Pangandaran is a small town and a subdistrict in southern Ciamis regency, West Java, Indonesia. It is located on the southern coast of Java. Pangandaran is a popular tourist destination, having a beach which is considered to be one of the finest in Java and which offers excellent surfing.
A kite-flying festival is held on the beach in July each year. Locals regularly use kites in the evenings to catch bats, which are either eaten or used in Chinese remedies. There is a local belief that wearing any green garment in this area will anger Loro Kidul, the Javanese guardian spirit or goddess of the southern sea, and will bring misfortune.
The Penanjung Pangandaran nature reserve is nearby on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land. The isthmus wide is around 200 meters and we can see sunrise at East Beach and also sunset at West Beach when the sun is above southern hemisphere. About eighty percent of the nature reserve is secondary rainforest. The flora of the nature reserve includes the Rafflesia.
An undersea earthquake measured at 7.7 on the Richter scale triggered a black wall of tsunami water enfulging people, causing destruction as far inland up to a half kilometre on 17 July 2006. Extensive damage was caused and hundreds were killed including a small number of foreign tourists. Pangandaran is a large fishing village situated on a narrow isthmus of land with Pangandaran National Park occupying the entire headland.
On either side to the east and to the west of Pangandaran village and the National Park isthmus are two beaches of volcanic black sand. These east and west facing beaches provide Pangandaran with the unusual reputation as being one of the few beach resorts in the world where one can watch a sunrise in the morning and a sunset in the evening.
Pangandaran Beach has become increasingly popular with surfers as there are several beaches and surf breaks within easy travelling distance. There are also surfboard hire facilities and surf schools available at the beach.
Pangandaran is also popular with Indonesian domestic tourists, particularly during the holidays of Ramadan, New Year and long holiday.