Island Hopping in Singapore
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A Tropical Adventure Guide: Island Hopping in Singapore

Are you ready to discover the hidden gems of Singapore’s surrounding waters with an exhilarating island-hopping adventure? 

Singapore’s islands offer an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and promise a tropical paradise with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes. 

In this guide, we’ll reveal the top islands to include in your island-hopping itinerary for an unforgettable experience.

Top Islands in Singapore

St. John’s Island

— From @alamin0266

6 kilometers south of Singapore, St. John’s Island offers swimming lagoons, pristine beaches, well-maintained picnic grounds, and enticing trekking routes. This isle is renowned for its vibrant landscape and animals.

The island’s beaches are the perfect setting for an enjoyable picnic, inviting visitors to lay out their mats and soak in the peaceful ambiance of the surroundings. You can also explore the mangroves and discover an abundance of marine life on the island.

If you want to explore the island’s lush greenery, consider joining a guided tour to appreciate St. John’s Island even more. Be sure to secure tickets in advance to make the most of this experience.

Another thing to visit on the island is the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre. You can get into the fascinating world beneath the waves and gain insights into the ecosystems that surround the waters.

How to get there: You can buy tickets at the Marina South Pier for a 30-minute ride to St. John’s Island. Each ticket costs S$18 for adults and S$12 for children from 1 to 12 years old.

Tip: For those who want to extend their stay, booking bungalows or campsites two months in advance will secure you an immersive overnight experience on this captivating island. 

As there are no kiosks or shops on the island, it’s also advisable to come prepared with enough food, water, books, and toys for your kids to enhance your St. John’s Island adventure.

Lazarus Island

— From @worldluvah_chang

Not far from St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island is a gem that’s accessible through a narrow strip of land. 

Unlike its busy neighbor (St. John’s), Lazarus Island features serene beaches that often remain blissfully uncrowded, which makes it an ideal setting for those seeking a romantic escape or quality time with loved ones.

It’s a peaceful retreat for those looking for a quieter ambiance. The secluded beach is a perfect spot for picnics, sandcastle building, and refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters.  

It’s a place where time seems to slow down, which will then allow for a rejuvenating experience away from the daily hustle.

How to get there: Board the ferry at Marina South Pier bound for St. John’s Island and take the bridge that connects the two islands.

Tip: Lazarus Island also lacks convenience stores, so be sure to pack essentials such as towels, food, water, and sunscreen.

Kusu Island

— From @ukiringo_freeze

Kusu Island has an abundance of tortoises with tortoise statues and a live sanctuary. It’s named after the Hokkien word for tortoise and is filled with mythical tales centered around these animals. 

Legend has it that a giant tortoise transformed itself into the island to rescue two shipwrecked sailors, who later returned to express their gratitude.

During the ninth lunar month, the island comes alive with devotees making their way to the Chinese Da Bo Gong Temple to pay respects. This period sees a surge in visitors, so reserving a time slot is advisable for a smooth experience.

The island offers picturesque beaches for a refreshing dip and open green spaces perfect for picnics. For a wonderful experience, you can visit the tortoise sanctuary where you can spot these fascinating creatures in various colors, shapes, and sizes.  

How to get there: Board the ferry at Marina South Pier. Each round-trip ticket costs S$15 for adults and S$12 for children.

Tip: For those seeking an adventure, you can go on a 152-step climb to its summit, where three Malay keramats (holy shrines) are located. Many believe these shrines bestow blessings of wealth, health, and fertility. 

While there, toss a coin into the lotus-shaped wishing well for a chance to make your wishes come true.

Sisters’ Islands

— From @kelvin_yong

Sisters’ Islands are two islands separated by a narrow channel and have been awarded Marine Park status a few years back for their untamed natural beauty. It’s believed that these islands got their name from a folktale that tells the tragic drowning of two sisters.

Nature lovers who want to have an immersive experience can go snorkeling in the clear waters and vibrant reefs filled with marine life. The islands are also popular spots for picnics and camping.

You also have the chance to encounter the playful long-tailed macaques as you explore the islands.

How to get there: Board the ferry at Marina South Pier. Each round-trip ticket costs S$16 for adults and S$12 for children.

Tip: If you want a fulfilling day of nature discovery on Sisters’ Islands, National Parks hosts a guided walk twice a month that’s free of charge. At this walk, you and your family can marvel at sea creatures like starfishes, octopuses, and clams. 

The island is closed for now for enhancement works and will open this year, so watch out for announcements on news outlets to know when the island will be open for tourists.

Coney Island

— From @goodfortune_ll

Coney Island is an offshore sanctuary accessible through two connecting bridges from the mainland. It features lush forests and mangroves within its habitats. 

When wandering, cycling is recommended over walking due to the rugged terrain. This is a place to see the diverse flora and fauna, or go bird-watching. 

While exploring, be sure to keep an eye out for the long-tailed macaques and remember not to feed them.

You can release your energy at the Casuarina Exploratory playground with its mini obstacle course built from uprooted casuarina trees and other recycled materials. 

How to get there: Get to Coney Island by walking across the connecting bridges, accessible from either the east entrance at Lorong Halus or the west entrance at Punggol Promenade Park Connector.

Tip: To fully enjoy your adventure, make sure to dress in long pants and shoes and apply insect repellent to prevent bites. Also, be sure to watch out for wild boars and dogs.

Pulau Ubin

— From @ordutton

Pulau Ubin is home to one of the last kampongs (villages) in Singapore and is located off the northeast coast near Changi Airport. This island is a favorite of cyclists, and it features a hardcore mountain bike course. 

You can rent bikes for a family-friendly, self-guided tour, with options ranging from mountain bikes to tricycles and bikes with side carts for the kids. 

They have restful spots like the scenic quarry to soak in the serenity, and you can grab drinks and old-school snacks from the numerous shops and cafes along the main stretch. 

For a deeper exploration, head to Chek Jawa, located about 3km from the jetty, for a leisurely stroll to discover its wetlands and learn about the island’s rich marine life, including carpet anemones and mangrove-dwelling fiddler crabs. 

How to get there: Take the 10-minute bumboat ride at Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Each one-way ticket costs S$4.

Tip: Be sure you’re equipped with essentials like a hat, sunscreen, water, and insect repellent. Keep in mind that the island lacks ATMs, so it’s best to bring sufficient cash for an uninterrupted exploration of this natural haven.

Pulau Hantu

— From @chibikko_akinko71

Pulau Hantu comprises two islets, Pulau Hantu Besar and Pulau Hantu Kechil. The island offers a peaceful retreat, inviting visitors to explore lovely beaches, lagoons, and mangroves.

This island paradise is a favorite destination for camping, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling enthusiasts. The seabed is adorned with rich reefs and showcases a diverse array of corals. 

The water is vibrant sea life, including damselfishes, wrasses, clownfish, and angelfish.

The island is also called Ghost Island because it is believed that Malay warriors’ ghosts wandering the island come from the ancient battles in the area.

How to get there: To get to Pulau Hantu, you can privately charter a boat from the West Coast or Marina South Pier since there are no daily ferries to the island.

Tip: If you want to stay overnight at Pulau Hantu, be sure to secure a camping permit at [email protected].