The Karimunjawa archipelago is situated in the Java Sea, 45 nautical miles away from Jepara Regency and 60 Nautical miles from Semarang, the capital city of Central Java Province. Karimunjawa is known for its amazing fringing coral reefs, diving sites, and sandy beaches. The reefs are a combination of fringing, barrier, and patch with bottom depths ranging from 15 to 40 meters.
Karimunjawa archipelago consists of 27 islands scattered along the Java Sea. Five of them, namely Karimunjawa, Kemujan, Parang, Nyamuk and Genting, are inhabited. The area is 111,625 acres in width, consists of 7,033 acres of land and 104,592 acres of water; Most of the islands are untouched and beautiful, where visitors can indulge in diving, fishing and sunbathing.
Some islands are formed by coral reefs and covered with a sand layer. The coast is mostly overgrown with mangrove and other marine plants. The ecosystems, consists of five types: coral reef, sea grass and seaweed, mangrove forest, coastal forest and low land tropical rain forest, offering maritime tourism object and natural adventure. Due to its unique and natural marine life, the islands are conserved and declared as a National Marine Park.
The most interesting tourism object in these islands is the marine area, there are more than 30 dive sites across Karimunjawa Marine National Park. There are shallow dive sites with weak or even without currents for beginners, as well as the deep ones with strong currents for more advanced divers suitable for all levels of divers, from beginners to experienced ones. Interested divers can also explore several shipwrecks of old merchant ships at various depths.
The most famous marine tourism area in the archipelago is Menyawakan Island; it is a good place
for snorkeling, ringed by a beautiful coral reef like the other islands in Karimun Jawa. The water around this resort island is so clean and the reef is clearly visible from the surface. Visitors may find an awesome experience snorkeling around the island floating and following the current around to see abundant of colorful coral reef, coral fishes and other underwater species live here. The shallow and clear water around the islands allows visitors to watch under water living from the surface using glass bottomed boat. Or visitors may just spend the time by doing other water-sports such as fishing, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, and jet skiing around the island.
Another interesting activity here is feed and play with white tip shark at the conservation pond in Menjangan Kecil Island, there is a shark breeding site where 0.5 to 2 meters young sharks swim around freely. Another breeding site is in the Floating Cottage; a wooden Cottage that floats on a breeding area of white sharks. While on the white sandy beaches of Menjangan Besar Island and Cemara Kecil visitors can find perfect locations forsunbathing.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the islands is from April through November. It can also be visited from December through March, but due to the rainy season, visitors may experience stronger winds and bigger waves. The most comfortable time to visit the Karimunjawa is from April to July and September to November because of the calm water and wind.
How to Get There
From Jakarta, Karimunjawa can be reached by domestic flights served by Garuda Airways, Mandala Airlines, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air and Batavia Air to Semarang. And then from Semarang there are two options to reach Karimunjawa; using plane or speed boat. Visitors may use chartered flight from Ahmad Yani Airport or KMC KARTINI I speed boat from Tanjung Mas Harbor. Approximately it needs 3 hours sailing from Semarang to Karimunjawa by boat.
Beside the two options above there is public ferry KMP Muria departs from Kartini Harbor Jepara. It needs 5 - 6 hours to reach Karimunjawa from Jepara by KMP Muria, while transportation between the islands is served by local fishermen’s boats, which can be hired anytime.
The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah which is linked to the US Dollar. The Rupiah is commonly referred to as either Rp or Rupiah when shown in written form such as on price tags or menus.
There are 100 cents to one Rupiah and coins issued are Rp 25, Rp 50, Rp 100, Rp 200, Rp 500 and Rp 1,000. Notes are issued in denominations of Rp 500, Rp 1,000, Rp 2,000, Rp 5,000, Rp 10,000, Rp 20,000, Rp 50,000 and Rp 100,000. Always try to have a selection of smaller notes available for cheaper items as it’s not always easy trying to get change for a 50,000 or 100,000 Rupiah note.
There is not ATM machine, credit card merchant nor money changer available in Karimunjawa. You should change the your currency into rupiah before visiting Karimunjawa. The following exchange rates are correct at the time of going to press :
One US$ = Rp 10,000
One Euro = Rp 14,000
Click here for current convertion.
Beware of some animals in the shore and shallow water. We will see an underwater paradise, colorful, exotic and excited ones. The beautiful environment is temptation and could attract everyone to get closer and touch, when you touch - the problem had just begun.
Jellyfish. The sting of jellyfish inflict is extremely painful, it will burn and redness on the skin also swelling of lymph node. Its tentacle could reach 12 meters long. Avoid the area where jellyfish sighted, or even dead ones are seen on the beach.
Anemone and Coral. We can find anemone and coral in Karimunjawa from tide pools to deep offshore waters. The tentacles has stinging cell that are used for for catching the prey. It could cause burning and itching sensation, redness and swelling where the contact was made.
Sea Urchin. Sea urchin is spiny, small, globular animal that found all over the world and lives in shallow water reef area up to 100 foot depth. It has long and brittle spine. Protect yourself by wearing footwear and don't walk in rocky area with poor visibility.
Telecommunication services are widely available in Karimunjawa and provide by The Indonesian Telecommunication or PT Telkom, the biggest operator in the country. Both available in land line and mobile celullar. Mobile celullar works on 1900 Mhz frequency. However if you are calling a local friend on a local land-line from mobile phone remember to add local code (0291) before the number, you may ask local code for the information to the telecommunication operator by dial 108.
