Indonesia

Pulau Macan (Tiger Island): The Secret Paradise Getaway From Jakarta

August 26, 2017

I live in Singapore, where I’m constantly in search of a quick, beautiful, and remote getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. My sister lives in Jakarta, the ultimate concrete jungle of Southeast Asia, thus she is also always on the lookout for a place to take a breather. When she suggested we do a weekend getaway at Pulau Macan (Tiger Island), a small island just short of two hours boat ride away from Jakarta, I immediately agreed.

Here’s a full rundown on Pulau Macan – the perfect weekend getaway from Jakarta; how to get there, where to stay, how much it costs, and what you can do there. If you’re reading this while stuck in a deadlocked traffic jam in central Jakarta, start booking your Tiger Island trip now.


How to book:

There is only one accommodation on Tiger Island – it’s called “Pulau Macan Village & Eco Resort”.

Their vision is “to make you feel at home within our beautiful environment while introducing you to some of the solutions we’ve applied to make our world a better place. Natural building, intelligent energy, water conservation, waste management, coral conservation, community development, and healthful food and beverages are all part of our life here.”  The concept of Pulau Macan Village & Eco Resort is sort of like living in a friendly village, so please respect the nature and locals accordingly.

For direct booking, you can book on their website.

You can also email them at info@zevillages.com or call them at +6281291642914 to make a booking.

They speak both Indonesian and English.

 

How to get there:

From Jakarta:

By Car & Speedboat:

Firstly, drive, take a cab or an Uber to Ancol Marina in North Jakarta. Their team will tell you which Pier to go to prior to the departure day. I highly recommend taking an Uber, so you don’t have the hassle of parking your car and leaving your car in the unsecured marina. If you take a taxi please make sure to mention to the taxi driver Dermaga (Pier) so that he will not take you to Marina Apartment that is also in Ancol (pronounced as “Un-chol”).

Once you’re at the right Pier, a Tiger Islands Village & Eco Resorts rep will be there. Just confirm your attendance, and wait until the rest of the party arrives before you board your boat. The boat takes about 1.5 – 2 hours to reach Tiger Island.

The boat leaves again the next day between 2-2.30 pm depending on the weather conditions. You would reach Jakarta, again at the Pier at the Ancol Marina, between 3:30 – 4:30 pm. From there you can call an Uber home.

From Singapore:

Take a direct flight to Jakarta, followed by a 45 min – 1 hour car/taxi/Uber ride to the Ancol Marina. Then, follow the above steps.

 

Accommodation types & costs:

There are a total of 6 types of Huts at Tiger Island Eco Village & Resort.

The prices listed below are per person and includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Full board meals (breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner)
  • Unlimited water, tea, coffee
  • Snorkelling trip (depending on weather)
  • Use of all facilities such as snorkelling gear

Please note that all rooms do NOT have AC and nor TVs. As it is an Eco Resort, it’s committed to helping you experience true nature. Don’t worry though, there is a constant cool breeze on the island better than an AC, and multiple fans in the room. In fact, the wind at night can be quite chilly and we slept under the sheets at all times. And who needs a TV when you have crystal blue waters all to yourself?

*Note: For complete pictures of the huts, please visit their website directly.

Driftwood Hut I (fits up to 2 people)

Open air hut with a private deck leading into the water and if you are lucky, you can see the sunset from its deck! It’s the first hut build on the island, fit for two people in one King Sized Bed and it has views towards the North West. A shared bathroom is about 15 meters from the hut.

Price (2D1N package):

Rp 2.414.000/person on weekends (~USD 182)

Rp 2.299.000/person on weekdays (~USD 175)

 

Coral Hut (fits up to 4 people)

The Coral Hut is the latest edition to their series of eco / driftwood huts. It can comfortably accommodate four people and set with one Queen Sized Mattress and two large single beds. The room features a large driftwood desk with room for two. It also has a gorgeous coral and driftwood inspired open air (private) bathroom that is connected to their super eco waste water system using constructed wetlands.

Price (2D1N package):

Rp 2.734.000/person on weekends (~USD 205)

Rp 2.619.000/person on weekdays (~USD 196)

Driftwood Hut II (fits up to 2 people)

Open air hut with a private deck leading into the water and you can see the sunset from its deck! This is the second hut that they built, fit for two people in one King size bed and it has views towards the South West. A shared bathroom is about 15 meters from the hut.

Price (2D1N package):

Rp 2.414.000/person on weekend (~USD 182)

Rp 2.299.000/person on weekday (~USD 175)

Island Hut (fits up to 5 people)

The Island Hut was their first expanded driftwood hut, and was initially built as a private residence for the partners and ambassadors. It features some of they best driftwood pieces, comfortable accommodation for four and up to five people, a desk, private deck with a great view and an open air and spacious private bathroom. It has one Queen Size Bed with two/three large single day beds.

Price (2D1N package):

Rp 2.567.000/person on weekend (~USD 193)

Rp 2.452.000/person on weekday (~USD 184)

 

Zen Hut (fits up to 4 people)

The Zen Hut is their newest addition and features a view to the South West – including sunset! It’s got one queen size bed and two large singles for a total max capacity of 4 adults, as well as a private bathroom, a small work space and a deck leading directly into the Java Sea!

Although this hut is relatively new and isn’t completely decked out with driftwood art yet, it’s a great place to watch sunsets (pretty much the only other hut besides our Sunset Hut for this view).

