Pelabuhan Ratu means Seaport of the Queen, the name is correlated with myths tell about the legendary Queen of the South Sea named Nyai Roro Kidul. Pelabuhan Ratu, West Java is located in a wide bay, which has had the name ‘Wijnkoopsbaai’. This place believed by Javanese locals as the bay of the harbor of the Queen the legend have been created where drowning of fishermen and swimmers to the depths of the ocean where the underwater palace is in her watery kingdom do regularly occur. It is located around 138 km southern Jakarta city.
The beach area is around 15 km stretch from Pelabuhan Ratu to Cisolok, side by side with thick tropical forests on rolling hills, the wide sandy beaches set against the deep blue of Indian Ocean. No wonder the beach will be crowded with local and international tourists every week end or public holiday. There are many facilities for water activities, restaurants, hotels and cottages, merchandise store, fish market, police security and SAR (search and rescue) teams.
In this beach area you can surfing or swim only in certain area because it’s strong current undertow. It is recommended to surf or swim in Cimaja beach, Sunset beach, Karang Sari Beach, Karang Aji beach, Karang Papak and Cibanban beach. There are surfing board rental around Karanghawu and Cimaja. The best seasons for surfing are in May and October.
In other way you can try various seafood restaurants along the main drag or you can buy it fresh from fish market in Pelabuhan Ratu or Cibanban beach. It is recommended to buy it in very early morning where the fisherman just landed and try to bargain the price they offered. Don’t forget to enjoy the great view of sunset in Karanghawu beach around 5 – 6 pm along with dining seafood.
How to get there?
From Jakarta you are heading to Ciawi, Bogor via Jagorawi Toll highway and exit to Ciawi. The distance from Jakarta to Ciawi around is 65 km. From here heading to Sukabumi city to Cibadak, the distance is around 35 km. After you get Cibadak turn right heading to Pelabuhan Ratu, the distance is about 45 km.
The distance from Sukabumi city to Pelabuhan Ratu is around 73 km, heading to southwest.
- If you go by public bus, go to Kampung Rambutan bus station, take bus to Bogor city. In Bogor bus station take a bus directly to Pelabuhan Ratu. In other way you can take electric train named as kereta rel listrik (KRL) Jabotabek to Bogor city, this way is less expensive and faster.
- Some peddlers and merchants can be quite pushy, so be firm refusing them if you do not want to.
- It’s not advised to take a bath in the domain of the goddess, and especially not in green clothes. Green is the favorite color of Nyai Roro Kidul and wearing it is an invitation for her to take that person to the depths of the ocean.
- There is entrance fee for tourist, around IDR 15,000 each (2015).
- There is one famous four-star hotel, Samudera Beach Hotel, about 6 km from Pelabuhan Ratu, which there is a room believed specially for Nyai Roro Kidul. In otherway there are several other smaller hotel and cottages are available at moderate rates.
- For swimmers always be wary of tide conditions and how they affect the lineup. There’s a large and exposed rock that is both conveniently and precariously located in front of the take-off point.
- The on shore wind normally starts about 11 am & drops of most afternoons 4 pm. So both morning & afternoon surfing sessions are possible.
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