Karimunjawa is a small archipelago consists of 22 inhabitant islands and 5 habitant islands. This object is very popular as a tourism destination. Besides having easy access, the object also has lots of attractions to make a memorable vacation for tourists. Most of attractions are related to marine and coastal life. This wonderful archipelago is located on the north of Semarang city, Central Java.

The Clear Water at Karimunjawa Sea (Source: Flickr. Credit: Daniel Frauchiger)
The Clear Water at Karimunjawa Sea
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Daniel Frauchiger)

Getting There

Karimunjawa has small airport called Dewadaru Airport on Kemujan Island. They accommodate chartered flights and small planes from and to Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Bali Island. Several kinds of ships are also available from Semarang and Jepara such as:

  • KMC Kartini (Speed Ferry) costs $11.25 (Business) to $12.5 (VIP) for only 2.5 hours of trip.
    • Semarang to Karimunjawa : Saturday at 09.00
    • Karimunjawa to Semarang : Sunday at 14.00
    • Semarang – Jepara – Karimunjawa : Monday at 07.00
    • Karimunjawa – Jepara – Semarang : Tuesday at 11.00
  • KMP Muria Ferry (Comfortable Ferry) allows you to bring vehicles. It takes 6 hours to reach Karimunjawa from Jepara.
    • Jepara to Karimunjawa : every even date at 09.00
    • Karimunjawa to Jepara : every odd date at 08.00
    • Ticket for Business Class : $3.5
    • Ticket for VIP Class : $7
    • Ticket for bringing car : $21
    • Ticket for bringing motorcycle : $3.5
  • Express Bahari (Speed Ferry) costs $8.25 (Excecutive) and $11.25 (VIP) for only 2 hours of trip from Jepara.
    • Jepara to Karimunjawa :
      • Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday at 10.30
      • Friday at 14.00.
    • Karimunjawa to Jepara :
      • Monday at 13.00
      • Wednesday at 10.30
      • Saturday at 08.000
      • Sunday at 14.00

Accomodation

There are many types of accommodation that you can book for your stay at Karimunjawa. Rates are different as well, depends on their facility and location. But generally, it is around this range:

  • Standard Fan Room : $7.5 to $15
  • Standard AC Room : $15 to $22.5
  • Exclusive Hotel Room : $30 to $101
  • Family Bungalow : $28 to $75
  • Sea-View Cottage : $ 280 to $ 350
  • Pool Villa : $ 410 to $ 680
A Facility Floating on the Beach (Source: Flickr. Credit: Bryan Doty)
A Facility Floating on the Beach
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Bryan Doty)

 

Activities

Karimunjawa has exquisite beaches that might take your breath away everytime you see it. The water on the sea is so clear and blue. It shines bright at day. The sand is white and clean, tempting you to make a sand castle or just walking by the beach. When the night almost comes, the beaches on Karimunjawa are perfect to see the sunset. It is such a romantic place. The most recommended spot to watch sunset is at Gelam Bay.

Because the water is so clear and refreshing, swimming might be such a great idea for activity as well. The wave is not so wild here in Karimunjawa so it might be safe. Just to be sure, please contact the management and ask whether it is safe enough for swimming because weather and wind might change every day.

If notice the sea, you might see something different with it between the high tide and the low tide. When the tide is high, all you can see is just a vast clear water ocean from beach to the horizon. But when the tide is low, you might be able to see several mini islands in the middle of the sea. These islands are called by the name “Pulau Gosong” by the locals. During the low tide, tourists would love to visit this tiny island and take a picture, pretending to be “lost in the middle of nowhere”, just like a movie.

As for the marine adventure, there are several kinds of marine adventure that you can do at this wonderful archipelago. The most popular one is snorkeling. The ecosystem underwater in Karimunjawa is an epic combination between coral reefs, sea grass, and sea weeds. Various species of fishes in diverse colors are swimming away, in groups or personally. Two protected species of corals are black coral and organ pipe coral. Those two corals are very unique and rare. Besides snorkeling, you can also do some sailing using glass bottom boat to see the marine life from above the water.

Fish Swimming Between Corals
Fish Swimming Between Corals
(Source: Flickr. Credit: phie raditya)

In 1955, a ship sunk down at the sea nearby Kemujan Island. This huge ship was never been taken up from the sea. It just lies there all this time. This wrecked ship now became the habitat for corals and fishes. This interesting condition has led the spot to be a popular site for wreck diving.

 

Conservation Area

Karimunjawa was signed to be Marine Protected Area. Several areas in this archipelago are used for conservation center. There is a conservation center for Blacktip Reef Sharks at shallow water on Menjangan Island. This object is must to visit if you wish for a unique adventure that you might never forget. At this place, you are allowed to swim with these sharks. The sharks are totally harmless unless they smell bloods. Therefore, you might to be sure that you have no wound or menstruations before you jump to the water.

Swimming with the Sharks
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Rio Indra Maulana)

Turtle conservations are also available on Menjangan Island. The two species of turtle being bred in here are hawksbill turtles and green turtles. Just like the sharks, visitors are also allowed to swim along. The most popular attraction with the turtles is the release. So when the baby turtles are already grown enough, the conservation center will release them to the open sea to enjoy their free life. This scene is very attractive to tourists. If you wish to join in this turtle release action, please come to Menjangan Island around January to March.

Menjangan Island also has another conservation center for barracuda. But unlike the turtle and the sharks, visitors are not allowed to swim along with them. This is because barracuda are quite aggressive and might be dangerous.

 

Tips

  • Several activities have its best time to enjoy. To make sure you can get the best experience about it, please contact the tourist information center to gain more detail information.
  • Central Java Tourist Information Center (TIC) may be contacted via website on central-java-tourism.com or via phone on these numbers:
    • +62 24 3546001
    • +62 24 3557647
    • +62 24 3557645
    • +62 24 3515451
  • While swimming with the turtles, do not ever take the turtle off of the water as it might cause them hard to breathe
  • Village in Karimunjawa is also nice to explore. Local people are very friendly. They like to make several handicrafts and souvenirs to be sold to tourists. You can observe their cultural daily life and buy those unique souvenirs.
Karimunjawa
Karimunjawa
(Source: Flickr. Credit: David Bobbins)

Karimunjawa is indeed such a great tourism destination. With easy access, complete facilities, and plenty choices of activities, who could ever say no to this wonderful archipelago?