Apart from the main Java Island, Central Java to be precise, there are bunch of islands full of fairy marine landscape. It is Karimunjawa, a popular destination especially for Java inhabitants. Since Bali is still far and costs more fortune, so the northern islands in Jepara district are a perfect place to escape. Yes, escape from stress, escape from daily busy-ness, escape from those soul-destroying and never-ending tasks, and escape from urban boisterousness. Anyway, for international tourists, Karimunjawa is also a great place for marine tour.
Since it is separated from the main Java Island, so Karimunjawa has distinct eccentricity. Basic Javanese culture is still there, in maritime version. The inhabitants mostly speak Javanese although there are Bugis and Madurese among the inhabitants.
Karimunjawa consists of 27 islands in Java sea. The 26 of them are located in Jepara district and the only Bawean Island is noted as in Gresik district. The main island, Karimun, is located in the middle of the sea. Most visitors came here so it is not hard to find accomodation and tourism centers around the island especially in Karimunjawa town.
There are only four other islands inhabited. They are Kamagin, Kemujan, Digimon, and Parang. However, it does not mean that the rest of the islands are not accessible. You can go island hopping which is very popular among tourists. You can charter fishermen’s boats to take you from one island to another. You may halt on some of them, feel the breezy air and ocean wind, and walk along its shore. Do not forget to take pictures and selfies. Diving and snorkeling are perfect to see Karimunjawa’s underwater life.
Your island hopping will usually starts from Pulau Cemara besar and Kecil, then to Menjangan Island, Geleang, and Burung Island. Burung means bird. It is just amazing to spot the protected white bellied eagles fly freely here and there around the island. You can also opt for any other islands you are curious about.
Touring at Karimunjawa means you have to let your smartphone in your bag. It is almost useless to use smartphone to access the internet because the islands have very poor telecomunication signal. Maybe Karimunjawa is the only place to properly operate your phone. Once more, electricity is only available from 6 pm to 6 am. Isn’t Karimunjawa a perfect place to escape?
Okay, let alone the signal and electricity since you get much more as the substitute. You will instantly find it less mind-distracting to cruise and lounge and dive without the existence of gadgets. You can also learn local culture and interact with local residents.
About 13 kilometers from Karimunjawa downtown, there is a mangrove forest you can trek. However, it is not well-optimized yet. The boardwalk is just so-so and this place is not clean enough. However, if you want some greener scene, it is recommended. The singing birds and rare lizards will accompany your brief trekking.
Not far from the mangrove forest, you will find Barakuda beach. Here you can see turtle conservation spot. If you are lucky, you may release those cute baby turtles from shore to the sea. If not, you can simply wandering around here, enjoying sea shore life. You may visit one of the villagers’ home, simply to say hello and ask around. What else? Feel free to sunbathe or play volleyball or mini soccer game (futsal) on the shore. You can play it with your fellow travelers or Karimunjavanese youngsters.
Tanjung Gelam (Gelam Cape) is another favorite beach in the main island. Beside snorkeling and saying hello to Karimunjawa sharks, you can enjoy the softness of its white sand. Coconut trees are here along the seashore. You may also climb up the coconut tree. How come? You will see it as you get there. Sunset at Tanjung Gelam is the main attraction. Enjoy the afternoon until dusk while watching the sun goes down to the horizon. Hire a motorbike from the downton or charter a boat which is the most common way to reach Tanjung Gelam.
If you want more challenging spot to see the sunset, head to Joko Tuo hill. It is not far from Tanjung Gelam. Of course you have to climb the hill on foot. Do not worry, the hill is not really steep. But still, you have to make sure that you are fit enough to climb. After some minutes of hiking, you will arrive on the top. Not only sunset, you can also see the full landscape of Karimunjawa Islands and the sea. The beauty is just exhilarating.
It is better to go to Karimunjawa in groups and take tour package. Backpacker style is okay, but it will cost you more than the tour package. Solo traveling? It is not really recommended unless you know Karimunjawa well.
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