Photo: Oh so pretty.

Mangrove Trekking

Our rating:

Surrounding the islands of Kurimunjawa where there’s not white sandy beaches, there’s mangrove forests which is excellent, as these ecosystems are important to the health of our planet.

Indonesia is home to one quarter of the world’s mangroves, but unfortunately they are disappearing fast. Within the Kurimunjawa National Park a protected mangrove area offers trekking along raised boardwalks deep into the forest. We were discouraged several times by locals warning that “it’s too expensive for foreigners”, and while we agree that yes the entry fee is way overpriced and that the huge discrepancy between what Indonesians pay and what foreigners pay is outrageous, we still think it’s important to support.

Enjoy the views. Photo taken in or around Mangrove Trekking, Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Enjoy the views. Photo: Sally Arnold

The more foreign tourists who are seen to visit mangrove forests, the more the Indonesian government (and locals) are able to see their value and perhaps we can at least slow their destruction. So we say, suck up the cost, think of it as a donation to the world’s environmental future, go and enjoy! However make sure you are issued a printed ticket for your visit and don’t accept a discounted price (and no ticket issued), as these huge price differences are very tempting for corruption.

The trekking area is about 12 kilometres north from the town, so you’ll need to arrange some sort of transport (only ride a bicycle if you’re very fit—it’s hilly!) and the entrance is easily spotted with a large gateway and signage. Wear long clothing, smother yourself in mosquito repellent, and bring drinking water.

Well worth a wander. Photo taken in or around Mangrove Trekking, Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Well worth a wander. Photo: Sally Arnold

The wooden boardwalk is mostly in good condition although a few broken boards are towards the end of the track, it forms a loop walk about one-and-a-half kilometres in length, broken up with shelters to sit and spot wildlife from and at the sea’s edge, a triple-storey viewing tower which has a spectacular panoramic vista over the whole area. Signage is badly damaged and illegible on all but a couple of signs, which is unfortunate as the information tells of the plants and wildlife you are likely to spot. A small amount of plastic rubbish was washed up amongst the mangroves, but a lot less than we were expecting, however this may be seasonal.

Several species of mangroves and mangrove associates as well as many birds and other critters are there for the keen spotters. An identification chart for mangroves and birds (in Indonesian) can be found near the viewing tower. We heard much birdsong, but our feathered friends were too quick for our camera shutter, we did however spot two tiny baby snakes, who seemed just as curious to see us as we them.

Meet some of the locals. Photo taken in or around Mangrove Trekking, Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Meet some of the locals. Photo: Sally Arnold

Fortunately for us, but not for the National Park, we were alone which felt very primeval amongst the pops and sounds of the forest. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon when wildlife is more likely to be active, but it’s a pleasant easy stroll anytime. We took an hour, but could have spent longer.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support independent travel writing on Southeast Asia, please subscribe to Travelfish—it’s just A$35 per year (less than A$1 per week)!

By .

Start planning your holiday today

Sent every Monday, our newsletter is full of travel advice, news & special deals. Read past issues.


Mangrove Trekking
13km from Karimunjawa
Mo-Fr 08:00–17:00. Closed Fridays between 11:30 and 13:30.
Admission: Entry fee for foreigners on weekdays is: 155,000 rupiah, and weekends and holidays: 230,000 rupiah. For Indonesians, weekdays: 10,000 rupiah and weekends and holidays: 12,500 rupiah.

Location map for Mangrove Trekking

Popular attractions in Karimunjawa Islands

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Karimunjawa Islands.

Best places to stay in Karimunjawa Islands

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Karimunjawa Islands.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Karimunjawa Islands.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Karimunjawa Islands.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Karimunjawa Islands.
 Read up on how to get to Karimunjawa Islands.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Karimunjawa Islands? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Indonesia with Tourradar.

See below for more sights and activities in Karimunjawa Islands that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Karimunjawa Islands? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

Top of page