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If total isolation, pristine coral reefs and palm-fringed beaches sans crowds are your idea of heaven, the Karimunjawa archipelago off the north coast of Java fills the bill. Nearly 250 different species of fish populate a variety of reef types and wrecks appropriate for beginners to advanced divers. Clear waters with pleasant temperatures also make for excellent snorkeling. Top side, go on a mangrove forest trek or walk through lowland tropical forest in the hopes of spotting a Sunda pangolin, two endemic butterfly species or all 40 bird species (red-breasted parakeet, yellow-vented bulbul and rare white-bellied sea eagles, for starters). ...

If total isolation, pristine coral reefs and palm-fringed beaches sans crowds are your idea of heaven, the Karimunjawa archipelago off the north coast of Java fills the bill. Nearly 250 different species of fish populate a variety of reef types and wrecks appropriate for beginners to advanced divers. Clear waters with pleasant temperatures also make for excellent snorkeling. Top side, go on a mangrove forest trek or walk through lowland tropical forest in the hopes of spotting a Sunda pangolin, two endemic butterfly species or all 40 bird species (red-breasted parakeet, yellow-vented bulbul and rare white-bellied sea eagles, for starters). Until fairly recently the islands were only reachable by a grueling 7-hour public ferry ride, but charter flights now arrive from Semarang in a little over one hour and new high-speed ferries get you there in 2 hours from Jepara or 3.5 hours from Semarang. There is only one true resort and it’s on a private island, but there are a few small hotels and a plethora of homestays waiting to welcome you. Be aware: most have no electricity during the day.

Linda Hoffman
About the Expert

Linda Hoffman is a contributing editor for five Periplus guides, including Bali (two editions), Papua, Java, Nusa Tenggara, and eight editions of Insight Guides Indonesia and the Indonesia section of their Southeast Asia guidebook.

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Linda Hoffman for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: An archipelago of islands in the Java Sea, with the name translated as 'a stone's throw from Java.'
  • Language: Javanese Language
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Dry season (May-October)