Travel Guide Karimun Jawa (Caribbean van Java)

If the Capital region of Jakarta has thousands island on the north side, Central Java has Karimun Jawa archipelago, also known as Caribbean van Java, to spoil your desire of a gorgeous soft sandy beaches and fascinating underwater experience. Here we go Travel Guide Karimun Jawa.

1. Getting Here

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Getting Here

Back to some years ago, Karimun Jawa could only be reached by the sea transport either from Semarang or Jepara to the Big Karimun island (Pulau Karimun Besar). I had to take 6 hours of ride on slow ferry from Jepara or 3 hours ride with speed boat from Semarang. It is indeed a long way to be there but it is well rewarded.

Nowadays, there is an option to use the air transport from Ahmad Yani airport of Semarang to Dewa Daru aiport of Kemujan island with the flight duration of only 30 minutes.

2. Getting Around and Attractions

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

On the way to Karimun Besar

The archipelago that is also one of the National Park in Indonesia consist of the small islands with Pulau Karimun Besar as the centre, in which the resorts and homestays are available to welcome the visitors. Staying in homestay with the local will give you a special experience. On request, they could provide you a giant barbecue of fishes and cuttlefishes inexpensively compared to the resorts. If you are a foreigner, the challenge for staying in homestay will be about language, most of them don’t speak English.

Going around in Pulau Karimun Besar can be done by renting bike, motorbike or just by foot. People are coming here to enjoy the fascinating underwater coral reef castles and colourful fishes that the archipelago could offer, so following suggestions will give you an idea of what activities that could be done there.

  • Island hopping, Diving and Snorkelling

Visitor can hire a local boat to do island hopping activity. The activity will be started from dermaga kecil (small harbour) in Pulau Karimun Besar. Depends on the request, the captain will bring you from island to island and assist you to stop in the snorkelling or diving spots.

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Coral Reef Castle

Pulau Tengah, Karang Gosong, Karang Nemo and Karang Nyamplungan are some popular snorkelling and diving spots.

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Finding Nemo


Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Underwater Karimun Jawa

  • Beaches

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa


You can explore the magnificent beaches in each islands where you stop. Sunshine, white sands, coconut trees and the breeze of the wind are a perfect combination to just lay on the beach and getting tanned. But that’s not all, in Pulau Cilik and Pulau Cemara Kecil you can even reward yourself by having seafood barbecue after a tiring snorkelling activity.

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Crossing an ocean for food!


Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Fish for lunch

  • Swimming with Sharks

Shark sanctuary in Pulau Menjangan Besar is an ideal place for you to experience swimming with a group of black reef shark. Their size is not so big that they are safe to swim with. Care still must be taken when you have an open scars that bleed because it will attract them to catch you.

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Swimming with sharks

  • Sunset Hunting

Sunset is my favourite moment of everyday. That reminds me that even the toughest day can end beautifully. Recommended sunset spots in Karimun Jawa are Pantai Ujung Gelam and Dermaga Mrican (Mrican Harbour). Unbelievably impressive!

Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Sunset in Dermaga Mrican


Travel Guide Karimun Jawa

Sunset at Pantai Ujung Gelam

3. Cautions

Due to the long journey by boat to reach Karimun Jawa, it is recommended to bring your personal medicines for the sea sickness.

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