Made up of over 17,000 islands, the world’s largest island nation has an array of travel experiences to offer something for the adventurer and the bon vivant alike. Indonesia boasts nature, culture, and an almost limitless supply of beaches so good that even Australians want to vacation there!
A sprawl of lushly vegetated scenery climbed by steep rice paddies is the legacy of historic and ongoing volcanic activity in the area, with active and dormant cones marking the landscape for miles at a time.
For a full picture of the country, nothing quite rivals an island-hopping experience such as that enjoyed by the Obamas in 2017. From nature to nightlife, here are our top five reasons to visit Indonesia:
R&R: bathe in the sun and sea on Bali’s beaches
Traveling in Indonesia is all about soaking up some seaside life, whether it’s in the nation’s iconic fishing villages or at that favored tourist destination: the beach. Situated in the south (convenient enough to travel to or from Australia), Bali is hard to beat when it comes to beaches, especially if your favorite way to spend time on the sand is with a cocktail in hand. There are plenty of places you’ll find deluxe lodgings at affordable prices. Bali villas are famed for their luxurious amenities, with private pools being the norm.
Raw Natural Beauty: Sekumpul’s waterfalls are too good to share
A short drive from Singaraja, Sekumpul is home to a system of six majestic waterfalls; the steepest of these spilling water over a large 80m drop edged by vivid bamboo forests. These offer views and photo opportunities that really are too good to share. Luckily, the remote location of these falls means you won’t have to!
Culture: mull around the Museum Nasional
Situated in the nation’s capital, Jakarta, this august colonial building houses a remarkable collection of ethnographic materials documenting the nation’s history through everything from early hominins to the country’s unique textiles industry. The Indonesian Heritage Society organizes free English tours of the museum every week.
Architecture: peruse Prambanan Temples
This sprawling world-heritage listed site comprises the remnants of 244 Hindu temples, sacred sites for the Hindu-Buddhist Javanese kings of the ninth century. Situated in Southern Java, its imposing central compound features lavishly carved spires striking up into the sky.
Prambanan is arguably one of the most fascinating religious sites in Southeast Asia; its comparative state of ruin only makes it more compelling.
Hiking: find out where the dragon got its name from on Komodo Island
Located within a special protected nature zone in the central belt of islands, this is where you’ll find the legendary dragon to which the island lends its name. There are guided hikes for all abilities here ranging from 3km rambles to steep 10km hikes over the island’s steeper landscape.
Snorkeling in the surrounding area is also magnificent with a vibrant marine ecosystem of coral reefs and brightly colored fish. Get out here while you can because the Indonesian government has hemmed and hawed about closing the park to tourists over the past couple of years.
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