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The best Tips for Traveling to Karimunjawa

Do you want to travel to Karimunjawa? Excellent, go for it! Karimunjawa is an amazing place on earth. Here are our travel tips.

To be honest: You’ll need some time to plan before heading to Karimunjawa. We have been traveling for a long time when we finally reached Jepara, the small town from where the ferries to Karimunjawa leave. We slept at a small Guesthouse (“Sriya”) for a few hours, went to the harbor and tried to get our ticket. Even though it was only 5 o’clock in the morning, there where hundreds of people boarding the boat with their children, their animals and their baggage. As soon as the ferry left the harbor, everyone was unpacking their plastic bag.To be honest: Karimunjawa is worth every effort. In short, the island is one of the most amazing places we’ve ever traveled to. These are our best tips for a trip to Karimunjawa.

1. How to go there

Most people travel to Karimunjawa by boat. There are two harbors in the North of Java: Semarang and Jepara. We only travelled from Jepara’s harbor as it’s more frequent.

You can either take the slow ferry or the speedboat. You’ll find the estimated arrivals and departures on this website, but please note that the times can change. Our ferry definitely left before 7 o’clock. We advise you to check if there even is a boat (wind, weather, whatever) and if yes, when it will be leaving. If you decide to go with the speedboat (we’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages later), you better call the telephone number on the website above. If you go within high season, you also better call the harbor and ask them to book at ticket for you.

The slow ferry takes about 6 hours whereas the speedboat only takes 2 hours. We felt a lot safer on the slow ferry, although the big ship waved a lot (so does the speedboat). Traveling with the speedboat really scared us…. Fun fact: Plastic bags are included in the rate and are delivered by the cabin crew.

Both options, the speedboat as well as the slow ferry, are not expensive: The ticket for the ferry is about 60.000 IDR, going by speedboat will cost about 140.000 IDR. Always check the waves before travelling. You can download the forecast here. Short explanation: Try to avoid pink areas around Karimunjawa.

When all the other boats left, there is another option: You can charter a small fishing boat. This is actually no joke: We met a group of Germans who did so. It took them 8 hours on a tiny boat. On top of that, the motor broke on the high seas. Moreover, this horrible trip wasn’t cheap: they paid 7.000.000 IDR. Think twice before traveling with a fishing boat to Karimunjawa.

To complete all possibilities, you can also reach Karimunjawa by plane. There is a Cessna (8 seats) departing from Semarang. In fact, the flight was to expensive for us.

2. Travel Guide

We can recommend you the Lonely Planet Indonesia which includes some pages (not a lot!) for Karimunjawa. There will be a new edition soon!

3. Transport at Karimunjawa

There is no public transport at Karimunjawa, that’s why you’ll need a scooter to go around. The rent is about 75.000 IDR per day. There are no helmets at Karimunjawa: “No helmet, no police, no problem” like the owner of our Guesthouse said. The roads are sometimes in really bad condition but there is hardly any traffic except the neighborhood kids on their bikes.

Karimunjawa Motorrad Tipps

You can easily reach a lot of beaches with your scooter. Go to Tanjung Gelam Beach for nice sunsets. If you want to feel like Robinson Crusoe, head to Barakuda Beach and try to open coconuts with bare hands. Don’t miss the beautiful small islands around Karimunjawa. You can reach them with a fishing boat. A snorkeling day trip is 200.000 IDR per person.

4. Accommodation

You can either be modest like Eddie, the French guy who slept in a room without any window and an Indonesian styled bathroom with a squat toilet. Or you can do it like us: We booked a room at Ayu Hotel a lovely accomodation owned by a German guy and his Indonesian wife. There are two rooms in the main building where the owners live and four beautifully furnished bungalows. We slept at a bungalow and enjoyed our stay a lot. The outdoor bathroom is lovely. The breakfast was great. It was served in the main building. Almost all the guests were sitting together at the big table – we felt like home. We stayed there during Idul Fitri, the most important muslim holidays, that’s why all the restaurants where closed and we weren’t able to find any food. In the evening the owners cooked for us – we really appreciated that. The bungalows cost 429.000 IDR per night for two which isn’t expensive at all regarding to what you get. Make sure that you book the room in advance, especially during high season.

Ayu Hotel Karimunjawa

5. More Karimunjawa Travel Tips

Take enough cash with you. There is only one ATM, which in fact didn’t work while we where at Karimunjawa. There is no electricity on the whole island during the day, but only between 6pm and 6am. Internet is available, but only at a few spots like Café Amore and moreover the connection might drop unexpectedly.

Last but not least we’re gonna show you some pictures of this divine island. Go there before it’s run over by tourists!

Strand Karimunjawa Tipps
Tipps für Karimunjawa
Karimunjawa Tipps
Karimunjawa Traumstrand
Karimunjawa Anreise

Have you already seen our video of Indonesia?

Have you ever been to Karimunjawa? Tell us about your tips, we’re looking forward to your comment!


7 responses

  1. Gjulio

    I’m planning on going to Karimunjawa this summer but I am not sure how many days I should spend there. We could arrive there on Tuesday at 1 pm. Do you think that leaving on Saturday will allow us enough time to enjoy it?
    Thank you

    1. Sommertage

      Hi Gjulio,
      We stayed for 4 nights which was perfectly fine. So 5 nights will be even better. ;)
      Safe travels!

  2. PT

    We’re planning a trip to Indo in June. How rough is the crossing to the islands? Are the waves big? My girlfriend has a problem with seasickness. Great blog!

    1. Sommertage

      Hi there,
      we were there in June too. Seasickness can indeed be a problem but it always depends on the current weather. Just make sure to bringt along some medications to prevent it and it will be fine!
      Safe travels!

  3. Djati Utomo

    It’s pretty cold where I am right now. Although the name of Karimunjawa Island, near to Java, Indonesia doesn’t readily spring to mind, it is certainly a place I’d rather be.

  4. Cheslea

    Hi!! I’m currently in Central Java, staying with a host family. They have informed me Karimunjawa is a MUST SEE while I am here. I am curious what airport you flew into/ how you got to Jepara, Indonesia? It looks to me like the closest major airport is Jakarta, but even that is a long journey, to fly there, bus to Jepara, take the ferry to the island and back again. What do you recommend to do if I am going up to N Java specifically to see the island?

    Thank you!

    1. karimunjawa tourism

      excuse me,, you can fly to semarang air port, then go to jepara port with bus/taxy. then you can get ticket from there. hope this help.

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