There are plenty of reasons to visit Indonesia. It is a country with more than 17,000 islands, of which 8,000 are inhabited. It is almost like it is like hundreds of countries rolled into one!
Indonesia is a land of great adventure, where dramatic landscapes of beaches and volcanos live alongside each other, with a rich diversity of people, customs, cultures, animals, plants, artworks, spectacular temples and food.
Here are eight reasons why we think you should visit Indonesia. You won’t make it to all 17,000 islands in one trip, but these destinations are a great place to start!
Jakarta is the countries most significant and most diverse metropolis. It is full of surprises, from the exciting nightlife and vibrant shopping scene, and a melting pot of Indonesian culture and cuisine. There are well over 100 major shopping malls; Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia are the two you should not miss. For smaller malls and shopping complexes selling electronic items and different gadgets, make a trip to Chinatown. We recommend staying at Jual Beli Rumah for access to all the exciting things this incredible city has to offer.
Ubud is a town in central Bali, and well-known as ‘The Center of Art of Culture.’ It is a town made up of small villages which each specialize in their own creative art, and it is a fantastic place to seek traditional jewelry, oil painting, basket weaving, batik and textiles, and beautiful wood carving.
Travelers should consider signing up for a cooking class while they are in Ubud. Go into the gorgeous rice fields and enjoy the beautiful countryside as you prepare and try authentic Balinese cuisine.
The spotlight attraction in Nusa Dua is its superb beaches. Pantai Mengiat is a popular choice for sun seekers and beach goers, and further south is the Geger Beach, which has a picturesque temple sitting on top of the cliff. There is also Sawangan, where visitors will find the only camel safaris in Bali.
Legian is a stunning resort getaway on the coasts of south Bali. It is the perfect spot for those traveling to Indonesia on the hunt for stunning views of the ocean, exotic plants and wildlife, and plenty of entertainment.
Legian Beach continues north along the coast where it meets the popular Kuta Beach, and provides visitors with plenty of opportunities to surf, shop, party, or take leisurely strolls along streets lined with restaurants.
Lombok is often overshadowed by nearby Bali but is an untamed wilderness of dense rain forests, towering waterfalls, and majestic mountains mingling with quirky farms, white sandy beaches, and the intimidating presence of Indonesia’s second highest volcano, Gunung Rinjani. The island has plenty to offer those who are prepared to let go of their creature comforts and go off the beaten track.
Hikers will be especially enamored of the many hiking trails on the island, with the trek to the top of Gunung Rinjani a must do for ambitious climbers. With a crater lake and hot springs waiting as the reward at the summit, it is something anyone with a sense of adventure would aspire to.
Those who prefer to stay at ground level will find crystal clear waters and plenty of world-class breaks along the southern coast of the island, and it is the perfect starting point before heading to the beaches in Gili.
It just would not be a guide to Indonesia without including the countries most famous island, Bali. Bali is so prominent in its own right that many people incorrectly believe it is a country of its own.
It is often known as the beach playground of Australia, and believe us; the Australians love Bali. Flights are affordable from most Australian cities, so they tend to flock there in droves. The main tourist strip in Kuta is always busy, but there is so much more to the island.
The Gili Islands
For those wanting the stereotypical desert island experience, the white sands, turquoise waters, and coconut palm trees of the Gili Islands will be exactly what you are looking for.
While the islands, especially Gili Trawangan, have seen a massive upswing in popularity in recent years, they are still significantly less developed and less crowded than the main Kuta tourist strip in nearby Bali.
The three islands compromising the Gili Islands each boast something totally different: Gili Trawangan has the vibrant backpacker scene; Gili Air has a much more laid back and bohemian local vibe, and Gili Meno is the more upmarket one of the three islands. Whichever island you choose to visit, you will be hard-pressed to find a more stunning corner of the world.
For those who want to get off the beaten path and experience raw, natural and unspoiled beauty, East Java is what you need to be adding to your Indonesian travel bucket list.
It is a lost world of jungles and valleys, intimidating volcanic peaks and raw, unspoiled wilderness. East Java is the least populated province of Indonesia, but certainly one of its most endearing.
The Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is where you will find the towering twin volcanic peaks of Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo, and the land surrounding the volcanoes is one of serene crater lakes, fertile forest, and rugged mountains. It is truly spectacular.
The Ijen Plateau is a region that is volcanically active and draws in adventurers and adrenaline junkies from all around the world. One of the rewards of the tough walk into the mountains is the Ijen Crater, with its sparkling blue waters.
For raw natural beauty, it is hard to beat East Java’s ruggedness. While many of us think of the beaches of Indonesia when they plan their trip, it is worth remembering the countries truly stunning mountains as well.