Jakarta Weekend Escape: Pulau Seribu

Jakarta is a city that never sleeps. This city is an economy and the government center of Indonesia. It’s not a surprise if the citizens, called Jakartans, usually feel drained by life in Jakarta. Jakartans use the work hard play hard principle in their life.

Read also: Best Jakarta Walking Tours

Luckily, there’s a cheap, easily accessible island escape right within the Jakarta regency- Pulau Seribu, or Thousand Islands. Pulau Seribu is a chain of islands to the north of Jakarta’s coast. Although the name is a Thousand Islands, Pulau Seribu only consists of a string of 342 islands, and people only live on 11 Islands.

Pulau Seribu is a great option for a short trip, it’s not very crowded and budget-friendly. The Islands are a snorkeling haven. So you don’t need to spend the money and time on a flight to Bali or Lombok.

How to get there?

There are 4 boat options, there’s a traditional boat (wooden ship), PELNI boat, ferry, and a fast boat.

If you choose to take a traditional boat or ferry, you must go to Kali Adem Harbor which is located behind Muara Angke Fish Market. But if you want to ride a speedboat, then you have to ride from Marina Pier, Ancol. To board the PELNI ship, you must board from the Sunda Kelapa Harbor.

If you choose the ferry boat, the deck is not air-conditioned but shaded, and with windows, the ferry is packed full with locals, sitting, eating, talking, sharing snacks, sleeping, or maybe smoking. It’s a nice collective vibe and can get you in a good frame of mind to enjoy your Thousand Islands getaway. However, if you value comfort, privacy, and speed more than experience and cost, get the speedboat. It’s surprisingly comfortable and enjoyable.

Whether you are a foreigner or an Indonesian, getting to Pulau Seribu means waking up early. Boats usually leave at six in the morning until nine from the main fish market (Muara Angke Port) or Sunda Kelapa Harbor as well as the more upmarket Marina Ancol Beach.

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Choose your Island

Every Island has its uniqueness. Here is a list of islands that are exciting to explore and to have fun with the whole family or friends. 

1. Pulau Pari

pulau pari

Pari today has become a newly popular destination in Pulau Seribu. It’s about a 1.5-hour boat ride. This beautiful Island offers much attraction, such as getting around Pari Island using a bicycle, the natural layout of Pantai Perawan (Virgin Beach), and for the scuba divers, there’s a shipwreck scuba dive site.

Pari Island, there’s a research facility established to study seaweeds. And make sure don’t miss the Sun Hill or Bukit Matahari, the hotspot for those awesome skies where the sun rises and sets into the pristine waters.

2. Pulau Bidadari

pulau seribu pulau bidadari

means angel in English. Pulau Bidadari is the nearest island from the capital city and you just need a 30 mins boat ride. With only six hectares in area, you can find several mangrove forests where you will have the opportunity to see many rare and exotic plants, such as the tree of peace (Baringtonia exelsa), Willows, Pempis Acidula, Ebony trees (Diospyros maritama), and Glodokan trees.

You can also find the historical site of Fort Martello, which was built in the 17th century.

3. Pulau Tidung

Pulau tidung
Source: Wikipedia

Tidung is divided into two islands, which are Pulau Tidung Besar connected with a tall bridge to Tidung Kecil (small Tidung) island. This 8m high bridge is one of the most romantic spots on the islands because you can see both unobstructed views of both sunrise & sunset.

Takes a 2-hour boat ride from Kali Adem Harbor. Tidung waters are quite shallow and almost overgrown with coral reefs which are in excellent condition and are teeming with a colorful collection of tropical fish and exotic sea creatures, which is a great spot for snorkeling!

4. Pulau Macan

pulau seribu pulau macan

Macan or Tiger Island is the best place for a honeymoon and as an ecotourism destination, this island is famous for its romantic huts. Here, huts are built in natural style, so that you may truly feel as if you are on a secluded private island away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

of the huts are so positioned to allow visitors to catch the best sunset view. You can even jump into the clear ocean waters just a few steps from your comfy bed. Located 1.5 hours away from Marina Ancol, Pulau Macan also offers exciting water sports such as canoeing, windsurfing, snorkeling, and diving.

5. Pulau Onrust

onrust island

Onrust Island also known as Pulau Onrust or Pulau Kapal (ship island) is a small island that holds a historical heritage. It is located approximately 14 kilometers away from Marina Ancol Beach, Onrust Island can be reached in about twenty minutes.

The island was frequently visited by Dutch ships before heading to Batavia. Onrust Island was a place of repair and shipbuilding, which was indeed the island that was very busy at that time. It is related because the name ‘Onrust’ was taken from the Dutch language, which means ‘Never Rest’.

6. Pulau Pramuka

pramuka island

The last one is Pulau Pramuka, the administrative center of Kepulauan Seribu. Here, you can find a lot of facilities used by the locals, such as schools, mosques, and hospitals. With a two and half hours boat ride from Muara Angke, you can find Hawksbill turtle conservation.

Are you ready to travel to Pulau Seribu?

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