Karimunjawa Archipelago

The most beautiful is not the most popular. If someone asks me what the most beautiful beach I have ever visited, I'll answer it's Karimunjawa!!. Lucky me, I have visited Karimunjawa exactly a year ago, 12-16 March 2010, with 13 friends from Cikarang, Jakarta, and Surabaya. It is a perfect place to enjoy the beach, do snorkeling and diving, take underwater photography, and even feel the warmth of the sun ;)

Karimunjawa is an archipelago located in Java Sea, approx. 80 km northwest of Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia. It consists of 27 islands, mostly inhabited. It was declared as national marine park in 2001. We can find many coral reefs there as well as many beautiful fishes there.

What a wonderful world! - © Dina

How to get there?
There are 2 ways to go to Karimunjawa. First, by using speedboat from Semarang, which takes about 3 hours. Second, by using ferry boat from Jepara, which takes about 6 hours. Don't forget to consider the schedule! Both of them are not operating everyday. On last year occasion, my friends and I chose the second way to get there because it was cheaper :). We started from Cikarang on Friday at 6pm. It took about 13 hours before we arrived at Terminal Jepara at 7am. From the bus terminal, we took pedicab (becak) to get to Pelabuhan Kartini. The Muria boat departed at 9am, and it took about 6 hours to get to Karimun island. The boat was moving so slowly, so you had to think what you would do to kill the time. Tips: while you're on the boat, you can take picture with your camera, listen to iPod, or play card games with your friends.

What did we do?
Day 1 - We arrived at Karimun island at 4pm, then walked to our guest house for about 30 minutes. It was a house whose the head of family, Pak Ari, would help us to arrange our activities in Karimunjawa. While waiting for the sunset, we went to shark conservation. The most excited thing to do there is... swimming with the sharks! I never imagine to do that before. The fishermen said that it was safe to swim in that sharks' pool, so it's okay as long as we did not hurt them ;-). After that, we went back to Karimun island, and took sunset photograph at Karimun pier closed to our guest house. At night, we watched movie in big screen (called "layar tancap") in the plaza. Although it wasn't a good movie, it was really a nice way to know more about people life in Karimunjawa. Don't sleep late, because you need extra energy to have fun in the next day.

Swimming with the sharks! - © Mahendra

Day 2 - We woke up at 5am to took sunrise photograph. We walked to Karimun pier where Muria boot parked. Unfortunately, the sunrise view from the pier is blocked by another part of Karimun island. Next, we went back to the guest house, and prepared for the adventure. Caution: before you leave the guest house for having adventure in the sea for a whole day, make sure you use sunblock lotion with high SPF number! So, we did... island hopping! We sailed from one island to other islands in Karimunjawa archipelago. First, we went to Menjangan Besar. What the heaven! The view was so perfectly awesome! We swam joyfully there. After that, the fishermen, who guided us, brought us to another side of the island, and we did snorkeling. The underwater view so amazing, too. The coral reef was so beautiful. We could see many kind of fishes there. After we're satisfied with God's masterpiece in that island, we sailed to another island. It used to take about 20 minutes in average to reach another island. We did those things again (swimming, snorkeling, etc) in Menjangan Kecil, Cemara Kecil, Cemara Besar, and some other islands (ah, I forgot the names ^^'). What's for lunch? Our guides, the fishermen, roasted some fishes for us. So, we just took a rest in one island, then ate that fishes barbecuesque. Ah, we also picked some coconuts directly from the tree (thanks to mr. fisherman :), then drank that coconut water, fresh from the nature, while enjoying sunset! Life is good! :)

Karimunjawa's Underwater - © Chocky

Day 3 - We woke up at 6am, with some parts of our body hurt due to sunburnt :(. But... its pain was nothing compared with the joy we experienced. That day we started island hopping from 8am. We sailed to Gosong island, did swimming and snorkeling there. Next, we continued to Cilik, Tengah, Sintok, and... ah I forgot the name ^^. The weather that day was not as good as the day before. It was my first experience drifting in the middle of stormy sea. It was rainy and stormy, terrific!

Day 4 - We had to wake up early because Muria boat departed from Karimun island at 8am. Six hours later, we arrived at Kartini beach, Jepara. Time to say goodbye to paradise. Backpacking to Karimunjawa Archipelago is so legen.... wait for it.. dary! :)

Our expenses:
  • Bus (Cikarang - Jepara) = IDR 230,000 (round trip)
  • Muria Boat (Jepara - Karimunjawa) = IDR 61,000 (round trip)
  • Guest House = IDR 1,080,000 / 14 = IDR 78,000 (3 nights)
  • Fisherman Boat Rental = IDR 950,000 / 14 = IDR 68,000 (3 days)
  • Snorkeling Kit Rental = IDR 70,000 (2 days)
  • Shark Conservation = IDR 10,000
  • TOTAL = IDR 517,000*
*) not including daily meal

Contact Person: Ari (+6281325131608 / Facebook)

For more story about Karimunjawa, you can read my friends' trip reports :

Body Rafting at Green Canyon

Rafting, as everybody knows, is challenging sport activity using inflatable raft to descend a rapid flowing river. It is quite common for people. Nowadays, in Green Canyon (Pangandaran, West Java) there is a new rafting activity called "body rafting". Body-rafting means using our body as "raft" to navigate the river, instead of using inflatable raft. This is a unique sport since there are only few sites offering body-rafting activity.

Weeks ago (Feb 26), my friends (@dindun_ @eriek_sobieski @chockysihombing @junglon @nisian @neng_rizka @magicaelly) and I decided to escape from our daily workdays stress by getting some challenging activity. We decided to go to Green Canyon (Pangandaran) by backpacking. We started backpacking from Terminal Kampung Rambutan Jakarta at 9pm. We got an economy-class bus "Perkasa Jaya", which its direction is Kp.Rambutan-Pangandaran. It took almost 8.5 hours until we arrived at Pangandaran. It was 1.5 hours longer than we thought, due to some sparepart issues in the midst of our travel. Sounds quite scary, doesn't it? :p I have tips for travelling with economy-class bus in Indonesia: take a sleeping pill. Just make sure that you're safe and comfort enough in your seat, then swallow a medicine, such as antimo (anti-carsick drug).