Pangandaran is a small town and a subdistrict in southern Ciamis regency, West Java, Indonesia. It is located on the southern coast of Java. Pangandaran is a popular tourist destination, having a beach which is considered to be one of the finest in Java and which offers excellent surfing.
A kite-flying festival is held on the beach in July and August. It is reported that the locals used to fly kites in the evenings to catch bats, and may still do so. There is a local belief that wearing any green garment in this area will anger Loro Kidul, the Javanese guardian spirit or goddess of the southern sea, and will bring misfortune.
The Penanjung Pangandaran nature reserve is nearby on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land. About eighty percent of the nature reserve is secondary rainforest. The flora of the nature reserve includes the Rafflesia.
The reserves lie on the south-west Javan coast, on the Pangandaran Peninsula, within the administrative province of Jawa Barat (west Java). Access from Bandung, some 223km to the north-west, is via Garut, Tasikmalaya and Banjar. The boundary of Pananjung Pangandaran Nature Reserve comprises the majority of the peninsula and follows the coast along the low tide level. The recreation park lies adjacent to the nature reserve at the neck of the isthmus connecting the peninsula to the mainland. Approximately 7°43'S, 108°40'E
Pananjung Pangandaran comprises a small limestone and volcanic peninsula, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The coastline is generally rugged, with precipitous cliffs and steep narrow gullies skirting a wooded plateau. In the north, the landscape attenuates to gently sloping sandy coves and beaches. Drainage is radial via several rivers which fall steeply to the sea at the coast.
A tsunami hit the area on 17 July 2006. An undersea earthquake measured at 7.7 on the Richter scale triggered a three metre high tidal wave. Extensive damage was caused and hundreds of people were reported to be dead or missing.