Apologize, I guess it does not work only for photographers, but it is also applied for any nature beauty enthusiast. How it is possibly not, located in a kind of remote yet accessible atmosphere, Papuma combines well both of the seascape and landscape scene - making it as a top choice for those who’d love to adore sublimity.
The beach has 2 sided-views with some huge rocks are scattered around. The sand is purely white and mild, with a few soft stones covering in several shore area. As a typical beach in south Java area, the wave is quite enormous - producing a dramatic view of seascapes while it hits the rocks barricade. Then the most awesome thing would be an access to a hill right on the corner of both sides - so it provides you a magnificent aerial views for all - whether you hunt for sunrise or sunset.
When the sun comes down, Papuma is also popular among fishing hobbyists. If you are a kind of fishing geek, just drop by in a nearby 'warung' during the night and you will meet quiet a lot of fellas - with the same hobby as you - ready to begin the hunt. Join them and they will surely provide you a space, and a friendly chat. Take the chance for an astrophotography as well while you are here. Those huge rocks will surely rock as the foreground for your milky way shot. In the other words, camping here for one night will really complete my journey.
Since it is still within my East Java expedition, so I headed here from Lumajang after completing my visit at Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls. Papuma is located on Jember regency and reaching there by mass transportation is really easy. Basically, any bus which will direct to Banyuwangi - or Bali - will surely pass Jember as well. So get your backpack to any local bus station and jump on the next available bus to the further east.
Once you get in Tawang Alun bus station at Jember, then here comes the challenge. Reaching Papuma with local angkot is really difficult and time consuming. Some said that you need to head for Ajung sub terminal (IDR 5k) then continue to Ambulu (IDR 10-15k). Afterwards you go to the beach by using ojek for another IDR 20-25k. But I don't know how many hours that you need to spend on that route since the angkot / minibus availability from Ajung to Ambulu is pretty scarce.
With above reason, I chose to go there by Ojek directly since it was already afternoon during my visit that time. And basically I just don't think that the money I will save by taking that route is worth my time and effort. Anyway, the ojek from Ajung junction to Papuma costs me IDR 50k - which is about the same for what I would spend if I get there by angkot. You can actually search for ojek in Tawang Alun, but I presumed that perhaps it will cost me more expensive price. Therefore, I get to Ajung first and stopped in the junction where I could spot some ojeks stationed there.
Starting point: Minak Koncar Bus Station - Lumajang
Destination point: Tawang Alun Bus Station - Jember
Non-AC bus [Lumajang - Jember]: IDR 10-20k
75km distance on 2 - 3 hours
[Tawang Alun - Ajung Subterminal] by Angkot: IDR 5k
Stopped at Junction nearby where you can spot any Ojek stationed.
Ojek to Papuma: around IDR 50k /trip. IDR 100k 2 ways.
40km on 1 hour
Note: Get his phone number so you can call him again tomorrow to pick you up by the time you want to return to Jember.
Entrance ticket to Papuma will cost you around IDR 15k. Don't forget to ask the ojek to drop you inside Papuma complex - not in the entrance ticket post since there is still around 2km steep hill before you get to the beach. My first stop once I get there would be to walk further away from the complex’s parking lot along the coastline, until I get to the hill with a staircase on it. Go ascend to see how beautiful the view is on both beach sides.
Accommodation is available around and they said the price per night around IDR350k - 600k. Or if you are a kind of cheap-charlie backpacker like me who would like to spend for 1 night there, you can simply sleep on that big warung there or raise a tent / camp if you bring one. Food is available all night long because at least there is one shop which is usually considered as the basecamp for the fishermen. If you happened to see the shop is opened (lights on) but you didn’t see anyone inside, just try to wake them up because they are really opened for visitors. The seafood is damn delicious!
Great seafood: IDR 60k / fish. It is fresh and delicious. Must try!
Fishing? Stand-by at the opened shop around 7-9pm to join one of the fishermen. Or you can just talk to the shop owner about your desire to go fishing.
Get there during dead moon phase for astrophotography. You can see the milky way roam around starting from the west side and gently flows to the east - so it will completely cover 2 sides of papuma beach for the foreground.
I am not sure whether I came there during the wrong season, but for the last 2 visits that I had in Papuma, as soon as the sun comes down, the number of mosquitos are significantly increased and it does really massive. I would say that those moments were where I have encountered the most mosquitos in my whole life! I opted to sleep in warung at opened area but I can’t sleep at all although I have already used mosquito repellent lotion. It is Massive! and that left me stay awake on beach during the whole night for astrophotography. Honestly, I would like to go asleep for awhile but I just couldn't. It can be perhaps because both of my visits are happened during rainy season. But I will bring my own tent on the next occasion there since staying out in opened area will make me as a good fresh meat for those mosquitos gang.
Papuma is a good place for sunrise, sunshot and astrophotography. The daylight there will also be fun since none will hate to get laid on white sand beach. The view it presents, an unique isle with a hill on its corner, plus 2 sides of exotic scenes, make this place pretty famous among photographers. I love taking photograph and I would like to declare that this beach is one of the most photogenic beach in Java.
See you at Papuma!