Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago comprising far over 17,000 islands, more than 6,000 of them uninhabited. For decades the islands have been a dream destination for many travellers. This is mainly due to its unspoilt wilderness, the numerous volcanoes looming over lush green valleys, white-sand beaches, crystal-clear lakes, beautiful ancient temples, colorful coral reefs and the friendly smiles of the Indonesian people. Whether you decide to go surfing off the south coast of Bali, explore the jungles of Kalimantan or see eye-to-eye with a Komodo Dragon, you’re sure to have a heck of a great time.
Most people only know and travel to Bali, the country’s main tourist destination. And it is quite easy to see why. The Balinese are probably among the world’s most open-minded, peaceful and friendly people, making your stay on the island uncomplicated and pleasant. The most popular town is Kuta. Located close to Denpasar Airport it offers everything from cheap hostels to luxury hotel rooms. It is a great place to party and take surfing lessons, as well as just chill on the beach. For more experienced surfers, there are numerous beaches nearby with bigger and better waves, such as Dreamland. Don’t miss visiting the sea temple of Tanah Lot, which offers spectacular photo opportunities at sunset. Head up north and visit quirky Ubud to see the Macaque monkeys. But be careful, they might try to climb on you or steal something from you. Near Ubud and in Western Bali you can also visit some very beautiful and impressive rice terraces. From Bali, many people head over to neighbor Lombok. They main attraction here are the Gili Islands off the north-west coast, where one can, swim, snorkel, dive or sun-bathe. Another popular activity is climbing volcano Gunung Rinjani, which, with its peak at over 3700 meters offers an incredible view over the valleys of Lombok and most of the time even Bali.
Java is the country’s political and economic centre, with Jakarta as its capital. More than half of the population lives here and one can witness the harsh division between the wealthy and the poor in Jakarta’s slums and glitzy shopping centres. Outside of the capital region, the island boasts many volcanoes, gorgeous national parks and pristine beaches. Not far from Yogyakarta, the two beautiful temples of Borobudur and Prambanan offer insight into the Buddhist and Hindu religions.
Sumatra has made quite a few headlines over the past couple of years. From tsunamis to earthquakes and unrests, it certainly doesn’t seem to be the most appealing of destinations. But there is much more to this island, which is four times the size of Java. The eastern part of the island is covered in forests and mangroves, whereas in western Java, gigantic volcanoes and beautiful mountain lakes make up an incredibly picturesque scenery, which is definitely worth visiting. Many people here are farmers, cultivating pepper, tobacco and coffee among others. Don’t miss having your cup of coffee here, it is sooo good.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Komodo National Park comprises Komodo Island, as well as Rinca and Padar. The former are home to the prehistoric Komodo Dragon, an evil-looking creature which can reach up to 3 meters length. But the National Park doesn’t only offer an incredibly unique fauna on the islands; it also boasts some of the world’s greatest dive sites.
From Komodo, many people head east towards Flores, usually arriving in the colourful port town of Labuan Bajo. The laid-back town is a base for exploring the nearby islands, either to dive, snorkel or swim. Other points of interest include the little whaling village of Lamalera, as well as the three beautiful crater lakes, which all have different colors.
Sulawesi and Kalimantan are not as popular some of the other islands, but in terms of scenery, reefs, beaches and jungle, they have some of the most spectacular places you can find in Indonesia. Some of the highlights include the Togian Islands in Tomini Bay, off the coast of Sulawesi, as well as trekking through the jungle or taking a boat tour on Lake Jempang on Kalimantan. If you’re into diving or snorkelling, you might want to consider travelling to the Moluccas, also known as the Spice Islands.
The best time to travel to Indonesia is during the dry season, which generally lasts from May to October. If you decide to come here during the rainy season, you should keep in mind that travelling can at times be a bit more complicated and adventurous, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting this beautiful country. Cheap flights can be found with our powerful search engine.
Though many people aren’t aware of this, Indonesia is a treasure trove full of pristine beaches, awe striking temples, wild jungles, orang-utans, as well as untouched nature and impressive volcanoes.