Kepulauan Seribu, also known as The Thousand Islands, is an archipelago located on the northern side of Jakarta Province. Unlike Jakarta, Kepulauan Seribu is not crowded and polluted. On the contrary, it is in fact has beautiful nature and fresh air. Overall, there are about 20 islands on Kepulauan Seribu which are popular to be visited for vacation.
To Go There
Take a flight to Jakarta through Soekarno Hatta International Airport. Because it is the capital city of the nations, then it must be easy to get the flight from your home country. From the airport, you can take a public bus to Ancol Dreamland called TransJakarta with only $0.3 of the ticket. Entering the Ancol area will cost you $0.3. In Ancol, go to Marina Bay where you can take a ship to Kepulauan Seribu.
- KM Kerapu ship will cost you $2.5 and it will take about 1-3 hours to reach The Thousand Islands, depends on which island you wish to stop by. The ship departs everyday at 08.00 in the morning and will sail back to Marina Bay at 13.30.
- Speedboat is also available for $15 per person. It departs everyday at 08.00 to Pramuka Island and will head back at 15.00.
- Fishermen’s traditional boats are also available with the price and departure time varies. Some boats are completed with insurance, just in case you were worried.
- You can also choose to take a ferry ship from Muara Angke. The ticket is around $3.
- If you are from Tangerang, you do not need to go to Ancol first. Just go to Rawasaban and take a ship for $1.5 only.
While going around the islands, you can use some of these transportation modes:
- Fishermen’s machined boats to take you from one island to another island. The price may vary due to the different condition of each boat. But generally it is way cheaper than renting a speedboat.
- Renting a machined ship with the capacity of 20 people. This is a good choice if you come to the islands in group. The ship is rented only for $26. Bigger ship with the capacity of 40 people is also available for almost $75. Bargaining is possible.
- While you are just going around in an island, you can rent a bike to enjoy the wind and the view. It costs you only $1.3.
- Motored pedicab (becak motor) can also take you around the island for only $0.5.
Looking for a place to stay in Kepulauan Seribu is as easy as taking candies from babies. There are plenty choices of accommodation with ranging price and facilities. Here are your choices:
- On Puteri Island, Sepa Island, Kotok Island, Anyer Island, and Bidadari Island, you can find some exclusive resorts with sophisticated facilities such as meeting room, bars, swimming pool, tennis court, and beach volley
- On Pramuka Island dan Untung Jawa Island, homestays are most easy to find.
- Tidung Island has the most hotels and most of the tourists like to stay there. Other islands with plenty of hotels are Kelapa Island, Pari Island, Harapan Island, Pramuka Island, and Untung Jawa Island.
- Sepa Island has about 43 cottages. West Pantara Island has about 34 cottages and East Pantara Island has about 56 of those. Putri Island has about 71 cottages. Anyer Island has about 41 cottages and 4 bungalows. All the cottages have ranging prices and various facilities.
- Kotok Island also has some worthy accommodation though it is not as much as other islands mentioned before.
The best thing about archipelago is that you have plenty choices of beach to get relax. Plus, there are many water activities you can do there. In Kepulauan Seribu, you can enjoy their underwater panorama by diving or snorkeling. There are about 76 species of corals, 144 species of fishes, 2 species of giant clams, 17 species of coastal birds, and lots of sea worms.
Diving equipment can be rented only for $23. If you want to do snorkeling, you can also rent the equipment with just $2.6. To reach the diving spot, you can rent a small boat with the capacity of 10 people with only $23.
Fishing is also possible to enjoy as long as you use friendly equipment. You also are not allowed to catch endemic or rare species of fishes. If you catch it without purpose, you must set it free immediately. This is important to maintain the harmonious ecosystem.
Other fun water activities to enjoy in The Thousand Islands are swimming, banana boat, jet skis, and surfing. You can also take a glass bottom boat ride to enjoy the underwater scene without going inside the water.
The Love Bridge
There is a bridge on Tidung Island commonly known as The Love Bridge. It has a myth about it that says if you come across this bridge with you lover, then your love would be eternal. Another myth says that if you jump off of this bridge to the sea underneath it with your lover, then you both will be together till the death does you apart. If you pass by this bridge, do not be surprised if you see many tourists jumping off. It is not a suicidal action. In fact, the sea underneath it is not so deep and the wave is not strong. It is pretty much safe and somewhat fun instead. Even if the myth is not true, standing by at this bridge is still such a good thing to do as you get to see a beautiful scene of the sea and other small islands.
Several islands on Kepulauan Seribu were used during the colonialism era in Indonesia, both the Dutch and Japan colonialism. Some building still exists until today and some of them had terrifying function. On Cipir Island for example, there is a building used to quarantine the patients of contagious disease during Dutch colonialism. During the Japan era, the building was then used for execution. On Karya Island, there is an old cemetery for Tionghoa ethnicity.
The most famous one is Onrust Island. The island has several old building from Dutch era such as fortress, museum, cemetery, and well. Some of the buildings are partially wrecked. It creates a spooky atmosphere to the whole island, especially during the night as there is no electricity source on this island. But apparently, there are many campers who stay the night there. Are you brave enough to camp in this spooky Onrust Island?
Several islands on The Thousand Islands are natural habitat for the endangered hawksbill turtles and green turtles. Most of them live on Pramuka Island and others live on Semak Daun Island, Kelapa Island, and Panggang Island. These islands are used for conservation, observation, as well as breeding center. It is fun to see and even participate in turtle breeding and hatching.
- Best time to visit Kepulauan Seribu is around March to May when it is on the peak of dry season.
- Around November to February is the time you should avoid for coming as the sea wave might be high and rough.
- Some islands do not have electric energy source yet. So make sure to charge your phones and camera at the hotel. If you plan to be at those islands until sunset or even past sunset, bring a flashlight or portable lamp.
- Pramuka Island has a limit regulation. No more than 500 tourists may be on this island at the same time in order to keep the cleanliness and avoid overcrowd. Have a Plan B if you wish to go to this island during high season.
The Thousand Islands is highly popular for being tourism destination. It is not far. It does not take much time to reach. It is accessible. It is beautiful. It is inexpensive. And it surely has lots awesomeness to offer. In a short sentence, this place can be described as “destination with minimum effort but maximum excitement”.