With over 18000 islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. The island nation is home to 167 active volcanoes, far more than any other country and has some of the largest remaining tracts of tropical forest anywhere in the world.
Indonesia is both a leisure seeker’s dream and an adventurer’s playground. Whether you’re looking to bronze on beautiful beaches, hike in search of endangered orangutan, or snorkel among some of the most beautiful coral reefs on Earth, this country has something for everyone.
Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Indonesia:
Number 10. Raja Ampat Islands.
An island cluster on the northwestern tip of Papua New Guinea, Raja Ampat is one of the most sensational diving destinations in Indonesia. Meaning ‘Four Kings’, Raja Ampat is made up of four major jungle-clad islands surrounded by turquoise lagoons and palm-fringed beaches along with thousands of smaller islands. The archipelago is celebrated for its rich marine life and underwater coral reefs. These islands are also home to spectacular beaches, with shallow blue waters and fine white sand.
Lagoons provide protection from the wind and a special place to relax in paradise.
Number 9. Bunaken.
Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling destination.
The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70% of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean. By and large, the diving spots are geared toward advanced divers with strong swimming skills.
However, increasing in popularity is snorkeling in the shallower coral reefs closer to the shoreline.
Number 8. Flores.Portuguese for flowers, Flores is undeniably an island of incredible scenic beauty.
The most famous attraction in Flores is the Kelimutu volcano caldera, which has three lakes fed by volcanic gas that change color according to the amount of oxidation in the water.
The three-colored lakes are a must-see from the top of the volcano at sunrise. The north coast has many offshore islands and coral reefs to explore with an exhilarating dive or snorkelling trip.
Torajaland.Tucked within the lush central highlands of Southern Sulawesi, Torajaland is a region that’s dotted with rice fields, limestone peaks, and bamboo-clad hills. Home to the Toraja, an animist people, Tana Toraja has a fascinating culture that’s
remained largely independent from western influence. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses and spectacular but gruesome funeral rites. After a person’s death, the body is kept for several years, until the actual funeral
ceremony, which can last for several days.
The deceased is then finally buried in a small cave or in a hollow tree.
Number 6.Lake Toba.
Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide.
Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth.
Samosir Island in the middle is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourist also come here to kick back and relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters.
Number 5.Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. At 2,329 meters it is not the highest peak of the massif, but it is the most well known. The area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Java. The top of the volcano has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white smoke. It is surrounded by the Sea of Sand of fine volcanic sand.
The overall effect is unsettlingly unearthly.
Number 4. Lombok.
An increasingly popular alternative to overly commercial Bali, Lombok and its offshore coral-ringed Gili Islands are tropical paradises. Here, you can enjoy all the appeal of Bali before tourism took over – surfing hotspots, uncrowded beaches, and magical waterfalls tucked within steamy jungles. Backpackers head to Lombok in search of adventure. This is likely because its volcano-topped jungle provides for a great trek surrounded by unforgettable scenery. If you’re planning on hiking the Rinjani volcano and its photogenic crater lake, make sure you’re fit and have booked with a reputable guide – it’s by no means a walk in the park!
Number 3. Komodo National Park.
Located near Flores, Komodo National Park is famous for one thing and one thing only – its reptilian namesake, the Komodo dragon. Spread across three main islands, the park provides a sanctuary for this strange looking creature reminiscent of the dinosaurs. It’s the largest living lizard on the planet and can reach a mighty three meters in length.
The reptiles roam freely over the islands, and visitors rely on experienced tour guides for sightings and to keep them safe.
But you’ll also spot wild horses, water buffalo and long-tailed macaques here Offshore, the park encompasses some of the richest marine habitats in the world, with a kaleidoscope of sponges, crustaceans, and bony fishes.
Number 2. Yogyakarta.
Yogyakarta is a bustling town of some 500,000 people and the most popular tourist destination on Java, due to its proximity to the famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. The city itself is a center of education and culture, particularly for Javanese fine arts, and has a wide range of tourist facilities.
Yogyakarta lies in one of the most seismically active parts of Java and has thus repeatedly been struck by earthquakes and volcano eruptions. In 2006 an earthquake flattened over 300,000 houses while in 2010 the nearby volcano of Mount Merapi erupted, spewing lava over nearby villages.
Number 1. Bali.
One of the most visited and dreamed-of destinations on the modern traveler bucket list, Bali is a kaleidoscope of beautiful beaches, volcanic hills, lush rice paddies, and thousands upon thousands of Balinese temples. It’s celebrated for its laidback atmosphere that’s attracted backpackers, surfers, and yogis for years, who have come in search of finding their Zen in this tropical paradise. Nicknamed the ‘Island of the Gods,’ Bali is deeply rooted in the spiritual, with endless Hindu temples boasting colorful architecture all of their own – particularly in Ubud, Bali’s spiritual capital.