In Batukaras you will meet the friendliest locals ever. They are all smiles and good vibes. The whole village seem to have a surf stoke mentality that can’t be broken. In the water they will cheer you on to the same waves as they are riding. Knowing just a few phrases in Indonesian was definitely useful when buying groceries or just when chatting with the locals out in the water.
When you think of typical Indo surf, the main wave in Batukaras will most likely not come to your mind. In contrast to the heavy left hand barrels you probably had in mind, Batukaras is a slow, soft, pealing right-hander breaking over a black sand bottom.
The break showed its best side on a solid 6-9 ft south swell. The south facing swell needed to wrap almost 180 degrees before hitting the beach at Batukaras, resulting in a 2-3 ft almost machine like wave, breaking for roughly 200 meters. The wave was definitely heaps of fun. However a longboard is probably more suitable than a 5”6 shortboard. The surf did get crowded with local kids during the afternoons, however they were super cool, no hassle. During the weekends however the beach gets crowded with “local tourists” coming from close by towns and often even all the way from Jakarta. These days we stayed out of the water as it got filled with more than 100s of people who could not swim. Otherwise the crowds were usually under 20 people and the vibe was always cool.
Cheap and tasty. Perfect for traveling teenagers! The cheapest place is probably the restaurant located in the lefthand corner of the beach (facing the ocean). There they served your typical Indo dishes like Nasi/Mie goreng and banana pancakes.
A must go visit restaurant is Villa Monyet, located on the outside of the village. They had a fixed meal every evening, which could be everything from BBQ’s to corn fried muffin like things with coriander and sweet potato. The food there was incredible and definitively affordable despite how luxurious it felt.
We also made some of our own food at our home, however it was nothing compared to what we got served at the local restaurants.
We stayed at a place called Gubuk Chinta during our two weeks in Batukaras. We arrived to the place at 3 o’clock in the morning after driving down from Jakarta. We had been traveling for almost 20 hours and were smashed when we finally arrived. To be honest we were more than sceptical when we first arrived. The bed smelt funky and had no sheets, there was heaps of mosquitos and we were freezing. However when we woke up the next morning we were amazed with how beautiful it was. With the morning sun breaching through the palm leafs, hitting you in the face with the soft morning light.
We found clean sheets in a box next to the bed and after lighting a mosquito coil we had nothing to complain about. The place grew on us day after day and when the third day came around we both agreed that this place was perfect for us.
The place is located on the outside of “town” about 20 meters from the ocean and neighbouring Villa Monyet where we had most of our dinners. The place had no walls, giving you the feeling of being really close with nature. We both loved it. We cooked a couple of breakfasts and lunches in the simple yet very functioning kitchen. The toilet was a mix of western and local giving you options to use it however suited you the best. The shower was cold which was nice during the hot days, however not so much after a cool sunset surf. We loved the place and the experience it gave us by living there and would suggest anyone who wants to live close to nature to stay there if they ever visit Batukaras.
THE OVERALL VIBE
We loved it. With nice people, good food, a cool accommodation and nice beginner friendly surf for Julia it was a perfect start to our trip.