If you’re stuck in Jakarta and Jakarta nightlife is getting too much for you then Pulau Seribu is the place to go to. Although there are only about 150 of them, the thousand Islands as they are known offer some much needed sunshine and relaxation away from the city smog. These chain of islands are just one of the many trips you can take out of the city. Let me tell you more about them.

Also See:

The Ultimate Guide to Day Trips Outside of Jakarta

Where to Go

You can visit just 45 of the 150 islands that make up Pulau Seribu. Of the 45 islands that have been classified as tourism destinations, only six have accommodation available for rent (this ranges from private villas through to simple home stays). Below is a brief description of each of the six islands that you can visit.

where to go Pulau Seribu

Bidadari

15 minutes from Ancol Bidadari is one of the closest of the Pulau Seribu chain of islands to Jakarta. There are 49 cottages on the island. Bidadari also has two conference centres, which are used by companies/ groups to hold events. Alongside the conference centres there are also discotheques, restaurants and bars. The range of facilities on offer, combined with just how close the island is to Jakarta, makes Bidadari one of the busiest of the tourism islands.

Ayer

25 minutes from Ancol Ayer Island is a small place with nice sheltered beaches and plenty of accommodation. The biggest resort on the island comes complete with wooden cabins that hang over the waters edge, while smaller cabins can be found on land. There is a swimming pool and visitors can rent a bike, jet ski, canoe or take a ride on the back of a banana boat.

kotok island

Kotok

90 minutes from Ancol Kotok Island has a laid back vibe and offers visitors the best diving anywhere in the Thousand Islands. This far away from Jakarta the waters are clear and the coral relatively undamaged. You can choose to spend your days simply lying on the sandy beaches or exploring an underwater wonderland. The island has a restaurant, bar and – as you would expect – plenty of dive shops.

Putri

90 minutes from Ancol Putri Island is slightly more developed than Kotok Island. You can find a swimming pool and tennis courts on Putri Island. There are also water sports on offer, like canoeing and jet skiing.There is also an aquarium as well as underwater tunnels with glass walls, which gives you the option of exploring the deep blue without getting wet.

Sepa

90 minutes from Ancol Sepa Island has beautiful golden sandy beaches and is surrounded by clear waters teeming with fish, which makes it one of the best diving available in Pulau Seribu. There is a range of accommodation on offer to visitors, but facilities on the island are limited to a restaurant and dive centre.

pantara island

Pantara

Two hours from Ancol Pantara Island is actually split in two: there is West Pantara and East Pantara. The other thing about Pantara Island is that it is the furthest away from Jakarta and the most expensive. East Pantara has tennis courts, restaurants a disco and a dive centre, while West Pantara has a meeting hall and a swimming pool. Both islands have private bungalows.

Alternatives

Alongside the six tourism islands, many tourists also stay overnight on islands with settlements, such as Pramuka Island and Tidung Island. These are a popular choice with local tourists, because the small settlements on the island makes both food and accommodation cheap, which is perfect for budget travellers. There are also a small selection of islands that you can stay on that have exclusive and expensive resorts.

Pramuka Island

90 minutes from Ancol Pramuka Island is the administrative capital of the regency of Pulau Seribu. The island has the kind of facilities that you would expect to find in a small town – school, medical centre, etc. – as well as cheap local home stays. Though the island is small enough to walk around, you can rent a bicycle if you choose.

Pramuka Island

Tidung Island

Two hours from Ancol Tidung Island is most famous for the Love Bridge that links the two parts of Tidung island. If you come here in the evening you are almost guaranteed to see people jumping from the top of the bridge into the deep channel below. Once you’ve finished walking around the island you can also ride a banana boat or do some snorkelling.

Macan/ Tiger Island

Two hours from Ancol?The luxurious Tiger resort is based on two private islands in the Pulau Seribu chain. The island has an eco theme and all of the private cabins are beautifully designed and decorated, with many rooms looking straight out over the ocean. The resort has a small club house and has equipment available should you be interested in diving or snorkelling. You can find out more about the Pulau Macan resort here.

