Need a break from city life? Hop on aboard and set sail to Pulau Seribu AKA Indonesia's Thousand Islands - where swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters await...
Whether you’re seeking an adventurous experience, a fun girls’ trip surrounded by Mother Nature, or a quick getaway from Jakarta‘s hustle and bustle, Pulau Seribu is a wallet-friendly option for a quick break from the city. Located 45 kilometres off the northern coast of Java, Indonesia’s Thousand Islands is a collection of hundreds of small, serene and picturesque pulau (AKA island), a perfect weekend getaway to paradise for the city folks. From a whole island resort to those occupied by villages, here we’ve rounded up our favourite Pulau Seribu islands worthy of your bucket list.
Island-hop to Pulau Seribu AKA Thousand Islands in Indonesia
1. Pulau H AKA Pulau Tengah
Referred to as the mini-Maldives of Indonesia, Pulau H is a (formerly private) luxury resort with stunning sandy beaches and row of luxurious villas. The name comes from the owner of the island’s initial, Hengky Setiawan, who finally opened this slice of paradise to public in 2012. Spend your days lounging about on cosy hammocks strewn here and there, or if you fancy a little bit of adventure, take a ride around the island with jet-ski or buggies provided by the resort. Afterwards? Get stuffed with lavish dinner, best enjoyed al fresco, of course!
2. Pulau Ayer
Historically one of the private getaways of the King of the Thousand Islands, Pulau Ayer is also one of the closest islands to the port of Marina Ancol at just a 20-minute boat ride away. Their famous floating villas are wallet-friendly, perfect for families and group trips! Besides sun and sea, there are also loads of fun activities on the island, as you can bike your way around the beaches, and try your hand at water sports like banana boat, jet ski, canoeing and fishing.
3. Pulau Sepa
Even though Pulau Sepa is situated just a 2-hour boat ride away from the Marina Ancol, you’ll soon feel like you’re worlds away from Jakarta. The vivid blue sea surrounding the island meets gorgeous white sand where the best tropical vibes come to life. You’ll even get a little touch of wildlife with chirping birds and a couple of lizards that tend to stroll around the island. It’s also said that Sepa has the greatest under sea view of natural coral reefs compared to other islands in the Thousand Islands.
4. Pulau Harapan
If you want to island hop the Thousand Islands, Pulau Harapan is a breathtaking, affordable place to make your base for the weekend. Once you’ve set up, you can easily hop to nearby uninhabited islands like Pulau Kayu Angin Bira, Pulau Ayu Angin Genteng and Pulau Bulat – all just a short boat ride away…
5. Pulau Onrust
Taking a one day trip in Pulau Onrust means bringing many interesting pages on history book about Jakarta to life. You can’t stay on the island, since it’s home to archaeological remains from the Dutch colonial period – perfect for when you want to take a break from anything touristy and enjoy the different shade of the city. Sail back home with more knowledge about the city and more pictures in front of the historical debris on site.
6. Pulau Macan
Tiger Island, AKA Pulau Macan Eco Lodge is just the place to relax and rejuvenate over the weekend. The stunning beachside retreat is only 1.5 hours from Jakarta by speedboat. Accommodation is simple yet cosy and beautiful, and you’ll be in for some hearty homecooked meals and great company. The lodge offers a great deck overlooking the crystal clear water so pick up a book or just daydream the weekend away. For something a little more strenuous, put on your fins and snorkel, and explore the underwater world. Top off your day with a stunning sunset over the Java Sea, best viewed from the lodge’s sunset-facing hut.
7. Pulau Bidadari
A mere 30 minutes by speedboat and you’ll find yourself on Pulau Bidadari. Its close proximity to Jakarta makes it ideal for a day trip. Once you arrive, find yourself the perfect spot to soak in the sun and enjoy the view of the city skyline from a different angle. Top tip: Pack your fave foods and drinks, and have a beachfront picnic away from the crowds!