How To Get To Karimunjawa | Indonesia
Karimunjawa found its way on our Java itinerary by chance. 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. The islands 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 here we will provide information to help you plan your transfer to the island.
Check this article for Things To Do in Karimunjawa.
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.
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$) per person. Tickets can be bought on line, from Hotel Borobudur (which is located near Terminal Jombor) or from their office (in Yogyakarta). Pick up is at 23:00 from DayTrans office or at 23:30 from Borobudur Hotel. The van picked us up on time, was spacious and the driver drove safely.
Ferry to Karimunjawa
Ferries do not depart from Jepara Harbour to Karimunjawa on a daily basis but operate only on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
The slow boat leaves Jepara Harbour at 6:30 am or 7:00 am and arrives in Karimunjawa at 11:00 am or 11:30 am while the fast boat leaves from Jepara Harbour at 9:00 am or 10:00 and arrives in Karimunjawa at almost the same time as the slow boat (11:00 or 12:00). This website keeps updated boat schedule to and from Karimunjawa.
Ferry tickets to Karimunjawa
Slow boat tickets can only be bought from Jepara harbour and upon presentation of your passport. The boat carries passengers, motorcycles and cars.
VIP tickets have more comfortable seats and are in an air conditioned area. Tickets for economy class are usually sold in excess of the number of seats on the boat and you may end up sitting on the floor. If you prefer a VIP seat you have to queue since these are limited. In fact, by the time it was our turn VIP tickets were already sold out.
Slow boat economy tickets cost 96k IDR (6.80$) per person while the first class cost a little more than that.
Fast boat tickets can be purchased on line but at a higher price than if bought on the day at the harbour. Tickets cost 164k IDR (11.70$) per person. Since boat tickets can sell out (especially on weekends and public holidays) it is recommended to be at the harbour well in advance of the ferry departure.
A national park fee of 25k IDR per person (1.80$) applies and is paid over and above the boat ticket before boarding the boat.
Fly from Semarang to Karimunjawa
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).
From Jepara Bus Station to Surabaya
Jepara bus terminal is 2 km from Jepara harbour. From here 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.
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