Erica Fairchild

Located a short hour-long ferry ride from Ancol Marina in North Jakarta, Pulau Pramuka is perfectly positioned for a weekend getaway for Jakarta's macet weary residents.

Snorkelers and Scuba divers can search for all manner of marine life in the reefs surrounding Pramuka Island - even Nemo!

The Thousand Islands are a diver's dream, with colourful coral reefs filled with shoals of tropical fish. Sunbathers and snorkelers will find soft sand to lay out on, as well as endemic aquatic wildlife in the shallows.

How To Get There

How To Get There

The Thousand Islands are easily accessible via ferry or speedboat. Local ferries are dirt cheap, but international safety regulations may or may not be adhered to. Travelling by speedboat is marginally more expensive, but worth the extra expense - if only for the peace of mind you'll gain, knowing you're aboard a vessel with life vests!

Things to do

Things to do in Indonesia
Things to do in Indonesia
  • Diving and Snorkeling are the most popular activities in the Thousand Islands, though sunbathing and sightseeing are also worthwhile. As with most any island in Indonesia, your taste buds will thank you for expanding your culinary horizons. Head out to the nearest warung and sample local gastronomic greats!

  • Nasi Goreng is a delicious dish beloved throughout Indonesia, particularly among Bule visitors!

  • Fantastically unique wildlife can be found throughout the Thousand Islands. Including the famously hard-to-spot "nudibranchs" (pictured below), which are native to this region.

  • You may make a friend or two around the island, especially around mealtimes!

  • Culture thrives even on these tiny islands. Get out and explore to see another side of life in the tropics.

  • The waters around Pramuka can be as clear as the sky, making for some stunning vistas.

Cost and suggested itinerary

Suggested itinerary:

Day 1

  • 07:30 - Meet at Marina Ancol, pier 17. Board the Speedboat to Pulau Pramuka

  • 09:00 - Arrive at Pramuka, check into a hotel

  • 10:30 - First shore dive, snorkel/sunbathing

  • 12:00 - LUNCH

  • 13:00 - 2nd shore dive/snorkel/sunbathing

  • 15:00 - Boat dive/snorkel/sunbathing

  • 17:00 - DINNER

  • 18:30 - Back to Pramuka, explore the island

Day 2

  • 07:00 - BREAKFAST

  • 08:00 - Boat dive/snorkel

  • 10:00 - LUNCH

  • 11:30 - Final boat dive/snorkel

  • 14:30 - Board the speedboat

  • 16:00 - Back in Jakarta!


You can have a blast in the Thousand Islands, without breaking the bank! Check out the costs for our sample itinerary below, detailed for divers and non-divers.

Diving Costs

A hotel should cost something in the region of 225,000 IDR which is around $17. Food is also relatively cheap, but we recommend that you take at least 80,000 IDR which is less than $6.

Diving equipment will make up the bulk of the costs, and you will need:

  • Dive Tanks 300,000 IDR ($21.75)

  • Dive Weights 75,000 ($5.44)

  • Boat Hire 150,000 ($10.88)

  • Dive Guide 70,000 ($5.08)

If you're looking to stay for a few days, you can also get a two-day package, which will cost between 700,000 IDR and 1,600,000 IDR for 2 days everything included.


If you're not a fan of diving, but you still want to experience the beautiful waters and see the natural marine life, then we recommend Snorkelling. Snorkelling is quite a lot cheaper, as there is less equipment involved. If you don't have your own gear, you can rent. The full costs can be summarised as follows for a snorkelling trip.

  • Hotel: 225,000 IDR ($16.31)

  • Meals: 80,000 IDR (5.80)

  • Boat Hire: 150,000 IDR ($10.88)

  • Snorkelling gear for two days 335,000 IDR ($24.29)

The total cost for a snorkelling trip should be around 780,000 IDR ($56.55).

Useful vocabulary

In this post, we've tried to introduce a few new words in the local language Bahasa Indonesia. Check out the new words below, along with their English translations.

  • Ancol - Place name, an area in North Jakarta

  • Pulau - Island

  • Pramuka - Place name, one of the Thousand Islands

  • Seribu - Thousand

  • Macet - Traffic

  • Warung - Small stall

  • Nasi - Rice

  • Goreng - Fried

  • Bule - Foreigner

  • Kabar baik - I'm well. The typical response to Apa Kabar (How are you?)

While you're teaching English in Indonesia you can enjoy all sorts of affordable travel opportunities. Feel free to speak to your colleagues, the locals and put a plan together. Before you know it you'll be enjoying everything this amazing country has to offer!

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