Jakarta is often identified with its mall attractions, historical attractions, until Ancol area and Dunia Fantasi. But actually, there is one more tourist attraction in Jakarta you must to consider, Thousand Islands.
The popularity of Thousand Islands, as one of the most favorite tourist destinations of Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is well known in domestic level. Recently, more and more tours and travels are offering traveling program to many islands in Thousand Islands, that tourists have many options for traveling packages they want to choose.
But, if you plan to travel by yourself without using tour and travel service, or maybe you just want to explore Thousand Islands, please read these various trivial facts regarding the islands.
Thousand Islands is the only administrative regency within Special Capital Region of Jakarta. It was part of North Jakarta, but now it stands apart as regency with governance centered in Pramuka Island.
The islands are divided into two districts: Southern Thousand Islands district, and Northern Thousand Islands district. Each district is then divided into three administrative villages.
As its name, Thousand Islands has archipelagic region. There is a total of 342 islands here (including sand islands and coral reefs). No further information whether those 342 islands includes sunken islands or not.
However, another version said that the number of islands at Thousand islands are actually only 110 islands, extending along 45 kilometers. What can be ascertained is that only 36 of hundreds of islands can be used for tourist attraction (23 of which are privately owned and not opened for public, while two islands are made historical park).
The rests are islands inhabited by fishermen community, or uninhabited islands.
Geographical Position and Map of Thousand Islands
Thousand islands is located on the north of Special Capital Region of Jakarta, stretching from Jakarta Bay to the north as far as 45 kilometers. If seen on the map, the geographical position of Thousand Islands is 06°00’40” and 05°54’40” southern latitude 106°40’45” and 109°01’19” East longitude. To make it simple, here is the location of Thousand Islands to Jakata, and the names of several islands there.
* * * * *
Thousand Islands’ Attractiveness
Thousand Islands has been famous as one of tourist destinations in Jakarta. However, if you are still confused on what makes Thousand Islands so sexy and tempting, here is some attractiveness of Thousand Islands.
- Thousand Islands has Beautiful Natural Scenery
In general, islands in Thousand Islands have beautiful natural charm. Beaches with clean sand, blue sea, and of course well-preserved vegetation. Further north, you will find very natural underwater atmosphere, cleaner sea, and beautiful beaches.
- Its Various Resorts Are Not Inferior to Those of In Bali
Some islands in Thousand Islands have been developed into resorts islands. Those resorts are popular among Jakarta citizens for short holidays if they want to escape for a while from the crowd of that city. Besides, those resorts are popular as honey moon destinations for couples in Jakarta and its surroundings, who want to go to honey moon destinations which are not too far.
- Its Beautiful Underwater Scenery
Well, maybe its underwater scenery is still lacking in popularity compared to that of Gili Trawangan and Bunaken. Its charm is also far behind Wakatobi and Raja Ampat. However, Thousand Islands have some quite famous spots popular for spot diving and snorkeling because they have attractive underwater natural charm. If your traveling budget is not enough to go to Raja Ampat, at least first you can try Thousand Islands (especially if you live around Jakarta).
- Thousand Islands is Also Popular for Its Natural Conservation
Some islands in Thousand Islands have been specified as conservation islands, whether flora, fauna, or sea nature conservations. There are some protected faunas in Thousand Islands area, e.g.: hawksbill sea turtle and green sea turtle.
- Historical Tourist Attractions
Thousand Islands have some islands functioned as cultural heritage sites for their high historical values. Some islands whose location are close to Jakarta do have some historical items like fort ruins, ruins of hospitals once used as hajj quarantine, and some ancient tombs.
- Wide Variety of Activities People Can Do in Thousand Islands
This might actually be the main charm of Thousand Islands. You have many options for your traveling there, starting from various water sports like snorkeling and diving, relaxing on the beach, visiting some islands at once (island hopping) because many islands are located close each other, to enjoying sunrise and sunset.
Some islands can be explored by bicycling and they offer additional facilities like museum, and ruins of historical buildings. You can also look around a number of rare animal captivities, until underwater aquarium (only in Putri Island). You can also do some outdoor activities like camping. So many things you can do there, right?
- Thousand Islands is Close Enough and Easily to Reach from Jakarta
For the citizens of Jakarta and its surroundings, this is certainly the foremost attractiveness of Thousand Islands. The distance is quite near from Jakarta, and it is relatively easy to reach. The point is, for Jakarta citizen, Thousand Islands is a really fun place to visit by those who are tired of city’s crowd, but do not have enough time to travel to faraway places like Bali and Raja Ampat.
Islands Usually Visited by Tourists
Of hundreds islands in Thousand Islands, some of which can be visited by tourists. Some are privately owned and closed for public. Of those many islands, here is a list of some islands you have to put into your list when you are there and what charms do they have for tourists:
Pramuka Island is the center of the governance of Thousand Islands Administrative Regency, the facilities in that island is quite complete. This island also has many homestays for tourists who want to explore several islands at once, and the location of the island is somehow strategic that people can use it as a basecamp for exploring Thousand Islands.
