Watu Ulo & Papuma
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Watu Ulo is popular on weekends, but like most of the beaches on Java’s south coast, it has grey sand, and crashing surf makes swimming dangerous. The real surprise lies just west around the headland from Watu Ulo at Papuma – a lovely beach with white sand, turquoise waters, several warung and relatively sheltered swimming.
To reach Watu Ulo, head to the Ajung subterminal in Jember and then take an angkot (confusingly also known as ‘taxis’ in these parts) to Ambulu (7000Rp, one hour). From Ambulu, ojek drivers go to Watu Ulo (15,000Rp, 20 minutes) or on to Papuma via a steep headland.
On Pantai Papuma, Tanjung Papuma is a kind of outdoor pursuits centre geared at Indonesian school groups. It offers lots of organised activities such as snorkelling and trekking. Its well-maintained bungalows can be rented by all and there’s a shady campsite.