Exploring Air Island, one of 342 islands in the Thousand Islands mini archipelago north of Jakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A Patch of Green North of Jakarta: Thousand Islands

BY : YUDHA BASKORO

AUGUST 05, 2019

A hidden paradise covered by a mangrove forest, beautiful underwater scenery, conservation areas for sea turtles and sea birds, clean air. It might be hard to believe, but you can find all of the above on a mini archipelago just a 60-minute boat ride from one of the most polluted cities in the world, Jakarta. 

The Thousand Islands is formally a district of Jakarta that comprises 342 islands. Thirty-six of them have been popular weekend getaways for tourists from Jakarta for years, 13 are tiny but fully developed towns with their own lively communities, 11 have been converted into resorts and two are fully-fledged national parks.

The rest of the islands are privately owned, either uninhabited or designated as a conservation area, including the islands of West Panjaliran and East Panjaliran, which now function as conservation areas for sea turtles. 

Take a boat from Jakarta's Ancol Port to go to the Thousand Islands. The trip from Ancol to Tidung Island or Pramuka Island, two of the largest islands in the archipelago, takes approximately 60 minutes by speedboat. The boats are available all day, from morning until early evening. 

Both islands are central to tourism in the area. Tidung Island has many guest houses and a couple of small resorts. It serves as a base camp for many tourists as they explore the rest of the archipelago.

Pramuka Island is the administrative center of the area, where you can find the district administration office, a community health center and the only high school in the archipelago.

Jakarta Globe photographer Yudha Baskoro visited Tidung Island, Pramuka Island, Air Island, Onrust Island, Pari Island, Kelor Island and Rambut Island last week on the invitation of the Thousand Islands' Tourism Office.  

Almost each island in the archipelago is unique. Pramuka Island has a mangrove conservation area, a plastic waste processing site and a conservation area for sea turtles. Pulau Air has a beautiful snorkeling spot. Kelor Island and Onrust Island host the remains of Dutch fortresses built in the early 19th century. 

Bentor (Becak Motor) are waiting for passengers at Tidung Island, Kepulauan Seribu on Friday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Motorized trickshaws, called bentor​​​​​​wait for passengers on Tidung Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A local tourist rests and relaxes in a hammock at Tidung Island, Kepulauan Seribu on Friday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A tourist relaxes in a hammock on Tidung Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Visitors wearing snorkeling equipment take a photo before swimming through Pari Island on Saturday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Tourists prepare to snorkel on Pari Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
An aerial view of Pari Island at Kepulauan Seribu on Friday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
An aerial view of Pari Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Foreign tourists enjoying their time at Pari Island, Kepulauan Seribu on Saturday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Beach hijinx on Pari Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Local residents visits child-friendly integrated public spaces (RPTRA) in Tanjong Timor, Kepulauan Seribu on Friday (26/07) The RPTRA Tanjung Timor is usually used as a place for children to gather, play some education games and develop their talents. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A playground in Tanjong Timor. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Visitor walks in Rumah Hijau, an educational and conservation-based plastic waste recycle facilities at Pramuka Island (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Rumah Hijau on Pramuka Island houses a plastic waste recycling facility. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A ranger shows a newly hatched hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) when he cleaned the sea turtles conservation shelter at Pramuka Island, Kepulauan Seribu on Saturday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A ranger shows a newly hatched hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) in a conservation shelter on Pramuka Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Visitors take a selfie in front of Kelor Islands welcoming monument on Sunday (28/07) Kelor Island was once a place of burial, including the bodies of the rebels Zeven Provincien ship. In Dutch, the island is named Kerkhof Eiland which means Funeral Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Kelor Island has another name, Kerkhof Eiland or Funeral Island. The name comes from its use as a graveyard during the Dutch colonial era. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Visitor enjoying sun bathed inside the Martello fort in Kelor Island, Kepulauan Seribu on Sunday (28/07) Martello fort was built by the Dutch in 1850 as part of the Batavia city sea defense system. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Remains of the Martello Fort, built by the Dutch in 1850, on Kelor Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Ships dock at Pari Island on Saturday (27/07) Ship is the main inter-islands main tranportations. They are always ready to take tourists from morning to evening. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Ships dock on Pari Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Children enjoy the afternoon playing on the beach. They usually swim while waiting for the sunset. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Children play on the beach as they wait to watch the spectacular sunset. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Underwater scenery of Air Island at the Kepulauan Seribu (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The underwater scenery near Air Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Visitor swims during the sunset at Air Island, Kepulauan Seribu on Saturday (27/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A dip to watch the sunset near Air Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The last ship to return to Jakarta is usually at 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm. The ship will start operating again at 5.00 am (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A spectacular sunset seen from Air Island. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

 

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Thousand Islands