Besides, Pramuka Island also offers educational tourism because it has rare sea turtle captivity, i.e. hawksbill sea turtle.
Tidung Besar and Tidung Kecil Island
Of all islands for tourists in Thousand Islands, Tidung islands are some of the most popular. The islands consisting of Tidung Besar and Tidung kecil Island has a 800-meter bridge called as Love Bridge. Tourists can walk through this bridge, or test their guts by jumping from the bridge to the sea.
Semak Daun Island
Actually, Semak Daun Island is one of the uninhabited islands in Thousand Islands. But if you like white sandy beach and beautiful underwater atmosphere, this island is very suitable for you. It’s just, if you stay here overnight, you should bring your own tent!
Bira Island is actually quite far from Jakarta that you have to stop by in Pramuka Island for transit before continuing your trip there. But this island has a beautiful beach and well-preserved natural surroundings. There is so much fun in doing various activities like diving and snorkeling, or just sitting around to enjoy sunset.
One of the most famous island to visit by those hunting for sunset. Besides, Pari Island has a clean beach, beautiful coral reef, and mangrove forest planting sites.
The seas surrounding Harapan Island have many well-preserved coral reefs, that it can attract tourists who like diving to visit this island. Besides, there is a wooden bridge in Harapan Island which is famous for a place to sit around and relax while enjoying vast seas scenery. And don’t tell anyone, this place has Brahminy Kite captivity (a rare species).
One of the resort islands closest to Jakarta. There are several ruins of buildings from colonialism era, and a number of cottages above the sea. To reach this island, you just need 30-45 minutes from Marina beach, Ancol, by motor boat.
Like Bidadari Island, Ayer Island is also one of the resorts islands close enough to Jakarta. This island also has cottages built above the sea.
Putri Island offers different tourist activities from other islands in Thousand Islands. You can find underwater aquarium, boats whose lower part are made of glass, as well as sunset cruise for those who want to enjoy sunset. Besides, there are also cottages for you who want to stay overnight in Putri Island.
Kotok Island has relatively genuine vegetation, because this island doesn’t have any facilities like those of other islands. Besides, Kotok Island has beautiful underwater panorama attracting divers to come and dive there.
One of the farthest islands in Thousand Islands. But don’t get it wrong, the facilities in this island is quite complete. One can find cottages, restaurants, swimming pools, and various sport facilities. In the other words, Pantara island is designed for you who want to travel for holiday and stay overnight there.
Sepa Island has very beautiful underwater nature, snorkeling and diving there are a lot of fun. The distance is not too far from Ancol Marina Dock, some 90 minutes by using speed boat.
One of resort islands in Thousand Islands. There are many facilities in this island, starting from a number of cottages, island separated from white sandy beach, souvenir shops, and many more.
Untung Jawa Island
This one is situated not far from Ancol and it is one of the inhabited islands offering many accommodation options for tourists. In this island, you can do many activities ranging from bicycling, to various water sports like diving, snorkeling, banana boat, etc.
This island might not be as popular as Tidung Islands. However, visiting this island will be interesting enough, because here you can do a number of activities from fishing to diving. And, there are also variou choices for accommodation.
Onrust Island is known as one of the cultural heritage sites in Thousand Islands. This island does have several historical heritages, and a museum namely Onrust Island Museum. If you enjoy archaeological tourism, put Onrust Island into your list of visit when traveling to Thousand Islands.
Just like Onrust Island, Kelor Island is also popular as a place for archaeological tourism. Martelo fort built during Dutch colonialism can be found here. It’s true that only the ruins of that fort remain. But the surroundings are sexy enough for yo to take picture.
One of the islands known for going camping. It’s just, because this island has no toilets or clean water facilities, it is suggested to stay here no more than two days.
Papatheo/Petondan Kecil Island
This 8-hectare wide island, approximately 108 kilometers from Ancol, is popular among divers. This island has a spot containing a 100-meter shipwreck which eventually becomes the unique characteristic of Papa Theo island compared to that of other islands in Thousand Islands.
To reach Thousand Islands, the most popular means is by boat. There are two options: traditional boat and speed boat.
Using Traditional Boat
If you want to use traditional boat, you can depart from Muara Baru, Muara Angke, and Tanjung Pasir harbors. The ticket varies from $3/passenger to $6.5/passenger (price can change at any time), depends on the destination island (Pramuka/Panggang Island, Tidung Island, Kelapa/Harapan Island, Pari Island). However, there are also fishing boats for rent (price may vary), that it will be more practical if you trip in group.
The daily departure schedule usually starts at 07.00-07.30, unless the boat has been full before. So, it is suggested to come much earlier before the scheduled departure.
If you want to use speedboat, you can depart from Marina Ancol harbor to islands in Thousand Islands. The cost ranges from $3 to $3.75 per passenger (price may change at any time). Tickets are usually sold from 06.30-07.30, while the boats will depart from 08.00-09.00.
Besides using traditional boat and speedboat, tourists can also use small planes and land on pioneer airports in Panjang Island. But this option is rarely chosen by tourists.
These photos were taken from different sources (check its caption) without any additional editing but resizing.
other related article