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“Important Notes on the Journey that Everyone (seemingly) Forget to Tell” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sempu Island

Sempu Island
Ranked #3 of 131 things to do in Malang
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Important Notes on the Journey that Everyone (seemingly) Forget to Tell”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

As a person from Malang, Sempu Island is indeed something I'm proud of. To get there, you better rent a car to Sendang Biru port (Rp. 250.000 per day, driver/petrol included. If it's more expensive, try to bargain. If you're travelling in Indonesia, you'll soon learn that people usually charge tourists more expensive prices. Sad, but it has been deeply rooted) because you really don't want to sit for 4 hours in an overly crowded public transports in boiling tropical heat with chickens and vegetables while missing the magnificent view of the Southern Javanese Karst Massif along the way.

In Sendang Biru, pay the local rangers in an office nearby (the locals will assist you) no more than Rp 50.000. There, they will give you a permit letter, something you have to have because sometimes police patrols will roam the island and ask you for the letter. If you don't have it, you have to pay much more money on the island, an amount that will end up in their own pockets. Better safe than sorry. Safe the forest, not the policemen's belly.

An important thing before you rent a boat is to rent a pair of rubber football shoes which the locals offer you. I love ice-skating and my balance is very good, but imagine if you have to mud-skate, sometimes on a 45 degree slope with a rucksack on your back. No bueno. It's a Rp 15.000 price that will shorten your journey from 2,5 hours into 45 minutes, a hell into a heavenly trip, and painful, dirty buttocks into a healthy exercise. Traction is the key. Trust me.

Renting a boat is easy. You don't find them -- they find you! Pay no more than Rp 150.000 for a return trip. They will drop you off Semut Bay, give you their mobile phone number, and for the return journey, you simply have to call them and they will arrive in 30 minutes.

Follow the mud path and after 45 minutes (2,5 hours or maybe more if you're not wearing the football shoes)... and voila! You get to see the..... TRASH. No kidding. A lot of empty plastic bottles, food wrappings, and a lot of other stuff that aren't supposed to be seen in a national park. People who come to Sempu Island refer themselves as 'Pecinta Alam' (Nature Lovers). If that is love, littering all over the island, and I was the mother earth, I would file a divorce. It is a beautiful place. It still is, even with non-degradable plastic bags floating in the turquoise water and scattered on the sand, so imagine how beautiful the place used to be WITHOUT the trash. Leave nothing but your footsteps, people!

Visited December 2012
16 Thank MalikDinata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Hidden Heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

An hour trekking is really worth it to finally see the beauty of nature. I went to Sempu from Surabaya, we took an early train to Malang. Cuz we were more than 20, we rented a car to get to Sendang Biru, from Sendang Biru we took a boat to Sempu Island. As many people said, the lagoon is beautiful and blue. There is a big coral reef that separate the lagoon and Indonesia Ocean, called "Karang Bolong", which means perforated reef. Anyway, there is no facility in this island, no toilet, no food, no hotel. We were camping there and brought our own food. It was a nice experience.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank Thia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
278 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“The beautiful Laguna of Sempu Island is how nature taught us to work hard to achieve our goals.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

To reach the island first you need to travel by boat from the locals at Sendang Biru beach. The beautiful lagoon is reachable only on foot, 2 to 2,5 hours of trekking through the jungle in dry season.

It is important to bring an experienced guide or two for your travel. For the fees, it is recommended that you have it settled prior to the trip. Mine was taken care by a tour/travel company so I don't have to deal with the locals. What's left is just the tip to the guides for their effort in guiding and helping you through the jungle.

After a tough journey you can finally enjoy the scenery, the beautiful white sands and the calm waters. And in front of the beach you will see an opening. Behold, the wild southern seas and its huge waves. If you're lucky you can spot dolphins and sea turtles swimming.
Enjoy your time but don't forget to save your energy as you will be trekking back to the boat landing spot for your return.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank fajaradiartha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
1 review
“It was nothing but [almost] perfect”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2012

Yea, the trekking was quite hard and stressful. Never heard that it's gonna be an easy one to reach, especially during the rainy season, even worse. BUT. Underlines my BUT word. You'll soon forgot about those tiring walk, those dozen littres of your sweat, after you reach the main lagoon, DANAU SEGARA ANAKAN.

Trust me !!! you'll never regret it. Well, unless you are a mommy bou/girl who always looking for an easy way to get a great result.

Visited January 2012
Thank nandogino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Another Beautiful Blue Lagoon in East Java”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2012

Before you reach the beautiful lagoon, you have to get a on-foot trip for about 1.5 hours through the wood.
Just do not get lost :)

Visited December 2012
2 Thank firmanr77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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