Karimunjawa, located in the middle of Java Sea about 90km off the coast of Semarang. It consists of 27 surrounding islands with Karimunjawa Island being the main island. Compared to other holiday island in Indonesia, you could only see a handful number of foreigners while you’re relaxing by the beach or even you could go on a full day without the sighting of any of them during low season.
The ferry ride on the Bahari Express from the town of Jepara to Karimunjawa took about 2 hours. The original plan was actually to board the 4hour ride Kartini Express from Semarang but we were unable to get the tickets from there so we had to re-route and travel overland to Jepara instead. Ferry tickets are not available online so your best bet would be to get an agent to buy you the tickets or try your luck getting the tickets on the spot.
fishing boat, took this while on the ferry
waters at the jetty was already clear!
Arriving at the island in the afternoon, we were picked up by Aan from homestay, the one responsible to help us book our accommodation and activities there. The most common type of accommodation around the island is homestay but we didn’t stay at his place as I was eager to stay at Wisma Apung, a floating cottage located 2 kilometers off the coast. The place offers a very basic accommodation but the view was outstanding. You could easily spot fishes and sea urchins the moment you step out of your room. Electricity was only available at night and I was told that it was the same everywhere in the island except for high end hotels which happens to run on generators.
It was where I opted not to go diving during this trip because there’s no proper dive shop available. Yes one could still rent the equipment and go diving with one of the guides, but I doubt that they are qualified divemasters. Aan together with his friend Ako and the 2 boatmen brought us for snorkeling at Cemara Besar Island and Menjangan Kecil Island during our stay. The underwater view is totally amazing! I’ll just let the photos do the talking.
Tanjung Gelam is considered one of the best beaches around the islands. It’s filled with white sand with palm trees in the background. There are also quite a number of food stalls across the beach selling local food, instant noodles and fresh coconut juice. You could also enjoy a breathtaking sunset view from here. Another good option is to get pleasure from the sunset on a boat ride.Locals said that there’s a turtle conservation center in Barracuda beach area, but I didn’t had enough time to check it out.
that’s Tanjung Gelam
One of the unique places to visit around the islands is the shark pool, located at Menjangan Besar island. They have two pools here; one is the home for the reef sharks and the other houses the black tip sharks. There’s also another small shark pool in the vicinity of Wisma Apung where guests could swim with the sharks, turtle and starfish.
If you are in search of an exotic paradise filled with crystal clear turquoise waters, where there’s very little tourist around, then Karimunjawa is the place to be. Also do check out my video on Karimunjawa here