Sprawling across 17,000 islands, and with nearly as many different cultures inhabiting them, Indonesia showcases diversity on an unchartered level. Kaleidoscopic landscapes range from rugged volcanic terrains dotted with ancient temples, to unspoilt beaches lapped by sparkling ocean waters, making this archipelago one worth exploring. We have gathered ten ideas to inspire your journey to Indonesia, from action-packed adventures to more relaxing moments.
Watch the sunrise at Borobudur Temple
Located in central Java, this three-tiered Buddhist monument is inscribed with thousands of symbols, forms and carvings that share the tales and treasures of the previous 1,200 years. Every level boasts 72 stupas – each with a Buddha figure – which perfectly frame the sunlight as it slowly rises above the hills.
Visit the pink beach of Komodo
One of only seven pink beaches in the world, this romantic beach on Komodo Island is surrounded by postcard-perfect scenery, including emerald hillside and inviting turquoise ocean, idyllic for a refreshing dip. You can easily spend the entire day along the fairytale-like sands, with the orange-hued sunset across the horizon a sight worth sticking around for.
Meet the creatures of Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest
Home to over 100 species of tree and 600 monkeys, the Sacred Monkey Forest is not only a popular tourist attraction, but also a protected zone for research and conservation, with monkey behaviour regularly monitored by experts. Watch the cheeky creatures thriving in their natural habitat – a sight sure to be equally adored by every age.
Relax on the beach in Bali
From spectacular stretches of golden sands, to undisturbed cliff-guarded coves, travellers looking for somewhere to escape the rush will naturally retreat to the beaches of Bali. Venture off the palm-fringed shore to take your pick from a wide range or watersports, or let the sand sink between your toes as you sip on sunset cocktails.
Relish the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
With picturesque vistas across the rice fields and nearby landscapes, this is one of Bali’s most blissful attractions. Stroll along the tiers and indulge in the tranquillity of the terraces’ peaceful location. Sample the local farmer’s fresh coconut drink or purchase a woven hat crafted from coconut leaves, for an authentic Balinese memoir.
Go surfing at Nihi Sumba Island
Seize the opportunity to take on one of the world’s most coveted private waves - known as “God’s Left” – and you’ll be rewarded with an exhilarating ride through ripple walls and heaving barrels. New to surfing? Nihi Sumba also has a world-class team of instructors who can coach you through the basics and introduce you to wave-fuelled thrills.
Visit the eco-friendly Green Village
A half-day walking tour around the master-planned Green Village showcases how the Balinese lifestyle perfectly coexists with nature. Visit the sustainable bamboo houses and the world-famous Green School which delivers a hands-on, nature-based curriculum, and meet the friendly community that drive the eco-tourism message.
Travel to the Gili Islands
For a true taste of island paradise, take the short boat ride from Bali to the Gili Islands. From a mouthwatering Japanese restaurant to bustling night markets, vibrant coral reefs for snorkelling to a protected turtle hatchery, the white beaches and crystal-clear waters of these idyllic atolls should be part of every travellers’ Indonesian itinerary.
Dive beneath the surface at Raja Ampat
This Indonesian idyll has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best sites in the world for snorkelling, diving and underwater photography. Featuring over 65% of the world’s known coral species, along with an incomprehensible collection of tropical marine life, this unspoilt underwater world is a marine enthusiasts paradise.
Climb Lombok’s striking Mount Rinjani
An adventure best suited to seasoned walkers and climbers, the ascent to the top will take you beneath the rainforest canopy and across rocky terrain. Once at the peak, the striking views across the crater which holds a glistening turquoise lake makes the six to seven-hour trek well worth the effort.
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