Getting There

Whether you are a foreigner or an Indonesian, getting to Pulau Seribu means waking up early. Boats leave at six in the morning from the main fish market (Muare Angke Port) as well as the more upmarket Ancol Marina. From Ancol it will take anything from 25 minutes to three hours to reach your destination depending on what island you choose to visit.

tiger island

Getting Around

It is possible to do some island hopping once you have arrived in Pulau Seribu. There is a small ferry that operates between some of the main islands. Alternatively, you can rent a small private boat for Rp100,000 per hour.

Things to Do

You will find plenty to do once you have arrived on Pulau Seribu. Diving and snorkelling are the two most popular past times for tourists. Though a lot of the coral has been damaged, there are still some interesting things to see, both are easy to do if you rent a boat for the day.

Eating

Like the accommodation, most of the food you will find is quite simple, but also very tasty. Expect to eat a lot of fish (grilled, BBQ, fried or oven cooked) during your stay on the island. On a lot of the islands hotels will actually do meals and accommodation as a package, because there are not many restaurants to choose from.

Published by Nico

Originally from England, I'm slowly traveling the world on a whim. I love traveling, have an avid fear of heights and can normally be found googling location of the best coffee shop wherever I happen to be.

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32 Comments

  1. Planning to go there in August. I was thinking of a place in Ayer. How long does it take to get there by ferry from Jakarta? We are 5, so we will need 2 double rooms and one single. Any recommendations? Or should I consider another island? We would like to relax and enjoy the beach with some interesting things to do.

    1. Never really explore Anyer. Pulau Seribu is 3 hours away from Jakarta by traditional wooden boat, and around 1 hour-ish by speed boat from Marina harbor (inside Ancol). Have you ever heard about Tiger island (Pulau Macan) in Pulau Seribu? One of the best, but need more budget. Hope it helps.

      1. you guys should come to Pulau Harapan (a.k.a Harapan Island) 3 hours away from Jakarta by traditional wooden boat and dont forget to explore the private islands around. Enjoy 😀

  2. Nice article, thousand island, has several islands that became common sights in local and foreign tourists visit. Resort islands such as Pulau Ayer, Angel Island, Sepa Island, the Island Princess, Pantara Island, Pulau Kotok, tiger island, rainbow island, island residents such as: Scout Island, Tidung Island, Coconut Island, Hope Island, etc

  3. Good post. I’d like to visit one of the islands in my limited free time when I visit Jakarta next week.

    I’m wondering if it’s easily accessible by public transport and look for accommodation on the island then or better join a tour/package. Anyways, thanks for all the tips you have posted. They help a lot 🙂

  4. Indonesia is a country made up of island archipelago. and is located between two major continents, namely Asia and Australia. Many tourists foreign tourists who visit the island a thousand. Tourists outside the State, usually perform activities, snorkeling and diving, some are to the island just to read a book. Pulau Seribu islands have often visited local and foreign tourists like: Pulau Seribu, Pulau Bidadari, Pulau Pantara, Pulau Kotok, Pulau Putri, Pulau Ayer, Pulau Sepa, pulau tidung, pulau macan, Pulau Pelangi, etc.

  5. I’m having trouble finding websites to actually book accomodation on one of the Thousand Island. Could someone please let me know how or where to actually book accomodation? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Brigitta. Unfortunately most places are just simple home stays so you’ll need to book in person on the island of through a local travel agency. I don’t have any contact details myself.

  6. 40 years ago I spent a few days on pulau putri. We had to take a small plane then a boat from airport island to putri. I wonder if this plane is still operating.

  7. Hi, so much info is great. I only have 2 days, what would you suggest? I just want beautiful beaches with clear water and a feeling of paradise? What would you suggest? 🙂

  8. Hi, I would like to celebrate my birthday to one of the islands above. But ofcourse, i would choose the cheap one. My Birthday will be next week, March 24. Hope u can give me the updated rates, more developed island and good itineraries. Thanks!

  9. Hii, your post is awesome and useful.
    I have plan on june to visit thousand island.
    I want to visit the island which have fresh air, not crowded, litle bit like private island, and nice beach. which one the best ?

  10. This has been very informative! My husband, 4 year old son, and I will be travelling to Jakarta at the end of October for a week. I would love to stay on one of these islands. We are traveling the world over 10 months, so a budget friendly island would be ideal. We also love meeting new people and locals. Any thoughts on which island that would be?

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