Sempu Island is a tiny island located about 800 meters south from Malang city, the Province of East Java. The island is just 3.9 kilometers long and 3.6 kilometers wide. But what makes the island so special is that this tiny island hides an exquisite lagoon that will take your breath away. People call it The Secret Lagoon.

There are no much visitors or tourism facilities here in this tiny island. Coming here, you will feel like it is your own private island for a while. And that is amazing.

Since 1928, the island of Sempu has been declared as conservation area. The environment is protected and strictly restricted. This is because the island has various ecosystems such as mangroves, coastal forest, and tropical forest. The harmony of the nature in Sempu Island is treasure to see and explore.


To Get There

The closest city to reach Sempu Island is the city of Malang, Province of East Java. If you are from aboard, you can get a flight to Juanda International Airport on Surabaya City. From there, get a bus to Malang city. The trip will take about 2-3 hours, depending on the traffic jam.

From Malang city, take another public bus to Sendang Biru beach that is located about 2 hours away from the city. The beach has a port that provides ships to Sempu Island. The ship ride will take only 15 minutes to reach your heavenly destination. The ticket costs only $0.8 per person while the ship can occupy up to 10 people at a time.

Ships Depart from Sendang Biru Port to Sempu Island (Source: Flickr. Credit: boeldy)
Ships Depart from Sendang Biru Port to Sempu Island
(Source: Flickr. Credit: boeldy)


To Stay

Because the area is strictly protected, you will be able to find no hotels, bungalows, guesthouse, or any modes of accommodation on this isolated island. The only choice you have to stay the night is by camping. You even need to bring your own camping equipment because there is no rental there. This is the most perfect destination for truly enjoy the nature without any disturbance of modern life. Experience how close you could be to the Mother Nature by having a wild camping here.

Several Campers on Sempu Island (Source: Flickr. Credit: matt celor)
Several Campers on Sempu Island
(Source: Flickr. Credit: matt celor)


To Eat

Still because of the strict regulation over Sempu Island, there will be no vendors there to sell foods, snacks, or drinks. Therefore, bring your own necessity by yourself. You need to prepare it since you were in Malang city. If you wish to do camping, do not forget to plan how long you will be staying and how are you going to feed yourself.


The Beach

Fifteen minutes after departing from Sendang Biru Port, you will find one tiny island with beautiful bay called Ant Bay (Teluk Semut). The water is clearly refreshing and the wave is so soft. The scenery is just amazing. But what you see there is no compare to what you will see on the secret lagoon called Segara Anakan Lagoon.

The beach at Ant Bay has wet soil. Make sure you wear strong footwear to defeat it. If you wear a cheap sandal, it will break apart easily after walking for a while. Walking away from the bay, you will find a raw forest. This is where the challenge starts.



To get to the lagoon, you need to do a little bit of trekking through the raw forest of Sempu Island. This is the point when you realize how important it is to be accompanied by a professional guide. Trekking is not easy and quite tiresome because the forest is just so wild. Steep and slippery tracks are something you will meet for several times during this trekking. The forest on Sempu Island is habitat for many unique species, floras and faunas.

The Trekking Tracks are Not Easy to Defeat (Source: Flickr. Credit: Nyoman Budi Parwata)
The Trekking Tracks are Not Easy to Defeat
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Nyoman Budi Parwata)

Hidden Lagoon

After two hours of tiresome trekking, the nature of Sempu Island will pay off your suffer. A great lagoon will welcome you and pour you with amazement as you see it. The name is Segara Anakan Lagoon. It is located about 2.5 kilometers deep on the island. The lagoon is about 4 hectares wide, providing a breath-taking nature experience.

Segara Anakan Lagoon has soft and calm waves, bringing peace and quietness to your heart. This is very contradictive with the true character of southern Javanese sea where the wave is usually raging wild and dangerous. The phenomenon is caused by the location of the lagoon which is totally secluded from the open ocean.

The Secret Lagoon of Segara Anakan (Source: Flickr. Credit: Wildan Maulvy)
The Secret Lagoon of Segara Anakan
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Wildan Maulvy)

The water of Segara Anakan Lagoon is clear and clean that not even a drop of pollutant ever fell down to it. And right when you touch water, all the exhaustion you got from the trip and trekking will fade away instantly. The only right thing to do to this refreshing lagoon is to swim on it. With the soft wave and clear water, who could find a swimming pool just as good?


Other Objects

Besides the hidden lagoon of Segara Anakan, Sempu Island also has several other beauties on the other side of the island. There is Telaga Lele (Catfish Lake), a fresh lake with many catfishes on it. There are also Waru-Waru Beach, Telaga Sat (Dry Lake), Tiger Cave, and much more.



Before planning your escapade to this wonderful tiny island, please pay some attention to the tips below as it might be very important and helpful:

  • Proper footwear is required. Many visitors complained about how their sandal breaks apart while walking on the muddy soil on the beach and inside the forest. Most recommended footwear is sport shoes or hiking shoes.
  • The most important thing to prepare for visiting the island is to make sure you bring enough foods and drinks. You cannot buy any of those on the island because that kind of business is not allowed by the rules. Best to prepare it since you are in Malang city, where there are many shops and food stands.
  • Do not litter. Keep your trash along with you and put it on the garbage you could find on Sendang Biru Port. It is very important to preserve the natural beauty of Sempu Island.
  • Plan how long are you going to stay on the island. Make sure you have prepared everything you need before departing there; foods, drinks, lights, meds, clothes, and proper camping equipment.
  • Keep your foods and drinks on the safe place. Hide it. Do not expose it, especially if you are on camping. Monkeys like to watch your logistics from a far, run quickly, grab those away, and flee back to the forest before you realize it. You will be in a serious trouble if you get your those stolen away.
  • Signal reception is very impossible on the island. The last signal your phone could get is on the Sendang Biru Port. Please inform all of your close family and relative to avoid them from worrying because you are not reachable.
A Monkey Steals Snacks from the Campers (Source: Flickr. Credit: Angela Aliman)
A Monkey Steals Snacks from the Campers
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Angela Aliman)


Segara Anakan Lagoon is way much better the beach from Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie “The Beach” in 2000. Segara Anakan Lagoon is much more private and isolated. It is also much safer because no shark could ever come there.

The exoticism of the lagoon becomes this beautiful simply because the strict regulation applied to the island. Protection over exquisite nature is certainly important because not every visitor have the awareness over nature protection.



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