Designated as a national marine park. Karimunjawa 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.
Karimunjawa was originally settled by Sunan Nyamplungan, the son of Sunan Muria, one of the Muslim Saints (Sunan) who introduced Islam to Java.
Karimunjawa and Kemujan Islands are like saimese twins. A short bridge connects the two and they may be thought of as just one island.
Karimunjawa 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 Semarang that fly from Semarang to Dewandaru Airport in Kemujan island. The airstrip has a sealed 900 metre runway.
There is regular ferry that sails from Tanjung Emas (port) in Semarang and Jepara to Karimunjawa Island. Contact Central Java Transporter ☎ +6285225993574, or email [email protected] about the Karimunjawa service. The slower, but comfortable, barge service operates out of Japara.
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 for about Rp 200,000/day. Inter-island transportation can also be booked at the following link, where you can also view timetables.
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.
The island beaches and beautiful coral reefs.
Many resorts in Karimunjawa, 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 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.
Alcoholic beverages are served in the resorts. Outside of these resorts, there are no pubs or clubs, but Bintang (Indonesian beer) can be purchased at some warungs (small, local shops). The beer is usually sold off the shelf, ie, hot.
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 120,000/night. A comfortable unit with airconditioner is about Rp 250,000/night.
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.