karimunjawa Guide

Tropical Gem on the Offshore

Pirates and bandits once claimed these small archipelagoes as their den when they haunted the Java Sea some centuries ago.

Now, Karimunjawa is nothing but a beauty incarnate comprising all the best features you can get from any tropical islands. It's a perfect place for snorkeling and diving with the turtles while the white-bellied sea eagle native to the archipelago soar above you.

Make sure you include Karimunjawa in your itinerary when you're travelling Java, a small detour off the main cities. Find out why so many people said that weekend spent here is a weekend well-spent.

Karimunjawa is an archipelago of 27 islands in the Java Sea and approximately 80km northwest of Jepara. Jepara is located in north Java and the starting point for trips to these beautiful islands.

Just another perfect tropical paradise.

Head to Semarang, it's the closest major city to Karimunjawa. From there, you can either take the trip with a small plane or by boat. There are many trip organizers specialized in Karimunjawa that you can register with.

You could also take a fast boat from Jepara, a city 3 hour drive from Semarang. 

Apart from use as a pirate base, the islands are believed to have been uninhabited until a penal settlement was established during the British occupation of Java in the early 17th century. Archeological finds of Chinese ceramics on the seabed near the islands which date from around the 13th century, suggest that the islands were once part of a trade route to Java. The islands became a national park in 1988.

Karimunjawa is really famous for its shark pool. You can jump in the pool and swim with them. 

You can also rent a bike or motorbike and go around the island. 

You can go canoening in between two islands. 

You can also go snorkeling and diving

Or you can simply choose to sightsee and relax on the beautiful beaches.

Electricity on the island is only available at night, switched on at 17:30 and shut off at 06:00. You should consider the effects on hotel rooms with fans and air-con because they become incredibly hot during the day. The other effect is that there aren’t too many places in town with refrigeration, so grabbing a cold drink can be difficult.

It's really important that you bring cash, because there is only one ATM on the islands and you never know what could happen. When you arrive in the main town of Karimunjawa you can find the ATM machine just in the harbour, next to the police station and Indonesian rupiah is the only currency accepted.

As Karimunjawa is a developing tourism destination you will find a lot English speakers, but be aware that there are also a lot of people who do not speak English. Anyway, basic conversations are no problem on the archipelago and you can becalm travel there.

There are no tribes on the islands. Karimunjawa was considered as uninhabited until a penal settlement was established during the British occupation of Java in the early seventeenth century. The archipelago was used as a pirate base before.

The islands are considered as a diving and snorkeling paradise in Indonesia. You'll be able to swim with sharks, dolphins, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. Whale sharks are considered as the biggest fish species worldwide. Whale sharks are vegetarians and it's absolutely safe to swim with them.

Karimunjawa is an all year holiday destination but the best time to visit the islands is during the dry season, generally from April to October. During the other month it’s raining frequently.

Yes, there is a local hospital on the main island of Karimunjawa. But be aware that the hospital might not fulfill western standards. Therefore we recommend you to bring the most essential medicine when you travel.


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