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Home » KARIMUNJAWA: Marine Adventure in the Java Sea

KARIMUNJAWA: Marine Adventure in the Java Sea

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  1. Tortoise Breeding Centre at Karimunjawa

    Rare tortoise can be seen at here.
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Overview

Travelers to Central Java do not need to go far to enjoy marine life, above and below the sea. The Karimunjawa archipelago, located in the Java Sea, north of the capital city of Semarang, has everything to offer divers and backpackers who enjoy trekking and snorkeling along a pristine beach. The Karimunjawa National Park (not to be confused with the Karimun Islands in Bintan, Riau) is one amongst

Travelers to Central Java do not need to go far to enjoy marine life, above and below the sea. The Karimunjawa archipelago, located in the Java Sea, north of the capital city of Semarang, has everything to offer divers and backpackers who enjoy trekking and snorkeling along a pristine beach. The Karimunjawa National Park (not to be confused with the Karimun Islands in Bintan, Riau) is one amongst seven marine national parks in Indonesia. Taking only a four to five-hour trip from Semarang, you will be surrounded by natural beauty, so that you wish that you could stay there forever.

Separated from the larger Java Island, the marine conservation area is far from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, although it floats geographically only 120 kilometers off the north coast of Semarang between Java and Kalimantan.   Such distance forms a natural fence from physical degradation and has made it culturally resilient from modern influences.

Karimunjawa was formally declared a Marine Protection Area in 1986 encompassing some 272,000 acres, with the largest part being sea. Then on February 22, 1999, it was signed as the Karimunjawa National Park. The pristine beaches and seas are home to healthy coral reefs that scatter in an 80 kilometers wide area all the way to the coast of Jepara, a Central Java town, wellknown for its top-drawer furniture.  

Two protected biota species here are the black coral (Antiphates sp.) and organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica). Others include the triton trumpet, the hornet helmet, and the pearly-chambered nautilus. Here are also hawksbill turtles, common green turtles, and on land are the red-breasted parakeet and other tropical bird species.

There are 27 islands in this national park, where only 5 are inhabited. Towns and villages are set on the island of Karimunjawa (the largest island), Kemujan, Nyamuk, Parang, and Genting.

By Kemujan island is the wreck of the Panamanian ship called the “Indono” that sank here in 1955 and is now habitat of coral and fish and a popular site for wreck diving.

Best time to visit the Park is between April to October.

Legend has it that the islands were sighted and discovered by a prominent cleric, known as sunan in Java. His name was Amir Hasan or known as Sunan Nyamplungan, son of Sunan Muria and nephew of Sunan Kudus, two of the nine most prominent clerics in the history of the spread of Islam on Java.

Being the closest marine national park from Central Java, Karimunjawa attracts those who wish to take in its natural beauty and learn about marine life.

More information on diving in Karimunjawa Islands are observable at: diving-indonesia.net

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See on The Map

To Stay

Some of the most notable resorts in Karimunjawa are Kura-kura Resort and Karimunjawa Resort. The Menjangan Kecil Resort is found on Menjangan Kecil island. While the Barracuda Resort looks very popular with its lush tropical small forest and cottages among the rows of coconut trees. More information are available at : find a hotel

Some of the most notable resorts in Karimunjawa are Kura-kura Resort and Karimunjawa Resort. The Menjangan Kecil Resort is found on Menjangan Kecil island. While the Barracuda Resort looks very popular with its lush tropical small forest and cottages among the rows of coconut trees. More information are available at : find a hotel

To Buy

Some souvenir shops still sell a mythical wood from a tree called dewadaru. Its power is believed to be able to cure a snake bite, prolong someone’s life, and protect  your home from thieves. It is a tree that is protected due to its high demand. People buy it in the form of tasbih (rosary), kris, or staff as it was used by the –so called – founder of the islands, Sunan Nyam

Some souvenir shops still sell a mythical wood from a tree called dewadaru. Its power is believed to be able to cure a snake bite, prolong someone’s life, and protect  your home from thieves. It is a tree that is protected due to its high demand. People buy it in the form of tasbih (rosary), kris, or staff as it was used by the –so called – founder of the islands, Sunan Nyamplungan. The Dewadaru tree is also called the Nyampulangan tree.

The inhabitants of Karimunjawa are harmonious mix of Javanese, Bugis, Bajo, Madurese, Mandarese, and Luwunese ethnic groups. Each has specialties and expertise that make up a total mixture of an unique community in Karimunjawa. Especially the Madurese are experts in the production of salted fish. Buy some of the tasty salted fish from them directly.

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Get There

Flights to Semarang are available from Jakarta, Denpasar Bali, and also from other cities. Karimunjawa itself has an airport in Kemujan Island, called the Dewadaru Airport. Small aircrafts land here although the flight schedule is still dominated by chartered flights from Semarang, Yogyakarta, or Bali.

