Pulau Macan

For my last weekend in Jakarta, we decided to escape with friends to Pulau Macan. Our sunset boat ride to another island provided some great light for portraits.

I also borrowed Joya’s nifty waterproof camera while snorkeling. I leaned that photographing fish is pretty difficult if you’re trying to capture anything but them swimming away from you.

The colours inside of some of the clams are fantastic.

The hard coral around Macan is relatively healthy. Being so close to Jakarta, that doesn’t mean that it’s not without some large bleached out areas.

I’ve been looking online without luck to see what this creature is. He was neat to watch as he hung out resting on the coral. There were three of them. Does anyone know of an online fish identification guide?

These white and pink fish hang out in the sand and challenge anything that comes near. They’ll charge you by swimming right up to your face before turning quickly away to make another approach. They’re synonymous with Pulau Macan in my memory.

I didn’t manage to capture the vibrant blue and purple colour of the crabs on the dock with a good shot, mostly because they were quicker than the shutter on Joya’s camera. Which brings me to the possibility of buying a housing and strobe for my Nikon. Underwater photography has intrigued me for a long time, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to drop $1,500 on a single-purpose piece of plastic. That’s not including the macro lens I’d feel compelled to buy.

8 thoughts on “Pulau Macan

  1. Hello there,

    we will visit a friend of ours in Jakarta this August. While there we want to find a nice place near Jakarta where we can relax for some days. We love snorkelling, so we plan to go to one of the Pulau Seribu islands. I came across the website of the Tiger Islands Village on Pulau Macan and it looks like a great place to stay. So my question. Would you reccommend to go there or do you know any other places? Thanks for your help in advance.

    Best wishes

    Franz Dürr

  2. Hi Franz,

    Thanks for writing! I definitely recommend visiting Pulau Macan. Living in Jakarta at the time, I was looking for a weekend escape from Jakarta. I stayed at a few other islands in Pulau Seribu but found them to be a little too similar to Jakarta; Karaoke filled evenings and mi goreng weren’t what I was after. Pulau Macan is the exact opposite.

    It’s a private island run by an American named Roderick who spent his formative years in Indonesia. The rooms and facilities are basic, but the food is fantastic. Most of the many weekends I stayed I ended up sleeping outdoors enjoying the stars, the warm sea breeze, and the sunshine in the morning. Of course, the beds are comfortable, sleeping outdoors was just a personal choice. Each trip made me realize what it must be like to be rich and famous and own my own tropical island.

    The snorkeling is not great, but the small tropical paradise of an island more than makes up for it. For that matter, snorkeling isn’t great anywhere in Pulau Seribu.

    Transportation to and from the island can get tricky, but if you talk to Roderick at United Adventures I’m sure he can work something out for you. Tell him how you found out about the island.

    The contact details are:


    Tel/Fax: +62 21 765 8010
    Mobile: +62 818 0880 0008

    What I really recommend is getting a group together and book early. That way, it’s like going to a chalet or cottage with friends. The more the merrier.

    Have a great time in Indonesia.


  3. Hi Chad

    I am planning to go for honey moon to Indonesia beside visiting my family as well 🙂 . And Tiger island is my must must place to visit. But since my fiance kind of concern with the weather, especially tsunami threat. What is the best month to go and do you think they inform or alert with the weather forecast ? I realize I miss Indonesia so much especially the blue ocean, compare with Jersey Shore and Brighton Beach or Miami which is not so me… 🙁

  4. Pulau Macan is the exact opposite of Miami. You’ll love it!

    From what I hear, there have been a ton of upgrades and improvements made to the facilities since I left. I’m sure it’s even more fantastic.

    Tell Roderick I say hi!

  5. Hello,

    I am planning to go to Pulau Macan with a group of people, but as I was the last to joint the groupe they say there are no places in Bungalows, just in open Huts. I wonder if it will be comfortable to live in such hut during 10 days, is there are any facilities there (for example they say nothing about bathroom :o)
    I’ve never been on a tropical island before, the nights are cold there in the begining of August? Is it a nice choice to take an open hut for such a long period?

    But the photos of the island I’ve seen are gorgeous…

    Thank you in advance


  6. Since I’ve received a bunch of messages from this post, I thought I’d link to the three other posts with photos from the island. You can find them here: http://hensler.ca/?s=pulau+macan

    Thanks to everyone who has written and I hope you’ve had as much fun on Pulau Macan as I have.

  7. how lucky you’re ever been in pulau macan, i life in jakarta but i never go there.. After i read your written, i interest to go there.. thank you for your information

  8. hi!
    I’m an italian girl and I would stay to pulau macan from 5 to 11 august 2010 but nobody answer to me!!
    I wrote 4 emails and I don’t know how to make a reservation.
    can you help me please?
    I’ve an e-mail address but I don’t know if it is correct.
    thank you very much.

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