Kepulauan Seribu or Thousand Island for few years has gain its popularity as one of the best holiday destination for nature lovers. Affordable prices, sense of mythical, yet right on Jakarta’s doorstep become the reasons why a lot of people flocking to this island. This region also offers a conservation zone called the Thousand Islands Marine National Park for tourist.
It is located in the northern of Jakarta that stretch along 45 miles north into the Java Sea. Thousand Islands actually just consist of 110 islands and from that number, only 36 are used for tourism. Several of the islands in this region already crowded with tourist such as Sepa, Pramuka, Bidadari, or Ayer. Thus, if you are looking for less crowded and more secluded area, you can choose Pulau Pelangi or Rainbow Island.
Rainbow Island was established in 1990 as a private resort. Crystal clear water, vivid green forests, 90-degree sunshine, and sea swarming with little fish and jelly fish greet you when you arrive at this place. Judging by the number of people who drop off at Pelangi Island, the life in this island warrants a perfect solitude. Come on week days and you no longer have to be rich to have the i-own-this-private-island experience.
How to reach the island
To access this island, you have to wake up very early and stand by in Marina Ancol by 7 am. The boat only available in the morning and it will take off at 8 am. It will take 2 to 3 hours to reach Pelangi. Be sure to take motion sickness pill if you are prone to sea sick.
What to do
Contrary to more relaxed and less commercial atmosphere, there are a lot of things to do in Pelangi. One of the activity that recommended is to dive and snorkel. This island also armed with dive shop with good equipment that you can rent. As you dive and snorkel, you will see bunch of underwater creature and coral that will captivate your sight.
Not to mention, this island also home to Domus Musculi, an art installation by acclaimed artist Teguh Ostenrik. Pelangi Island is the third place after Wakatobi and Lombok to be home of Ostenrik’s work. Bring your underwater camera, walk underneath the installation, and feel the magic of Domus Musculi.
Swimming is also recommend because there are several spots which are more swim-able compare to its counterpart. Be careful to jelly fish and sea urchin though. Trying your luck by fishing is also recommended.
Only half of this island is managed so the rest is look like you are on the set of ABC’s Lost. If you have adventurous soul, taking a walk to explore the area is a great thing to do. In the way, you will find one or two animal you rarely seen in the city such as lizard strolling leisurely. Oh, they also let you rent the bike. If you just want to lying around enjoying the solitude and the sun, it is also okay.
The management also have equipment for banana boat, canoeing, and anything related to water. Just ask the staff and they will gladly tell you what they have.
What to expect
Frankly speaking, Pelangi Island is not very well developed. Sure there are lots of activities to try but it is far from what you expect. The price also quiet expensive compare to its counterpart. To stay on this island for a day, you need at least IDR 2.5 mil including food & transportation from Marina to Pelangi and vice versa. This cost excluded dive gear, bike rent, and others. If you have high expectation and looking to be pampered, this is not for you.
However, if you have adventurous soul, this might suit you. For the food, you will find that most of the food served is quite simple but they still good and tasty. Expect to eat a lot of fish (grilled, BBQ, fried or oven cooked) during your stay on the island. If you have sweet tooth, it is suggested to bring snacks by yourself because there is no shop around.
This island doesn’t provide internet, so hold yourself from posting those instagramble pics. But it doesn’t mean that this island is poor on signal, you still get signal but it is not on its maximum power. Don’t forget to bring cash because your cards wont work here (they don’t the machine to be exact). Still, don’t expect too much of facility as wise man said, expectation is the root of heartache.