It is now possible to make and receive calls through a GSM handset with Telkomsel Simpati card. This card is reloadable and is available at all groceries and telecommunication shops. We recommend Telkomsel Simpati while stay in the country since they have the widest coverage area and with competitive price.
There is direct postal service delivery to addresses currently operating in Karimunjawa by Indonesian Postal Authority or PT Pos Indonesia. Postcards and stamps are not widely available from hotels and general stores. Postboxes in the Karimunjawa are yellow in color and as sometimes the mail service varies considerably, it may be wise to allow at least 30 days for a postcard or letter to be delivered to your home country.
Depending on destination, sending a postcard will require stamps to the value of between Rp 5,000 – Rp 50,000. Stamps and postcards can be bought from post office only.
Water and Electricity
Electricity services in Karimunjawa are supplied by local community generator. Power cuts in the electrical supply during the day are often. Most of the hotel provide electricity during the day from their own generator. Normally two-parallel prong 13 amp French-style plugs are used operating on 220 volts and 50 Hz frequency. If you need to purchase an adapter, it is recommended to obtain prior your arrival to Karimunjawa.
Water is from artesian well and is perfectly safe to drink after cooked. Having said that some area which is far from the shore and close to the hill of National Park, water will taste pleasant and fresh. Some others isn’t taste particularly pleasant and most residents tend to drink filtered water. If you are on a self-catering holiday there is absolutely no problem in water consuming.
Karimunjawa Tour enrolled in the campaign of “minimum discharge policy”, so we will let you fill your tumbler or water bottle with mineral water provided by the accommodation staff.
Whilst on the subject of water please remember that you are in a remote coast environment and as there is an obvious lack of fresh water. It is everyone’s responsibility to try to preserve water. Please try to remember not to run the tap whilst shaving or brushing your teeth or otherwise unnecessarily waste water.
If you travel to isolated area outside Karimunjawa always make sure that you have a good supply of bottled water.
Karimunjawa has one of the lowest crime rates in the Indonesia which is an immense source of pride to Karimunjawa people in general and the government in particular. This is largely because of the fact that the Karimunjawa people having honesty and dignity.
However, even with a low crime rate it still make good sense to stick sensible anti-crime measures that you would normally carry out in your home country, such as leaving valuables and passports in hotel safe and being discreet when handling cash in crowded areas.
Alcohol are not widely available at Karimunjawa. Alternatively, if you are in your hotel, it may be wise to check local beer such as "Bintang" with the waiter before ordering your meal. It is against the law to walk in the street drinking alcohol or to be drunk in a public place. Drinking and driving is also against the law, which literally means that you are not allowed to drive with any quantity of alcohol in your system. If you are caught drinking and driving you could face a prison sentence.
Drug and Smoking
Indonesia has a very strict policy of zero drugs tolerance. Penalties and sentences are extremely harsh for possession of the slightest amount of an illegal substance and the death penalty, although rarely imposed, is still available to the courts in cases of distributing and importation of any form of illegal drug into the country.
There is smoking regulation on public area and big fine will be imposed for offenders. Fine could reach up to Rp 50,000,000 or 6 months in prison.
There are a great many photo opportunities in Karimunjawa and no doubt you want to return to your home country and show to your friends and family what a wonderful time you had. People will not have any objection of being photographed and willing to help you for taking pics.
Gay and Lesbian
Homosexual practices are prohibited by community in the Indonesia. Showing of homosexual could invite attention of locals and could lead you in dislike response. Bear in your mind that you are living in country with Moslem majority that having different values.
There are abundance sun shine all the year in Karimunjawa, opportunity to sunbath is there. Show it to your friends, family what a nice brown skin color you had. In regard of dressing, it is offense manner for local people seeing in you with bikini walking down the street. Even though it does not against the law but it against the local values.
Karimunjawa water has provided abundant food. Fresh fishes, squids, and prawns are the daily diet of the community. You can find restaurants only within hotels. Other traditional restaurant or warung, serve affordable food like fried rice, fried fish, or local diet with an assortment of veggies.
With regard to tipping, generally most of the hotel seem to include the service charge. Most of the people usually do not expect any tip, again tipping is not obligatory. However if this is not the case, normally 10% or near to Rp 10,000 is about the correct amount, but is not obligatory. Please make sure that you have some smaller notes in your possession.
Karimunjawa people have culture in food serving. People enjoy Asian food with plentiful of spices. People will treat you kindly and let you taste the delicious food that had become heritage.
It is little bit different with Western, Karimunjawa people have breakfast time at 06.00 am with rice, vegetable, fish and it seems like main course for Western. But believe me, you will need a lot of energy during the activities.
If you have special request regarding the food such as less spices or to be served at your own time, it is recommend to inform your hostess previously.
Boat Schedules to Karimunjawa:
KMC KARTINI I
Semarang to Karimunjawa -Saturday:
Semarang – Karimunjawa (08.30 WIB)
(in the first and third week of the month) Semarang (07:00 WIB) – Jepara (09:30 WIB) – Karimunjawa
Karimunjawa to Semarang - Sunday:
Karimunjawa – Semarang 14.00 WIB
(in the first and third week of the month)
Karimunjawa (11:00 WIB) – Jepara – Semarang
Jepara to Karimunjawa
Jepara – Karimunjawa (08:30 WIB)
Jepara – Karimunjawa (08:30 WIB)
Karimunjawa to Jepara
Karimunjawa – Jepara (08:30 WIB)
Karimunjawa – Jepara (08:30 WIB)Hotel Information :
phone : (+62-291)591048