Ferries serve the islands three times a week, either from Jepara or also Semarang, and speed bo

Flights to Semarang are available from Jakarta, Denpasar Bali, and also from other cities. Karimunjawa itself has an airport in Kemujan Island, called the Dewadaru Airport. Small aircrafts land here although the flight schedule is still dominated by chartered flights from Semarang, Yogyakarta, or Bali.

Ferries serve the islands three times a week, either from Jepara or also Semarang, and speed boats are plenty and available on special request.

A ticketing company shows the schedule as follows:

Speed Boat Kartini 1

Saturday Depart Semarang 09:00 arrive Karimunjawa 12:30
Sunday Depart Karimunjawa 14:00 arrive Semarang 17:30

Monday May 2 and May 16
Depart Semarang 07:00 arrive Jepara 09:30
Depart Jepara 10:00 arrive Karimunjawa 12:30

Tuesday May 3 and May 17
Depart Karimunjawa 11:00 arrive Jepara 13:30
Depart Jepara 14:00 arrive Semarang 17:00

Ticket Price :
Business : IDR 150,000 (around US$16.50)
V.I.P. : IDR 165,000 (around US$18.00)

KMP Muria Ferry

Dubbed as a comfortable ferry to cross the straight to Karimunjawa, this modern ferry is capable of taking in both passengers and vehicles, as well as freight. Leaving only from the Port of Jepara (Kartini) it is a relaxing trip over the Java Sea with plenty of room to choose from and a cafeteria on board.

The ferry departs from Jepara at 09:00 on even dates, and leaves Karimunjawa on odd dates at 08:00.

Ticket Price

Business : IDR 45,000 (around US$ 5.00)

V.I.P. : IDR 90,000 (aroundUS$ 10.00)

Add on Vehicle : IDR 280,000 (around US$31)

Add on Motor Bike: IDR 45,000 (US$ 5.00)

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To Eat

Local snappers are known to be the best grilled fish on the table. Some say, that parrot fish is the must try. Locals will come to you as they spot you coming to the island. They will offer fresh fish for your lunch or dinner.

Local snappers are known to be the best grilled fish on the table. Some say, that parrot fish is the must try. Locals will come to you as they spot you coming to the island. They will offer fresh fish for your lunch or dinner.

To Do

As a marine national park, Karimunjawa is a mix of 5 different ecosystems. This can be a series of nature adventure for any visitor. Coral reefs, sea grass and seaweed are those marine ecosystems next to the lush mangrove forest that splendidly reflect images on the rippling water surface. As your boat cuts across the still water in the morning, you will see the warmth of early sunrays fall on the

As a marine national park, Karimunjawa is a mix of 5 different ecosystems. This can be a series of nature adventure for any visitor. Coral reefs, sea grass and seaweed are those marine ecosystems next to the lush mangrove forest that splendidly reflect images on the rippling water surface. As your boat cuts across the still water in the morning, you will see the warmth of early sunrays fall on the lowland tropical forest on the coast. They look fantastic.

The biodiversity found in Karimunjawa is wondrous; among the most significant are the 44 different species of mangroves, 11 species of sea grass, 9 species of sea weed, and 444 species of fish. The coral itself has 176 different species that you likely want to see while snorkeling.

Snorkeling is a definite activity you must do. The coral reefs are excellent to capture with your underwater camera. The fringing reefs are among those patch reefs and barrier reefs. The colorful fish glide in large groups above the black corals and organ pipe corals, the two protected biota in Karimunjawa.

Trekking through the villages in Karimunjawa is an alternative. The locals are friendly as you can observe them working in the cultured sea grass patches. The track is not limited to this height, as Karimunjawa’s highest point is at 506 meters above sea level. Trekking through the forest and finding yourselfgazing on the 27 islands dotting the Java Sea is an extraordinary experience.  

On land, there are deer, long-tailed macaques, white-belly sea eagles, and various species of birds. Trekking could be very fulfilling and a great outdoor experience.

Other unique and protected marine biota found here are the hornet helmet (Cassis cornuta), triton trumpet (Charonia tritonis), chambered nautilus, green shell (Turbo marmoratus), and six species of clam. They are ideally observed as you plunge and dive down the base of the coral reefs. Around the Kemujan Island, the wreck of a Panamanian ship that sank in 1955, the Indono, became a healthy platform for fish to grow and an excellent spot for wreck diving.

In other parts of the islands, surfing is possible, as well as sailing, water skiing, swimming, camping, and bird watching. Ask around in Kemujan and Bengkoang Island and people will tell you where are the best spots for each activity.

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