Just 85 kilometers north of the traffic-smothered capital lies Tiger Islands Village & Eco Resort, less than two hours by speedboat on the Java Sea. The theme here is back-to-nature relaxation, with five tents and 11 accommodations on the island, including a red-brick cabin, a two-room bungalow on stilts, and curtained open-air huts facing the sea.
The beach nirvana awaits not on Pulau Macan, the resort’s main island, but on its uninhabited second one, about 10 minutes by paddleboat. The secluded beaches here don’t stretch out in a straight line, but rather are nestled between mangroves growing out to sea. Surrounded by crystalline waters and abundant corals off the beach, it’s almost inconceivable that, technically at least, one is still in the administrative region of Jakarta.
Among the Thousand Islands in the deep-blue Java Sea, two-and-a-half-acre Pulau Macan is a dreamy island oasis with an incredible coral seascape, which guests can enjoy up close from the expansive wooden deck at the clubhouse. Inside, look for a pool table, comfy sofas, and “appropriately light literature.” Accommodations consist of three rustic but comfortable bungalows (two rooms have air-conditioning), and the restaurant features local ingredients—like kemangi, a lemon-flavored Indonesian basil-many of which are organically grown on the island. Sample the herb in karedok, a house specialty also made with Chinese long beans, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, and a spicy-sweet peanut sauce.
Borrow a rowboat, flat-bottomed canoe, or rubber dinghy, and paddle 150 yards to a deserted island covered in palm trees. There, string up a hammock (the resort has them on hand), snorkel, or comb the white powdery beach for sand dollars.
The resort’s fast boat makes the trip from the marina in Ancol, North Jakarta, in 1.5 hours. Or take the ferry from Marina Ancol in North Jakarta to Putri or Sepa (a two-hour trip), and ask resort staff to meet you with their boat.
At the tip of the island, Bungalow 3 is the most private.
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