The Indonesian call Karimunjawa Java’s Paradise. It is one of Indonesia’s best kept secrets and has some of the best beaches you can find in Java. The archipel consists out of 27 tropical islands and is surrounded by an amazing blue and green ocean and beautiful colored coral.
The 2 bigger islands where the locals live, are Karimunjawa Island and Kemujan Island. The islands are connected by a bridge but if you don’t pay attention, you will miss the crossing from one island to the other. The bridge is that small..
Just a few meters away from the coast you can find Nemo, his sister, brother, mother, father, cousins, etc. There are a lot of them! And if you are lucky you can find white tip reefsharks or some rare sea turtles. You don’t go to Karimunjawa for excitement. You come here to relax, go snorkeling, enjoy the beach and water and drive around a bit on a motorbike.
After a light panic attack about our missing “running” shoes we got picked up by a nice spacious minibus at 11 pm in front of Bladok Losmen in Yogjakarta. After picking up other adventures we left Yoga behind heading for Jepara. Arriving at 3.30 am at Jepara Harbour our driver kindly suggested to sleep the remaining 3 hours on the blue painted benches of the local eatery. We felt like bums.. We woke up by the sound of geese walking around at 5.45 am and took the slowboat at 7 am and arrived at 12 am. This all went quick tanks to our motion sickness pills which also work as sleeping pills. At the harbour our host from Sunrise View Bungalows was already there to pick us up and bring us to the Bungalow. The whole trip costed 220.000 Rupiah p.p. and you can arrange this in Yogya.
If you want to eat Pizza or anything else Western food related, go to Eat & Meet. It is a bit expensive but especially the pizza is really good!
For the fish lovers, there are some food stands in the centre near the footbalfield where you can pick your fish, they tell you the price and grill it on the barbecue. We discovered that the blue/green parrotfish doesn’t only look really nice, it tastes really nice as well! You can get your fish with plain white rice or fried rice. And it is cheap!
One of the favorites amongst backpackers is the Coconut house. They are situated right in the centre and you can also book your tours here.
We wanted something more private and close to the beach, so we went to Sunrise View Bungalows. A really nice place with a really friendly owner. He arranged pick up from the harbour, got us a welcome drink and some snacks and is willing to do everything for you. He can arrange a motorbike and if you don’t have a motorbike, and don’t want to walk to the centre (about 2 km.), you can tell him what you want to eat, and he will get it for you. The bungalows are nice and clean, the shower is quite good and breakfast is included for the price of 175.000 Rupiah. The private beach is only 2-3 minutes away and the surroundings are nice and quiet. We really enjoyed our stay here. You can find them on Booking.com.
Arrange a fishermen by yourself who will take you to go island hopping and snorkeling. You can also arrange a tour at Coconut House (175.000 Rupiah p.p.) They will take you to some really nice, clearblue spots where the snorkeling is great! The best beach to go to is called Tantung Gelam, situated west of the main city you will find a powder white beach and beautiful sunsets in between the palmtrees.