Cimaja: the perfect surf escape in Java
Located in West Java, about a six hour drive down south from Jakarta, you’ll find Cimaja (map). A typical Indonesian town set in between the green rice fields that keeps a little secret. Waves to be exact, good ones. Not a lot of foreigners find their way down here, and the ones who do are mainly surfers. A lot of surfers are heading straight to Bali or the world class breaks of the Mentawais in Sumatra, but Java got some good ones as well. And the best thing about them… they are all yours.
Cimaja has several spots that work well during different conditions. The most famous one is ‘The Point’, a right-hand reef break that can hold some heavy swells, just a short peddle out. It works all year round, although you’ll find the best waves during the dry season from April till November. The reef break can suit all levels of surfing, from beginners to pros. Even though The Point is a popular spot for locals, the waves aren’t crowded at all. Do keep in mind that during the weekend and holidays people come down here all the way from Jakarta, so it might get a bit more crowded. But don’t worry, rent a bike and cruise around, ‘cause there are several hidden gems that will give you empty lineups even during the weekend.
Surfing makes you hungry, so visiting Cimaja can only be done with at least one decent eatery, right? Cimaja Square is where you wanna go. This place is famous for its pizzas on weekend days, but the best thing is actually their accommodation. Cimaja Square has beautiful Javanese huts scattered in the rice fields. Hammocks swaying in the wind with a view so beautiful it’s hard to get out. Just a short walk from the main surf break “The Point”, this really is a gem of a place.
Cimaja Beach Club
Another great sleeping option is Cimaja Beach Club. You simply can’t get any closer to the pebble stone beach and its waves than this spot. These modern houses are literally two steps from the ocean, so you can be the first in and last out in the water. Not that familiar with the local breaks or don’t feel like paddling out when there’s a busy lineup? Don’t worry, the staff are your ultimate surf guide, knowing all about the local breaks, and when and where to surf.
There’s a cool chilled out vibe here, with a long table for everyone to drink beers and have dinner, bean bags around the place and your own rooftop terrace with stunning vistas all around. Those hungry surf bellies will be well taken care off during breakfast, lunch and dinner. You could seriously wake us up for their quesadillas or tasty curries. You know you end your day well when you fall asleep with the sound of the ocean, and that’s exactly what Cimaja Beach Club has in store for you.
For reservations visit their website.
When you’re in Cimaja and you crashed into the pebble stones breaking your dear fins while practicing your surf skills, don’t worry. Pay Batik Fins a visit. You actually don’t really need an excuse. This guy makes beautiful handmade fins with bamboo and local fabrics. You can actually design your own, as long as you’re in town for five days or more (or give him heads up). 10% of his profits go to charity, so you’re supporting the local community as well by buying these beauties.
For those who love some uncrowded waves, true Javanese culture and stunning scenery, Cimaja is a definite go see. Chasing waves is a fun thing to do in this beach town. So rent a motorbike, cruise through endless rice fields and find that spot that keeps you busy for days. Indonesia is one lucky country with so many waves coming in, that’s for sure.
Photos by: M. Barends & J. Roeland©.