Karimunjawa is a chain of islands located in the Java Sea, approximately 90 kilometers from Jepara, Central Java. This cluster consists of no less than 27 islands, of which only five are inhabited (privately owned or belongs to Indonesian Navy). All the islands here comprise a Kecamatan (district) with five villages under Jepara Regency.
These islands have been used as a pirate base, convict colony, trading base, and many more. Most settlers are Javanese with little Madurese and Bugis community inhabitants. Most of the islands have been declared as a national park, a marine reserve. Here are the places you need to explore in Karimunjawa.
A wonderful sunrise at so many beaches
Annora Beach is a public beach on Karimunjawa Island, with an entrance fee of only IDR5000. This white sandy beach is the best gateway to enjoy the scenic ocean view of this island. This is the most accessible destination of the island.
The road to the beach is still rough, haven’t yet developed. But the view of the sunset on this beach makes all the hassle worth. There are still many wonderful beaches around this park. Ujung Gelam, Batu Topeng, Barakuda, Nirwana, Yamin, Kemloko beaches have their own charms.
Exploring the mangrove forest
Mangrove swamp forest is extremely vital on the small island like Karimunjawa. The forest stops the saltwater entering the island, provide the habitat for filter feeders, the root system provides protection to flood and many more.
In Karimun and Kemujan villages, there is a huge mangrove swamp forest. This area is protected by National Park Hall. A boardwalk has been built on the swamp, providing an easy route for tourist to explore it. Just don’t forget to use mosquito repellent cream and bring drinking water.
Diving for virgin coral reefs
Diving is one of the best activities in this area. You can easily plan your diving session with the resort of your choice. You can go to Taka Panyawangan or Gosong Cemara, two of the best diving spots in this park. It has natural coral.
You can also visit some shipwrecks, where marine wildlife and divers are often attracted to. There is growing concern about these parks’ reef condition as tourists start to flock the area. However, the National Park Hall ensure that the conservation efforts will ensure its survival.
Exploring the landscape
The marine life in Karimunjawa National Park is still pristine, virtually untouched. However, these small islands are enchanting in their own way. There are idyllic villages, paddy fields with green hills background. The serene atmosphere here is a perfect complement to the pristine waters on the coast.
This mini Java offers similar hospitality as the mainland. If you love cycling, you can pedal your way through the Karimun and Kemujan Islands. You will find many different landscapes in different parts of the islands.
How to get to Karimunjawa and what to do there
There are chartered planes that fly to Dewandaru Airport, one departs from Surabaya and another from Semarang. Both flights can be quite expensive. There are also ferries departing from Jepara, taking six hours to reach Karimunjawa for only IDR60000.
Alternatively, you can rent speedboat or fisherman’s boat to get to the islands but beware of the high waves. Once entering the island, you can get around easily by renting a motorcycle. There are no public transport and the roads are rough, but
Karimunjawa is a perfect getaway destination, considering it’s not too far from any big cities in Java. Its pristine natural wonders will be the main charm that will attract tourist to these islands.