Pacitan is a town in East Java located on the south of the island adjacent to the Indian Ocean. Known as the City of 1001 Caves, Pacitan is surrounded by cave-filled limestone karsts and hills and is also famous for its surf breaks. Although there is much potential for future tourism development, Pacitan is a town not yet on the tourism trail, lacking this infastructure entirely.
Pacitan was the birthplace of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia.
Access to Pacitan and the surrounding region is by road only.
Travel minibusses (3.5 hours) leave Yogyakarta from travel agencies and the main bus terminal (Terminal Giwangan), predominantly in the morning. It is advisable to get in early or book ahead.
Chartering a car is also an option from Yogyakarta.
Public busses are available from Solo, leaving every hour, although services are more common earlier in the day (5 hours, Rp 30,000).
Public transport in Pacitan is nonexistant at best.
Some becak do sporadically appear, although these are few and far between. Trips around town should cost between Rp 5,000-10,000, depending on your haggling skills.
Hotels may be able to arrange private transport around town, but don't count on it.
The best option by far is to hire your own vehicle, or hire your own motorbike/scooter from Harry's Ocean House (Rp 50,000 per day, ask for Eddo on +62 878 95145533). Many motorbikes come with surfboard racks on the side.
- The Alun-alun(town square) is alive after sunset with many warungs selling traditional cheap street-food. 4-person illuminated bicycles/cars are available for entertainment (Rp 10,000 for one lap around the square).
- Pancer and Teleng Ria beaches are a few kilometres south of Pacitan, offering some surfing (weather dependent). Swimming is not recommended, with warning signs and red flags along the beach in rough weather. Although some restaurants, warungs and hotels exist in this area, it feels eerily abandoned. An entry fee of Rp 5,000 per person exists along the main road access to this beach (although this fee can be avoided by entering via the eastern beach near Harry's Ocean House).
- Klayar beach is located 40km west of Pacitan, and is accessible via a turnoff after Gong Cave. Although swimming is not recommended at this beach, the blow-hole, black sand, unusual rock formations, large waves, and wave-powered waterfalls make it worth a visit. To view the blow-hole, guides can be hired from the beach for a small fee (Bahasa Indonesia only). Popular with young locals and families on the weekend.
- Gong Cave is 30km west of Pacitan, along the Solo road. The cave has spectacular stalagmites and stalactites, which attract large tour groups on the weekends. This is one of the more accessible caves in the region, so the cave is lit and has a path for visitors. A tour guide is not necessary, but it may be helpful to hire a torch from the vendors at the cave entrance. Cave entry is Rp 5,000 per person.
- Tabuhan Cave (also known as the musical cave)is a few kilometres from Gong Cave. Although nowhere near as spectacular as Gong Cave, Tabhuhan has a large and interesting entrance, and different musical notes can be made by tapping on the stalagtites. Guides can be hired for information (in Bahasa Indonesia only) for a small fee.
- Watu Karung beach. is a breath taking white sandy beach. Strong current for swimming, great for surfing.
- Banyu Anget Hot Springs are located 15 kilometres north of Pacitan. These hot springs consist of 3 pools of varying temperatures (scalding, boiling and hot), and are very popular with locals in the afternoon. Lockers and change-rooms are available for a small fee, and food and drinks can be purchased from nearby vendors. Entry Rp 5,000 per person. Be sure to dress modestly whilst bathing as you will already be receiving enough attention as a foreigner!
- Surfing. Many surf spots around, such as Pacer beach, Srau beach, Teleng Ria beach and the best one is in Watu Karung beach
- There is a Daily market along Jalan Panglima Sudirman (just east of the bridge) sells a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat and other foodstuffs. There are many convenience stores located throughout Pacitan selling basic necessities.
- Warungs at the alun-alun (main square) serve tasty local fare.
- Jetsky Cafe located on Jalan Lehan Jenderal R Suprapto serves icy cold drinks and a variety of western-based food catering to local tastes. Wifi available here.
- Unnamed Cafe located opposite Jetsky cafe on Jalan Lehan Jenderal R Suprapto. This small restaurant is popular with students, serving amazing spicy roasted corn, tofu, and a variety of roasted fish ect.
- Sri Kandi Hotel Restaurant located along Jalan Ahmad Yani, serves up traditional Indonesian favourites along with a selection of seafood, chicken, and beef dishes, as well as some vegetarian options (be sure to emphasize that you're vegetarian if required). Also does a good western breakfast and sells cold beer.
No bars are found in Pacitan, although alcohol can be purchased at convenience stores for a reasonable price.
- Sri Kandi Hotel located at 67A Jalan Ahmad Yani (phone +62 357 881252). Rooms are clean and tidy with televisions, and come with an attached bathroom and mandi. The hotel is situated in a scenic area surrounded by rice paddies, although this has lead to an influx of mosquitoes. The air-conditioned rooms here are mosquito-proof. Tea and coffee delivered to your door each evening. Overall friendly, but absolutely useless staff. Limited English available. Rooms from Rp 130,000-300,000 depending on room type.
- Harry's Ocean House located on Pancer beach (phone +62 878 95145533). Bungalows are available with attached bathrooms and mandis. A communal kitchen allows tourists to self-cater. Motorbike hire is available here for Rp 50,000 per day.
- eHomestay Surfing Pacitan (Watu Karung Surfing Camp), . Coming soon, a traditional Javanese Wooden House right by Watu Karung beach. A good surfing spot. Sea view of white sandy beach.
No internet facilities are available in town. Wifi can be used at Jetsky cafe, while unrealiable wifi can be found at Sri Kandi Hotel.
- A small bus terminal is located along Jalan Gatot Subroto, with buses leaving for Solo (5hrs, Rp30,000) approximately every hour.