Price (2D1N package):

Rp 2.734.000/person on weekend (~USD 205)

Rp 2.619.000/person on weekday (~USD 194)

 

Sunset Hut (fits up to 6 people)

This hut is their most popular option, facing West with unobstructed views of the horizon and sunset! It’s open air and has an ensuite bathroom. It makes for a great romantic suite, and is large enough for a family or group of friends. This is one large ‘room’ set for 4, with one Queen Size and two single mattresses. The Sunset Hut can accommodate up to 6 people with two extra mattresses.

This is where I stayed. It was quite costly, for sure, but it was amazing!

Price (2D1N package):

Rp 2.734.000/person on weekend (~USD 205)

Rp 2.619.000/person on weekday (~USD 205)

 

What to do at Pulau Macan

We came for a 2D1N trip on the weekend (as so do most people), and this was our itinerary.

1. First Day:

10:00 AM: Arrival at Pulau Macan & Welcome Snacks

The staff briefed us on the island and what it stands for, safety briefing, meal schedules and so on. The host (I forgot his name, oops!) was very relaxed, laid back and friendly and made the welcome process pleasurable. Check-in time is only at 1PM, so we’re encouraged to have some traditional Indonesian snacks as a welcome. After that we walked around the island to take pictures and took a dip in the water.

1:00 PM: Lunch & Check In

Lunch was served buffet-style. There were fried rice, fried noodles, satays, vegetables, and many other yummy Indonesian dishes. They also had some Western-style food which are kids-friendly, such as chicken nuggets and fries. Those were very popular with the expat children! The Indonesian food they served were very tasty – I actually spoke to the older lady who actually lives on the island and cooks the meal for the guests as well as her family. No wonder the food tastes so hearty!

3:00 PM – Snorkeling / Island Hopping

At this time we could choose between going out for a snorkel or island hopping on a tiny kayak boat on the island. Now, when I say “island hopping”, I actually mean just crossing across on a kayak to an even tinier island just across Tiger Island. This island is so tiny that I can’t recall its name, but the shore is pure white and water crystalline blue. I couldn’t believe this gem existed just 2 hours away from polluted Jakarta! There is absolutely no shade here while you swim, so make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen.

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4:30 PM Back for Snacks, Sunset

When we were back on the island, there were more snacks to be had! Honestly, we never went hungry on Tiger Island. After that we went back to our room to take a shower, take a small nap and watch the glorious sunset from our Sunset Hut.

7:00 PM Communal Dinner

At 7PM, most people have gathered in the communal area outside, enticed by the wafting smell of BBQ. The staff were setting up a delicious buffet, as well as barbecuing a whole fish that they just caught that morning! There were other fresh seafood such as squids too, but the fish was the star of the night. The marinade is a taste I still can’t forget. This was one of my favourite part of the trip. Everyone on the island came together on the deck, enjoying the calm stillness of the water and home-cooked fresh food, only lit by the moonlight.

The rest of the evening my sisters and I spent relaxing, listening to music and playing card games together until we fell asleep.

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2. Second Day

8:00 AM Breakfast

Breakfast was served as a buffet-style, and again, there was an abundance of options. However, we didn’t want to eat too much as we had planned on snorkelling right after.

11:00 AM Check-out & Snorkelling / Diving

We were delighted to find out my sisters and I were the only ones who wanted to snorkel and dive that morning, so we had the boat and 3 crew members to ourselves! We got on the speedboat and the crew explained that we were going to a part of the sea where the water is clearest. My older sister was going to dive, so they had packed along oxygen tanks and diving suits and fins. My younger sister and I were just going to snorkel, so the diving suits were optional (you can wear your swimsuit instead), and fins. We’ve all dived & snorkelled before, so we started exploring in no time – but if this is your first time, the crew are more than capable of giving you initial training.

The water visibility was good, however we didn’t get too see too many interesting sea creatures while snorkelling. You will have better luck with diving. Nevertheless, time flew by while we were enjoying our time in the water and 1.5 hours later they told us it was time to head back to Tiger Island.

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1:00 PM Last Lunch

We had our last sumptuous lunch buffet after snorkeling. Even though we had checked out of our rooms, we could still shower and get changed in the shared bathroom. Don’t worry, the shared bathrooms are very clean!

2:30 PM Depart Back to Marina

It was time to say goodbye to the quiet, secluded island and back to the concrete jungle!

I was told that this itinerary looks the same for pretty much every weekend (and every guest), so this would be an accurate representation of what you will be doing on the island. Of course, you can opt out of the water-based activities if you want and just chill in the hammocks and read a book instead!


To book a stay or enquire about availability, contact Pulau Macan Village & Eco Resort at info@zevillages.com. Do note they don’t take credit card payments – payments can only be made by Bank Transfer, Transferwise, or Western Union.

Hope this has been a helpful guide to Pulau Macan (Tiger Island)! Let me know if you think I’ve missed anything or if you have any questions for me 🙂 P.s. If you’re looking for another secluded island getaway, check out my Rawa Island post as well!

xo,clarinta

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1 Comment

  • Reply Roderick des Tombe August 28, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Hi Clarinta :~) Thank you so much for your lovely review of our humble little islands. We hope it becomes a home away from home for you and your sisters. Next time, try the island hut! It’s my personal favorite, and the bathroom is pretty epic. All the best and hope to see you again on the island soon.

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