Embark on an unforgettable journey to the Karimunjawa archipelago, where turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and rich marine life await.
In this and our related articles, we unveil the secrets to exploring this hidden gem on a budget while sharing our firsthand impressions of this Indonesian paradise. From budget-friendly accommodations to must-try local delicacies, join us as we uncover the best of Karimunjawa without breaking the bank.
- Our Karimunjawa Travel Budget
- Karimunjawa Impressions
- Jepara to Karimunjawa by Boat
- Karimunjawa to Kendal by Boat
- Other Options to/from Karimunjawa
- What We’ve Carried in the Jungle
- All Hotel Options in Karimunjawa
- Qatar Airlines Inflight Experience
- Our Complete Indonesia Itinerary
Our 19-day journey through Indonesia started and ended in Jakarta. From there we took our return Qatar Airways flight back to Rome. But did our Karimunjawa travel budget cover our costs? and was it all that we were expecting?
Before leaving, we had worked out a travel plan and budget of just under €1200 per person all-inclusive for the 3-week trip. This included budget European return flights to Rome, plus a one-night Rome hotel stay including transfers, breakfast and dinner.
Our actual costs (shown in EUR and USD) are listed below. These costs were for 2 people sharing over a period of 19 days.
|Rome flights, hotel, transfers, food
|2 Return flights Rome to Jakarta
|Prepaid hotels & guesthouses
|Prepaid plane/train tickets in Indonesia
|ATM cash withdrawals (all other costs)
Our total cost per person was therefore €1,143, including accommodation, travel, all food & drink, entertainment & activities, and even a few souvenirs. Pretty much bang on target, since our travel insurance cost another €45 per person.
Was Qatar Airlines Worth it?
The 1-night stay in Rome including budget internal European flights, dinner, breakfast and hotel cost €436 ($518) for two. You can find out more about this in Rome Hotels & Guesthouses.
When we first noticed the tiny Karimunjawa islands on the map of Central Java it was an area we’d never heard of. Even checking it out on Google Earth didn’t give us any clues about what to expect.
We were therefore intrigued to find out more, and to see what this archipelago of islands 80 kilometers out in the Java sea had to offer.
Karimunjawa has some really nice people
Our first and lasting impressions of both Java and the Karimunjawa islands are of the people. Our journey brought us into close contact with a wide variety of people who always seemed happy to help us out or just to pass the time of day.
Great Street Food!
Although you’ll probably be eating a lot of Nasi Goreng, there are many other specialities on offer – one of our favourites being the different varieties of spicy noodle soups. We ate mainly at little streetside warungs, ordering whatever took our fancy.
In Karimun town we ate freshly-grilled fish most days, together with chicken satay and freshly-squeezed juices.
Karimunjawa 🌴 Just Paradise Islands
Some of the tiny coral islands off the west coast of Karimunjawa are incredibly beautiful. Together with a handful of like-minded people, you can arrange full-day boat trips to these islands for just a few euros. You can even arrange to camp overnight in some places.
These experiences are the real reasons for travelling to this relatively remote archipelago in the Java sea.
Accommodation Can Be Hit & Miss
If you’re fine with dormitory-style living then you’ll find plenty of options in Karimunjawa, and the standard is OK for this type of accommodation.
If you’re looking for some privacy, a little bit of luxury, or just a place with a view then you’ll have to choose carefully. Normally, the price is indicative of what you’ll get. Anything over IDR 500,000 (€30) per night will get you someplace pretty decent.
If you pay anything under IDR 250,000 (€15) per night, don’t expect much.
Karimunjawa is Excellent Value For Money
There’s no doubt that a trip through Indonesia is incredible value for money. For our journey, the average cost per-person per-day was just €60 (and this included everything – with an overnight in Rome, as well as a 2-night luxury stay in the Breve Azurine lagoon resort).
Make sure you have enough ready cash!
In remote areas of Indonesia cash is king. You need to keep plenty in your wallet since you can never be sure when you’ll find the next ATM machine (and if it’ll be in working order, or will accept your cards).
We had a few close calls before even getting to Karimunjawa.
The Call to Prayer
While spending time in Indonesia you soon get used to the ubiquitous call to prayer, which you hear five times per day. Usually played from loudspeakers installed on minarets or outside mosques, the adhan, is both beautiful and calming.
In Karimun town alone, we counted 3 mosques.
Karimunjawa is a place you won’t easily forget about. As yet unspoiled by tourism, these islands are basic but so relaxing. Definitely worth the detour from central Java, and absolutely worth a return visit.
Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or simply seeking a slice of tropical bliss, let our guides inspire your next adventure to this enchanting archipelago.
If you were interested in our Karimunjawa Travel Budget, check out our Central Java Travel Plan. You may also like: