How to get to Karimunjawa Island in Java Indonesia

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Karimunjawa found its way on our Java itinerary by chance.

In Yogyakarta, we met 2 expats at a bar and while having a casual conversation, Karimunjawa came up.

We had never heard of the Karimunjawa Islands and the truth is that we were not expecting paradisiacal islands in Java.

What made us cut short our trip in Yogyakarta was this comment made by 1 of the expats ‘I don’t go to Bali anymore as in Java we have Karimunjawa and is as beautiful as Bali’.

Karimunjawa is an archipelago of 17 islands in the north of central Java. Its national park present a great opportunity to experience the vibrant underwater life and colourful corals.

Karimunjawa is the main island and is a popular destination with locals for weekend breaks but is relatively undiscovered by mass tourism.

Getting to Karimunjawa requires planning and in this travel guide we provide all the information you need to help you plan your transfer to the island. 

Do you know What to do in Karimunjawa?

Read this guide for fun activities to do here.

From Yogyakarta to Karimunjawa Island

Getting from Yogyakarta to Karimunjawa requires a drive of 4 1/2 hours to Jepara harbour and a ferry ride to Karimunjawa.  

From whichever part of Java you are coming from, if you’re getting to Karimunjawa by boat, you need to travel to Jepara port.

#1 Mini Van Transfer to Jepara Harbour

We used DayTrans for land transport from Yogyakarta to Jepara harbour at a cost of 145k IDR (10.33$) per person.

Tickets can be bought online, from Hotel Borobudur which is located near Terminal Jombor Yogyakarta or directly from their office in Yogyakarta.

Pick up is at 23:00 from DayTrans office or at 23:30 from Borobudur Hotel.

The van picked us up on time, was spacious and the driver drove safely.

Karimunjawa Laendra Sunset Beach

#2 Ferry to Karimunjawa

Ferries do not depart from Jepara Harbour to Karimunjawa on a daily basis but operate only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

There are no boats to Karimunjawa on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.   

The slow boat / car ferry leaves Jepara Harbour every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 6:30 am or 7:00 am and arrives in Karimunjawa 5 / 6 hours after.

Check this website for latest boat schedule to and from Karimunjawa with car ferry.

The fast boat leaves from Jepara Harbour every Monday and Friday at 9:00 am or 10:00 am and arrives in Karimunjawa after 2 hours.

Check this website for the latest boat schedule to and from Karimunjawa with fast boat.

Karimunjawa tour snorkelling

Ferry tickets from Jepara to Karimunjawa

#1 Slow ferry tickets

Slow boat tickets can only be bought from Jepara harbour and upon presentation of your passport.

The boat carries passengers, motorcycles and cars. 

There is an option to buy VIP tickets which have comfortable seats and are in an air conditioned area.

But if you prefer to have your seat in the VIP area, you have to queue since there’s only a few available. In fact, by the time it was our turn, the VIP tickets were sold out.

Or you can buy the economy class tickets which are sold in excess of the number of seats available on the boat and there’s a chance you end up sitting on the floor.  

Slow boat economy tickets cost 96k IDR (6.80$) per person while the first class cost a little more than that.

#2 Fast ferry tickets

Fast boat tickets can be purchased online but are usually at a higher price than if bought on the day at the harbour.

Tickets cost 164k IDR (11.70$) per person. Boat tickets can sell out especially on weekends and public holidays. So it is recommended to be at the harbour well in advance of the ferry departure.

A national park fee of 25k IDR per person (1.80$) applies and is paid over and above the boat ticket before boarding the boat.

Karimunjawa underwater

Fly from Semarang to Karimunjawa

Karimunjawa can also be reached by air with WingsAir (check reviews on tripadvisor) from Semarang.

Flight duration is 30 minutes and flight tickets can be bought through Traveloka

Fly from Surabaya to Karimunjawa

Airfast operates flights between Karimunjawa and Surabaya but purchasing flight tickets is not easy.

Tickets can be purchased at the airport and payment is only in cash (planes are small and only take few passengers).

Spending some days in Surabaya before or after Karimunjawa?

Read this Surabaya guide for things to do.

From Jepara Bus Station to Surabaya

The Jepara bus terminal is just 2 km from Jepara harbour.

From Jepara bus terminal we took an 8 hour bus to Surabaya at a cost of 105k IDR (7.50$) per person including 1 meal. 

There are no train stations in Jepara.

Read these Java destination guides and include them in your Java itinerary.

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Karimunjawa how to get to

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