Kepulauan Seribu (Direct Translation: Thousand Island) is group of small islands located around 45km North of Jakarta/Banten. The actual count of the island is not that much, around 180+ islands. The islands experience various developments, from an urban to world class Hotel.
Almost all of the resorts provide full range of water activity, like banana boat or Jet Ski. The nearest resort is Bidadari Island, located around 30 minutes from Marina Ancol by Speed Boat. According to my own experience, it is quite an old resort, although they have a beautiful white-sands beach, the room is not too nice. The food is also standard.
If you do Scuba Diving, The northern islands is your best bet. The best for Scuba Diving is Sepa Island, which provides full range of scuba diving facility. It is located around 2 hours from Marina Ancol. They also try to grow some unique creature from other part of Indonesia in their house reef, so that you might find some creature you won’t find elsewhere on the islands. Unfortunately, their accommodation is not quite good, due to lack of freshwater on the island.
Other upmarket resort, which I fully recommend is in Matahari Island, still around 2 hours from Marina Ancol. They provide good food, the best I’ve been eating in the islands, and also nice room. With only 15-30 minutes to Sepa Island I would recommend staying overnight in this island. It is also close to Papa Theo Island, the location of the famous Papa Theo Wreck.
Another island I’ve been is Kotok Island. I haven’t stay overnight in this island, and the diving is also rated second compared to Sepa and Matahari Island.
If you would like to backpacking, Pramuka Island could be your choice. As the administrative center of Kepulauan Seribu, you can get a nice room there for a fraction of price of the resorts. There are also nice Scuba Diving Sites around there, and you can just rent the villager’s boat.
Other Kepulauan Seribu Information:
Wikipedia (Indonesian Language): http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepulauan_Seribu
Jakarta Government Website: http://www.jakarta.go.id/en/pemerintahan/kotamadya/kepseribu/
Kapal Selam Diving Club: http://www.kapalselam.org/dive_site/thousand_island_pulau_seribu/