Ujung Genteng is probably one of the best kept secrets in Java. How this gorgeous strip of coastline has managed to stay off the tourist radar is a mystery but I can only assume it has something to do with its middle-of-nowhere location on the southwest coast of Java. But those who make the effort to visit will be well rewarded with endless pristine beaches, sheltered coral reefs within wading distance of the shore, quiet coastal villages and a totally chilled out vibe.
Ujung Genteng is actually the name of the small cape overlooking the entrance to the massive Pelabulan Ratu Bay. Its exposure to the Indian Ocean swells generates excellent reef breaks to the north and east of the cape. Mamas, Turtles and Ombak 7 (Seven Waves) a little further north are regarded as world class. The surf is gentler along the sweeping bay to the east; great for less experienced surfers and a reliable kite surfing location.
Green turtles have been nesting along the sandy beaches north of the cape for thousands of years and since the establishment of the Green Turtle Conservation area at Pangumbahan Beach by the World Wildlife Fund, Ujung Genteng has starting gaining more popularity. The turtles come ashore almost every night of the year but particularly during the full moon so grab a torch and head down to the beach around midnight for your chance to catch one of these giants lumbering up onto the beach to lay their eggs. Torches should be used sparingly to make your way onto and off the beach as torchlight and camera flashes can distress the turtles and send them back into the water without doing what they came to do.
Nestled in the hills roughly 20km’s to the east of Ujung Genteng, is the delightful Curug Cigangsa (Curug Luhur) waterfall. This tiered waterfall cascades gently into a series of sunny little pools. To reach the falls from Ujung Genteng head east to Surade and take a turnoff to the left and proceed for roughly 5km to the end of the road. It’s takes about 10min to walk from here through the rice fields to the top of the falls.
Another lovely waterfall Curug Cikaso, is located about the same distance from Sarade in the opposite direction. Except for late in the dry season, three steady streams of water spill 80m into a decent sized plunge pool that’s perfect for cooling off in. After returning to Sarade, continue on through town for about 1km until you reach a turnoff to the right. About 7km down this road lookout for and “Air Terjun” sign pointing down a rough track on the right. The car park and entrance to Cikaso is 500m at the end of track.
Other Ujung Genteng attractions include the morning fish market located on the eastern side of the cape. Head down there between 5:00-9:00AM to witness the nights catch being brought in and auctioned. It’s busy and fast paced and worth the early morning start. Another important income for locals is coconut sugar production which can be witnessed by visiting a coconut plantation. The process is totally manual and quite fascinating.
The nearest major centre to Ujung Genteng is Sukambumi about 3 hours drive to the north. It can be reached by public bus from Jakarta, then change to a minibus to Ujung Genteng. Alternatively you can catch a bus from Bogor to Pelabuhan Ratu at the top of the bay, then grab an ojek for the rest of the journey to Ujung Genteng.
Ujung Genteng has a range of accommodation dotted along the coast but even the best of the resorts is best classed as three star. Nevertheless, given the choice you should be able to find something to suit your taste and budget.
Since many of Ujung’s attractions are quite spread out you’ll need to allow money in your budget for local transport. The roads around here are generally quiet so either hiring a scooter to ride yourself or hooking up with an ojek for the duration of your stay is worth thinking about.