Discover the exotic Karimunjawa Islands

Karimunjawa, located in the middle of Java Sea about 90km off the coast of Semarang. It consists of 27 surrounding islands with Karimunjawa Island being the main island. Compared to other holiday island in Indonesia, you could only see a handful number of foreigners while you’re relaxing by the beach or even you could go on a full day without the sighting of any of them during low season.

The ferry ride on the Bahari Express from the town of Jepara to Karimunjawa took about 2 hours. The original plan was actually to board the 4hour ride Kartini Express from Semarang but we were unable to get the tickets from there so we had to re-route and travel overland to Jepara instead. Ferry tickets are not available online so your best bet would be to get an agent to buy you the tickets or try your luck getting the tickets on the spot.

Our ferry

fishing boat, took this while on the ferry

waters at the jetty was already clear!

Arriving at the island in the afternoon, we were picked up by Aan from Arianni homestay, the one responsible to help us book our accommodation and activities there. The most common type of accommodation around the island is homestay but we didn’t stay at his place as I was eager to stay at Wisma Apung, a floating cottage located 2 kilometers off the coast. The place offers a very basic accommodation but the view was outstanding. You could easily spot  fishes and sea urchins the moment you step out of your room. Electricity was only available at night and I was told that it was the same everywhere in the island except for high end hotels which happens to run on generators.

this is our lodging place

wisma apung

a view from the back of my room

morning sunrise

It was where I opted not to go diving during this trip because there’s no proper dive shop available. Yes one could still rent the equipment and go diving with one of the guides, but I doubt that they are qualified divemasters. Aan together with his friend Ako and the 2 boatmen brought us for snorkeling at Cemara Besar Island and Menjangan Kecil Island during our stay. The underwater view is totally amazing! I’ll just let the photos do the talking.

on the way to the snorkling spot

we did spot a squid swimming

feeding the fishes

Tanjung Gelam is considered one of the best beaches around the islands. It’s filled with white sand with palm trees in the background. There are also quite a number of food stalls across the beach selling local food, instant noodles and fresh coconut juice. You could also enjoy a breathtaking sunset view from here. Another good option is to get pleasure from the sunset on a boat ride.Locals said that there’s a turtle conservation center in Barracuda beach area, but I didn’t had enough time to check it out.

that’s Tanjung Gelam

sandy beaches

sunset from the beach

on the boat during dusk

One of the unique places to visit around the islands is the shark pool, located at Menjangan Besar island. They have two pools here; one is the home for the reef sharks and the other houses the black tip sharks. There’s also another small shark pool in the vicinity of Wisma Apung where guests could swim with the sharks, turtle and starfish.


Dan vs Shark

If you are in search of an exotic paradise filled with crystal clear turquoise waters, where there’s very little tourist around, then Karimunjawa is the place to be.

Also do check out my video on Karimunjawa here


Location Map

View Karimunjawa Island in a larger map

30 Responses so far.

  1. cindyrina says:

    Oh! Gosh!!! Dan!!! SHARK??? great adventure!!! Wonderful photos too!!!
    cindyrina recently posted..REMOVING GALLSTONES NATURALLYMy Profile

  2. mas says:

    oh maiiiiiiiiii

    i geram nak pegi juge satu hari nanti..

    serious crystal clearrrrr……. ohhhhhh
    mas recently posted..NorthIndiaBackpacking 6: Kashmir – PahalgamMy Profile

  3. dila says:

    Dan, guna camera apa? are u using different camera for underwater? or just put it inside waterproof case?

    • danarif says:

      Canon 60D.. but for underwater is Canon G12+underwater casing which I pinjam drpd guide dkt sana.. The water there was crystal clear so normal camera with waterproof casing pon dah boleh dpt good photos

  4. Hang Dhamin says:

    bapak best tempat nieeeeeeeeeeee….
    Hang Dhamin recently posted..Tips & Trip : I LOVE SABAHMy Profile

  5. Jeff says:

    THIS IS WHAT I HAD MISSED OUT WHEN OPTING OUT KARIMUNJAWA? Screw me indeed! Damn it, so freaking beautiful! How much did you spent there???
    Jeff recently posted..Borobudur – Manohara HotelMy Profile

    • danarif says:

      perhaps a good reason for you to visit Semarang again.. hehe.. for 3d 2nights I spend around 1.2M rupiah.. including ferry, food, activities & accomodation.. can do cheaper if u stay at homestay

  6. Zara~AB says:

    Semarang will definitely be our next destination. Clear water! And playing around with the sharks + turtle tue paling best kot.

    • danarif says:

      yup!mmg best.. sila la ke semarang.. but before beli tix flight tu check timetable ferry dulu.. sbb ferry bukan tiap hari ada :)

  7. Hanita says:

    Hi, can you email me the quotation. Thanks

  8. TJ says:

    i am so amazed with your pictures! undoubtedly, this place is paradise! :)
    im planning to go, if you dont mind may i know how much budget that u spent? is it far from 1 beach to another beach?
    TJ recently posted..JapanMy Profile

    • danarif says:

      Hi.. island packages would cost u around RM400+ for 3d 2n.. which includes accommodations, activities & food.. if u get a promo flight tix, not impossible to make it below RM1k overall including the stopover in Semarang.

      The beach is quite far from one another.. nothing much to worry about it if u take the tour packages. U could also rent a motorbike to get around the island.

  9. Iqbal says:

    Salam..bro.. how tog et there and ada contact kat sana tak utk uruskan penginapan and aktiviti?? very nice info bro..:)

  10. ashree says:

    Very beautiful photos! Come visit Indonesia again! :)


  11. wulan says:

    cantik banget.moga moga bisa liburan ke karimunjawa nan cantik.aamiin

  12. Nazmi says:

    Dear friends.

    I like to go there but dont know how.. Can u guide us? We are from malaysia and like to go there end of this year.. Can u send me the quotation and so on.. Tq

  13. azra says:

    mas ijin copas artikelnya aku mau share keteman-teman soalnya aku ada paket murah berlibur di karimunjawa cuman Rp.600rb 4D3N
    azra recently posted..Wisata Liburan Pulau KarimunjawaMy Profile

  14. azra says:

    maksih sebelumnya ya mas

  15. Spot Wisata says:

    Wow… It’s so beatifull. I love traveling. but have never been to Karimunjawa. Maybe I will go there one day. Nice reviews and shoot. Thank you for sharing.
    Spot Wisata recently posted..De’Ranch Lembang Bandung, Lokasi Wisata ala KoboiMy Profile

  16. AAN says:

    Apa kabar Dan?? Saya Aan..msih ingatkah?
    Kapan maen lagi ke Karimunjawa?
    Artikel dan fotonga tentang Karimunjawa sangat indah, dan terimakasih untuk bantu promote tentang Karimunjawa dan Arriani..
    Salam buat teman2..

    Yang mau ke Karimunjawa, silahkan cek paketnya di

    NB: kontak/email dulu sebelum membeli tiket flight ke Indonesia, supaya jadwal bisa saya sesuikan dengan jadwal penyebrangan ke Karimunjawa..

    Sudah banyak yang salah dengan membeli tiket flight ke Indonesia terlebih dahulu sebelum kontak/email, sehingga tidak sesuai dengan jadwal penyebrangan dan akhirnya membeli tiket flight lagi dan merugi..

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