Anyer and Carita beach are famous tropical beaches in Sunda west coast. They are favorite weekend destinations for people who live in Jakarta, because:
Sunda west coast starts with Anyer, going to the south you will pass Karang Bolong beach and arrive at Carita beach. If you go further south you will arrive at Tanjung Lesung beach then Umang island in the farthest southwest, near Ujung Kulon national park. They are the landmarks of Sunda west coast, but along the way you will find many public beaches. You only need to pay the entrance fee then you can park all day long, have a picnic, take a ride of a banana boat or rent a jet ski.
Being one of the favorite destinations in the west coast of Sunda, there are many hotels in Anyer and further south to Tanjung Lesung beach. Generally these hotels will be fully booked during weekend and almost empty during weekdays, therefore their published rate during weekends are unbelievably expensive.
Unfortunately some of them are not well maintained. So, if you have spare time, it's better you see the room and the hotel surroundings and facilities first. Then, if you like it you can bargain the price. Don't book the rooms by judging from the pictures you see in the brochures or internet, because they could be worn out by now. Alternatively, book a room in a brand new hotel.
Some of the popular hotels in these areas are:
As you may notice, although most hotels are located in the sea side, only some of the hotels have beach in their backyard. Other parts of the beach are covered with rocks. These rocks are volcanic rocks that came from the eruption of Mount Krakatau in 1883.
Other hotels are relatively smaller. However, some of these hotels provide kitchen in every room or barbeque area in the yard, so you can cook the fresh seafood you bought from fishermen. Other advantage of staying in small hotels is that you will meet men walk in to the hotel yard selling fresh raw prawn, shells, or otak-otak (a grilled snack made of fish wrapped with banana leaves). I even saw a noodle and meatball cart in the hotel yard.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find restaurants in these tropical beaches. You only can find some canteens in the public beaches. However, if you come from other countries, it is better you eat in the hotel restaurants.
Stroll along the beach looking for shells and build a sand castle are always be a must do activities for our family. We also found some hermit crabs hiding in the corals.
Other fun activities to do here are:
Driving from Jakarta, go to Jakarta-Tangerang toll road. This is the first section of Jakarta-Merak toll road. You only need to follow this road for 95 kilometers. You will pass couple of toll booths with different fee applied until you exit at West Cilegon. This is the last exit before you reach the end of the toll road at Merak harbor.
Once you leave the toll road, you must pay attention to the road signs leading to Anyer, otherwise you will waste your time wander in the town of Cilegon.
Along the way you will pass Krakatau Steel, Indonesia’s leading steel company, then the chemical industrial park. Unfortunately, the road is not suitable for big trucks these companies use. Thus, this section of the road is always damaged all year long, dusty during dry season and muddy during rainy season. It will take some time to pass it. But after that, the road is in good condition, you only need to follow it until you see the lighthouse in front of you.
The lighthouse is the landmark of Anyer beach. Driving forward, you will pass public beaches and hotels. Most of them are on your right side, where the beach and the sea are.
Due to its proximity to Jakarta and industrial park in Cilegon, Anyer and Carita beach are favorite weekend destinations. But, I prefer to come on weekdays, because they are less crowded and cheaper. It’s better you avoid long weekends and national holiday, because the road will be jammed, beaches will be very crowded and everything will be very expensive.
So, when you have a one or two spare days, why don’t you visit these tropical beaches and have fun!
Tourist destinations in the land of Sunda is more than just the exotic tropical beaches. Sunda has plenty of highlands such as Lembang, Ciwidey and Puncak Pass with their active volcanoes and beautiful gardens.