Everything You Need to Know About Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia


Farah Fazanna •  Sep 15, 2023

Indonesia, with its vast archipelago of over 17,000 islands, offers a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural richness. Nestled within this vast expanse of paradise lies the Karimunjawa Islands, a hidden gem that promises pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and unforgettable experiences. Let's take you on a journey to explore everything you need to know about the Karimunjawa Islands, from how to get there and what to do, to the best time to visit and how to get around once you arrive.

Getting There: By Airplane or Ferry

The Karimunjawa Islands are located in the Java Sea, approximately 80 kilometres northwest of Jepara, Central Java. To reach this island paradise, you have two main options: by airplane or by ferry.

  1. By Airplane: If you're short on time and prefer a quicker way to reach the islands, flying is your best bet. Ahmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, the capital city of Central Java, serves as the primary gateway. From Semarang, you can take a domestic flight to Dewandaru Airport (also known as Dewandaru Kura-Kura Airport) on Karimunjawa Island. Several airlines operate flights to this charming destination, making it a convenient choice for travellers. However, do note that it can get quite pricey flying into the islands!
  2. By Ferry: Traveling by ferry offers a more budget-friendly option, although it takes longer. The ferry departs from Jepara, and the journey takes approximately 4-5 hours. Ferries operate daily, but schedules can be subject to change, so it's a good idea to check in advance and arrive early to secure your tickets. The slow pace of the ferry ride allows you to soak in the stunning ocean views and build anticipation for your arrival on the islands.

What to Do on Karimunjawa Islands

  1. Beach Bliss: Karimunjawa is renowned for its unspoiled beaches with powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're a beach bum or an adventure seeker, there's a beach for you. Notable beaches include Pantai Batu Topeng, Pantai Tanjung Gelam, and Pantai Legon Lele.
  2. Snorkelling and Diving: The islands are a haven for marine life enthusiasts. The vibrant coral reefs teeming with a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, making snorkelling and diving a must-do activity. Dive sites like Menjangan Kecil and Karang Copong offer thrilling underwater experiences. A snorkelling trip would cost you around 200,000 IDR per person.
  3. Island Hopping: Karimunjawa consists of 27 islands, each with its own unique charm. Take a boat tour to explore these hidden treasures. The nearby Cemara Kecil Island is famous for its mangrove forest and resident bats.
  4. Sunset Spectacle: Watching the sunset from Bukit Love (Love Hill) is an unforgettable experience. The panoramic views of the surrounding islands and the horizon painted in shades of orange and pink create a magical moment.
  5. Turtles and Sharks: Visit the Karimunjawa Shark Conservation and Turtle Hatchery to learn about conservation efforts and have the opportunity to swim with gentle sharks and release baby turtles into the sea.

Getting Around the Island

Getting around Karimunjawa is relatively easy and can be an adventure in itself. You can rent a scooter or bicycle to explore the main island. You can rent a scooter for 75,000 IDR and it's about 12,000 per litre for fuel.

For island hopping and snorkelling trips, chartering a local boat is the way to go. If you're not comfortable navigating the waters yourself, you can join organised tours offered by local operators.

When Is the Best Time to Go?

The best time to visit Karimunjawa Islands is during the dry season, which typically falls between April and September. During this period, the weather is sunny, and the seas are calm, making it ideal for water activities like snorkelling and diving. Keep in mind that July and August are peak tourist months, so if you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting in April, May, or September.

Karimunjawa Islands in Indonesia are a tropical paradise waiting to be discovered. Whether you're seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, thrilling underwater adventures, or a taste of local culture, this archipelago has it all. With various transportation options, it's easier than ever to access this hidden gem and create lasting memories in one of Indonesia's most enchanting destinations. So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to Karimunjawa!