No trip to these islands would be complete without trying one of the organized Karimunjawa snorkeling excursions. We made our arrangements through Jon from SeaSky, and booked his full-day snorkeling trip to the western islands for IDR 200,000 per person (€14).
This price included the use of snorkeling gear and a packed lunch.
Karimunjawa Snorkeling Excursions
The snorkeling trip was the highlight of our visit to Karimunjawa. Together with 2 local boat handlers, our guide Jon took 5 of us out on a full-day snorkeling expedition starting at 9am.
The boat was narrow with a low draft. This enabled the handlers to manoevre skillfully between the coral reefs. They were able to run ashore right onto the white sand beaches of the small islands.
Our tour lasted all day. In the morning, we visited 2 coral reefs in different areas of the more sheltered Western islands.
The snorkeling here is much better than snorkeling directly off the beaches of Karimunjawa, such as Waru or around Breve Azurine. However, apart from enjoying the unblemished coral formations, we didn’t encounter any large fish.
There were plenty of the more common smaller coral fish, and even a few barracudu.
At lunchtime we moored off a tiny white sand Robinson Crusoe-style island and ate the packed lunches that Jon had prepared for us.
The water here was vivid turquoise and bathwater temperature.
Greyang ‘Coffee’ Island
In the afternoon we motored over to another reef for our 3rd snorkeling session. This was followed by a trip to Jon’s ‘Coffee’ island. A small island inhabited by an elderly Indonesian couple.
Here, we enjoyed a warm beverage while we watched the sun set. The perfect end to an active day.
If snorkeling isn’t your thing, you can arrange an overnight camping stay on one of the smaller islands, such as Greyang. The boat drops you off late afternoon, and you have the island completely to yourself for 24 hours.
All you need to take with you is a tent, a basic barbecue, your food and drink, and an adventurous spirit. Just ask Jon for details.
Swimming with Baby Sharks?
Some organizers arrange tours to a specially prepared lagoon where you can swim with baby sharks. This is quite popular, particularly with Asian tourists.
However, we discovered that this practise is harmful to the natural development of marine species in the area, and wouldn’t like to encourage it. If this is your thing, then man-up and go diving to spots where you can encounter adult sharks in their free and natural environment.
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