The Karimunjawa Archipelago, Travel Tips

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Valery Aloyants
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Karimunjawa is an archipelago of 27 islands located about 90 km north of Jepara, between the island of Java and Indonesian Borneo.

A real tropical paradise, with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and dreamy seabeds.

Visitors to the archipelago are mostly Indonesians, western tourists who choose this holiday destination are still few. This of course further enriches the charm of Karimunjawa and its enchanting atolls. However, it will be more difficult to organize a trip because of the lack of information.



That's why I particularly wanted to write this article, giving you all the useful tips to reach the archipelago and enjoy this jewel of nature.

How to Reach Karimunjawa

The most expensive way is by private plane from Kura Kura Resort which costs approximately $ 210 one way per person and takes approximately 30 minutes from Semarang.

Then there are the ferries, both from Semarang and Jepara, the most frequent ones depart from Jepara taking about 2 hours, the fast one, and 5 hours the slow one. From Semarang the fast ferry leaves only on Saturdays and takes about 3 hours.

Keep in mind that it is not easy to book the ship in advance, as the dates change constantly also in relation to the climatic conditions.

I suggest you to contact the Bumi Tour agency who has offices at the port of Jepara and knows the exact departure times of the ferries. The agency manager, Roy, he is very prepared but above all he speaks English, which should not be underestimated in these parts.

Alternatively, you can contact the agency World Star Tour and Travel, located on the island and with which it is possible to book tickets only if combined with a day trip.



The best time to go to Karimunjawa is from May to October. From November to April, during the rainy season, strong winds and high waves make it difficult, or almost impossible, to reach the islands.
However, it should be emphasized that even during the high season the climate is quite variable and it can happen to find the sea so high as to get stuck on the island.

Where sleeping in Karimunjawa

THEarchipelago in Karimunjawa consists of 2 main islands, Karimunjawa Island e Kemunjan Island,  and many small atolls, most of them uninhabited.

If you are looking for a high level resort, the only one in the archipelago is the Kura Kura (booking link) located on the private island of Bringing, but staying at this property requires a high budget.

Unless you decide to stay at Kura Kura, my advice is to stay on the main island near the port, in this way it will be easier to visit the beautiful islands of the archipelago and enjoy all the beauties of the island.

JiwaQuest Brief Azurine Lagoon Resort

The best structure (after the Kura Kura) is the JiwaQuest Brief Azurine Lagoon Resort. This Resort is located shortly after the better known Nirvana Laut, 10 minutes walk from the port. The resort is very nice and with an incredible Suite. The place is run by a very nice New Zealand lady. Excellent breakfast, good restaurant too.

Karimun Jawa Inn

A good choice for value for money is the Karimun Jawa Inn, located a few steps from the port. I recommend the Bungalow Suite, clean and with Indonesian style bathroom.


Ary’s Lagoon

Initially, I stayed at theAry’s Lagoon Bungalow & Hotel, the resort is located in Kemunjan about an hour's drive from the port.
The area is completely isolated there is absolutely nothing nearby. Relaxation is guaranteed, but the management of the resort leaves something to be desired. The food is not good and the portions are scarce, keep in mind that the restaurant is closed for lunch.


The beach is small but very nice, with a splendid sea. The islands opposite are also very beautiful.


We then moved on to the village Karimun Jawa Inn and we were better off, the hotel manager was also very helpful.

Menjangan Resort Karimunjawa

Another economical option (less than € 30 per night) but very charming is the Menjangan Resort Karimunjawa located on the homonymous island of Menjangan, the accommodations are quite spartan, the bathroom is not the best and has only cold water, there is no internet connection, but the sea and the island are beautiful.

Cosa Fare a Karimunjawa

The main beauty of the archipelago is of course its white beaches and the crystal clear waters that surround the small atolls.

The most beautiful beach on the main island is Tanjung Gelam and is located about 10 km from the port.

On the island you will easily find agencies that organize tours to the islands, where you can relax or snorkel and admire the unique depths of this wonderful archipelago.

Do not miss the two islands, facing each other, Big Fir e Small Fir.

Where to eat in Karimunjawa

Virtually the only restaurant is Caffè Amore, I recommend going there early otherwise you risk not finding anything. Hotels often also have a restaurant, the best is certainly that of the JiwaQuest Brief Azurine Lagoon Resort, here too it is better to go not too late.


Then there is the fish market, near the football field, where you can buy fish and have it cooked on the grill.

Important Tip

If you decide to take a moped, which certainly can be useful, be very careful, because the roads are dirt and often the brakes don't work well. Some tourists have had accidents.

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