Pulau Pramuka is a beautiful island in the middle of the Thousand Islands Marine National Park in the Bay of Jakarta located further off into the Java Sea. This cluster includes Pulau Tidung, Pulau Bidadari, Pulau Ayer and others. Pramuka also acts as the central administration for the whole Thousand Islands District. It has an area of approximately 9 acres and is part of Keluruhan Pulau Panggang, North Thousand Islands District, Jakarta Province.
The sea around Pulau Pramuka is ideal for snorkeling or scuba diving because the water is extremely clear and calm. This area also sports a spectacular coral reef, surrounded by a large variety of colorful fish swimming freely among the coral. In addition to coral reefs, the beaches of this island have long stretches of pearly white sand and a turquoise sea that will have you planning your next visit at first sight!
Another sight you won’t want to miss is the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate). This rare species is bred and cared for in a natural environment, designed specifically to meet their special needs. Save a day to visit these interesting animals.
The community of Pulau Pramuka are very friendly and hospitable people and will welcome you with warmth into their homes and neighborhoods. They are very glad to offer assistance and go out of their way to make your visit enjoyable and comfortable. You will be greeted with friendly smiles (and of course, stares) at every turn.
Pulau Pramuka is very well inhabited, mostly by fishermen. Their lives are fairly well off, and most of the houses here are very reasonable. It is the most populated island in the Thousand Islands Marine National Park, composed of various ethnic communities, namely: the Betawi from Jakarta, the Bugis from South Sulawesi, Banten, Sunda from West Java, and Madura from East Java.
As the central administration for the Thousand Islands, Pulau Pramuka is fully facilitated. Available on the island are hotels, restaurants, hospitals, mosques, sports fields, and entertainment centers.
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The culinary delight of this island is an adventure of its own. There is a variety of fresh fish, squid, shrimp and prawn, all of which have been caught by the local fishermen that same day. There are also many local foods that you can try at the traditional food stalls where you can look and choose the individual dishes that you would like to try.
You can also order catering from the owner of the guesthouse you are staying at, with a price range beginning at Rp20,000 per person. Another amazing food spot is in the form of a floating restaurant not far from Pulau Pramuka. You can take a 5 minute boat ride out, and enjoy the variety of traditional foods with a spectacular view of the surrounding waves.
One traditional delicacy that you cannot go home without is keripik sukun (breadfruit chips). This is a speciality of the Thousand Islands. This snack is made from a combined selection of breadfruit and choice spices with no preservatives. You can find this snack at any local vendor or store.
There are also traditional souvenirs, clothes and other handicrafts which serve as a lovely gift to bring home to the family.
Pulau Pramuka has several places to stay and some locals even open their homes for tourists to stay (homestay). Accommodations on Pulau Pramuka are fairly affordable with a range of facilities and conveniences specifically designed for families and groups. The rates vary from Rp 350, 000 – to Rp 500, 000. -, facilities included would be air conditioning, television, and bathroom.
Villa Delima, located right on the beach with a beautiful panoramic view, offers cozy rooms beginning at Rp. 350,000 per night.
Wisma Dermaga is recommended for its cheap price and high standard of cleanliness. Price per room is Rp. 300,000. The room includes a King sized bed, and you can request an extra bed for an additional Rp. 25,000. The rooms are quite large, able to fit up to 2 extra beds. The facilities include AC, television, and private bathroom.
Another recommended lodge is Wisma Taman Laut Nasional which offers similar price and facility as Wisma Dermaga.
On Pulau Pramuka, which has retained its natural beauty but at the same time is equipped with modern conveniences, there are a wide variety of activities which will keep you busy enjoying yourself for your entire stay. Some of these are, snorkeling, diving, fishing, canoeing, or just relaxing while watching the sun set over the pier.
To fully experience the diversity and beauty of the surrounding marine life within Pulau Pramuka, take advantage of the snorkeling services provided at the pier. Equipment rental for 6 hours, costs between Rp 20.000 – Rp 40.000, and Rp 300.000, to rent a boat with a tour guide for an experienced tour around the island. You can also rent snorkeling or diving equipment at a shop next to the hospital and post office, which will cost approximately Rp. 40.000. There are several points of diving and snorkeling around Pulau Pramuka. One of the interesting spots is the APL, (Area Perlindungan Laut, literally translated, Sea Protection Area). Here you can see various kinds of exotic sea life such as rare fish, coral, and coral reefs. There is also a narrow spot with a large variety of particularly beautiful coral. You can also enjoy snorkeling on the island of Pulau Semak Daun and Pulau Air which are located not far from Pulau Pramuka.
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Try the banana boat ride, steered by experienced, fun-loving drivers, whose main purpose (usually) is to make the ride as thrilling as you request. You can even request to be thrown into the sea if you wish. With unexpected turns and catching the waves at just the right angle creating drops, you will be in for a fast and fun ride!
For a quieter, more relaxing experience take a canoe or bike ride around the island. Another option offered here is fishing which you can do on the dock of the island which is located directly at the front of the island. You could also hire a fishing boat to take you to a specific location known for having many fish.
Pulau Pramuka also has a marine park information center that you can use. There is offered various information, photos, and rare preserved marine animals. Adjacent to the information center is where the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) eggs are bred and naturally hatched. The Hawksbill turtle is a protected endangered species. Pulau Pramuka serves only as a protective environment for these turtles eggs till they hatch. These animals have never landed on the island to lay their eggs. However Pulau Pramuka became one of the most important breeding places for these animals m next to the South Coast of West Java around Pangumbahan, Cikepuh, the South Coast of Bali, Central Kalimantan around the Sungai Cabang, the South Beach of Lombok, and East Java near Alas Purwo.
Meet Mr. Salim to get an explanation of the life of these beautiful animals. If you are lucky and happen to come at the right time, you may be able to participate in the release of young turtles into the open sea.
Pulau Pramuka can be reached from Marina Ancol or Muara Angke Port.
From Muara Angka Port you can take a traditional motorized, wooden speed boat. It will take apporoximately 2 1/2 hours to reach Pulau Pramuka. These boats have a capacity for 50 people, and depart daily at 07:00 from Muara Angke and 13:00 returning from Pulau Pramuka. The cost per person is Rp 35.000. Some boat owners offer complete insurance services as well. Children under 3 years old are exempt from charge and children 4 years and above will be charged the normal price. As there is no ticket booth, you simply board the boat and ticket fees will be collected on the way. During the holiday or weekend, you are advised to come 30 minutes before departure time because it is usually very busy as it is a first come first served situation.
Another more exclusive option is to go by chartered speedboat from Ancol Marina with departure times flexible to suit the customer’s schedule. You can try Radja Express, which is known as being the fastest. This ride is approximately 1- 1 1/2 hours, depending on the weather and the boat. The ship capacity varies from 15-20 passengers.