Nestled between the more well-known Pantai Indrayanti and Pantai Pok Tunggal, it’s puzzling why the Pantai Watu Lawang is not as popular as its neighbors.

The beach is split into two by a rocky cave, which offers a great panorama if you manage to find your way to the top of the rocks.

Watu Lawang itself means ‘Stone Door’, which might have been derived from a rock that looks like a door at the cave’s entrance. Consisting of two sides separated by the ‘stone gate’, the west half of the beach is smaller and more private, while the other side is exposed to a wider part of the sea.

While strolling along its coral bay, you will notice that there are small pods sculpted naturally in just the right shape to curl in and take in the euphoria of the pulling and pushing off the crashing waves.

The Watu Lawang beach is considered sacred by its locals. Once a year, on the eighth month on the Lunar Calendar (Sya’ban in the Islamic Calendar, or somewhere around the Mooncake Festival month), a religious ritual called ‘Nyadran’ is held on the beach. A part of the ceremony involves all the participants entering a small cave in the centre of the beach.

Location: Tepus, Kabupaten Gunungkidul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Getting There: From Yogyakarta, head towards Wonosari. Once there you will find directions to Pantai Indrayanti, your destination is further down the road.