Under €1200 all-inclusive for a 3-week trip to a secluded tropical island? Our Karimunjawa Indonesia travel plan also included a couple of days in Rome and flights with top-rated Qatar Airways.
This seemed like an unbeatable deal to us back in late August when we first started to plan this trip. It all started with affordable Qatar Airways flights running from Rome to Jakarta, and snowballed from there.
We were keen to swap a cold and wet European November for a taste of balmy tropical sunshine – and to swim in a sea which has the temperature of bathwater.
Our Basic Plan
After snapping up the Qatar flights, we gradually put together our plan, as follows:
♦ Flight from our home base to Rome, Italy, with 1 day to visit the city
♦ Flight from Rome to Jakarta, with 1 overnight stay in Jakarta
♦ Domestic flight from Jakarta to Semarang
♦ Bus from Semarang to Jepara, overnight in Jepara
♦ Ferry from Jepara to Karimunjawa island
♦ 11-night stay in Karimunjawa
♦ Ferry from Karimunjawa to Semarang, with a 1-night stay
♦ Train from Semarang to Jakarta, with 1 overnight in Jakarta
♦ Flight from Jakarta to Rome
♦ Onward flight from Rome back to our home base
Our plan called for a lot of travelling in a fairly short time period. Hopefully the benefits of a secluded paradise island would justify the efforts it would take to get there.
Our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan
With the basic plan in hand, we started to flesh out the details and count the costs.
Our journey to Indonesia would start with a Qatar Airways flight from Rome. It’s a long 2-leg flight with a 10-hour stopover in Doha.
However, we’re expecting our Qatar inflight experience will be comfortable enough. At Hamad International Airport in Doha, there is the option to use a couple of the private lounges ($55 per person), so we may consider this.
In any case, since we will take our flight from Rome, we’ll be spending 1 night in the Eternal City. After checking out a variety of Rome Hotels & Guesthouses, we settled on a small guesthouse not far from the Vatican City. We also earmarked a couple of well-recommended restaurants in the vicinity.
We are scheduled to arrive at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta in the late evening. To save time, we’ll stay at a budget hotel near the airport. We’re then well-placed to take an early flight the next morning to our next destination: Semarang, 460 kms further east along the coast in central Java.
We should have time on our return trip to take a look at what Semarang city has to offer.
Our final destination in Karimunjawa, a paradise island 88 kms off the central north coast of Java.
We plan to spend 11 days here, staying at an assortment of guesthouses and hotels. Hopefully, we’ll have the chance to do plenty of swimming and snorkeling, as well as trekking into the jungle and discovering the remote parts of the island by motorbike.
After tanning ourselves in Karimunjawa, our plan is to return to the mainland using the fast boat to Semarang (which runs only a couple of times per week).
We have already booked ourselves into a good hotel (Hotel Quest) in the centre of the city.
Jakarta & Return via Rome
From Semarang, we’ll take a train for the 460 km ride back to Jakarta. There, we’ll have just a day and a half in the city before taking our return flight back to Rome.
Our budget for this 19-day Karimunjawa Indonesia travel plan breaks down as follows (based on two people sharing):
Flights: International & domestic flights with a variety of airlines:
♦ Our home base to Rome, return flights with Ryanair (€68 for 2 tickets)
♦ Rome to Jakarta, return flights with Qatar (€1.050 for 2 tickets)
♦ Jakarta to Semarang 1-way domestic flight with Lion Air (€41 for 2 tickets)
Total cost for flights: €1,159.
Train & Ferry: Train booked online using Tiket.com
♦ Two train tickets from Semarang to Jakarta cost €24.
♦ Two ferry tickets from Jepara to Karimunjawa cost €30.
♦ Two ferry tickets from Karimunjawa to Semarang cost €30.
Total cost for boats & train: €84
Hotels: All accommodation was booked in advance. The total amount for 16 nights came to €484. An average of €30 per night.
This was for double rooms/apartments, and usually included breakfast for 2.
Daily Cash Allowance: Indonesia is a relatively inexpensive country. Our daily budget was therefore €25 per day for two persons. This would be to cover all food, activities and short-distance travel costs. Our total budget for 19 days (including higher costs for a couple of days in Rome) is €525.
This combines to a total budget of €2,252 for the 19-day trip. With insurance (€90), the grand estimated total is €2,342 or €1,171 per person.
Travelling the Plan: How it Played Out
At over 22,000 kms there and back again, this is a seriously long-haul journey for a relatively short duration of 19 days. Much of our time would be spent travelling, with really just an 11-day break in Karimunjawa. Hopefully, our less-than-straightforward route to Karimunjawa will be rewarded by a tranquil and inexpensive stay on an (as yet) unblemished tropical island.
How did we actually get on? Check out the forthcoming articles – we’ll be posting updates every few days.
Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan – See also: