There are many reasons for people who live in Jakarta to escape from the hustle and bustle of the mega city. There is no other place more ideal to satisfy your need than Kepulauan Seribu, especially if you want to enjoy island hopping experience. Literally means The Thousand Islands, this small archipelago is located in the north of Jakarta.
A thousand is an exaggeration as there are only 108 islands, with only 11 are inhabited and 38 are available for recreation. The area is listed as Marine National Park, meaning they are protected by law for conservation purposes. However, there are lots of attractions such as diving spots, rich underwater life, and wonderful beaches.
World Class Resort at Putri Island
Putri Island is one of the furthest island from mainland Java. Putri Island has beautiful beaches combined with world class resort, as well as wonderful underwater. There are many facilities like Tunnel Aquarium, Swimming Pool, Display Aquarium, Terrarium, Tennis Court, Glass Bottom Boat, Sunset Cruise, and many more. The resort in this island is managed professionally and you can choose from several packages to enjoy all of this island attractions.
Pulau Bidadari, and Angel with a Fort
Pulau Bidadari is the nearest one if you depart from Marina Ancol ferry port, you only need a 30 minutes boat ride to reach this island. There are several rare flora growing naturally in Pulau Bidadari. Species like powder-puff trees, sentigi trees, and black wood trees flourish in this fertile island. Fort Martello that was built in 17th century is providing a photogenic view of all tourists coming here.
Love Bridge at Tidung Islands
Tidung Islands have an elongated shape and comprised from two islands: Tidung Besar and Tidung Kecil. Both islands are connected by a 800 meter long bridge, called Jembatan CInta or Love Bridge.
There is a legend that the bridge is a symbol of a great hope to find your love in this path. Apart from swimming in its clear shallow waters, you can also explore this place by renting a bike and interact with locals.
Saving Turtles on Pramuka Island
The administrative center of Kepulauan Seribu is located in Pramuka Island. Strategically placed in the middle of the archipelago, Pramuka Island is also the most inhabited island in the whole area. The accommodation and facilities in this island is obviously better than in other islands nearby.
Pramuka Island is also the conservation site for greenback turtles. Instead of separating tourism and the conservation efforts, tourists here are invited to help send baby turtles to the sea.
The Ruins of Onrust Island
Onrust Island is a small yet historic island, showing the remains of Dutch fortress and other historical remains. Today, the island is practically a museum that blends with nature.
The island have been used for many purposes. It used to be an important shipyard for VOC (Dutch East Indies Company), a quarantine island for Hajis, weather station, a sanatorium, and also a special prison for dangerous criminals.
The Lively Tidung Festival
Tidung Festival is the biggest annual and scheduled festival in Kepulauan Seribu. Held in Tidung Islands, this festival showcasing the archipelago’s culture in the form of dances, songs, and costumes. It also display no less than 60 traditional foods of the islands. The unique aspect of this festival is that the tourists, including the foreign ones, are encouraged to take part to celebrate instead of just watching.
Selingkuh, a delicious affair
Selingkuh means having an (illegal) affair in Bahasa Indonesia. However, this selingkuh from Kepulauan Seribu is actually a type of lontong (rice cake wrapped in banana leaf). Unlike lontong, the rice in selingkuh is made with coconut rice with shredded fish as filling.
There are no big restaurant specifically selling this cake, but you can get them in warungs near Pramuka Island’s dock. You definitely can get it during Tidung Festival.
Puk Cues is Kepulauan Seribu’s Answer to pempek from Palembang. This snack is made mainly from fish flour, sago flour, and wheat. Pempek Palembang is usually eaten with vinegar, cucumber, or noodels. However, Puk Cue is commonly eaten with peanut sauce with different level of spiciness. Puk Cue is mostly sold in warungs in Tidung Island.
Bom Atom and Talam Ikan
Bom Atom is made from wheat flour, eggs, and butter. The dough is then deep fried before eventually dipped into caramel. Bom Atom is commonly has a distinctive red color and taste like sweet crisps. Talam Ikan is made from wheat/rice flour that is steamed until its texture resembling jelly. Shredded fish is then sprinkled on top of the cake.
There is a warung selling Bom Atom and Talam Ikan in Panggang Island.
How to get to Kepulauan Seribu
Kepulauan Seribu is mostly accessed from the ports of northwestern Java since this islands can’t be reached by air or overland. The most convenient one is Marina Ancol where there is daily trip to the islands. You can also rent a speedboat to go to a specific island of your choice.
Some people also go to kepulauan Seribu from Kali Adem and Sunda Kelapa ports. Not only from Jakarta, you can also depart from Banten via Tanjung Pasir and Cituis Rawa Saban ports. From these ports you can directly land in your desired island.
Reaching Jakarta itself is very easy. You can go by air to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport or Halim Perdanakusuma Airport. Gambir Station is connecting Jakarta with nearly all cities in Java via railways. Jakarta is also served by several terminal that connect the capital with cities in Java and Sumatera.
What to do in Kepulauan Seribu
Most islands in Kepulauan Seribu can be explored on foot because they are quite small. Alternatively, you can rent a bike or motorcycle in bigger islands like in Pramuka Island. Island-hopping is also possible by renting a speedboat from a resort or hotel.
Best Hotels in Kepulauan Seribu:
- Royal Mermaid Resort – Pulau Pramuka, RT 04/ RW 05, Pulau Panggang, Kepulauan Seribu Utara – From IDR466,667.
- Dermaga Resort – Pulau Pramuka, Pulau Panggang, Kepulauan Seribu Utara, Administrasi Kepulauan Seribu – from IDR495,000
- Harapan Solata Homestay – Pulau Harapan, RT 02 / RW 01, Kepulauan Seribu Utara, Administrasi Kepulauan Seribu – From IDR499,000.