Karimunjawa Islands

Karimunjawa Islands

Island hideout

Think of your ideal tropical paradise. Once you have that in mind, if it includes white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees, turquoise water so bright it stings your eyes, warm weather all year round, few tourists (for now) and just enough decent accommodation to ensure you don’t have to pitch a tent (although that’s an option too), then the islands of Karimunjawa could be your paradise.

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Located about 80 kilometres off Jepara on the north coast of Central Java, the idyllic cluster of 27 tropical islands that form the Karimunjawa archipelago is an increasingly popular destination for domestic tourists, especially on weekends, with a growing number of independent foreign travellers discovering its charms as well.

Pretty even in iffy weather. : Sally Arnold.
Pretty even in iffy weather. Photo: Sally Arnold

What appears to be one main rabbit-shaped island is in fact two, separated by a narrow channel at the bunny’s head: Pulau Kemujan to the north and Pulau Karimunjawa to the south. Together they cover an area of about 3,500 hectares, large for a remote outpost in the middle of the ocean.

A spine of forested hills covers Pulau Karimunjawa and sandwiched between the jungle and the southern tip is the island’s main town also called Karimunjawa, where you’ll find much of the accommodation and the port.

Popular with swingers. : Sally Arnold.
Popular with swingers. Photo: Sally Arnold

Flatter Pulau Kemujan harbours a small airport. Other islands are considerable smaller, some offer accommodation including one private island with a luxury resort, but many are uninhabited. It’s possible to organise camping trips to the outer islands with boat transport, tents, sleeping mats and snorkelling gear included from 650,000 rupiah per person for two (less per person for larger groups), an idyllic ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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