Thousand Islands Getaway

Text: Gandi Faisal

Some of the favorite destinations among the Thousand Islands to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.

Countless Joy among the Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands lie spread out off Jakarta Bay, and have long been a tourist destination for not only the city’s residents, but also tourists from across the archipelago and overseas.

The range of small islands in the region makes for a great location for spending the weekend or even for longer vacation. You can do island hopping, as each of the small islands offers something quite different from one to another. Getting there is pretty easy, just take a boat trip from Kaliadem Port, located near Muara Angke Fish Market, or take a speedboat trip from Marina Port, Ancol.

Here are then some of the interesting islands that you can visit among the many that make up the Thousand Islands region.

Pramuka Island

One of the 11 inhabited islands, Pramuka Island is the capital of the Thousand Islands and is where the region’s sub-district is located. The island is equipped with public facilities such as ATM and a Mosque. For accommodation, you can easily choose from the various Bed & Breakfast and decent homestays. Many boats taking a trip to other islands usually transit the island.

Pramuka Island is also a hawksbill conservation center for the region. And off the island, you can take a boat to visit some nearby islands, like Air Island, and reach multiple diving and snorkeling spots to enjoy beautiful colorful underwater scene.

Pari Island

Another favorite, Pari Island offers water with the color of sky blue and white sandy beach, as well as a breathtaking sunset. The island is home to a big mangrove cultivation center and Marine Research Center managed by Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). This is where you can snorkel while enjoying beautiful underwater panorama.

Putri Island

The island offers beautiful underwater scenery, boasting colorful reefs and fish, and is part of Thousand Islands Marine National Park. Putri Island has a range of cottages so it’s ideal for vacationing with family or a group of people. There are also some activity packages, like Sunset Cruise, where you can take a boat ride to hunt for the most beautiful sunset views in the area. Another island that also has good accommodations is Ayer Island, dubbed the Pearl of the Thousand Islands. It is located only 14 kilometers from Marina Beach, Ancol, and offers stilted cottage adopting the style of Papua traditional houses.

Tidung Island

A very popular island, Tidung Island is divided into two, Tidung Besar and Tidung Kecil. Both lands are connected by an 800-meter wooden bridge, one part of which is very popular with tourists. Dubbed the love bridge, it is used by many to take those instagrammable photos. The island is also used for mangrove cultivation center. With the absence of cars on the island, you’ll appreciate the fresh air there, and for traversing the island, there are bicycles ready for rent. Tidung Island offers beautiful underwater panorama with multiple spots available to get to by boat. For accommodation, there are homestays to let, or you may opt for renting a tent to spend the night.

Papa Theo Island

The island offers something different to tourists: There is a diving spot where you’ll find a wreckage of a 100-meter-long cargo ship half buried in a depth of 30 meters. The ship sank 1981, and today, you can find many reefs growing around it. There are also many colorful fish swimming freely around the spot, making it an interesting diving experience. The island also already offers accommodation, so you can spend the night there, and do other activities.

Those are just five of the so many islands that make this little slice of paradise off the capital city. Be sure to plan your trip there well, always be a responsible traveler, and never forget to keep any area you are visiting clean by not littering.

Originally published in 3S Magazine edition, Jan-April 2018.