Discover the Hidden Gem: A Karimunjawa Travel Plan 🌴🌊

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Indonesia Travel Plan - Central Java & Karimunjawa

Discover the Hidden Gem: A Karimunjawa Travel Plan 🌴🌊

When people think of Indonesia, Bali and Lombok often come to mind. However, there’s an enchanting island that remains off the beaten path: Karimunjawa.

Located north of Semarang, this small island off the coast of central Java boasts pristine white sand beaches, stunning hills, and untouched fringing reefs. With only one main village and a mere 18 hours of electricity per day, Karimunjawa offers a tranquil escape for those seeking quiet beach time away from the typical tourist hotspots.

Dive into our guide to explore the best activities, where to stay, and how to get there! 🏝️🌅



Our Basic Indonesia Plan

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 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.


After snapping up the Qatar Airways 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.


With the basic plan in hand, we started to flesh out the details and count the costs.

Qatar Airways from Rome

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 expected our Qatar inflight experience would 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 were considering this.

Our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan

St Peter in Chains Church, Rome

In any case, since we would take our flight from Rome, we would 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.

Arrival at Jakarta, Java

We were scheduled to arrive at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta in the late evening. To save time, we planned to stay at a budget hotel near the airport. We’d then be 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.

Our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan - Jakarta Stopover

Our Indonesia Travel Plan – Jakarta Airport

All Hotel Options in Jakarta

Semarang & Jepara

We planned to stay in Semarang only long enough to take a shuttle bus onward to our next destination: Jepara. It is from here that we were hoping to take the boat to Karimunjawa island the following morning.

We should have enough time on our return trip to take a look at what Semarang city has to offer.

Our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan - Jepara

Hopefully, the boat from Jepara is bigger than this…

All Hotel Options in Semarang

Karimunjawa Island, Indonesia

Our final destination was Karimunjawa, a paradise island 88 kms off the central north coast of Java.

We planned to spend 11 days here, staying at an assortment of guesthouses and hotels. Hopefully, we would be able to do plenty of swimming and snorkeling, as well as trekking into the jungle and discovering the remote parts of the island by motorbike.

Our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan

Karimunjawa – The Holy Grail!

Semarang, Indonesia

After tanning ourselves in Karimunjawa, our plan was to return to the mainland using the fast boat to Semarang (which runs only a couple of times per week).

We had already booked ourselves into a good hotel (Hotel Quest) in the center of the Semarang city.

Our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan - Semarang

Semarang: Largest city in central Java

All Hotel Options in Semarang

Jakarta & Return via Rome

From Semarang, we would take a train for the 460 km ride back to Jakarta. There, we’d have just a day and a half in the city before taking our return flight back to Rome.

Indonesia Travel Plan - Karimunjawa - Jakarta

Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta

Our Travel Budget

Our budget for this 19-day Karimunjawa Indonesia travel plan can be broken 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

♦  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) was €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.

How our travel plan 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 would be rewarded by a tranquil and inexpensive stay on an (as yet) unblemished tropical island.

How did we actually get on? Check out our Karimunjawa articles to find out.

All Hotel options in Karimunjawa

If you enjoyed our Karimunjawa Indonesia Travel Plan, check out our other Tropical Travel Plans. You may also like:


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February 26, 2023at 1:17 am

Do you have a schedule of the ferries from Jepara to karimanjuwa? And return ferries?

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