Designated as a national marine park. Karimunjava consists of many small islands, with the two main ones being Karimunjawa island and Kemujan Island, and the smaller ones being Menjangan Besar Island, and Menjangan Kecil Island and some other even smaller, uninhabited islands.
Following a local legend, Karimun means not obvious, because in clear weather Karimunjawa can be seen from the coast of mainland Java, but still not clearly. Karimunjawa was originally settled by Sunan Nyamplungan, the son of Sunan Muria, one of the Muslim Saints (Sunan) who introduced Islam to Java.
Karimunjawa is more famous than Bali (who was only a base for pirates for long) since centuries... The island have been known by navigators woldwide as a haven on the trade roads trough java sea to Borneo or Spices Islands and can be found under different names (Tortuga, Chirimao, Carimon jawa...) on all Antique portulans and maps of the area.
Historical Sources relate the discovery of the Archipelago by Chinese Army sent by emperor Kubhilai Khan in 1293 (they named it CHI-LI-MEN) , followed by Ottoman Turkish navigators in 1403, Portuguese, Dutch, French (Bouguinville...), English etc... Recent Archeological researches found porcelains from the Ming dynasty.
Many Yachtmen stop now in Karimunjawa on their way from Australia to Thailand or China sea or back....
Karimunjava and Kemujan Islands are like saimese twins. A short bridge connects the two and they may be thought of as just one island.
Karimunjava Island is the larger and is quite hilly and steep in places. The highest peak is about 330 metres, with a dozen other peaks of 150 metres or more. Karimunjawa also has the larger population. The main, and virtually the only, village is situated on a point on the south-west coast of Karimunjawa Island. There are many beautiful beaches with clean, white sand. Much of the island has fringing reefs.
Kemujan Island has lower evevation and is undulating. The 900 metre airstrip (elev. 10 metres) is located on Kemujan Island, 18 km north-east of the village. There are some mangrove forrests fringing Kemujan Island in places. There are also fringing reefs in many locations around the island.
The smaller, outer islands are low lying and have pristine, white sandy beaches.
Flora and fauna
One can find various kinds of sea animals, like turtles, sharks, and fish, in the sea around Karimunjawa. On the land, especially in Karimunjawa island and Kemujan island, one can find many kinds of birds, deer, and even snakes.
Tropical. It is hot here in the dry season (approximately April to October) and wet and humid in the rainy season (December to March).
There are chartered planes from Surabaya that fly to the Dewandaru Airport in Kemujan island. The airstrip has a sealed 900 metre runway. Aiport is 25kms from Main village.
There is a regular ferry, travelling 5 hours from Jepara (Rp 60.000) to the Karimunjawa Island. Be at the port before 6 a.m., as the ferry sometimes departs earlier than scheduled. The ferry departs at 7 a.m, four times a week.
There is also a speedboat, travelling 2 hours from Jepara to Karimunjava (Express Bahari, Rp 150.000). It departs at 9 a.m., four times a week. In high season it may need to be booked in advance. Go to the office along the street to Jepara port or ask your hotel to do it for you.
All boats are only operational if the waves are none to medium. A prediction can be found online []. If the color is red, no boat will depart from either mainland or Karimun.
In Karimunjawa and Kemujan island, you can rent a car, motorcycle or even a bicycle. To get to the other near-by islands however, you need to rent a local boat.
Note: For one or two people, a motorbike would usually do, but if you're not familiar with motorcycles and would rather rent a car, it might be a good idea to book a rental car before you arrive in Karimunjawa, because there are very few cars on the island.
Airfast Indonesia plane used is a kind of pioneer of airline Airfast Indonesia with total passenger capacity of 12 people and the frequency of flights two times a week.
Ship Express Bahari is one means of transportation to go to Karimunjawa, travel is 2 hours from Jepara to Karimunjava.
Ferry Siginjai, travel is 4:30 hours from Jepara to Karimunjava.
KMC Kartini : 2:30 hours from Semarang to Karimunjava Express Bahari : 2:30 from Kendal to karimunjawa
The island beaches and beautiful coral reefs.
There are a number of resorts on Kariminjawa, such as Kura-kura resort, provide diving activities. There are many interesting local spots for diving, like Taka Panyawangan and Gosong Cemara. There are some shipwrecks that attract many fish and divers alike. You can also go hiking around the island to find many places where there is a beautiful panorama
The best known handicrafts in Karimunjawa are its wood carvings, and many shops sell them.
Local cultured pearls, and jewelry made with pearls, can be bought at much lower prices than in Jakarta. If pearls interest you, make sure you check this out, but first, check the prices in Jakarta before you go to Kurimun, so you know the value of what you're buying.
Many people also go to Karimunjawa to find the dewandaru plant. They believe that dewandaru plants can make their life longer.
There are no clubs on the island. One Lounge Bar(Cumibar). It is difficult to find alcohol on the island. Alcoholic beverages are served in the Boutique resort Breve Azurine, restaurant Eat & Meet and hostel The Happinezz. A beer cost Rp.45.000.
Bottled water is a must and can be bought readily. Nevertheless, carry water with you wherever you go. At meals, seasonal fresh fruit juice, such as coconut, mango, orange or avocado, is a pleasant treat.
Surrounded by seas, Karimunjawa provides lots of sea food. Fresh fish and prawns are staples in the island diet. Restaurants are located within hotels. Other eateries, or 'warungs', provide decent cheap food like fried rice, fish, or an assortment of veggies. Be flexible and you'll do fine.
There are various kinds of accommodation on Karimunjawa, from homestay to four star hotels. There are also camping sites.
The homestay places start from about Rp 100,000/night. A comfortable unit with airconditioner is about Rp 350,000/night.
By staying in a homestay place in Karimunjawa, you will not only feel like a tourist, but also be integrated with the social and cultural life of the locals. Here is a list of homestay places in Karimunjawa:
All homestay places in Karimunjawa have similar facilities: 12.5 Power Hours
(17:00 to 06:00 pm), fan and external (shared) bathroom.
Residents of Karimunjawa are very welcome to tourists staying either in a homestay place or not.
Some of the local tourist office offer an island expedition. You will be dropped off by boat on one of the islands. After you can stay for a few nights on the island. The tour office will supply you with a tent and some basics for living. You can ask Seasky Karimunjawa Tourist Information and Services located near east harbor or any other water activities such snorkeling or diving.
The island Kemujan is one of 27 islands in the Karimunjawa archipelago. It leads directly to the main island of Karimunjawa in the north. Kemujan islands can be easily reached by car or motorbike is about 12 km scenic and hilly ride over a bridge. The island offers a wide variety of beautiful forests, white sandy beaches for swimming and snorkeling. The views of the offshore islands (Kecil, Sintok, Tengah etc.) and turquoise blue sea is a perfect place to spend your stay here.
On the island Kemujan the electricity is from 5.30pm until 11.30pm clock or with private diesel generator. Internet café in Merican village (5.30pm - 11pm)
It is best to bring what you need as there is not a wide variety of goods on the island. Bring suncream (block-out, 30+) if you are fair skinned, also bring a hat and sunglasses. Dental flos is unobtainable on the island as are many medications. Also bring a pair of rubber sandals in addition to good walking shoes.