Welcome to the land of 1.000 islands, well actually 110 to be exact but this does not make for such an alluring name. Thousand Islands lies north of Jakarta and is actually a protected National Marine Park of 11,000 square km. It takes around 45minutes to 3 hours to reach the Islands from Ancol Marina.
When and which island you visit dramatically effects your experience as the closer islands and waters have sadly been over used and commercialized resulting in a sobering reminder of human land misuse. Yet in saying that this issue has been identified and schemes and systems have been out into place to bring back former natural beauty.
Once you move further off the coast of Java you are opened up to a greater display of breath taking secret islands and spectacular seascapes. A wide variety of soft and hard coral laces the submerged reef atolls. Volcanic cones in the seabed from millennia past have created shapes and contours that have allowed sea life to flourish and thrive. Snorkeling and diving is a must, the cool clear waters are enticing and rewarding, filled with fish life and beautiful coral of vibrant colours.
Kotok, Papa Theo, Malinjo and Kuburan are excellent islands with flourishing coral gardens around them. Accommodation on the islands varies greatly from the basic to the luxury. Kotok Island for example is simple yet romantic, the huts are secluded and hidden amongst the vegetation providing an idyllic romantic get away. Yet the real draw is the wooden pier that allows you to dive straight into the schools of fish and immerse yourself in another captivating world.
One recommended dive spot is the Papa Theo Wreck; a shipwreck from 1982 provides an excellent refuge for sea life and great pictures with underwater cameras. As with most of the diving and travelling to and from Thousand Islands it is recommended to travel during the dry season when waves are gentle and the water is crystal clear.
When going to the islands remember that most things are scare apart from seafood, so bring with you some little luxuries. This is the perfect escape from the noise and congestion of Jakarta, Thousand Islands are accessible, diverse and right on your doorstep.