they can organise a car and driver to collect you from Jakarta, Bandung or the train station in Banjur. We used this service when staying at Java Cove hotel and the drivers were great.

    The road is bad from Pangandaran to Batu Karas though and the last part is very slow.

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Paul,

    1. You can take a train from Bandung to Yogyakarta on 21 December and get off at Banjar. See option 2 above.

    2. The Primajasa bus to Bandung isn’t so great for first-time visitors, because the terminus is outside town, far from hotels and 10km from Cicaheum bus terminal (the one for buses to Pangandaran).

    3. The only famous islands south of Java are Nusa Kembangan (a prison) and Christmas Island (part of Australia). Please note also that it is the wet season, when seas can be rough.

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi there,
    if I arrive at Jakarta Airport the 24/6 around 6pm, and want to head straight for Pangandaran that same evening, will there still be buses running at that time?

  6. Chris says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Buses to Pangandaran depart from Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, a large distance from Jakarta Airport (especially when you consider e.g. traffic).

    Overnight buses to Pangandaran might have already departed from Kampung Rambutan by the time you get there, or maybe not.

    If you want to avoid maybe being stuck overnight at Kampung Rambutan, I would recommend:

    1. Taking a bus from Jakarta Airport to Bandung

    2. Staying one night at (i) a hotel near Bandung Station or (ii) Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal. (Link to suitable hotels)

    3. Travel by (i) train to Banjar then bus to Pangandaran or (ii) bus to Pangandaran. You can also book a door to door minibus (called travel) from Bandung to Pangandaran.

  7. Jeff says:

    Why not trying by train from Jakarta – Purwokerto (executive class upto economy class) – then continued by rental car (3 hours) to Pangandaran.

  8. Chris says:

    Hi Jeff,

    You can’t rent self-drive cars in Indonesia, and I would be hesitant to be driven by someone I didn’t know, due to low skill level and/or low apprecation of safety.

  9. Beatriz says:

    Hello,

    Is this bus from Bandung to Pangandaran 24 hours? Is it possible to buy the tickets only some minutes before boarding? Can I take this bus at the Cicaheum Terminal?

    Arriving in Pangandaran, how far is the station to the Green Canyon? How can I get there?

    I hope you can help me!

  10. Chris says:

    Hi Beatriz,

    Most buses from Bandung to Pangandaran depart either in the early morning or the evening. At other times, the schedule is best described as “leave when full”

    Yes, you can buy bus tickets on the day of travel.

    Yes, in Bandung buses to Pangandaran depart from the Cicaheum terminal.

    Lots of local operators in Pangandaran offer half day tours to Green Canyon; it is most easily arranged on arrival in Pangandaran.

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