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!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.