Top Five Destinations – Indonesia
With over 17,000 islands spread over the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is incredibly diverse. For many people, the choice of destination in Indonesia can be truly daunting. With so many islands, where does a first time visitor go? We try to make the choice easy for you by detailing five of our favorite destinations in the country. Although these are only the tip of the iceberg, you can’t go wrong visiting these incredible spots. Don’t forget, once you check these off your bucket list there are dozens of others in Indonesia to add on to it!
Komodo National Park
Have you ever wanted to see a dragon? Although we can’t promise the fire breathing leviathans from Game of Thrones, we do promise the next best thing. The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest land reptile and is only found in this one corner of the world. If a 2 meter long venomous reptile is not enough to grab your attention, the scenery surely will. Surrounded by savannah like islands, the national park boasts amazing panoramic views throughout.
If exploring the islands is not enough to temper your wanderlust, the marine environment in Komodo is even more incredible. Benefiting from the protection of the national park means the marine life here is healthy. Imagine swimming in clear blue water with a dozen manta rays dancing in the water column around you. The coral reefs are alive with fish and hard coral. Komodo National Park offers one of the most unique eco-systems in the world and is a must visit destination in Indonesia.
You have probably seen the photos on advertisements and thought to yourself, what an amazing place! Of course we mean the incredibly lush mushroom shaped islands surrounded by an idyllic azure ocean; Raja Ampat is the picture postcard destination of Indonesia. With hundreds of islands spread over a large region there are endless places to explore. Set sail on a yacht like Samata or spend a few days on a kayak, there are many ways to experience Raja Ampat. With dozens of beautiful beaches, caves, jellyfish filled lakes, and panoramic views throughout the region there is an activity for everyone.
Raja Ampat is also one of the top destinations in the world for scuba diving. There are more species of fish and coral here than anywhere else. Imagine diving among pink and purple soft corals while a school of fish surrounds you? That is Raja Ampat diving!
Orangutans in Borneo
There are only 3 species of great apes in the world and one of these is native to Indonesia. Chimpanzees and gorillas are found in Africa while the gentle orangutan is only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These large and intelligent animals are easy to visit in several areas in Indonesia including Bukit Lawang in Sumatra and Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan.
Our choice is to head to Tanjung Puting and explore the area by river boat. There is nothing quite like cruising quietly on a river surrounded by the sounds of nature. Not only are orangutans found here but also proboscis monkeys, gibbons, and even sunbears and cloud leopards.
The real stars of the show are the orangutans. These close cousins of humans are obviously extremely intelligent and seeing them in person is a magical experience. Unfortunately, they are considered at threat due to rampant logging throughout their range. Visiting them is highly recommended on your next visit to Indonesia before it’s too late.
You can’t complete a top destinations of Indonesia list without mentioning Bali. The “Island of the Gods” is the top tourist attraction in the country and for good reason. There are so many activities available on this small island you could spend months here and not sample them all. Scuba diving, golfing, cycling, surfing, white water rafting, hiking, and canyoning are just a small sample of the activities on Bali.
It’s not just activities that make a visit so worthwhile. Balinese culture is unique in the world with it’s rich Hindu heritage. The people are extremely welcoming and happy to share their culture with outsiders. Many visitors describe a visit to Bali as a spiritual experience unlike any other. Whether you want a five star luxury hotel or you prefer to backpack through small villages in the mountains, Bali has something for every visitor.
Borobudur Temple complex makes our Top Five list as a wonderful example of human ingenuity. Built more than 1000 years ago, this Buddhist temple in Java is a showpiece of the rich history of Indonesia. Not only is it ancient, it’s also the largest temple of it’s kind in the world. Restored to it’s glory over the past 100 years, this World Heritage Site is a must visit destination for anyone interested in history.
Located near the city of Yogyakarta in central Java, the complex is easy to reach and well worth the visit. With over 500 statues of Buddha and 2500 stone relief carvings, this is one of three pilgrimage sites for Buddhists including Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar.
Indonesia truly is a majestic country to visit. With thousands of islands spread over an area the size of Australia, there is always something new to explore. A trip aboard the Samata is only the beginning of your journey. With the ease of domestic tourism in the country, it’s easy to plan your Indonesian adventure to visit two or three destinations in one trip. Let us know if you would like more information about how to make this possible.