Indonesia – the tropical paradise, the land of spices, volcanoes, nasi goreng, and coral reefs. Over 17,000 islands stretched between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. On top of its breathtaking beauty, Indonesia has one of the richest biodiversities in the world, making it a dream destination for nature and adventure lovers. To see it all, no vacation is long enough, so instead, we’ve come up with our pick of the best things to do in Indonesia.
Bali is very easy to reach, well connected via air not only with the capital city of Jakarta but many big cities around Asia, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, or even Dubai. The famous Island of Gods is a must-see destination on your Asian adventures. A melting pot with arts, culture, organic food, spirituality, luxury resorts, and most scenic views.
Whether you’re looking for a yoga retreat, amazing diving, paradise beaches, or deep human connection – this beautiful island has it all. Different parts of the island will offer different experiences, so choose your stay wisely.
Whilst you’re in Bali, be sure to spend some time in Ubud. This is the place if you’re looking for nature and serenity. This most “cultured” part of the island is a great choice if you want to visit Hindu temples, take long walks, enjoy massages or stargaze. Here is where your mind takes a break from the noisy world. If you’re a diver or a beach person, there are plenty to choose from. Nusa Dua is great for families, Seminyak for fun, and Thomas for peace and quiet.
For nature and animal lovers, the trip of a lifetime will be to Borneo – home of surviving orangutans and other wildlife. One of the very few places in the world, where the orangutans still live in the wilderness. Here, there are also multiple organizations that take care of these wonderful animals, protect them, save them from captivity and help them survive in the forest.
Out of many ways to visit these forests, taking a cruise on a wild river seems like an incredible way – moving slowly through the otherwise inaccessible parts of the jungle. Surely – if the thought of wild orangutans moves your heart, Borneo is a must!
When it comes to animals – Komodo Dragons are another Indonesian treat. Growing up to 10ft and 150 lb they fully dominate their ecosystem. Living in the Komodo National Park, these big lizards are protected as a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
There is no accommodation on Komodo Island itself. You will most likely stay in neighboring Flores and take boat trips to pay visits to those biggest known lizards. There is quite a choice of Komodo cruises that also let you explore the area. And as you’re already there – the Kelimutu Volcano with 3 lakes of different colors is another must-see nearby.
When it comes to volcanos, you can plan a whole trip, just to see as many of them as you wish. Indonesia as a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire has 127 active volcanoes. The most well-known is Mount Bromo, in East Java. The long line of southern Indonesian islands is marked with dozens of fuming mountains. You can hike them or observe the activity from a distance, admiring the force of nature and observing life at its feet.
The volcano tracing trip can take you through Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores, and Halmahera. Each of the islands is slightly different from the other, unveiling new traditions and customs, new stories, and new adventures.
It’s impossible to talk about Indonesia without remembering the role it played in the world spice market for centuries. The Spice Islands (Maluku) in the East will welcome you with the smell of cloves and nutmeg. The whole villages grow and process these treasures of the old days. Nutmeg, mace, and cloves were alone the strongest factors sparking the European conquest of the region in the 16th century. Today spices are still a strong side of the local economy, along with fishing and cocoa and coffee cultivation.
Visiting the Maluku Islands is a trip into the history of these lands but also a deep dive into this culture. Simple people and the simple lives of the locals, who will welcome you with a smile and a big heart. If you’re craving adventures among the locals, fishing trips, or plantation visits – Maluku Islands are your new destination!
Last but not least on our list is the breathtaking Raja Ampat. An archipelago of 1,500 islets, spiking from the azure blue waters, lush with greenery, creates the most beautiful of the labyrinths. Cruise, dive, kayak, and let this magical place steal your heart. If you’re a diver – this is where you want to be, looking at the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world.
Diving spots are present across the whole archipelago. With fabulous weather, 20% of the world’s coral reef, hundreds of sea life species, and pristine waters Indonesia is rated as a top diving destination.
With such a variety of choices and so many things to do in Indonesia, a great way to travel is by water. Cruising on a boat equipped with diving gear and offering a high standard of service and accommodation is our recommendation to make the most of your time. Contact our travel specialists to see how you can combine a cruise with land tours, to get the most of this amazing country.
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