Pulau Bidadari (or the Island of Angels) is one of the many charming islands in the Thousand Islands Marine National Park in the Bay of Jakarta , which also comprise Pulau Tidung and Pulau Pramuka. This beautiful island, formerly known as Pulau Sakit, is located close to the capital city, approximately 15 kilometers (or 20 minutes) away by speedboat. Pulau Bidadari lies in the middle of a cluster of small islands, among which are Pulau Onrust , Pulau Khayangan, Pulau Kelor and Pulau Ayer.
Because of its natural beauty as well as its historic attractions, Pulau Bidadari is at present being developed as a tourist destination. With only six hectares in area, Pulau Bidadari is a small island. You could walk from one end to the other in under two hours.
The beaches of Pulau Bidadari display beautiful, white, sand, and crystal clear sea water. There are also several mangrove forests where you will have the opportunity to see many rare and exotic plants, such as, the tree of peace (Baringtonia exelsa), willows, Pempis acidula, ebony trees (Diospyros maritama), and Glodokan trees, to name a few. Around the forests are also several fruit orchards which are lovely and colorful, especially when in season! Approximately 60% of plants on this island are rare, protected species.
Another interesing fact about Pulau Bidadari is that half of it remains lush, green forest. You can walk along paths and see monitor lizards lurking about tree branches. Up to 50 monitor lizards inhabit the area, some growing to as long as 2 meters.
In the 17th-century, the Dutch built leper hospitals on the island but these are no more. The island was then known as Pulau Sakit (or Sick Island). To give the island a more positive vibe, the name was changed to its current name, Pulau Bidadari. In addition, the Dutch also built a fortress here in 1786 to protect the City of Batavia (today’s Jakarta ) from enemy attack.
Prior to 1970, the island had never been visited by tourists. It was not until the 1970’s, when PT Seabreez began to develop the island as a tourist resort as well as raise tourism awareness to this paradisical spot. According to the Pulau Bidadari community, the island gained its name because long ago, the Royal Family of Jayakarta used to come to the island for recreation and relaxation. No one was allowed to visit the island unless they were of royal blood. Hence the name, Pulau Bidadari, literally translated meaning: The Island of Angels.