Welcome to Karimunjawa Islands

Holidaying Indonesians account for most of the visitors here, though Western travellers are starting to be seduced by the islands too.

The main island, Pulau Karimunjawa, a lush mountainous beauty, is home to most of the archipelago’s facilities, and the majority of the islanders, most of whom are Javanese, though there are also some Bugis and Madurese families who live off fishing, tourism and seaweed cultivation. This island is also home to the archipelago's only real town, Karimunjawa, and despite widespread mangroves, a couple of good beaches.

So close to Java, yet so way out, Karimunjawa is the kind of place where a stray cow as big as a buffalo will wander onto a ragged soccer pitch to graze, where afternoon naps are sacrosanct, and where wind and weather can keep you delightfully stranded. And that is a wonderful thing.

The archipelago is divided into zones to protect the rich ecosystem. Zone One is completely out of bounds to all except national park rangers, with other areas set aside for sustainable tourism.

Access has improved recently, though during the rainy season boats don't always run. Flights tend to take off as scheduled, though they are also prone to cancellation in rough weather. An airstrip is located on adjacent Pulau Kemujan.

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Karimunjawa Islands in detail