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The idyllic fishing village and surfing hot spot of Batu Karas, 32km west of Pangandaran, is one of the most enjoyable places to kick back in Java. It’s as pretty as a picture – a tiny one-lane settlement, with two beaches that are separated by a wooded promontory.
In recent years Batu Karas’s popularity has started to take off as more (very tasteful) guesthouses have opened, but the village still retains a low-key, very relaxed charm. However, an Indonesian hotel group started (and then stopped) some heavy construction work in 2012, so the situation could change.
There’s good swimming, with sheltered sections that are calm enough for a dip, but many visitors are here for the breaks, and there’s a lot of surf talk.