The Java Island Travel Guide

Kanenori / Pixabay

West Java

Jakarta, Java, Indonesia (10.2 million people in city, over 30 million in metro area)

  • Aquarium, Jakarta


Thousand islands, Java, Indonesia (group of island just off-shore from the Jakarta area. Generally expensive because of proximity to Jakarta’s upper class

  • Bidadari Island, Thousand Islands, Java (closet resort island to Jakarta, day-trips)
  • Kahyangan Island, Thousand Islands, Java
  • Kelor Island, Thousand Islands, Java (old Dutch fort)
  • Onrust Island, Thousand Islands, Java (remains of an 18th century shipyard)
  • Macan Island, , Thousand Islands, Java (ecofriendly resort; $100/night


Merek, Java, Indonesia (NW tip of Java is ugly port town connecting to Sumatra. Within a decade a bridge will be constructed. 40 minute ferry ride to Sumatra, leave once an hour during day, less frequent at night)


Carita, Java, Indonesia (Resort area, surround by jade hills and rice paddies. Sandy beach with a small surf break. Views of Krakatoa from resorts. Also entry town for Ujung Kulon National Park. Beachfront rooms in nicest resort: $47, Bungalows: $115. $20 for large room with AC in town, few blocks from beach)


Krakatau Island, Sumatra, Indonesia (Famous volcano, can take a boat trip and stay overnight on a nearby islands of Rakata or Verlaten).

  • Tours from Carita, Java or Southern n Sumatra, which are cheaper)


Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia (remote SW tip of Java, UNESCO. Untouched wilderness, virgin beaches, healthy coral reefs. Relatively inaccessible, but doable. Last refuge of the one-horned Javan Rhino, 50-60 remain. Panthers)

  • Tamanjaya Villages is main gateway to park, budget hotels and guides. Much less expensive than Carita.
  • Panaitan Island (Cook anchored the HMS Endeavor in 1771, large island expensive to reach, but fine beaches and great hiking)
  • Peucang Island (Good accommodation, restaurant, beaches and snorkeling. $87/night full-board)
  • Handeuleum Island (simple accomindations, island ringed by mangroves. Some Timor deer. $17/night


Bogar, Java, Indonesia (1.02M; cool, quiet, thunderstormy former Colonial retreat from Jakarta heat – now has same traffic, city issues)

  • Kebun Reya Botanical Gardens, Bogar, Java (87 hectares, developed by Dutch)


Cimaja, Java, Indonesia (major surfer resort, low-key, good choice of accommodations. Rounded gravel beach. Mystical quality. Good rooms for $20 or less.


Gede Pangrango National Park, Java, Indonesia


Bandung, Java, Indonesia (2.8M pop; great bars, cafes. Lots of big city issues too)


Pangandaran, Java, Indonesia (pretty palm fringed beaches w/ some resorts that are ghost towns on non-holiday weekdays. West Java’s premier beach resort. Big swells, not great for swimming)

  • Green Canyon, Pangandaran, Java, Indonesia
  • Green Valley, Pangandaran, Java, Indonesia


Batu Karas, Java, Indonesia (idyllic fishing village and surfing hot spot and great place to learn)

Central Java

Wonosobo, Java, Indonesia (man getaway to the Dieng plateau.


Dieng Plateau, Java, Indonesia (Home to some of the oldest Hindu culture in Java in specular volcanic landscape laced with terraced fields. More than 400 temples)


Borobudur Buddhist Temple ruins, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia (largest Buddhist temple in the world, One of SEA big 3 temple complexes)


Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia (636K population, artist soul of Java, its’s most livable city)

  • Kraton walled city, Yogya
    • Sultan Palace, Yogya
  • Jl Prawirotaman Street, Yogya (antique shops, batik fabrics, markets of all sorts
  • Jl Malioboro Street, Yogya (high quality hand stitched leather goods extremely cheap: leather bags, suitcases, purses, shoes, etc; also good for inexpensive, good quality local silver jewelry)
  • Jl Kemasan & Jl Mondorakan Streets, Yogya (silver street, famous for very, very high quality filigree work and inexpensive jewelry
  • Jl Tirtodipuran Street, Yogya (artifacts and furniture)


Indrayanti Beeach, Java Indonesia (65km from Yogya, just got electricity. Weekdays are desolate. Great beach framed by giant boulders at the end. Half a dozen more beaches to explore in the area. Need own transportation from Yogya, no public transport)


Mount Merapi Volcano, Java, Indonesia (The world’s most active volcano, 25 km from Yogya, took out an entire village. Last blew in 2010, killing 353.


Prambanan Hindu Temple Ruins, Java, Indonesia (Hindu era temples from 8th-10th centuries)


Surakarta (Solo), Java, Indonesia (epicenter of Javanese culture, least westernized city in Java)


Sangiran, Java, Indonesia (UNESCO; important ecological site, best fossilized examples of prehistoric skulls of “Java Man” unearthed in 1936 by Dutch)


Mount Lawu, Java, Indonesia (one of Java’s holiest sites, with mysterious Hindu temples dotting its slopes)


Semarang, Java, Indonesia (1.6M pop; home to a huge middle class Chinese population. Massive north coast port.


Jepara, Java, Indonesia (best woodworking center in Java, once booming furniture business. Dwindling expat population, town still visited by buyers all over the world. Cosmopolitan town on the downswing.)


Karimunjawa Islands, Java, Indonesia (Group of 27 coral fringed Islands, 5 of which are inhabited, great beaches, and water)

  • Karimunjawa Island, Karimunjawa Islands, Java (main island home to most inhabitants and facilities)
  • Menyawakan Island, Karimunjawa Islands, Java


East Java

Madura Island, Java, Indonesia (connected to mainland by Indonesia’s longest bridge)


Malang, Java, Indonesia


Panataran Hindu Temple, Java, Indonesia


Pacitan, Java, Indonesia (long way from anywhere, small coat town. Beach resort. Dramatic blonde beach. Not a lot of westerners other than surfers get out here.

  • Wuta Karung, Java, Indonesia (fishing village with great beach and turquoise water – one Java’s best surf beaches)


Mount Bromo Volcano, Java, Indonesia (moonscape scenery, sunrise climb to summit)


Mount Ijen, Java, Indonesia (world’s highest acidic crater lake that looks like blue fire at night)


Mount Merapi Volcano, Java, Indonesia


Meru Betiri National Park, Java, Indonesia (One of the last refuges of the Java Tiger)


Alas Purwo, National Park, Java, Indonesia (Occupies entire Blambangan peninsula on SE tip of Java)


Grajagan (G-land), Java, Indonesia (surfing hotspot)


Banyuwangi, Java, Indonesia (40 minute ferry ride to Bali)


Tabuhan Island, Java, Indonesia (halfway to Bali, island jewel with great beach. Aquarium clear water. Great views of Bali’s and Java’s volcanoes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *